WOODLAND — They were far from perfect, but, at this point in the year, that’s hardly a bad sign.
It might even be a good one.
The Davis High baseball team kicked off the 2013 season Friday night with a 6-2 victory over Woodland at weather-worn but historic Clark Field.
During the game, the Blue Devils teased spectators with flashes of potential and talent, and gave them reason to groan on a few occasions, especially in the early going. The mistakes, however — which included stranding three runners on base in the top of the first inning and having a player tagged out at first after he ventured too far away from the bag — likely were the product of having been away from any real action for several months and should be less of a problem as the year wears on.
If that’s the case, and what DHS did right against the Wolves was not a fluke, the Devils should be a force when Delta Valley Conference play opens.
The locals got solid performances across the board.
Bobby Young started on the mound and pitched three innings, striking out six batters and giving up only two runs. He was followed by Manny Guerrero, Jake Miille and Matt Trask, who combined for four more strikeouts while holding the Wolves scoreless.
Meanwhile, hitters like Joe Murray, who went 3-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI, and Chris Daunt, who was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, gave the pitchers some breathing room.
“We were solid (Friday),” said DHS head coach Dan Ariola. “We were a little shaky at the start, but we settled down and did a pretty good job.”
Added Miille: “Bobby Young threw a lot of strikes. (The) pitching staff took care of the job. (On) offense, (we) had ups and downs. (But) Joe Murray hit the ball hard and overall, we did pretty good. We took care of business.”
The Wolves’ pitching staff kept Davis from knocking any balls out of the aging stadium — where about 100 fans gathered on the tailgates of their trucks awaiting a home run ball — but it didn’t do much good as the Blue Devils were able to turn to small ball.
After a scoreless first inning, DHS got things going quickly in the second. Trey Golston advanced to first on an infield hit, then scored on a single by Brett Bloomfield, who added another run soon after when Murray sent a pitch careening down the middle of the field for a double.
Murray then capped off the inning with a third tally, coming in on Daunt’s two-bagger.
The Devils made it 4-0 in the third when Golston singled to bring Ryan Kreidler across home plate. Woodland countered with two runs in the bottom of the frame, but was shut down the rest of the way.
In the fourth, Murray doubled once again and scored on a single by Young.
Daunt used a sacrifice bunt to get Bloomfield across the plate for the final Davis run in the sixth inning.
Down 6-2 in the bottom of the seventh and facing DHS’ best pitcher in Trask, a junior who already has made a verbal commitment to UCLA, Woodland had virtually no chance of making a comeback. Trask struck out the first two Wolves, then ended the game by inducing a groundout.
Though Ariola was pleased with the team’s performance, he emphasized the need for improvement: “We have a long ways to go. We have a lot of work to do.”
The Blue Devils host Vacaville on Tuesday (3:30 p.m.) in their home opener.
— Reach Will Bellamy at firstname.lastname@example.org