DIXON — Davis National scored four times in the first inning then watched pitchers Lev Farris Goldenberg and Adrian Sanchez make it stand up as the locals continue their trip through the Little League District 64 11-12 All-Star winners bracket with a 5-3 win over a determined Vacaville National team.
The Tuesday clash at Hall Park looked pretty much over as DNLL struck early.
Ava McCray opened with the first of her two hits, followed by Zach Carrell’s run-scoring double. Sanchez singled and Shinye Ho walked to load the bases.
At that point, VNLL coach Lance Edmonds made a quick pitching change and — with Shane White now on the mound — brought the infield in.
Davis’ Tyler Brown, however, ruined the strategy as he laced a single past the drawn-in infield, plating Carrell and Sanchez. When Aedan Enriquez slapped one up the middle, Ho came in, making it 4-0.
But White settled in, striking out seven of the next nine batters.
Meanwhile, Vacaville was pecking away …
Pinch runner Matt Stone scored on Trevor Maynard’s sacrifice fly in the third.
Then, a fourth-inning lead-off double by Andrew Edmonds, an infield hit by Taylor Bruner and two DNLL miscues led to two unearned runs off starter Farris Goldenberg, tightening things further.
Davis skipper Scott Carrell went to Sanchez to restore order, and the big right-hander didn’t disappoint.
After getting the final two Vacaville outs in the fourth, Sanchez smacked a fifth-inning homer — providing an insurance run.
The blast put Sanchez at 6-for-7 in the two games of the tournament.
“He’s our best player,” manager Carrell told The Enterprise afterward. “The thing about Adrian is he did not make the (all-star team) two years ago. He had to watch from the stands.
“But he shows now how hard he’s working and shows how good a kid can become if they put in the time and effort.”
Nonetheless — even with Sanchez pitching well — Vacaville took one more shot at crawling back into contention.
In the fifth, with his team now down 5-3, VNLL infielder Tyler Reynaud beat out a hit to shortstop.
The next batter, Maynard, bounced another ball to the left side. This time a throw to try to force Reynaud at second sailed into center field.
With Reynaud flying around the bases, McCray corralled the loose sphere, fired to Ho at third, who relayed to catcher Zach Bergevin to nail Reynaud by an eyelash.
Sanchez retired the next two batters, then fanned the final two hitters of the game with two on in the sixth.
“You have to grind,” coach Carrell said. “We scored those four runs in the first inning, then our pitchers shut ‘em down and we battled and pulled out a great win.”
Farris Goldenberg’s 3 1/3 innings of work saw him allow three hits, strike out six and walk nary a Vacavillian. Only one of three runs against him were earned. For his effort, he earned the win.
In picking up the save, Sanchez fanned four, walked one and allowed only Reynaud’s infield single.
In 5 1/3 innings, White held Davis in check (save for Sanchez’s ding dong). The righty struck out 10 DNLL hitters, walked only one and scattered six hits.
Now, after a day’s rest Wednesday, Davis National will play on the Fourth of July at 10 a.m. against Vacaville Central. The game will be at Centennial Park (Browns Valley Parkway) in Vacaville.
Notes: From the Believe It or Not Dept.: With winds gusting to 25 mph early in the game, by the fourth inning it got downright chilly. Some fans had retreated to their vehicles to bring blankets into the stands. Wasn’t it 104 in town earlier? … The contest was originally scheduled for Centennial, but earlier Tuesday the site was changed because of “field availability and conditions,” according to one District 64 official. … In addition to her two hits, McCray put a charge into a sixth-inning fly ball. But the pesky wind cut into the drive and it died in deep center field in the glove of Bruner.
— Enterprise intern Spencer Ault contributed to this article. Reach Bruce Gallaudet at email@example.com or 530-747-8047.