No mercy: Blue Devils hammer Vacaville on the diamond

By From page B1 | March 06, 2013

DHS senior Joe Murray slides into third for a two-run triple on Tuesday in the Blue Devils' 11-1 home win over Vacaville. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

DHS senior Joe Murray slides into third for a two-run triple on Tuesday in the Blue Devils' 11-1 home win over Vacaville. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

It was a scene that Devil Nation hopes repeats itself again and again.

On a blustery Tuesday afternoon, Davis High’s Matt Trask threw four strong innings and got support with a 10-hit attack as the locals sent visiting Vacaville packing, 11-1, at the DHS baseball field.

The game featured two of the last three squads standing in last year’s Sac-Joaquin Section north-division postseason.

This mercy-rule victory featured a three-hit performance from Blue Devil catcher Hayden Duer, a quick close-out inning by reliever Jake Miille and a three-RBI outing from lead-off hitter Joe Murray.

“It was a solid effort for us,” DHS skipper Dan Ariola said afterward. “It was nice to see Matt settle down, throw really well.”

Trask, the big junior right-hander already committed to UCLA, gave up a first-inning tally when a game-opening single by Elway Santistevan (and two Davis errors) provided the Bulldogs’ only scoreboard dent.

The Devil fun began in the bottom of the first, when Murray walked and scored on a wild pitch, tying it up at 1-1.

In the second inning, Duer cashed in the first of his three hits before Brett Bloomfield (walk) and Murray (single) reached to load the bases. Duer came home on John Ariola’s two-out single, but Bloomfield was nailed at the plate, ending the inning.

DHS had served notice, however.

With Trask in command, the Blue Devils would score five in the third and four in the fourth.

In that third-inning explosion, walks to Chris Daunt and Bobby Young were followed by Trask’s golf shot to the wall in left-center. Daunt and Young scored and the rout was on.

Vacaville coach Abe Hobbs then replaced Tyler Stoven — one of the area’s top pitchers — but Davis kept pecking away.

Still with only one out, Duer singled to left, sending Trask to third. Freshman Ryan Kreidler drew a walk before left-handed-hitting Bloomfield went the other way with an RBI single.

Murray’s grounder to shortstop was booted and Kreidler scored (he would have anyway, so Murray was credited with the first of his three runs batted in). Ariola was then robbed of a hit by Bulldog third baseman Conner Dick, whose sprawling force got Bloomfield while Kreidler came home.

“We were patient early with their big guy,” Ariola said. “We got his pitch count up. It was a nice approach by our guys.”

After two were out in the fourth inning, the Blue Devils went to work again. With Vacaville now deep in its bullpen, Ryan Plumb was hit by a pitch. Duer doubled to right-center, and Kreidler followed with a two-run single before Bloomfield was hit.

That set up Murray, the senior shortstop who had been hammering the ball all summer and in the season-opening win Friday at Woodland.

Murray laced a Michael Nichols fastball past a diving Santistevan in left, bringing in Duer and Bloomfield with what turned out to be a triple.

“Joe has been tearing it up for us. He’s our sparkplug, for sure,” Ariola explained, adding that Duer has been “solid” and played another strong game Tuesday.

Leading by 10, Miille came on to close Vacaville (2-2) out with a scoreless fifth, which included two strikeouts.

Next up for Davis (2-0) is a Friday, 6 p.m. contest at Yuba City (2-1). Last year, the Devils beat the Honkers, 8-4.

Notes: The Bulldogs finished with three hits. … Trask allowed two hits, fanned five and walked one. … Kreidler, who got the start at third on Friday, was in left field Tuesday. The ninth-grader went 1-for-2, scored twice and drove in two. Duer went 3-for-3 and scored three times while Murray was 2-for-3. … Ariola said Young will get the start on the mound against Yuba City. … The lone Devil attempting to steal was gunned down at second, but Ariola says his charges will run more as the season progresses: “We were trying to be patient with their big guy (Stover). We didn’t want him to get started. But, yes, you’ll see us run more in the future.”

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or 530-747-8047

Bruce Gallaudet

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