DEMAIN EVENT: Local notes and tidbits
Appelt, Walker shine in spotlight
Josh "The Juggernaut" Appelt looked up at the camera and said, "That was for you, son."
It was the first thing on the Olivehurst native's mind after he defeated Josh Lanier 16 seconds into the second round of Bellator 91 in New Mexico on Thursday evening.
It was probably one of the strangest fights I've seen in along time — just based on body types. Appelt, a 5-foot-10, 245 bulldog faced off against a 6-6, 212-pound submission fighter.
But the fight was all Appelt.
He appeared stronger, more confident, more energized and controlled the pace.
Appelt's secret weapon and specialty is no longer a secret. His straight left is brutal.
He pinned Lanier up against the cage early in the first round and then backed off — realizing that his stand-up was better than Lanier's.
Appelt was taken down for a brief moment, but then took Lanier down and found himself on top a few times and escaped two submission attempts.
As the first round began to wind down, Appelt landed a big left, followed by a powerful knee right on the forehead of Lanier before the bell sounded.
Even the commentators observed that the fight would have been over if a few more seconds were left.
Appelt finished Lanier off after a counter left dropped his opponent at the start of the second round. He closed the fight with a flurry of punches while on the ground.
You can watch the Bellator 91 replays online.
An impressive victory should bump Appelt up in the heavyweight rankings. He has one more fight on his contract.
• Another highlight this weekend was Marysville's Mike Walker, who went 1 for 3 for Team Australia in the World Baseball Classic in Taiwan.
While Australia lost 4-1 to Chinese Taipei, Walker played the entire game at first base and batted sixth.
Australia plays in a doubleheader today, and the second game against the Netherlands will be televised on the MLB Network at 8:30 p.m.
• The Yuba College men's basketball team was ousted in the first round of the NorCals for the first time since 2006 after falling to Ohlone College 59-51 in Fremont on Friday — not exactly good news.
But the 49ers can hardly hang their heads — 11 of them are freshmen and expected to return next season, and with a few more pieces, these guys can make a serious run.
• We had seven wrestlers compete at the CIF State Tournament on Friday and Saturday.
While nearly all of them were shut out, the highlight was Sutter's Reid Melani, who finished with a 2-2 record in the heavyweight division.
• Lindhurst High graduate and standout wrestler Anthony Vega had an amazing run in the NAIA National Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, over the weekend.
After losing his first match, he climbed all the way back to finish fifth overall in the 141-pound weight class. In the process, Simpson College finished 11th in the nation and Vega became the first all-American representing Simpson.
His brother Angel will wrestle in the Division II National Championships this weekend.
CONTACT Bryan DeMain at email@example.com or 749-4789. Find him on Facebook at advarsitysports or on Twitter at @ADbdemain.