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Sonoma Dragons dominate El Molino

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Even though El Molino struck first Tuesday with an unearned run in the top of the first, the rest of the game belonged to the Sonoma Valley High Dragons.

The Dragons put three runs of their own on the board in the bottom of the first on their way to an 11-1 win over the Lions. The game was halted because of the 10-run with two outs in the bottom of the sixth when Logan Mak scored on a passed ball.

Down 1-0, Sonoma didn’t waste any time striking back in the first. Leadoff batter Jeremy Mackling reached first on an error, advanced to third on Carsten Cuda’s double and scored when Max Handron grounded out. Kole Morgan, who went three-for-three with a walk, singled, driving in Cuda, and Logan Mak doubled driving in Morgan, and the Dragons had a 3-1 lead.

The Dragons tacked on four more in the second when Matt Norrbom doubled, and advanced to third when Mackling’s grounder was bobbled by the Lion shortstop. Cuda was hit by a pitch loading the bases. Handron cleared the bases on a single to center that rolled under the centerfielder’s legs allowing Norrbom, Mackling and Cuda to score. Morgan singled driving in Handron. And the Dragons were up 7-1 after two innings.

In the third, the Lions loaded the bases with no outs on an error, a double and a hit batsman. But Mackling, who started and scattered five hits while walking two, slammed the door on the Lions. The next batter hit a dribbler back to Mackling who went home with the throw forcing the runner on third. He then got the next hitter to ground into a 6-4-3 double-play to end the threat and the inning.

Sonoma got another run in the fourth when Cuda singled, went to second when Handron was hit by a pitch, advanced to third on a long, loud single by Tyler Garrett and scored when Morgan coaxed a walk to make it an 8-1 lead.

Sonoma closed it out in the sixth when Garrett and Morgan singled, Mak walked, loading the bases. Anthony Tommasi singled, scoring Garrett and Morgan and putting Mak on third. With Jack Boydell at the plate, the Lion pitcher bounced a 55-foot curve that the catcher couldn’t handle and Mak scored standing up to end the game.

Dragon Coach Ian Slaney was more than pleased with the outcome.

“Jeremy (Mackling) threw a great game,” he said. “He didn’t get rattled when El Mo loaded the bases and got the double-play ball we were looking for. He threw strikes and did a great job.”

Slaney praised the hitting, and said Garrett and Morgan came up big and praised Mak for “calling a great game.”

“Kole (Morgan) came up huge,” he said. “He’s emerging as our senior leader. He’s leading by example, by encouragement – and by doing the right things.”

The Dragons are putting a lot more balls in the air than they did earlier in the year. Slaney said the coaches have been preaching that the batters need to trust their approach. “It’s a huge testament to the work they’re doing,” he said.

The win gives the Dragons a 9-10 overall record and a 5-5 mark in SCL play.

Last Friday, April 27, the Dragons dropped a 9-3 decision to Analy. The Dragons didn’t help themselves by giving up six walks and making seven errors.

“We definitely didn’t play our best – and they executed,” Slaney said. “Tucker (Pierce) made a web gem in right field, saving three runs with a diving catch at the wall.”

Sonoma entertains Elsie Allen tonight, Friday, at 7 p.m. at Arnold Field. In pregame ceremonies, the Dragons will honor their seniors. The Dragons finish out the regular season Tuesday at Piner, with the SCL tournament slated May 15, 16 and 17.