ELK GROVE – Last year Franklin — the third-place finisher in the Delta Valley Conference — knocked Davis out of the Sac-Joaquin Section baseball tournament.
On Thursday, while Blue Devil skipper Dan Ariola heard no talk of “payback,” the locals rode the three-hit pitching of Matt Trask to a 4-1 victory on the road.
The win marked the first-ever Davis three-game season sweep of the Wildcats.
“We didn’t talk about last season,” Ariola told The Enterprise. “But we were eager to get the sweep … that we talked about it.”
With Franklin reeling from a 3-2 loss to Davis earlier this week, the task at hand didn’t get any easier with junior righthander Trask staring in for the signs.
Trask (5-1, 0.71 earned run average) not only limited Franklin to a solo run in the sixth, his lead-off double started the Blue Devils’ four-run, fourth-inning outburst.
After Trask’s hit, DHS made an out before Hayden Duer singled to put runners at the corner. Trey Golston’s single plated Trask. Then, with two outs, Joe Murray hit a line single to left but Duer couldn’t advance and the bases were full.
John Ariola got an RBI when Franklin’s Trent Spallas hit the centerfielder. Then Davis got a break…
Chris Daunt grounded to third, but a wild throw meant Daunt was safe and Golston and Murray came plateward.
That was all Trask and Company needed.
Golston’s web gem and a double play got the Devils out of a second-and-third, one-out jam in the sixth and another double play (Ryan Kreidler to first) helped close out Franklin (8-10, 3-4) in the final frame.
“We played great defense today,” Ariola offered. “(Shortstop and second baseman) Kreidler and Murray have really been solid up the middle for us … and in that sixth, Matt really bore down.”
With only one down, a run in and two runners in striking distance, Trask put out the fire by posting struckouts of Kyle Zanzi and Riley Simmons (on each side of an intentional walk to ’Cat slugger Tyler Blake).
Spallas (2-2) was unlucky. His ERA is 1.12 and the big fourth-inning error — given the way Trask was throwing — sealed his fate.
Davis (14-5, 7-0) is one game ahead of arch-rival Elk Grove (13-4, 6-1).
Grant – who the Devils travel to today at 4:15 p.m. – and Laguna Creek (which meets Davis next week in Thursday and Friday games) are positioned to put pressure on Franklin for third place in DVC. The section postseason planners will take the top three Delta schools.
The Pacers are 10-9 and 2-5, while the Cardinals are 6-13, but 3-4 in conference.
Murray and Trask led Davis at the plate Thursday, each going 2-for-4.