Sunday, October 19, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

The ‘battle’ in Devil baseball makes perfect sense

BruceGallaudetW

By
From page B1 | March 15, 2013 |

We always wait breathlessly around the Sports Desk as we play back after-game quotes from Davis High baseball coach Dan Ariola.

Our staffers know what’s coming … The use of the word “battle” comes early and often in describing his guys’ play: “We battled today.” “He was a battler all afternoon.” “I like the way we battle.”

For years now, I’ve just chuckled, figuring Ariola’s descriptions were simply use of a favored word; a matter of convenience.

But a look back at Ariola’s 17-plus years as skipper of the Blue Devils tells fans (and writers) that the coach’s comments have been dead-on all these years.

DHS, indeed, battles.

In winning Sac-Joaquin Section championships in 2000 and 2004, there were gritty showings in north-division playoffs that gave the locals a leg up when conquering their southern foes. Last year, the Devils were one of the final three schools standing before getting nipped by Delta Valley Conference colleague Franklin. The Wildcats went on to lose the title to St. Mary’s, making that 4-2 Blue Devil loss the week before ever more distasteful.

If memory serves, DHS has missed the postseason only twice in the Ariola Era. While other teams knock the ball all over the park (and over the fence) — Davis finds a way to put pressure on opponents, making ground balls and 3-2 pitches momentous occasions.

Take Tuesday’s 8-1 win over visiting Napa for example…

Seven infield singles accounted for a lion’s share of the Devil offense (14 hits in all) and brilliant pitching by starter Matt Trask and reliever Jake Miille hinted that DHS won’t need fencebusters to again throw their caps in the title hunt.

Clean-up hitter Bobby Young was asked to bunt on Tuesday, and Ariola’s hit-and-runs paid dividends on two different occasions.

Davis is now 4-0, and this comes after graduating three first-tier hurlers in Ben Eckels (in the Arizona Diamondback system), Jack Shelledy and exceptional left-handed reliever Reinert Toft. Gone, too, is versatile George Hatamiya.

But in the field, Ariola knew he had depth returning — and believes, at least after four games, that his charges are “ahead of where we were last year.”

Wow. Remember, DHS was 25-8 in 2012, sharing the DVC pennant with Elk Grove.

Ariola’s New Edition has given old cast members new assignments.

Ryan Kreidler has proved to be The Real Deal. “He’s the first freshman I’ve committed to before the season started,” Ariola told me a couple of weeks ago. “Him being in the lineup allows us to do a lot of things.”

So far, Kreidler’s getting time in left field, but can play shortstop, second and third (as well as pitch).

In addition to that utility Kreidler brings, Ariola has moved Ryan Plumb from short to the hot corner while Joe Murray goes from second to short. Brett Bloomfield plays second and Young has gone from third to first.

Whew. But there’s more …

Ariola’s kid John — still only a junior — has left the infield and is patrolling center, while Chris Daunt toils in the wicked right-field sun at DHS.

Getting spot starts behind the plate in ’12, senior Hayden Duer has been a stalwart wearing the gear this spring, and adds some pop down the lineup.

Young and Adam Inouye have both won games on the mound and pitching coach Marc Kenner says fans haven’t seen anything yet. Davis has at least nine live arms and most have yet to set the light of day.

In all, these Devils have emerged and played beyond expectations. No longer surprising people, opponents from here on out will hunker down when they see “Davis” on the schedule.

With spring weather here, there’s nothing better than an afternoon at the ballpark. Especially when your hometown Blue Devils are out there battling.

(After Friday’s home game against Rocklin (4 p.m.), the Devils don’t return to Davis until April 5 when they host Grant in a DVC game. Jesuit and DHS meet at Raley Field at 6:30 p.m. March 22.)

While I Have You Here: Davis’ own Fitness App Queen Jamima Wolk is launching the new iRideInside application on Sunday at the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame (4-6 p.m.).

Her latest program will give followers a chance to get on their bikes and workout in a number of ways.

The St. Patrick’s Day event will feature free food, drinks (Berryessa Gap) and activities — as well as giving launch-goers free admission to the Hall of Fame. Wolk says there will be prizes from Fleet Feet Davis, Fit House, Moxie Cycling, Davis Creamery, Stella & Do, Renew Denim and Kangeroo Fitness, among others.

Have some free snacks, then ride off the calories with your new iRideInside app.

— Bruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8047.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Housing First pilot project targets West Sac homeless

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    Return to sender: MRAP removal options go to council

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    $18.75M grant aims to build global food security

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Howzat! Cricket tradition grows in Davis

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Evidentiary hearing set for man shot by CHP

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Cop witnesses car-pedestrian collision

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Hawaii hit by winds, rain as hurricane veers west

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Guns to be discharged at police range

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

     
    DHS ski and snowboard swap set on Nov. 9

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Wolk sets ‘Morning with the Mayor’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Safe viewing of solar eclipse planned

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Fill the Boot for the hungry

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

     
    Quiz Master Gardeners at open house

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Celebrate origami at Davis library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Firefighters on the town

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A3

     
    Donate used books at Co-op

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Love-life tips on ‘Heart to Heart’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Volunteers sought to chip in on parks cleanup

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Crash victim ID’d as Woodland man

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

     
    Senior Computer Club hears from county official

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Apply by Friday for Biberstein grants

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Esparto home targeted in three-city pot bust

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

     
    Wolk earns perfect score from senior advocates

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    UCD celebrates 50 years of global agricultural success

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Special education information night scheduled

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

    Be on the lookout for tagged Monarch butterflies

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A16 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Old news disturbs the present

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Take time to reach out for help

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

    Are we there yet? Yik Yakking the day away

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A8

     
    A bionic hand with feeling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Teach cyclists to obey laws

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

     
    Proposed lights harm kids

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

    Ain’t Snow Mountain high enough

    By Our View | From Page: A14

     
    Let’s take Davis’ energy future seriously

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14

    Be careful cycling on Fifth

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A15

     
    Water theater isn’t fun

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A15

    Elect Granda to board

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A15

     
    Yes on Prop. 47: reasonable changes to curb recidivism, save money

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

    No on Prop. 47: an end to safe neighborhoods, and more victims

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

     
    .

    Sports

     
    Devils stick it to Chico, cancer

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Vargas emerges from crowded Aggie WR corps

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Competitive Aggies fall at No. 6/7 Montana

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    JV Devils fall to Franklin

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Niemi leads Sharks to win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    UCD roundup: Big crowd sees Aggies nip Guachos

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Davis is a temple for fine beverages

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Arcadia Biosciences earns spot on global innovation list

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    35 employers will be at West Sac job fair

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Rob White: Building an economy on innovation

    By Rob White | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Peggy Belenis Swisher

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Sadie Louise Barga

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Morgan Wheeler

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, October 19, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8