There must be something clever or poetic to say about a high school baseball game played in a pesky, non-stop wind.
But after watching Davis High survive with a 4-1 victory over visiting Laguna Creek on Tuesday, there’s nothing lyrical to be said — other than thank goodness that’s over!
With the flags blowing left to right in a breeze that never dipped below 15 mph, the Blue Devils and Cardinals each made a handful of outstanding fielding plays, foiling the effects of the wind and impressing DHS coach Dan Ariola.
“I thought both teams played really well,” said the Devil skipper. “We were solid (Tuesday), especially considering the conditions. But so was Laguna Creek. Give them credit, too.”
With Adam Inouye on the mound for Davis, the first inning was a microcosm of what lay in store.
The Creek’s second hitter sprayed a fly ball down the right-field line. Blue Devil Chris Daunt had to hustle to make a nice running catch as the ball carried toward the corner. Around this out, Daunt and center fielder John Ariola had to adjust to make interesting grabs to hold Laguna scoreless.
DHS then broke through for two, second-inning runs.
After Ryan Kreidler was hit by a pitch, catcher Hayden Duer’s blast to left sent Cardinal Zach Smart on a circuitous route that was to no avail. Smart waved at the ball, which sailed over his head, going to the fence. By the time the rascally sphere was retrieved, Duer stood at second base, Kreidler at third.
A tag out at home (on Ryan Plumb’s grounder) erased Kreidler but, with two outs, RBI singles by Brett Bloomfield and Joe Murray saved the rally.
An inning later, Daunt opened with a walk and made it to third on back-to-back groundouts. It took Kreidler’s single to salvage the Devils’ third run in this crucial Delta Valley Conference matchup.
Meanwhile, Inouye was on his way to his second win against no losses. An unearned run by Laguna Creek (4-12, 1-2 in DVC) came after a Jaycob Ruiz single, a two-base throwing error and Zach Wassall’s RBI double. But that was it.
Inouye pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning (a Kreidler-to-Bobby Young double play aiding the effort) and Trey Golston came on to face the minimum of batters over the final two frames, collecting the save.
In 12 2/3 innings this spring, Inouye has not allowed an earned run. He has two saves to go with his victories. Golston hasn’t been touched up in his scoreless six innings.
Laguna Creek managed just three hits off Inouye. The senior right-hander fanned three and walked one.
Davis’ final run came in the sixth, as John Ariola’s double drove in Bloomfield, who also had doubled.
Typically a middle infielder for the Blue Devils, Murray played DH while nursing a sore shoulder and went 2-for-3 to raise his average to .438. Ariola expects him back at a keystone position later this week.
Duer — who picked off a runner in the second inning — had two more hits and is now batting .308.
After a Thursday road game at Monterey Trail (2-13, 0-3), it’s the Clash of the Titans when Elk Grove (12-2, 3-0) comes a-callin’ on Friday (4:15 p.m.).
Ariola says Matt Trask (4-1) will pitch against the Thundering Herd with Josh Guerrero (1-1) going at Monterey Trail.
Notes: DHS ran its record to 10-5 and 3-0 in league. … A six-run first inning sent Elk Grove on its way to a 12-1 rout of Franklin Tuesday. … The wind turned a routine pop fly into an infield double in the third. Wassell skied an Inouye pitch to the left side of the diamond. Devil shortstop Kreidler looked like he had it, but wound up chasing his tail as the wind made the baseball move all over the sky. Eventually it fell near second base with a trio of Davis infielders scratching their heads. It accounted for The Creek’s only score as Ruiz came plateward. … Cruz Ramos and Austin Hipolito held Davis to eight hits.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8047.