SCHEDULE UPDATES FOR FOOTHILL SERIES
HOME GAME MOVED TO APRIL 17; AWAY GAME STAYS ON MARCH 30
Once again the rain has wreaked havoc on the schedule for the Pokes. This season was supposed to start the home and home series format for the Valley Division in league. Teams were set to play a two game series in the week. The idea behind this format is you see the other team's whole pitching staff and you cannot just line up pitchers for certain games. However, the rain has moved the first game of the first series to a later date. The Varsity will now play Foothill at Foothill on March 30 and their home game has been moved to April 17 beause of Spring Break. That is the first available Monday after the return from break. The Pokes will play three games over Spring Break in the tournament that they host with Foothill.
JOHNSTON SHUTS DOWN WASHINGTON
THE JUNIOR RIGHTY STRUCK OUT 10 AND ONLY GAVE UP 2 HITS IN 5-0 SHUTOUT
Livermore needed a bounce back win in a big way and CJ Johnston delivered for the Pokes. He went six solid innings and picked up the win. Bobby Alvear came in the 7th inning and struck out two of the three batters to end the game and give Livermore a big D2 victory. This win now pushes Livermore's D2 record to 6-0 on the season.
The Pokes got on the board in the bottom of the first inning after Johnston sent Washington down 1-2-3 in the top of the inning. Mateo Bullis walked with two outs and Johnston helped himself by tripling to right center to score Bullis. Washington had their only threat on the game in the top of the 2nd inning but Johnston struck out two guys with the bases loaded to end the threat. Livermore scored again in the 3rd inning when AJ Arante doubled to deep left center and advanced to 3B on a botched pick off play at 2B. Mateo Bullis then hit a sacrifice fly to score Arante. The Pokes struck again in the 5th inning when sophomores AJ Cook and Hayden Maas led off with back to back singles. Maas then stole second and Cook timed it perfectly to steal home on the double steal. This would be the first of two successful double steals as CJ Johnston and Bobby Alvear were successful in the 6th inning when Alvear delayed stole 2B and Johnston scored. Justin Matchett finished off the scoring with a sacrifice fly to score Alvear.
Livermore is supposed to resume league and play Foothill Wednesday and Thursday but the rain looks to cause problems again this week.
TOUGH WEEK FOR THE POKES
LIVERMORE DROPS A PAIR TO MONTE VISTA AND DOUGHERTY VALLEY
The Pokes have hit a rough patch in the season with the pitching struggling to throw strikes and the offense struggling to muster any runs. Monte Vista bunted their way to a 9-1 win while Dougherty Valley outlasted the Pokes 11-7. CJ Johnston had three hits in the DV game while Bobby Alvear had two. Andrew Arante collected three RBI.
DE LA SALLE IS TOO MUCH FOR THE POKES
LIVERMORE BATTLED BUT CAME UP SHORT 9-2
Pokes had some bright spots in the loss as Mateo Bullis had two hits and drove in two. Braeden McRae took the mound for the first time since having Tommy John surgery and threw a perfect 6th inning on seven pitches! Andrew Arante threw a scoreless 7th inning and also had a single of his own at the plate. Bobby Alvear made some very nice plays at SS and CJ Johnston threw out two baserunners while playing 1B.
Livermore now plays Monte Vista on the road next Wednesday.
BIG BOUNCE BACK WIN FOR THE POKES
SLOW START TURNS INTO A GOOD 7-3 WIN OVER NORTHGATE
Livermore started off slowly and did not play that well the first two innings. They made two throwing errors that led to all of Northgate's runs and they took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the 2nd. Livermore bounced back and scored one run in the bottom of the second to cut the lead on a double by CJ Johnston (who finished with two hits) and a single by Justin Matchett. Matchett led all Poke hitters with three singles and two RBIs. Livermore scored again in the bottom of the 3rd on Johnston's second hit of the game to cut the lead to 3-2 but both the 2nd and 3rd innings could have been bigger if it was not for some base running errors.
The Pokes would score three in the 4th and two in the 5th to push their lead to 7-3. Andrew Arante doubled down the right field line to lead off the 4th and then Matchett followed with a single to make it 1st and 3rd. After Matchett stole second, Braeden McRae had an RBI ground out to tie the game. Livermore wasted no time in taking the lead as AJ Cook then singled to right to drive in Matchett. Mateo Bullis singled to get Cook to third and AJ Arante had a sacrifice fly to end the scoring in the 4th.
