Baseball, baseball … and more baseball

By From page B1 | June 06, 2014

If you were guaranteed complimentary seats in the front seven rows and free parking just steps from the grandstands, wouldn’t you want to attend a league-championship baseball game?

Mix in concessions that never break the bank, shade for your seating and a handful of people you know in the lineup, and for baseball fans it’s Shangri La.

All that said, who’s with me Saturday when the Reds and A’s play for the Davis Little League Majors-division title?

Game time is 7 p.m. Want more baseball? The Angels and Diamondbacks meet for the AAA title at 5 p.m.

The hot dogs, the sno-cones, the foul balls, the unbridled enthusiasm.

No wonder this city is so rich in baseball — it all begins at these terrific fields at F Street and Covell Boulevard.

More baseball: In case you were at Ice Station Zebra over the weekend, Davis High captured its third Sac-Joaquin Section crown, led by senior ace Matt Trask, one of the centerpiece players in Northern California.

Trask, this week named DHS’ male Athlete of the Year, is home waiting for The Call as the MLB first-year-player draft began Thursday.

Trask, who hit over .350 and went 6-1 with a four-pitch arsenal, played before dozens of scouts over the past two seasons. At 6-foot-3, Trask puts 210 pounds behind his 92 mph fastball.

Pro ball knows Trask has accepted a grant to play for UCLA.

Education is important to Matty — and it will take an early-round offer for No. 34 to change course.

Stay tuned.

Speaking of pro Devils: Ben Eckels (DHS Class of 2012) is 1-2 with Class A South Bend of the Midwest League. His ERA is 6.16. Eckels has fanned 13 in 19 innings, while walking 15.

Eckels is the property of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Meanwhile, Cody Keefer (2009) is heating up in Florida.

A Miami-organization outfielder, Keefer has his spring average up to .294. He started 2014 in Jupiter, where he hit .221. Since moving to the Class A Greensboro Grasshoppers, the former UCLA standout is hitting .348 with 10 RBIs and 17 runs scored in 24 games.

Over the Hill: Elk Grove’s Derek Hill — the brilliant center fielder who came to California as a sophomore from Iowa — is headed back to the Midwest thanks to being taken as the MLB’s No. 23 overall pick by Detroit.

Hill, who hit .575 as a senior and was named the Delta Valley Conference Player of the Year, was his personable and intelligent self during MLB Channel interviews immediately after his selection.

Hill was in New York for the draft festivities.

Reversing direction: Departing Blue Devil lead-off hitter John Ariola should have played football.

Excelling at misdirection, a couple of weeks ago Ariola was leaning toward roaming the outfield for coach Tony Bloomfield at Cosumnes River College.

Since then, word comes that Ariola has paddled upstream to the other River College — American.

DHS choral teacher Karen Gardias, so influential in so many lives over the years, recommended the ARC music department and Ariola — who sings like a bird and is otherwise musically inclined — will now mix octaves with fly balls for the Beavers.

Ariola, who hit .397, apparently also can hit high C’s.

Fingers crossed: Steven Patterson — the guy who UC Davis coach Matt Vaughn called the heart and soul of his Aggies these past two seasons — would be a steal for some pro team needing a second baseman in this week’s draft.

Patterson hit . 325 lifetime and was a once-in-a-decade leader.

Good size, good glove, good guy.

— Bruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected] or 530-320-4456.

Bruce Gallaudet

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