James Patrick isn't ready to saddle that Harley quite yet.
Close, but not quite.
"I don't want to hang a number on anything because that's when you're announcing retirement," the 54-year-old Clovis High baseball coach said during practice Monday, three days after he won his 600th game when the Cougars scored eight runs in the last two innings to stun Clovis East 8-7.
Patrick, while allowing he has given thought to stepping down, said it would be very difficult to walk from a passel of young talent -- notably juniors Jacob Gatewood, R.J. Hartmann, McCarthy Tatum and Alan Crowley and sophomore Tevin Mitchell.
"They're very good," he said, "and they're going to get better."
It was Mitchell who one-hopped the right-field wall with a first-pitch, opposite-field laser that drove in the final two runs of a three-run seventh against the Timberwolves. And those other nonseniors also contributed to the comeback in a game in which sixth-ranked Clovis trailed No. 9 Clovis East 7-0 after five innings.
Patrick, 600-209-2 in 28 seasons (26 at Clovis, two Memorial), said he's not sure what he would do with his time out of uniform. But, having been raised on mountain bikes in his youth, he said he fancies the idea of jumping back on and hitting the road -- only on a big boy with a rumble.
Next up for Cougars? No. 1 Broncos tonight in TRAC
There hasn't been much time to celebrate Patrick's historic win for Clovis (9-3), which will follow that Tri-River Athletic Conference opener by returning home today to play top-ranked Clovis North (10-2) at 6:45 p.m.
Just minutes before the Cougars rallied against Clovis East, Clovis North received a two-out, two-run single by Daniel Gardner to take a 4-2 lead at Clovis West before holding on for a 4-3 win over the No. 3 Golden Eagles.
Gardner, known for defensive excellence in center field, has stepped up his offensive game after struggling as a junior.
The son of San Francisco Giants bullpen coach Mark Gardner is batting .406 while leading the team in RBIs (12) -- and as a leadoff hitter, no less.
Last year, the left-handed hitter usually batted ninth in the order, if at all, as sometimes his bat was replaced by a designated hitter.
"He had a great summer and fall, dedicated to being the player he is," Clovis North coach Chris Patrick said. "He's been a very clutch hitter; he's had great at bats, runs well and steals bags. I'm really proud of him."
Foster leaps up the chart
It hasn't taken long for Clovis North freshman phenom Rhesa Foster to crack Central Section all-time lists.
Her long jump of 19-5 at the recent Fowler Redcat Relays ranks second all-time as a section freshman. Only Doralee Roberts (20-7, Riverdale, 1971) has done better, and that remains a state freshman class record.
Foster's mark also ranks 10th overall in the section, regardless of class, according to section track and field historian Ron Blackwood. Ranking 1-2-3 are Roberts, Kam Warner (20-61/4, West, 1993) and Jenna Prandini (20-41/4, Clovis, 2011).
Where are they now?
--Willy Irwin (Clovis East/Fresno City): A junior at Concordia University in Portland, Ore., he won the shot put at the NAIA Indoor Championships at the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
The former Bee boys Athlete of the Year in track and field, Irwin won the gold with a throw of 63 feet, 51/2 inches -- narrowly missing the 23-year meet-record of 63-91/2 by Oklahoma Baptist's Ade Olukoju.
Irwin became Concordia's first indoor national gold medalist in the shot put with his school-record throw.
--LaSasha Aldridge (Central): The New Mexico State senior placed third in the 400-meter run in the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships at Albuquerque, N.M. in 54.53. She set school outdoor records last year in the 200 (24.12) and 400 (53.41, WAC champion).
--Katie Ogdon (Clovis West): A redshirt freshman guard at Concordia-Irvine, she produced the team's most complete statistics, across the board -- 11.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.6 steals. She closed the season with 20 points (8-of-11 shooting), six rebounds and four assists in an 84-74 loss to San Diego Christian in the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament quarterfinals.