Seven Dragons named SCL all-league, Alton 1st-team, league tourney canceled, Sonoma awaits NCS seeding
Senior Sam Alton was an easy SCL first-team all-league selection after compiling a 5-1 league record for Sonoma, with an eye-opening 0.85 ERA, and including 36 strikeouts and just 11 walks.
It was a positive and productive Sonoma County League season for Sonoma Valley High School’s young varsity boys’ baseball team. The Dragons were in first-place until dropping two of their final three SCL regular-season games to eventual league co-champions Casa Grande and Petaluma.
But the Dragons should receive a high North Coast Section seeding on the strength of their 15-8 overall record and 9-3 third-place league mark – which include victories over Petaluma and NCS Division 3 top-ranked San Marin – which they posted behind seven key players, who garnered SCL all-league status on Monday.
Sonoma’s all-league selections include repeat honorees seniors Sam Alton and Kevin Deely, along with senior Sean Daly, juniors Michael Hernandez and Sam Morgan, and sophomores Brennan Cole and Jonah Son.
Again as one of the top pitchers in not only the SCL, but in the Redwood Empire, Alton was an easy first-team all-league choice after compiling a 5-1 league record, with an eye-opening 0.85 ERA, and including 36 strikeouts and just 11 walks.
The Dragons’ SCL second-team all-league selections were pitchers Hernandez and Cole, who also got accolades for his hitting, and center-fielder Deely and right-fielder Daly for both their offense and outstanding defense.
Receiving honorable-mention all-league were catcher Morgan and third-baseman Son.
Upon having his three top pitchers – Alton, Cole and Hernandez – get all-league honors, Sonoma head coach Don Lyons noted that they combined to hold their opponents to an impressively stingy .169 batting average.
“What they accomplished as a pitching staff is practically unheard of at the high-school level, as well as giving up only 33 walks combined in 83 innings pitched. Those are some amazing statistics and are big reasons for our success this year, which hopefully continues in the NCS playoffs,” said Lyons.
With the opportunity to earn a big win over a longtime rival, and the chance to enhance their position in next week’s North Coast Section Division 3 playoffs, Sonoma’s varsity baseball boys were primed for this week’s annual postseason SCL tournament, which they were hosting at Arnold Field.
Unfortunately, the third-seeded Dragons didn’t get to face second-seeded Casa in Wednesday’s opening-rounder because Tuesday’s first-round game between top-seeded Petaluma and fourth-seeded Healdsburg was rained out, and complications with the tourney’s rescheduling forced a cancelation of the SCL tourney.
First, Healdsburg informed SCL commissioner Dave Ashworth it couldn’t play because of a prior commitment and would forfeit the game, giving a first-round bye to Petaluma.
Then, Tuesday’s heavy rain kept Arnold Field from being made playable in time for Wednesday’s game, as well, and, when alternative rescheduling was discussed, Petaluma told Ashworth it had a prior commitment with a school awards ceremony and couldn’t work with the changes needed to be made.
So, after Petaluma and Healdsburg dropped out, that left only Sonoma and Casa, and, with the NCS seeding happening Sunday, May 22, and the championships starting this Tuesday, May 24, Ashworth decided to scrub the tourney.