Dragons shake road-dust, edge Eureka in NCS opener, host quarterfinal Friday
Junior Will Rose slides safely into third base during the Dragons’ early season win over nonleague Eureka at Arnold Field. Yesterday in Eureka, Sonoma nipped the Loggers for an NCS Division-3 first-round victory.
Despite getting the fourth-seed in the North Coast Section Division 3 playoffs and earning the opportunity to host a first-round game, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity boys, who also have a victory over top-seeded San Marin, still found themselves on the road – and a long road it was.
After a four-plus-hour drive north to be the home team for yesterday’s NCS opener against 13th-seeded Eureka, which got to host because it was the champion of the Humboldt-Del Norte League, Sonoma found itself trailing the Loggers 2-0 after three innings.
Showing their determination to overcome the long journey just 48 hours after getting the disappointing news from the seeding meeting, Sonoma proved it was up to the challenge.
The Dragons rallied for a run in the bottom of the fourth and two more in the fifth to seize a 3-2 victory from Eureka, with senior Steven McGunagle scoring the winning run on a fifth-inning wild pitch.
Right-handed senior ace Sam Alton pitched a complete-game seven-hitter with 10 strikeouts for Sonoma, which was led offensively by senior Kevin Deely’s two hits.
With the win, the fourth-seeded Dragons – who also beat Eureka 3-2 in a nonleague home game back in early April – improved their record to 16-8 and will host the winner of tonight’s fifth-seeded Albany versus 12th-seeded Novato first-round game in a 7 p.m. quarterfinal game this Friday evening, May 27, under the Arnold Field lights.