Sun Devils roll to easy win in World Series
There’s always a little extra pressure on the host team in its first game of a tournament.
But there will be at least a little less pressure on the Sierra Sun Devils now after a 12-4 win over San Carlos, Calif., in the opening game of the Joe DiMaggio World Series on Thursday at John L. Harvey Field.
And the Sun Devils should also have a psychological advantage having beaten one of the traditional powers in the event. The Sun Devils advanced to a winners bracket game at 2:15 p.m. Saturday while San Carlos will now just look to stay alive in an elimination game at 9 a.m. Saturday.
The Sun Devils banged out 17 hits and Scott Greene saved the team’s pitching by going the distance in the win.
“It’s a big relief for us being the host this year,” Sun Devils manager Nick Royle said. “You can’t ask for anything better. They’re a great team over there.
“We just caught them on an off day. Beautiful field. These guys swung the bats. It was a great day.”
After San Carlos scored an unearned run in the first inning, the Sun Devils answered with five runs in the bottom of the first. Douglas High’s Niko Saladis singled and fellow Douglas mate Cory Eilers hit an RBI double.
Carson High’s David Leid followed with an RBI single. South Tahoe’s Stephen Yarrow, who will play at San Francisco, then hit a two-run triple. Matt Moerdick followed with an RBI single to make it 5-1.
San Carlos scored two more unearned runs in the second to close to within 5-3. In the fourth, Alex Steward made an outstanding defensive play for the Sun Devils in right field. David DiPaola hit a shot off the right field fence, but Steward made a perfect throw to second to easily nail him.
The play was key because Zack Turner followed with a single and Tony Cooper belted an RBI triple to cut the deficit to 5-4. The Sun Devils answered in the bottom of the fourth when Saladis singled and Steward reached on a bunt single.
After Eilers’ flyball moved Saladis to third, Saladis and Steward were able to execute a rundown play. Steward got in a rundown from first and Saladis was able to score, giving the Sun Devils a 6-4 lead.
The Sun Devils broke the game open in the fifth after Douglas graduate Roman Davis walked and Leid singled. Moerdick hit an RBI single and Brett Howsley reached on an infield single on a swinging bunt.
Saladis and Steward each hit RBIn singles, Eilers hit a two-run single and after Douglas High’s Phil Mannelly singled, Davis walked to force in a run to make it 12-4.
Leid said the Joe DiMaggio event is what the Sun Devils have been aiming for. “This is pretty much the biggest thing we’ve been looking for all year,” said Leid, who will play at Delta Community College in Stockton, Calif.
Davis and Leid have been splitting the catching and designated hitter duties with Davis catching and Leid serving as the DH on Thursday. Leid said he’s enjoyed the arrangement.
“He’s a great catcher and he definitely takes care of the pitchers well,” said Leid about Davis. “It’s easy on the knees. It definitely works out great.
“I’ve had a lot of fun with these guys. It’s actually been a great time. They’re a great bunch of guys.”
Leid said not having to qualify for the tournament as the host and having some extra time off served as an advantage, especially for Greene. “Scott Greene, he definitely enjoyed the rest, for sure,” Leid said.
Greene allowed one earned run on five hits in his complete game effort. “He battled,” Royle said. “He comes out and deals. Hopefully he can come back out there for us again if we continue to do well in the tournament.”
Saladis had four hits, including a triple, Moerdick had three hits and Eilers, Steward, Howsley and Leid all had two hits. Cooper also doubled and had three of San Carlos’ five hits.
In the other first round games at John L. Harvey Field today, the Tri-County (Calif.) Gamblers will play Mendocino, Calif., at 10 a.m., San Francisco’s Trinity Maintenance will play Vallejo, Calif., at 12:45 p.m. and the Galena Spartans will play San Bruno, Calif., at 3:30 p.m.