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Baseball Dragons split with Novato, Justin

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The Sonoma Valley High baseball Dragons split a pair of games early this week, beating Novato, 7-1, on Monday, but falling to Justin-Siena, 7-4, on Wednesday.

The Dragons didn’t waste any time Monday jumping on the Novato Hornets.

Sonoma put five runs on the board in the bottom of the second inning.

Dragon starter Patrick Schneider set the Hornets down in order in the first two innings.

In the bottom of the second, Sonoma’s first six batters reached base as the Dragons sent 10 men to the plate.

Jeremy Mackling started it off for Sonoma with a single, Logan Mak likewise singled before Tyler Garrett doubled driving in both Mackling and Mak. Anthony Costanza walked. Mat Norrbom singled before Tucker Pierce hit into a fielders choice scoring Garrett. Austin Arrington hit a sacrifice fly that scored Costanza, and Max Handron doubled home Pierce.

The Hornets threatened to score in the top of the third getting two runners as far as second, but one was thrown out at third trying to steal.

The Dragons put another run up in the bottom of the third when Mak singled but was out at second when Garrett hit into a fielders choice. Costanza was safe on an error and Garrett came home when the Hornets’ right fielder dropped a fly ball off the bat of Pierce. The Hornets got their first two hitters on in the fourth on a double and a walk, but Schneider closed the door on the would-be rally by getting two fly-outs and an infield out.

Sonoma added another run in the bottom of the fourth when Handron led off with a triple and scored on a groundout.

Novato finally broke through in the top of the sixth when, with two out, a runner reached on an error, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single. But by then, it was too little too late.

Schneider pitched the complete game for the Dragons, giving up four hits, three walks and striking out one.

“I was so happy for Patrick to have pitched so well,” said Coach Ian Slaney. “He’s worked his tail off the last couple of years and now we’re seeing the results.”

For the Dragons, Handron had two extra-base hits, