Unselfishness and toughness are the mantra to live by for the Santa Rosa Junior College baseball team and it has paid off so far this season as the Bear Cubs are 20-2-1 overall and 11-1 in the Big 8 Conference with their sights on big things to come in the next few months.
Before a 4-2 win against Diablo Valley on Saturday, the Bear Cubs were tied for first place in the conference with Sierra College of Rocklin. The Bear Cubs have a three-game series showdown for first place with Sierra on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Two of the three games will be in Rocklin.
"The Big 8 Conference is the best league in Northern California and at times the toughest league in California," Bear Cubs coach Damon Neidlinger said. "You have to stay focused with each game. In this league there is not time for looking down the road."
Although a stellar won-lost record often defines success, for Neidlinger the focus is about getting his players to think about team first and have mental toughness, especially when adversity sets in.
"To be in the position we are in right now you have to play successful baseball on all sides," said Neidlinger, who is in his 11th year as head coach and 18th year involved with Bear Cubs baseball. "The guys are working very efficiently and very hard. They believe in what they are doing."