Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Improving Grant is no match for Devils on the diamond

DHS' John Ariola concentrates on the ball while taking a swing in the Blue Devils' 14-2 victory over Grant on Tuesday at home. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

In past year’s a mercy-rule win over Grant was a given for a Davis High baseball program that is always near the top of the Delta Valley Conference.

But the 2013 Pacers aren’t a pushover, especially when they have their top two hurlers — ace Branden Nunn and Polo Portela, who went the distance in a much closer matchup between the two teams earlier this season — on the bump.

With Grant providing that kind of resistance, the Blue Devils’ 14-2 home victory in five innings on Tuesday impressed DHS coach Dan Ariola. The veteran mentor was especially happy that his guys rallied immediately after Nunn blasted a two-out, two-run homer in the top of the first inning to give the Pacers an early lead.

“I told the guys I was proud of how they didn’t let that get them down,” Ariola said. “Grant is a good team, they think they are going to compete for that third (DVC) playoff spot. And they had two good (pitchers) throwing so it was nice to put in on them.”

The Devils matched Grant’s early outburst with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first, then sent Nunn to the showers and put the game away with a 10-spot in the second inning.

With the victory, Davis (16-5) improved to 9-0 in the rugged DVC and completed a sweep of the pesky Pacers. And though they got a strong outing from starting pitcher Bobby Young — he didn’t allowing another run after the first in going all five innings — it was clinical hitting that carried the Devils on this day. Every starter got at least one of DHS’ 16 hits.

With one out in the bottom of the first, John Ariola was hit by a pitch and went to third on Chris Daunt’s double. After the younger Ariola scored on a wild pitch, Young walked to bring up Matt Trask. His fly to center was misjudged by the Grant outfielder and two runs crossed the plate.

In the Blue Devils’ huge second inning, Trey Golston got things started with a triple and seven of the next eight DHS batters got RBI hits. The only nonhit in that stretch was a nice sacrifice bunt by Ariola.

“We just put the ball in play and found holes,” Ariola said. “Everyone was contributing we had a lot of good at-bats, we were moving guys around and bring guys in from third base. It was a real nice team performance.”

Daunt was 3-for-3 to pace the locals, Joe Murray went 2-for-2, as did Trask and Golston. Brett Bloomfield had a double and an RBI among his two hits and single safeties came from Ariola, Young, Ryan Kreidler, Hayden Duer and Jeremy Likes.

Duer caught Young for four innings before Hudson Forrester spent the final frame behind the plate.

Enterprise staff

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