Davis American opened its Little League District 64 Juniors tournament run with two games in two days, and the results couldn’t have been more different.
It’s opener, a matchup against crosstown rival Davis National, started Monday but didn’t end until Tuesday afternoon with DALL on top 17-13.
That set up a winner’s bracket contest against Dixon later Tuesday, which finished with Davis American on the wrong end of a 19-0 score.
But after a wild couple of days at Playfields, those scores don’t matter as DALL is poised to face Vacaville Central in an elimination game Wednesday at 7 p.m. — with an eye on getting a second chance against Dixon in the tournament title tilt.
“We’re going to fight (Wednesday) and hopefully get Dixon again Thursday,” said Davis coach Robert Berry.
DALL could afford a loss in the double-elimination event because it outlasted Davis National, despite having to wait overnight to close it out.
With Davis American up 17-9 in the top of the seventh on Monday night, the sprinklers lining the edges of the field went off. The two teams attempted to play through the mist, but additional sprinklers and the realization that the lights were about to shut off, convinced coaches and officials to halt play.
The game was picked up Tuesday afternoon with DNLL rallying for four runs before succumbing 17-13.
For the local Americans, a six-run third inning on Monday gave them control after entering that frame with a slim 3-2 lead. Theo Blewett kicked off the surge with a single into center field that brought Mason Blackman home. Blackman was followed across the plate by Blewett, Sam DeWit, Matt Vinh, Rogrik Davis and Michael Baca, each of whom scored either on singles or wild pitches to give their team a 9-2 advantage.
In the fourth, Sam Seiler, Baca, Ryan Berry and Blackman all knocked in runs as Davis American pushed its lead to 14-4.
“We hit the ball really well (and) we pitched pretty well in that game,” coach Berry said. “We got in some sticky situations, but our pitchers did muscle through and got us through those innings with minimum damage.”
It was a different story on Tuesday as starter Davis cruised through the first two innings with just one run allowed before Dixon scored seven in the top of the third.
Still, Davis — who threw close to 100 pitches — and reliever Blackman combined to go the distance against the powerful Dixon lineup, which could be key for the locals as they were able to save other pitchers for the later rounds.
“It was a rocky start, but we were able to get through it. Dixon is a great team,” coach Berry said. “Rogrik pitched great, they’ve just got a murderers’ row over there in Dixon. Then Blackman went out there and got us through the game.”
In the loss, DALL got singles from Manuel Costa, Davis, Seiler and Ryan Berry. After he left the mound, Davis also made a nice play at shortstop, snaring a hot grounder up the middle, stepping on second, then throwing the first to complete an inning-ending double play.
For Dixon, Rob Nagle threw five shutout innings and went 2-for-4, with a triple and four RBIs at the plate.
— Reach Chris Saur at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8049. Will Bellamy contributed to this report