VACAVILLE — Adrian Sanchez broke baseball down to its basics …
As a hitter, see the ball, hit the ball. As a pitcher, throw strikes.
Even in a post-game interview, Sanchez’s logic was undeniable.
Asked what Davis National had to do to go deep in the Little League District 64 11-12 tournament, the standout said, “Win, win, win.”
With bats as hot as the triple-digit temperatures, DNLL opened the postseason with a 10-4 win over Dixon on Saturday at Centennial Park.
Sanchez went 4-for-4 and picked up the save by striking out the side in the final frame.
“It was all about hitting,” Sanchez continued. “They had a fast pitcher and we got on to him.”
For sure …
After falling behind 3-1 early, the locals exploded for an eight-run second inning and cruised home.
Despite striking out five in 2 1/3 innings, Davis starting (and winning) pitcher Zach Carrell found himself trailing by two runs going into the giant rally.
But in an efficient mix of patience and aggressiveness, the Nationals took advantage of four walks, four hits and a two-run strikeout (yep, a two-run strikeout) to break the game open.
Shinye Ho and Aedan Enriquez worked back-to-back free passes opening the fateful second. After both runners moved up on a passed ball, Jack Henry Grote went down swinging, but the ball went to the backstop and Grote beat the throw to first.
A return throw to home was waiting for Ho at the plate, but the Davis third baseman knocked the ball from Dixon catcher Joey Holecek’s glove. With Ho safe, Holecek was hurt and pitcher Seth Parrish had to retrieve the loose ball.
By the time Parrish corralled the ball, the speedy Enriquez had tied the game, 3-3.
(After being tended to by coaches, Holecek stayed in the game.)
Two more walks to Ava McCray and Zach Bergevin loaded the bases. From there, Davis used its sizzling bats.
Sanchez lined a two-run single to left and Carrell followed with two-run double to right. Tyler Brown’s ground-rule double accounted for another run before Enriquez’s infield hit plated Brown.
Davis got its final tally in the third when McCray singled, moved up on Bergevin’s infield hit and eventually came home on a passed ball.
Carrell got the first out of the third inning before turning mound chores over to Lev Farris Goldenberg and Sanchez.
Farris Goldenberg threw 2 2/3 solid innings, fanning two, walking none and allowing just two hits. Dixon got an unearned run off the reliever.
Over the final three Dixon hitters, Sanchez made short work of Davis’ next-door neighbors.
Davis lead-off hitter McCray went 2-for-3, scoring three runs.
“The kids played great,” DNLL manager Scott Carrell told The Enterprise. “Three great pitchers, a lot of great hitting. … We got to their ace.
“Our kids, most importantly, bounced back from being down 3-1. We hammered the ball. I was really pleased. Overall, things were really great. I’m so proud of these kids.”
Now, Davis gets a break from the heat: Its next game isn’t until Tuesday at 8 p.m. against either Winters, Esparto or Vacaville National..
Notes: Vacaville Central Little League is the 11-12 division host. … DNLL is wearing dark blue jerseys in this postseason. … At game time (10 a.m.), thermometers read 94 degrees; by game’s end they had cracked the century mark. … Davis American is set to play its tournament opener on Sunday at 10 a.m. … Parrish scored twice for Dixon and Jessie Bassler and Jacob Chappell had doubles. Dixon finished with four hits. … Chappell had a terrific relief stint — 3 2/3 innings, five hits, only one run given up.
— Bruce Gallaudet at email@example.com or 530-747-8047.