Clovis News: Sports

Dad is back to coach baseball at Hanford

It was 2002, Preston Scott was 8 years old, his father had played 19 years of professional baseball and the woman in charge -- mother/wife Niki -- had a firm suggestion: "Let it go."

Her husband, Tim Scott, still hungered for more and felt physically fit to continue playing a game that had seen him pitch for four teams in seven major league seasons, the last in 1997 for the Colorado Rockies.

The former Hanford High standout then bounced around in minor league and independent league ball for five more years as his son, Preston, grew into his rubber cleats and longed for more personal attention from pops.

So dad found wisdom in his wife's words and did, indeed, let the game go -- but only as a player.

"I said, 'You know what? You're probably right,' " Tim Scott said. "I had missed out enough with family. It was time to shut it down and work with my son."

He did in Preston's Little League years and, today, they form a special tandem on Hanford's varsity.

Dad has taken over the program as coach. And Preston -- hardly acting his age as a starting freshman second baseman -- is hitting .425 with 12 RBIs for the 12-6 Bullpups.

They drew positive reviews while going 3-1 in last week's Fresno Easter Classic, a 30-team tournament that typically ranks with the state's best. And their only loss was a nine-inning, 6-1 decision to Madera and three-year ace Haden Hinkle.

"The job became available, and I threw my hat into the ring," said Scott, a correctional officer at California State Prison, Corcoran. "It's a lot more than I thought. I didn't anticipate the fundraising and maintenance. But I don't mind putting in the hard work. And when the light clicks on for a kid, it's very gratifying because I feel I had a hand in it."

The 1984 Hanford graduate also contributed to the most dominant era in program history, from 1981-86, when the Bullpups appeared in six consecutive Central Section large schools finals, winning three.

Rangers rippin'

There's perhaps no team swinging hotter bats in the section than Redwood.

The Rangers scored 70 runs in six games while winning the Visalia-Tulare Invitational baseball title last week.

Redwood scored 11 runs or more four times, including a 15-9 triumph in eight innings over Tulare Western for the championship, capping a 6-0 run through the 16-team tournament. It was the Rangers' third Invitational title in the past nine years.

Steven Ramos had 12 of Redwood's 80 hits and one of the its seven home runs. Matt Fox had a homer and 12 RBIs, and Blake Proctor contributed two homers and 10 RBIs.

Redwood (17-7) resumes West Yosemite League play Wednesday at Golden West. El Diamante leads the WYL at 3-0, followed by Hanford at 3-1, Mt. Whitney at 2-1 and Redwood at 2-2.

The WYL has delivered the section's past two Division II champions in Mt. Whitney and El Diamante.