Friday, January 30, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Experienced DNLL Juniors head to Section 1 event

Davis National Juniors team member Tanner Olney jumps in an attempt to avoid the tag of teammate Ronny Leymaster at a recent practice. After winning the Little League District 64 title, DNLL is preparing for the Section 1 Tournament, which begins Saturday in Healdsburg. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

By
From page B1 | July 11, 2013 |

They may be few in number — only 11 players on the roster — but the Davis National Little Leaguers are battle-tested and ready for their Section 1 Juniors Tournament debut against the District 3 champions on Saturday.

Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Healdsburg Recreational Park in Wine Country.

Having to beat Dixon twice to win the District 64 crown last week, manager Kevin Bell’s guys showed their mettle as every member of the squad contributed.

Now it’s off to Healdsburg this weekend to see if Bell’s Brigade can put another solid series together.

“There’s no one you can pitch around in this lineup,” the skipper told The Enterprise just before another spirited Civic Center practice this week. “Our strength? At this point, it’s clearly our experience.”

Bell said that “as parents, maybe we were a little surprised at winning the District 64 title. But the coaches told these guys all that week that they were the best team in the tournament. They proved it.”

Bell’s son Ryan has been one of the axles on Davis’ rolling wagon. Hitting over .500 in the district tournament, the youthful Bell says the Nationals are looking forward to their 100-mile journeys to Healdsburg.

“We know the other teams are going to be tougher now,” the lefty reports. “We’re going to have to work harder in practice. From here on, we have to keep working.”

Bell, who pitches and plays myriad infield positions, says nothing about the postseason has surprised the team.

“We have a lot of experience,” adds the soon-to-be Emerson Junior High ninth-grader, citing travel-ball commitments as high-level conditioning. “Most of us have been playing competitive ball before the Little League season. We knew some of the situations (from the last tourney).

“We play very well together as a team. There’s (chemistry) here.”

Papa Bell says being a dad and coach to one’s son at the same time “is one of the toughest jobs I’ve ever had … but I’ve enjoyed every minute.”

Kevin Bell, who has a handful of travel-ball players on the National team, echoes his son’s belief that an offshore team like Ryan’s Dragons has been a plus in the playoffs.

Sebastian Anaya — a catcher and second baseman — personifies the can-do attitude of these Davis juniors.

“Our chances are fairly good,” Anaya says. “We’re starting to do well as a team.”

The Emerson eighth-grader, like most of his teammates, wants to play baseball at Davis High. And if he keeps up his timely hitting, the Blue Devils will welcome him gladly.

In a 5-4 victory over Vacaville National on June 29, Anaya’s walk-off infield hit scored a hustling Jacob Wieking to keep DNLL alive.

“He’s a good, coachable kid who can play a lot of positions,” manager Bell said of the player everyone calls Sea-Bass. “That hit was as big as any we’ve had.”

And Davis has had a lot of big hits …

Coming into district play, Bell was concerned with his team’s offense. But with hitters like his kid, Wieking, Gabe Gutierrez, Connor Bunfill, Trevor Hewitt and Tanner Olney (who’s been batting ninth) all hitting .400 or better, it was juggling his pitching that became the challenge — and will continue to be.

In tournament play, these 13- and 14-year-old hurlers are limited to 95 pitches in their first game of the week, then subject to a formula for subsequent appearances that would boggle Einstein’s thought process.

Bell says Davis is lucky: “We’re deep. We’ve have some good arms.”

And the coach will need them. The five-team tournament is double-elimination and could run through next Thursday.

Notes: Wieking, Olney, Gutierrez, Bunfill, Hewitt, Bell and Anaya are joined on the National roster by Kevin Blanc, Lucas Russell, Ronny Leymaster and Gavin Schouten. … Heading to the game? Here are the directions from Davis: Head west on I-80 to Highway 12. Travel northwest toward Napa/Sonoma. Turn right on Highways 29/12, then left onto Highways 12/121. In 8 miles there will be a slight left onto Highway 121 then a right onto Highway 116. A left on Stage Gulch Road (still 116) leads to a right onto Lakeville Highway. Next, merge onto U.S. 101 and head north for 30 miles. Exit 503 (Central Healdsburg) is your off-ramp. Keep left at the fork onto Healdsburg Avenue. Turn right on Piper Street and look for the field at 515 Piper St. If you reach Grant Street, you’ve gone too far. Driving time, according to MapQuest.com, is a hiccup over two hours.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or 530-747-8047.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Town hall focuses on Coordinated Care Initiative

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    Schools give parents tools to help kids thrive

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Suspected Ebola patient being treated at UCD Med Center

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A1

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Stanford University to get $50 million to produce vaccines

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Two more cases of measles in Northern California in children

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Dartmouth bans hard liquor

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A2

     
    Walkers head out three times weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3Comments are off for this post

    Free tax preparation service begins Monday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    No bare bottoms, thanks to CommuniCare’s Diaper Drive

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Storyteller relies on nature as his subject on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Still time to purchase tickets for DHS Cabaret

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    All voices welcome at sing-along Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Great Chefs Program will feature Mulvaney

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    February science fun set at Explorit

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Take a photo tour of Cuba at Flyway Nights talk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    See wigeons, curlews and meadowlarks at city wetlands

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Time for bed … with Grandma

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

     
    A ‘new deal’ for the WPA building

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Protect root zone to save trees

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Weigh quality of life, density

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Olive expert joins St. James event

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    We’re grateful for bingo proceeds

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    UCD has another tough football schedule in 2015

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Gould’s influence felt mightily in recent Super Bowls

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Mustangs hold off UCD women

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD men set new school D-I era win record

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sharks double up Ducks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Watney, Woods start slow at TPC Scottsdale

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    Recall that first Aggie TV game, national title?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Artist’s Connection’ launches on DCTV

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    ‘Song of the Sea’ is an enchanting fable

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Gross’ paintings highlight a slice of Northern California

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    February show at YoloArts’ Gallery 625 is ‘Food for Thought’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, January 30, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: A9