Davis High’s Brett Bloomfield is proving to be clutch in multiple sports.
After sinking multiple buzzer beaters to help propel the Blue Devil basketball team forward earlier this year, the senior smashed a 3-2 pitch into left field with two runners on in the bottom of the eight inning Saturday to break a deadlock with a walk-off double that gave DHS a 3-2 home baseball win over Yuba City.
Bloomfield — whose dad Tony is a former national junior college coach of the year for Cosumnes River College — started the game at second base, where he contributed some key defensive plays, then pitched the last two innings of the contest.
The younger Bloomfield also reached base successfully in each of his plate appearances, going 3-for-3 with two walks.
“He had a great day (Saturday),” said Devil coach Dan Ariola. “He came in and shut (Yuba City) down throwing strikes late in the game. He’s swinging the bat well. He gets on base a lot. So it was nice seeing him have a big day for us (Saturday).”
The game started out slowly with neither team scoring until Davis put the first run on the board in the bottom of the third.
Bloomfield led the inning off with a walk before senior third baseman Trey Golston hit a line drive into right field. Even though the Honkers’ right fielder didn’t field the ball cleanly, Bloomfield elected to stay at second base rather than risk going to third.
Matt Trask’s thigh was then slightly grazed by a pitch and the Blue Devils had the bases loaded with no outs.
On the next pitch, sophomore shortstop Ryan Kreidler chopped the ball awkwardly into the right side of the infield in what was effectively a bunt due to the short distance that it travelled.
Luckily for DHS, both the Yuba City pitcher and first baseman attempted to field the ball, leaving no one to cover the bag. Kreidler reached safely just as Bloomfield was crossing home plate to make it 1-0.
Following the run, the next pitch bounced off the outside of the Honker’s catcher’s glove and Golston alertly dashed towards home plate in hope of increasing the lead. However, thanks to the less-than-luxurious foul territory at the DHS field, the catcher was able to recover in time to tag Golston out despite the senior’s best acrobat impression.
Hudson Forrester then struck out and Drew Gnos flew out to end an inning that could have provided so much more.
“We struggled offensively,” Ariola said. “The big thing for us was that we had a lot of opportunities to score runs and break the game open.”
The Devils got another one in the fourth inning. Jeremy Likes led off with a single, and moved to second on senior John Ariola’s sacrifice bunt.
Bloomfield then walked to set up Golston’s RBI single. With the runners going on a 2-2 count, Likes scored from second without a throw.
After a scoreless fifth, the scoreboard incorrectly showed that it was the seventh inning, causing the PA announcer to remark that “Davis is three outs from winning.”
This apparently lit a fire under YC, as their second batter singled before junior Nathan Miller blasted a home run over the left field fence to tie the game at 2-2.
From there, both teams wasted a few good opportunities until Bloomfield took over the game with his arm and bat. He struck out four of the six batters he faced and forced the other two to fly out, setting up his extra-inning heroics.
Quentin McCray led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk, Likes moved him over with the third Devil sacrifice bunt of the day and then Ariola worked another walk to put two on for Bloomfield.
With ice-water in his veins, Bloomfield tattooed the ball to left field creating a vicious swerve that took the ball toward foul territory and away from the left fielder, who was playing closer to center field against the left-handed-hitting Blue Devil.
McCray got a great jump on the ball and slid into home plate head-first with the ball still in the outfield, setting off DHS’ celebration.
Notes: Trask, who will pitch for UCLA next season, started for Davis but was pulled after the first inning in a pre-planned move to limit his pitches. The Devil coaching staff didn’t want him throwing more than 30. … Coach Ariola stressed that there is still a lot of work to be done, citing recent practice rain-outs as a key reason why his squad hasn’t fully clicked yet.
— Reach Evan Ream at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @EvanReam