Weathering a light rain in search of their first win after two tight losses, and a washout in Eureka, to begin the preseason nonleague schedule, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity baseball boys were fortunate to get more solid pitching as they looked for their offense to get untracked.
With senior all-league right-handed ace Jimmy Flatt going the seven-inning distance for a two-hitter, and senior Jack Murphy adding to a slim 1-0 lead with a clutch, two-RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Dragons blanked Sir Francis Drake 3-0 Wednesday afternoon at a wet Arnold Field.
While getting hits was tough for both teams, getting hit was one of the themes in the game, with each side having three players plunked with pitches, Sonoma turned one drilling into an RBI, and Flatt managed to escape without scoring damage after hitting three visiting Pirates by yielding just two singles and striking out eight.
Flatt also got a key defensive play that helped preserve his shutout in the top of the sixth inning when, with a runner on first by way of an error, a Drake single squirted past speedy senior left-fielder James Hess, who quickly retrieved the ball and threw it to junior shortstop CJ Vitale.
From the outfield grass, Vitale fired a strike to home plate, where sophomore catcher MacLean Meyn made a bang-bang catch and swipe tag to cut down the Pirate runner, after which Flatt, with a runner at third and one out, hit his third batter before forcing a pop-out and ending the threat with a non-swinging strikeout.
The Dragons scored their first run in the bottom of the third frame when, with the bases loaded, Hess picked up an RBI by getting hit by a pitch, which sent senior Mitch Hood home, and then, in the bottom of the fifth, Murphy’s single to center field plated Vitale and Mehn, who had doubled. Senior Vinny Albano also collected a single.
Rounding out Sonoma’s varsity baseball team – directed by head coach Don Lyons and assistant coaches Mario Alioto, Jody Ray, Brian Alden and SVHS graduate and former all-league catcher Nate Rowland – are seniors Dan Deely (injured), Ronnie Cotter, Andrew DeMartini and Devon Graff; and juniors Thomas Crumly, Kyle Dunevent, Kyle Garcia and Graham Herder.
The Dragons, who played visiting Novato last night – results not available at presstime – will host Pinole Valley at 1 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, March 8.