ELK GROVE — Franklin junior Payton Simmons doubled home the two runs that were the difference in Davis High’s 5-3 loss to the host Wildcats on Tuesday, but it was little mistakes throughout the game — including earlier in that inning — that really cost the Blue Devils.
“All season we’ve been picking guys off and taking advantage of base-running mistakes, including in the first game against Franklin (a 1-0 DHS win on March 27),” said Devil coach Dan Ariola. “What hurt us (Tuesday) were the three or four defensive plays — not errors — that we didn’t make.
“It was just a lot of little mistakes that we don’t usually make.”
Instead, Davis (7-4-1) fell to 4-2 in the Delta Valley Conference and is now locked into a four-way tie with Franklin, Elk Grove and Grant.
The Wildcats are at the DHS Field on Thursday (4:15 p.m.) for a rubber game that could go a long way in determining with DVC championship. The teams came into Tuesday ranked first and second in the Sacramento area.
“Thursday is a big game because whoever wins this game gets the tiebreaker,” Ariola explained. “With four teams tied at 4-2, those tiebreakers are going to be huge.”
Speaking of ties, the Blue Devils and their hosts were deadlocked at 3-3 through the first five innings on Tuesday.
DHS grabbed an early lead when John Ariola reached on an error to open the game, then scored on Matt Trask’s single.
Franklin took two runs back in the bottom of the first before Devil starter Brett Bloomfield settled down to hold the Wildcats to one run over the next four frames.
Davis tied the contest in the fifth, when junior Nate Curtis had one of his two hits to lead off the inning. He came home on an RBI double by catcher Hudson Forrester, who scored on a groundout one batter later.
The Blue Devil skipper, however, said it was his fault DHS didn’t score more.
“I didn’t run the offense like I should have,” Dan Ariola said. “But you have to give (Franklin starter Cameron Keup) credit. He’s a senior and a No. 1 guy and he was really getting his off speed stuff over (Tuesday).”
The Devils will have their No. 1 guy — UCLA-bound senior Trask — on the mound for Thursday’s DVC crucial.