WEST SACRAMENTO — This week, Davis High will participate in the Fresno Easter Baseball Classic.
On Friday night, in what was supposed to be a tune-up for the Blue Devils’ trip down south, DHS coach Dan Ariola found out there are some fix-it items on the repair bill — tweaks that need to be done before the locals can hit the road with any future confidence.
“If don’t play the game the right way, we’re not very good,” said a disappointed Ariola after Davis found itself on the short end of an 8-2 decision against Jesuit.
Played before 400 blanket-encased fans on a cold, breezy evening at Raley Field, the uneven contest featured DHS making a couple of errors, presenting a lackluster offense and wriggling through some late-inning struggles.
“We can’t just throw the gloves out … we’re just an average team,” Ariola told The Enterprise. “If we play the game the right way, and compete the right way, then we’re better than average.
“If we play like this — and I’ll take responsibility for it — we’re not very good.”
Jesuit (4-1) broke through early on DHS starter Bobby Young.
A lead-off single by Alex Larivee was followed by a run-scoring double from Lorenzo Arcuri. After winning hurler Julian Barron moved Arcuri up with a bunt, Josh Falco’s sacrifice fly made it 2-0.
Another sac fly scored Jordan Hanlin (who had doubled) with the Marauders’ third run in the second inning.
Single runs in the fourth and fifth gave Jesuit a comfortable lead while Davis was still trying to get its first runner to third off Barron (2-0).
With Manny Guerrero on the mound for the Devils in the sixth inning, Larivee’s infield single set the stage for a three-run outburst: Barron, Falco and Anthony Geremia (off Jake Miille) did most of the damage.
With JHS coach Joe Potulny now sifting through his bullpen, James Heinrichs pitched a scoreless sixth.
After Miille pitched an uneventful seventh, DHS (6-2) finally made a fuss at the plate …
Blue Devil second baseman Brett Bloomfield worked new reliever Mitch Refnes for a walk. After Hayden Duer lined out to third, Ryan Plumb walked. Pinch hitter C.K. Hicks also got a free pass and the Blue Devils had the bases loaded with one out.
After Potulny chatted with his infield and pitcher, Joe Murray — who had made a brilliant diving catch at shortstop earlier in the game — spanked an 0-1 Refnes fastball into the left-center. The double scored Bloomfield and Plumb.
But Refnes settled down and finished the game by getting John Ariola on a force play and Chris Daunt on a fly to center.
On the night, Young (1-2) allowed five hits and four runs (three earned) in 3 2/3 innings, but got no help from the offense while on the mound.
Among Davis’ six hits, two came from Matt Trask with the bases empty.
Jesuit’s Larivee, Barron, Hanlin and J.C. Montemayor each had two hits as the winners collected 11 total.
Barron allowed four hits, walked three and fanned two in his sterling five innings.
“We know Trask threw against Pleasant Grove (4-3 DHS win on Tuesday) and Danny threw three guys getting ready to go to Fresno, to get everyone geared for that,” Potulny said of the game, reminding fans not to count Davis out down the road. “The rivalry? Here at Raley … two good programs … it’s just good. It’s good for the kids, it’s good for the fans.”
Now it’s off to the Easter Classic, where the Blue Devils play at Edison of Fresno at 7 p.m. Monday.
“We just have to get down there and regroup and come ready to play,” Ariola explained. “Come out and get after it. And we will. We will.”
Notes: Potulny has been at the Jesuit helm for 24 years, while Ariola has managed Davis for 17 seasons. … Murray’s 13th hit of the season brought his average to .390. The lead-off hitter also paces the Devils with nine RBIs. … With Trask collecting two hits Friday, the big junior is now hitting .421. … Ariola isn’t sure who will pitch Monday, but figures to hand the ball to Trask (3-0) for one of Tuesday’s games against Clovis and Clovis West. … On Friday, DHS hit into two double plays, had a runner picked off and another caught stealing.