With the Davis Junior Legion squad clinging to 3-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning of the District 6 championship game on Saturday, local second baseman Jake Guerrero made sure it would hold up.
Guerrero had a hand in all three outs, including tagging out a Christian Brothers runner attempting to steal — thanks to a bullet throw from catcher Eric Walker — and a nifty stop and throw to first base to end the game.
The clutch defense was one of many contributions from up and down the roster that helped Davis win tournament matchups on Wednesday and Thursday, and clinch the district title on Saturday.
In the win over CBS — the tournament host — the locals got a strong pitching performance from left-hander Solomon Biers-Ariel to overcome some shaky defense. Biers-Ariel tossed six strong innings, allowing two runs that were both unearned, and struck out five while allowing just three hits.
Meanwhile, the Davis offense managed just enough runs as Pierce Tujo had a hit and scored twice, Brendan Pohl went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI and Alex Timmons and Gabe Gutierrez each knocked in runs. Ben D’Angelo pitched a hitless seventh to close out the victory.
“Solomon and Ben were great on the mound and Jake made four or five key defensive plays,” said local skipper David Watts. “(We got) solid play all around.”
That solid play was a trend all tournament long as Davis downed Casa Roble, 3-1, on Wednesday and Christian Brothers, 12-9, on Thursday to set up the championship rematch.
In beating Casa, the locals played errorless defense — including a great grab by Pohl at third base to end a bases-loaded threat and diving catch by center fielder Biers-Ariel to save at least one run — and got strong pitching from D’Angelo (four innings, one run allowed) and Ian Miramontes, who tossed three hitless, scoreless frames.
However, the Davis offense couldn’t get anything going and it looked like Casa Roble’s one run might hold up — until the sixth. In that inning, Biers-Ariel and Tujo singled and then scored on an error and a Noah Riffle sacrifice fly. Andrew Walker followed with an RBI single to provide some insurance.
Thursday’s contest was a slugfest as the locals pounded out 13 hits off of CBS pitching.
Davis’ leading hitters that day were Pohl (3-for-5, double, two RBIs, run scored) Gutierrez (2-for-3, two RBIs, three runs), D’Angelo (2-for-4, two RBIs), Miramontes (2-for-4, two RBIs) and Alex Timmons, who had a pair of hits and knocked in a run.
Next up for the locals is the area tournament, which begins Wednesday in Fairfield.