It’s early, but there’s a buzz around the Davis High baseball team after Tuesday’s 8-1 victory over visiting Napa.
Not only did the Blue Devils scratch out 14 hits (seven of which were of the infield variety), but their defense held strong through most of the contest and the locals got two more sterling mound outings from lead pony Matt Trask and reliever Jake Miille.
Trask threw 76 pitches in his five innings of work. The junior right-hander allowed six hits, one unearned run and whiffed eight Indians — including the final three he faced.
Polishing up Trask’s second win against no losses was closer Miille, who handled Napa six up, six down in his two innings on the mound.
While Trask and Miille are drawing a lot of attention, DHS pitching coach Marc Kenner believes fans haven’t yet seen the entire arsenal.
“We have a lot of guys who are very competitive and can throw strikes,” the longtime Devil assistant told The Enterprise. “We’re really happy with the way things are going right now.”
No kidding …
In going 4-0, Davis has giving up just seven runs — four of which were unearned. Bobby Young, Adam Inouye and Trask have picked up the wins, but Kenner has a full house in his bullpen.
Manny and Josh Guerrero, Daniel Martin, Brett Bloomfield, Sander Richardson and Ryan Kreidler are among the other arms upon which Davis manager Dan Ariola can call.
While Trask pitched smartly on Tuesday, the Blue Devil bats provided enough support to keep the game safely at arm’s length.
Trask himself drove in the game’s initial run, bringing home John Ariola with a first-inning single.
Two frames later, it was Ryan Plumb’s grounder that plated Kreidler. The freshman Kreidler — hitting more than .500 on the young season — would go 3-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
As the mid-70s temperatures made for a wonderful afternoon to watch baseball, the Devils were taking sunbathing a little too seriously — DHS left seven runners to bake on the base paths early while building its slight 2-0 lead through three.
Finally, Davis broke through against Napa starter Griffin Abernathy in the fourth inning …
With one out, Ariola was hit by a pitch and stole second. Chris Daunt walked as Ariola went to third on a wild pitch. Daunt then swiped second before back-to-back infield hits (Young and Trask) brought Ariola and Daunt plateward.
When Kreidler smacked a sacrifice fly to left, Young scored, prompting Indian skipper Todd Pridy to replace Abernathy.
Daniel Gonzalez got the final out and pitched a scoreless, tight-rope of a fifth before giving way to junior Nick Johnson.
The switch allowed the Blue Devils to squeeze out three more runs in the sixth inning …
Miille, in Trask’s spot, reached on an error, opening the inning. Kreidler singled to right center and Hayden Duer reached on an error, getting credit for driving home Miille.
With Napa’s infield in, Kreidler was thrown out at home on Plumb’s grounder to second.
However, yet another infield hit (by Bloomfield) and an old-fashioned liner to left by Joe Murray drove in pinch runner C.K. Hicks and Plumb, providing the final score.
On the day, DHS stranded 13, despite 14 hits, four Napa errors, two walks and two hit batters.
Notes: Miille has been brilliant in his four relief appearances and credits a versatile pitch selection for his success: “I throw a slider and a curve ball and a change-up,” the senior explained. As for his “out” pitch? “It depends on the day. My change-up has been good and I try to work in the slider and fastball. I’m a control pitcher, so I’m going to be painting (batters) with my fast ball on the outside corners, too.” On Tuesday, it was Trask’s change-up that baffled the Indians. But there’s even worse news ahead for the fastball/change-up pitcher’s opponents. “I’m working on a curveball,” the 6-foot-3, 205-pounder announced. “I threw it better (Tuesday) than in the past … it’s getting better.” … Napa is now 5-4. … Davis hosts Rocklin (4 p.m.) on Friday before traveling to Yountville to meet Vintage at 85-year-old Cleve Borman Field.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8047.