Andrew Arante and Matchett were at it again in the 5th inning. After Ray Castillo led off with a single, Arante singled to advance pinch runner Blake Bystrom to third and Arante moved up to second on the throw. Matchett then singled home Bystrom to make it 1st and 3rd. The Pokes executed a perfect double steal as Matchett was safe at second and Arante stole home.
CJ Johnston went 5 2/3 innings, striking out five and only giving up two hits. He gave way to Bobby Alvear who struck out three of the four outs he recorded. Tyler Trudeau recorded the final out at 1B on a great play on a hard grounder.
ROUGH DAY AT THE YARD FOR LIVERMORE
CAL BEAT THE POKES 11-0 ON ONLY FOUR HITS
Livermore struggled to throw strikes for the second consecutive game and walked in nine runs en route to the EBAL opener. Cal only had four hits but they did not need much more because of the Pokes struggles on the mound. Mateo Bullis and CJ Johnston had the only two hits of the game for Livermore. This loss drops the Pokes to 5-2 on the season. They will now play Northgate in a game rescheduled from Tuesday. The game was originally at Northgate but their field is not playable so Livermore will host.
RAIN FORCES ANOTHER GAME TO BE RESCHEDULED
NORTHGATE GAME MOVED TO THURSDAY 3/16
Rain continues to wreak havoc on the Pokes' schedule as the weather has forced another schedule change. The Northgate game will now be played on Thursday with it tentatively scheduled to be played at Northgate, but that could change based on the Broncos' field. A decision will be made on Wednesday as to where the game will be played. The Pokes might get another home game out of this.
RAIN! RAIN! GO AWAY
LIVERMORE VS. WASHINGTON WASHED OUT
The Pokes will have to wait until March 27th to play the Huskies as the rain continues to pound the Bay Area. The next ten days look very wet so the Pokes will try to fit the games in when they can. Livermore already has three games next week so that is why the Washington game is pushed out another week.
POKES FALL FLAT AGAINST MOUNTAIN HOUSE
MUSTANGS RUIN THE COACH GATEHOUSE REUNION; WIN 5-0
The cardiac kids did not have another comeback in their pocket today as they had no answer for the Mustangs' big lefty. He struck out 10 hitters in six innings and then their reliever struck out the side to end the game. Pokes' pitchers did not match their dominance on the mound, as the staff walked or hit 13 batters. The one bright spot was the Pokes battled out of some potentially huge innings to hold Mountain House to only five runs despite 13 free passes.
Four hitters tallied singles today for Livermore: Andrew Arante, AJ Arante, Bobby Alvear, and Mateo Bullis.
The Pokes now have the Huskies of Washington High on Friday if the field does not flood and float away with the weather that is expected to come through in the next few days.
ANOTHER WALKOFF FOR THE POKES!
LIVERMORE WINS A WILD ONE AGAINST ARROYO 6-5
Livermore's offense was struggling early while the Dons offense came out firing. Arroyo opened the game with four straight hits to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Arroyo's starter held the Pokes in check through five innings, holding them to three hits and one run, taking a 5-1 lead into the 6th inning. Livermore then became the cardiac kids again, mounting another comeback, scoring five runs in the final two innings to walk off Arroyo 6-5.
The comeback started in the 6th inning. AJ Arante walked and then scored on a long double by Colin Deal. After an out, Andrew Arante (who had three hits today) tripled to right center to score Deal to cut the lead to 5-3. Braeden McRae then pinched hit and drove a single to right field to plate Arante to make the score 5-4. After Mateo Bullis and Blake Bystrom were hit by pitches, Bobby Alvear launched a 400 foot bomb......just foul! The Pokes did not score and the game went to the 7th. Tyler Trudeau, who had come in for Josh Rodriguez who had eight strikeouts in five innings, got a quick 7th inning to set the stage for the wild ending.
Arroyo was not happy the game was still being played because they claimed it was too dark to see the ball. It was definitely twilight but not anywhere near too dark. The pitcher and catcher pleaded their case to the umps who then met and decided there was plenty of light to play.
