WOODLAND — During Tuesday’s Little League District 64 10-11 tournament, fireworks went off in a nearby neighborhood just before the Davis National All-Stars offense exploded to put the game away.
On Wednesday, the Nationals handled all of the fireworks themselves.
Every DNLL player reached base at least once, which led to a 17-7 mercy rule win over Woodland American in four innings.
With the whole lineup contributing, the locals banged out 19 hits in the victory that put them one win away from the tournament finals.
“We’re solid from top to bottom,” said Davis coach Tom Fehrenbacher. “(Our) first six hitters were on base in pretty much every inning. Our lineup is pretty potent and if we get pitches to hit, we’re going to hit them.”
However, it was Woodland American who started off hot, scoring four runs in the top of the first frame. That lead wouldn’t last long …
After walks to Nate Thompson and Ethan Lo, and a single by Will Fehrenbacher, Luke Carrell stepped up to the plate. The DNLL slugger didn’t waste any time in smashing a line-drive grand slam over the center-field fence to tie the game at 4-4.
Carrell, who went 4-of-4 on the day, wasn’t the only local to go yard as Fehrenbacher also hit a deep home run to left in the fourth inning. According to his dad/coach, the long balls just come out of the Nationals’ hitting philosophy.
“It wasn’t expected,” coach Fehrenbacher said of the home runs. “We certainly don’t encourage swinging for the fences because we just tell them to hit the ball hard and keep the same approach every time they’re up to bat. Home runs happen.”
And as the game continued, Davis’ offensive onslaught was relentless; the hits just kept coming. DNLL scored another three runs in the second frame, thanks to an RBI double from Cody Taylor and a run-scoring groundout from Cameron DeMasi, then five third-inning hits led to three more tallies.
A sacrifice fly from Lo and an RBI single from Taylor accounted for the damage. Taylor finished with three hits and four RBIs.
And in the decisive fourth inning, the locals ended the game by cranking out another six runs on six hits. DeMasi’s RBI single was the final blow.
“We promote and encourage what we like to call quality at-bats,” coach Fehrenbacher said. “And our approach isn’t really to get base hits, it’s just to hit the ball hard, and we like to live with the results from that.”
Davis now has the day off before taking on Woodland National — who local coaches call “the favorites in the tournament” — on Friday (8 p.m.).
Despite the tough opponent, DNLL will be ready.
“We will have four of our better pitchers available on Friday night,” Fehrenbacher said. “It could be a pitchers’ duel or it could be a slugfest. It should be a good ballgame.”
— Reach Thomas Oide at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterThomas