By David Ott
The Amador Valley Dons JV baseball team defeated the Cal High Grizzlies 7 - 6 on Wednesday, May 9 in EBAL action.
The Dons had excellent pitching from Donald Camello and Steve Nice went 4 – 4 with a 3 run home run and three singles to lead the Dons to victory. The game was a tale of two games.
It was all Dons early, and then the Grizzlies made it very interesting late. Dons pitcher Donald Camello retired the Grizzlies in order in the top of the first inning on just nine pitches. In the bottom of the first inning the Dons bats were hot.
Parker Newman led off the game by hitting a slow ground ball to the shortstop, and with his blazing speed, Newman beat it out for an infield single. Jack Moroney followed with a single to right center field and then Steve Nice singled to left field, his first of four hits, to drive in Newman with the Dons first run.
Jordan Ott was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and then Sean Thomas singled to left field to drive in Moroney. Jake McIntosh then singled to center field to drive in Nice and the Dons had an early 3 – 0 lead.
Camello retired the Grizzlies in order in the top of the second inning. In the bottom of the second inning the Dons bats came alive again. Camello led off the inning with a single to left field. Parker Newman sacrificed Camello to second base and then Jack Moroney walked.
The next batter, Steve Nice, worked the count to 3 – 2. After fouling off a pitch, Nice drove the next pitch out of the park to the right of the 321’ sign in left field for a three run home run, his second of the year, to make the score Dons 6, Grizzlies 0.
The Dons were not done scoring, however. Jordan Ott and Jacob Kinney then walked, and Sean Thomas hit a soft single to center field to load the bases. Jake McIntosh then hit a ground ball to the shortstop who fired home to nail Ott out at the plate on a great play by the Grizzlies catcher.
With the bases still loaded, Zach Schmidt singled to drive in Kinney to make the score 7 – 0 Dons. Camello retired the Grizzlies in order again in the top of the third inning and he was cruising along pitching a masterpiece.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Grizzlies got on the board with two unearned runs on two Dons errors, a single and a sacrifice fly to make the score Dons 7, Grizzlies 2. For the rest of the game for the Dons only Steve Nice reached base with two more singles, but the Dons couldn’t get anything else going.
All of sudden the Dons bats that were so hot in the first two innings, went ice cold. Camello was still pitching a gem of a game through the sixth inning, and with the Dons still ahead 7 – 2, no one seemed worried. However, in the seventh inning the Dons defense aided the Grizzlies as they made a valiant effort to tie the game.
The leadoff batter for the Grizzlies lined out to second basemen Jake Dees for the first out, but then a Don error allowed a Grizzlies runner to reach second base. Two hits later, another Don error, another hit and a fielder’s choice and the score was now 7 – 6, and the Grizzlies had the tying run at first base with two outs.
The game was starting to slip away from the Dons and the Amador fans grew restless. Will Picket came into the game in relief of Camello, who should have fared better. Picket gave up a single to the first batter, sending the tying run at first base all the way to third base. Picket then got the next batter to hit a sinking line drive to center fielder Max Molz to end the game and to seal the victory for the Dons. Even though the Dons made 6 errors accounting for all 6 Grizzlies runs, there were several great defensive plays by the Dons.
Third baseman Steve Nice had to leap high in the air to catch a line drive to start the game. Second baseman Zach Schmidt covered a lot of ground running down a pop up down the right field line. Center fielder Parker Newman made a fine running catch of a sinking line drive in shallow center field. Left fielder Jordan Ott caught two very high and very deep fly balls to left field.
Zach Schmidt made a great play on a slow roller to second base to just get the speedy runner at first. Jacob Kinney did a great job behind the dish blocking balls in the dirt and keeping the Grizzlies base runners in check.
And center fielder Max Molz made a great catch on a sinking line drive to end the game. The offensive stars for the Dons were third baseman Steve Nice who went 4 – 4, 3 singles, a home run, 2 runs scored and 4 RBI.
Sean Thomas had 2 singles and a RBI, right fielder Jake McIntosh had a single and a RBI, second baseman Zach Schmidt had a single and a RBI, shortstop Jack Moroney had a single, a walk and scored 2 runs, and center fielder Parker Newman and pitcher Donald Camello had a single and scored a run.
After the game, the Dons players, coaches and fathers, honored the Amador Mothers in attendance with a special Mother’s Day song and flowers to celebrate Mother’s Day Week. Fun was had by all.
The Dons improved their overall record to 12 – 11 (4 – 7 in EBAL). The Dons next game is Friday, May 11 at 4pm at San Ramon Valley High School. Come out and support the Dons JV baseball team.