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Dragons split baseball, softball spring openers

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It was “batter-up and first-pitch” time for Sonoma Valley High School’s spring sports diamond teams, who, after two weeks of workouts and still not at full strength with basketball and wrestling just starting postseason play, opened their 2014 season with a pair of nonleague road games over the weekend.

On Friday afternoon, the visiting Sonoma varsity baseball boys rapped out 11 hits – four by senior center-fielder Vinny Albano just three days after playing his final basketball game – and scored seven runs, with the final two coming in the top of the seventh inning to tie nonleague Terra Linda.

But it started getting dark and, without a lighted field, the umpires called the game before the bottom of the seventh, and reverting back to the bottom of the sixth frame, they declared Terra Linda, which had just taken a two-run lead, a 7-5 winner, leaving the Dragon coaches and players bewildered by the sudden decision.

Sonoma’s two-time all-league senior righthander Jimmy Flatt started and pitched five innings, scattering nine hits, none of them hit hard, while yielding three runs, striking out five and walking only one. Tagged with the loss in relief was junior James McKale.

Pacing Sonoma were Albano’s four-for-five, including a double, an RBI and two runs scored; sophomore MacLean Meyn’s two-for-four with two RBIs and a run; junior CJ Vitale’s single and two RBIs; Flatt’s single and two runs; senior Jack Murphy’s single and RBI; junior Kyle Garcia’s single and run; senior Austin Bailey’s single; and junior Kyle Dunevent’s run.

The varsity Dragon baseball boys are in Novato today for a showdown with longtime nonleague rival San Marin, and then make the long haul to Eureka on Saturday, March 1, before returning home to host Drake at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 4, at Arnold Field.

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Also playing in Marin, Sonoma’s varsity softball girls started their season off in resounding fashion with a 16-2 rout of Novato on Saturday, with junior Hannah Herrick picking up the pitching win.

Leading the Lady Dragons’ offense were freshman Hayden Pearce’s two-for-three, including a triple and two RBIs; and frosh Bella Fanucchi’s two-for-three with two RBIs.