It was Carson Snyder’s night to shine.
The lefty struck out 19 Healdsburg batters, gave up only one hit and walked two as the Sonoma Valley High Dragons shut out Healdsburg 7-0. Oh, and Snyder didn’t do badly with the bat either, as he hit a triple and two singles.
Sonoma Coach Don Lyons couldn’t say whether or not it was a school record - but said he’d be surprised if it wasn’t.
“It’s the most strikeouts I’ve seen in the 18 years I’ve been here,” he said.
The longtime coach praised Snyder’s efforts. “Carson needs to stay within himself,” he said. “Sometimes he tries too hard. But tonight he had more movement and command on his pitches.”
In the middle innings, Healdsburg batters started trying to bunt since they weren’t having any luck swinging the bat.
“Carson didn’t overthrow,” Lyons said. “Instead of throwing as hard as he could, he was throwing as hard as he needed to.”
The Greyhounds put only three balls in play – a base hit to lead off the second inning, a soft line drive the Snyder caught to end the fourth inning and an a ball hit to the third baseman who couldn’t pick it up cleanly, also in the fourth.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the second when the Dragons scored twice as senior Colton Mertens doubled to lead off, junior Dylan Samaniego was safe on an error and junior Joe Perez sacrificed, scoring Mertens. Samaniego scored two batters later when sophomore Tucker Pierce beat out an infield hit.
The Dragons added four more in the bottom of the third as sophomore Max Handron doubled to lead off the inning, Snyder brought him home with a booming triple that almost reached the flag pole in deep center field. Senior Shane O’Malley hit a sacrifice fly to bring Snyder home. Mertend and Samaniego both singled and later scored as the Dragons left the bases loaded.
Meanwhile, Snyder was mowing down Healdsburg batters. Fifteen of the 19 strikeouts were swinging strikes.
Sonoma put another run on the board in the bottom of the sixth as junior Anthony Costanzo, who was pinch-hitting, walked and later scored.
There was some concern on the bench going into the top of the seventh, as Snyder was nearing his pitch count. Pitchers are allowed 110 pitches in a game, and going into the top of the inning, Snyder had thrown 93. But he managed to strike the side out in only 11 pitches.
The win gives the Dragons a 10-7 overall record and a 4-2 Sonoma County League mark.
The Dragons host Petaluma tonight, Friday, April 21, at Arnold Field. Game time is 7 p.m. Sonoma will be looking to avenge a 4-1 loss to the Trojans last month. The Dragons will host Analy on Tuesday.