Justin Matchett led off the 7th with a walk and was sacrificed to 2B by AJ Arante. Colin Deal then singled to left to tie the game and the Arroyo team complained it was too dark again. It got a little heated in the argument and the pitcher and the catcher were thrown out of the game. CJ Johnston pinch ran for Deal and stole second on the first pitch. AJ Cook then hit an infield single to 3B and the throw squirted by the 1B and Johnston did not hesititate and scored from 2B on a head first dive at home for the W!
This win pushes their record to 5-0 with a reunion game set for Wednesday. The Pokes will play Coach Gatehouse's old school Mountain House! First pitch is 3:30.
LIVERMORE RALLIES FROM 3-0 DEFICIT TO BEAT CONCORD
POKES SHOW SOME GRIT BEATING THE MINUTEMEN CROCODILES
. Livermore spotted Concord a 2-0 lead in the first and then they extended the lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the 4th. Livermore's offense was a little quiet early in the game besides a leadoff single in the 1st by Mateo Bullis and a long double down the left field line by AJ Cook.
The offense started to heat up in the top of the 5th after falling down 3-0. The Pokes finally got to the Concord starter and forced three straight walks to open up the inning. After a pitching change, Mateo Bullis greeted the new pitcher with a smoked line drive down the left field line to bring home two runs to cut the lead to 3-2. Blake Bystrom then lined a single to CF to bring home Cook to tie the game. Bystrom then stole second on a great delay steal to put runners at 2nd and 3rd. Bobby Alvear hit a grounder to the SS who couldn't handle it to bring home another run. Livermore capped the scoring by getting an RBI ground out by Justin Matchett.
CJ Johnston and Bobby Alvear battled on the mound all day striking out three each to get the victory for the Pokes.
POKES CONTINUE OFFENSIVE ONSLAUGHT
LIVERMORE MOVES TO 3-0 WITH 12-3 WIN OVER NEWARK
Livermore overcame some early defensive struggles to beat the Cougars in the D2 matchup in Livermore. CJ Johnston went five strong innings, striking out five to pick up his first win of the season, while Bobby Alvear closed out the game on the mound by going two innings and also striking out five. The pitching staff has been a huge bright spot for the Pokes as they have given up very few earned runs.
The offense was spread out all over the lineup again today as Bobby Alvear had two hits, including a long double to left center. Blake Bystrom finally got things to go his way with a long double of his own. Bystrom has been "squaring balls up" all year with not that much to show for it. Mateo Bullis and Zach Bickerton also added doubles for the Pokes. Sophomore AJ Cook had a big two RBI single early in the game when it was still close. Justin Matchett hit his second bomb in as many days with a long drive over the left centerfield wall.
Livermore plays their first road game of the year as they travel to Concord High for another pivotal D2 matchup. The last time these two teams met up was the 2015 NCS Playoffs when current Pitching Coach Brian Martinez led the Pokes on the mound to a 6-1 win. BMar went the distance and gave up zero earned runs.
MATCHETT LEADS THE CHARGE AGAINST MSJ
HE HAD A HUGE 4TH INNING TO HELP BEAT THE WARRIORS
Livermore squared off against Mission San Jose on a cold blustery day. This is the first game in a stretch of important Division 2 games for the Pokes. Livermore scored early and never looked back in picking up their second win of the year. Josh Rodriguez threw four solid innings to get the win and Nik Mirra cleaned up the final two innings to nail down the win on the bump for the Pokes.
Justin Matchett had a whole day's worth of offense in one inning. He homered and had a bases loaded triple in the bottom of the 4th to help put the game out of reach for the Pokes. Zach Bickerton, Mateo Bullis and Bobby Alvear all had two hits each to help lead the offense today. The Pokes tallied 11 hits, seven walks and also three hit batsmen.
The game had a strange/weird vibe with a bunch of odd plays and interesting umpiring on the bases. There were a couple very confusing plays in the field because of a lack of a call by the base umpire. It made for some somewhat comical plays! The Pokes were able to overcome the adversity and still win the game.
Livermore now turns around and plays Newark tomorrow instead of Friday (because of impending rain). First pitch 3:30 in Livermore.
WALK OFF ON OPENING DAY!
COLIN DEAL WALKS IT OFF FOR THE POKES AGAINST CASTRO VALLEY
It was a chilly afternoon in Livermore and a tough day to hit with the breeze blowing in, but the Pokes managed to do just enough to walk it off with a 2-1 win against the Trojans. It was a pitcher's duel by the looks of the score, but the Pokes pitchers were a little more dominant if you saw the game in person. CJ Johnston and Josh Rodriguez combined on a four hitter to hold Castro Valley to one run. Johnston started and went four while striking out six. Rodriguez came in and nailed down the game and got the win, striking out four and walking none. Only one ball was "squared up" the whole game for the Trojans.
Castro Valley got their only run in the top of the 3rd on a flare single but the Pokes answered right back with a run of their own in the bottom of the 3rd. Tanner Lee led off with a single and stole second base setting the table with nobody out. After a couple of pop outs, Bobby Alvear doubled to right field to tie the game. Justin Matchett walked and then Tyler Trudeau smoked a line drive right at the center fielder to end the inning.
The game remained tied until the bottom of the 7th setting the stage for Colin Deal to seal the win! Mateo Bullis was hit by a pitch (fitting start of the season for him because he set the school record for HBP last year) and CJ Johnston sacrificed him to 2B. Alvear was then also hit by a pitch and then Trudeau walked to load the bases. Colin Deal came to the plate and worked a 2-0 count before getting beaned in the head to win the game!
It was a great start to the year and now the Pokes will play two more home games next week against Mission San Jose on Wednesday and Newark on Friday. Both of those games are important D2 games for playoff qualification.
OPENING DAY IS AROUND THE CORNER
POKES WILL TUNE UP WITH SCRIMMAGE AGAINST LIBERTY
The Pokes were supposed to travel to Liberty for their scrimmage next week, but Liberty will not have a home field this year due to construction at their yard. They are getting a turf infield installed and the project has been delayed considerably because of the weather this year. The Lions will now travel to scrimmage the Pokes next Wednesday.
Livermore will then turn around and play their first game on Friday (2/17) against an old foe in Castro Valley. The Pokes played the Trojans every year for a long time but have not played then since about 2010.
POKES ADD STEPHEN GATEHOUSE TO COACHING STAFF
COACH GATEHOUSE COMES FROM MOUNTAIN HOUSE
Coach Gatehouse is a huge addition to the Livermore Varsity Coaching Staff. He was the Head Coach at Mountain House for 8 years leading the Mustangs to Back to Back League Titles the past two years. He was selected Coach of the Year in his league and built the Mountain House program from the ground up when the school opened. Coach Gate (as the kids call him) decided he wanted to coach and teach closer to home (he lives in Livermore and kids attend Livermore schools) and made the jump to LHS as the Adaptive PE teacher. He will coach outfielders and head up the running game for the Pokes offense. Gate played at Amador Valley and graduated in 2005. He then went on to play at Chabot College and Cal State East Bay where he was selected as the the Pioneers Male Athlete of the Year in his senior year. Coach Gate will be a huge addition to the Pokes in their quest to capture another D2 NCS Title.
POKES RELEASE 2023 SCHEDULE
LIVERMORE IS PLAYING ANOTHER D2 HEAVY NON-LEAGUE SCHEDULE
The 2023 Pokes find themselves playing many familiar teams with a few new ones added to the mix. Concord, Mission San Jose and Castro Valley are three new teams from last year's schedule. The remainder of the non-league slate is the same as last year: Washington, Newark, Northgate, Mountain House and Arroyo. Livermore is also teaming up with Foothill to host the Service Champions Classic over Spring Break. The tourney is fast becoming of the best in the area with the addition of Serra from the WCAL. The teams this year are: Foothill, Serra, Livermore, San Marin, Santa Rosa, Berean Christian, College Park and Redwood. The tourney will be held April 6,7,8.
EBAL play will look a little different this year as the Valley Division games will be held in a series format with a home and home. The Pokes will still only play the Mountain Division one time.
LIVERMORE LANDS FOUR EBAL ALL LEAGUE PLAYERS
TWO SENIORS AND TWO SOPHOMORES TAKE HOME THE HONORS
The Pokes found success on the field, getting back to the NCS Playoffs for the first time since they won it back in 2016. (However, there were no playoffs in 2020 and 2021). Livermore also found success off the field as they had four players take home All League Honors for their efforts during league play this year.
JACKSON NYSTROM- 2nd Team Outfield
MICHAL WEST- 2nd Team First Base
TANNER LEE- Honorable Mention Infield
MATEO BULLIS- Honorable Mention- Utility