Thursday, December 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Juniors (or is it the Blue Devil Express?) move on to Section tourney

Davis National catcher Trevor Hewitt reaches up to tag out Dixon's Chris Webb to help the local win the District 64 Juniors championship with an 8-6 victory on Wednesday. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

By
From page B1 | July 05, 2013 |

When the Davis National All-Stars wrapped up the Little League District 64 Juniors championship on Wednesday — thanks to an 8-6 win over Dixon in Vacaville — it got me thinking about what a lucky man Dan Ariola will be in the next few years.

Manager Kevin Bell’s corps of 13- and 14-year-old ballplayers is good. Really good.

After beating Davis American in the tourney opener on June 25, the locals dropped a second-round contest to Winters. From there, it was win or go home.

DNLL assistant Pete Schouten, after watching the local kids come up through the so-called loser’s bracket to win four straight (including two over once-unbeaten Dixon), said it was like watching the movie “Groundhog Day.”

“The same thing each night,” he told Bell. “Battle, win, play tomorrow.”

For their Bill Murray-like efforts, Davis National has booked a trip to the Section 1 playoffs beginning July 13 in Healdsburg.

“We expect more of the same in that tournament,” Bell believes, not only more good baseball from his club, but more challenging squads in the form of five other district champions.

“It will be good, tough competition,” Bell says, adding: “This experience has been really good for our guys and I expect us to do well.”

A look at Bell’s lineup backs up the coach.

Connor Bunfill has been a capable leadoff hitter, solid center fielder and a strong No. 2 pitcher. Bunfill’s hot bat helped carry Davis in the Dixon series.

Then there’s Ryan Bell, the smooth-swinging lefty who provided a giant 5-4 complete-game victory last Friday in an elimination game against Vacaville National.

In the title contest Wednesday, Bell went five innings and left with an 8-2 lead before Dixon rallied late. He also drove in a run and scored twice.

He’s had two hits or more in four postseason games and plays a myriad positions.

Gabe Gutierrez, who spends his plate time in the No. 3 slot, is a play-anywhere talent who has given this team quality innings on the mound.

Clean-up hitter Jacob Wieking had seven hits in his last four games and is another of those guys who bounces around the field — shortstop, first base, pitcher.

When Davis stopped Winters, 10-5, last weekend — avenging the earlier loss — Wieking went 5 1/3 innings before turning things over to eventual winner Tanner Olney.

And speaking of Olney, a spot reliever, he earned the save in Wednesday’s 8-6 thriller over Dixon. Olney — normally a catcher — gives Davis a heckuva bat at the bottom of Bell’s order.

And when he’s not behind the plate, Trevor Hewitt is a more-than-able catcher.

Take the Dixon finale, for example …

With Davis leading 8-4, two on for Dixon and one out, Hewitt finished a double play that those in attendance will be talking about through the summer.

Reliever Bunfill coaxed a ground ball to second. The Keating Park grass was especially long for this tournament and Kevin Blanc had to charge. His only play was to the plate, where Hewitt applied the tag for a huge out.

On the throw, Dixon batter Matt Butler alertly took off for second, teammate Spencer Webb assessing things from third…

Hewitt felt he had a shot to get Butler, but Davis second baseman Blanc took the throw in front of the bag as Webb broke for the plate. Blanc returned the throw home as Butler stood safely at second.

The throw was 10 feet up the line and put Hewitt and Webb on a collision course. Hewitt went into a headlong dive to snag the throw as Webb tried to jump over him. As Hewitt — putting himself in harm’s way — made the airborne catch, he left his glove aloft just long enough for Webb’s foot to touch it as he went by.

The inning-ending (and game-saving double play) went 4-2-6-2. Not everyday baseball: two runners thrown out at home on a ground ball to second. (Hewitt, Olney, Bunfill and Bell all received game balls for their title-game efforts.)

And so it went for the Nationals in their heart-stopping six-game week.

“The only thing I ask of my players is that they work hard, play hard and, most importantly, have fun,” Bell told me a couple of weeks ago. “It’s an honor to be selected to manage the D64 Junior National squad. This is a great group of kids who really want to compete and succeed.

“At the same time it’s bittersweet since it’s the last time I’ll be coaching Ryan.”

Papa Bell says watch closely as a handful of his all-stars soon will turn their attention to helping the Blue Devils continue their baseball excellence.

Remember the names, which include Ronny Leymaster, Sebastian Anaya, Lucas Russell and Gavin Schouten.

Judging from the overall performance of this Juniors team, DHS skipper Ariola is going to be writing thank-you notes to Bell, Schouten and fellow coach Alex Gutierrez someday soon.

— Bruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net 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

    Former foster youths aided by UCD’s Guardian programs

    By Sarah Colwell | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Rain Recyclers saves water for another day

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    City plans signs to improve flow on Fifth Street

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Boston bombing suspect in court for first time since 2013

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    U.S., Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    State gets more rain, big mudslide

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Feds will discuss Berryessa Snow Mountain protection

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    ‘Longest Night’ service Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Journalist will join post-film discussion Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    City offices will take a winter break

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Yolo County needs a few good advisers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Per Capita Davis: Time to stop fooling around

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

     
    NAMI-Yolo offers free mental health education program

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    .

    Forum

    Disagreement on mother’s care

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Marovich is a brilliant diplomat

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    And a jolly time was had by all

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Remember that all lives matter

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Pollution from electric vehicles

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Devil boys host Les Curry beginning Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    UCD women gear up for second half of swim season

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggie men begin 4-game road trip at Air Force

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    On skiing: What to know when buying new skis

    By Jeffrey Weidel | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Youth roundup: DBC Juniors rider Kanz wins a cyclocross event

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

     
    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B3

    College Corner: How does applying for financial aid work?

    By Jennifer Borenstein | From Page: B3

     
    Something growing in the mailbox

    By Don Shor | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Anniversary: Barbara and Jan Carter

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Arts

    Sing and dance along to Cold Shot at Froggy’s

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Point of Brew: Recollections of Christmases past

    By Michael Lewis | From Page: A7

    Golden Bough brings Irish holidays to The Palms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Come ‘Home for the Holidays’ and benefit school arts

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, December 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Last Minute Gift Guide

    Young phenoms make YouTube success look like child’s play

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG1

    Classic or contemporary, it’s all holiday music to our ears

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG2

    Teen gifts: ideas for hard-to-buy-for big kids

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG3

    Holiday decorating contest winners light up our lives

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: LMG4 | Gallery

    Gift ideas for the health-conscious

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: LMG6

    Hall of Fame proudly puts these toys on the shelf

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG7