By GERARDO RECINOS
If we can gather a large enough group of people to do it, telling the varsity boys baseball team the game actually starts in the fifth inning might wake up the bats sooner.
In their 3-2 loss to Sonoma Valley on a blustery Wednesday afternoon, the Bulldogs could only muster four hits. And of those, two came in the first inning of play.
Had they perhaps been able to push across a run in the first inning of the March 22 loss, maybe it’s a different story. But as it, the late push in rally time wasn’t enough.
Junior Ryan Craig took the ball for the Bulldogs and looked excellent in his first trip through the Dragons’ lineup. He only needed 31 pitches to get through his first three innings, but after he allowed his first hit, a single off the bat of Max Handron, it went south.
Up to that point Craig had done well to take the sting out of his opponents at bats, and forced them to put the ball in play. But after going into the stretch for an extended period of time, his command disappeared. He issued consecutive walks and allowed a run before being lifted for reliever Marshall Stanghellini. Craig only recorded one out in the fourth inning.
His opposite, Carson Snyder, was masterful. In his 6 1/3 inning performance, he only allowed hits, and stranded all but one base runner, who came around to score in the seventh inning. Snyder had been lifted from the game, and his run was cashed in by senior Eric Bailey, who closed the game out.
However up until the hairy seventh inning the Bulldogs couldn’t touch Snyder. The crafty lefty, who had a no-hitter in his junior campaign, threw 114 pitches in his gem, but had three innings where he faced only the minimum. Those innings allowed him to get out of jams like he did in the first inning, stranding two runners.
It wasn’t until the final inning where he was yanked by his coach, after issuing consecutive walks to Matt Peon del Valle and Brandon Muraoka. Peon del Valle scored on an error, and Muraoka came around to score on a booming single off the bat of first baseman Jordyn Eglite.
However the game ended when Ammon Williams was caught trying to put two men in scoring position by going first to third. Eglite was the only Bulldog with multiple hits in the loss.
That can’t happen for the Bulldogs. Their second consecutive becomes more costly because it came at the hands of a team in Division III.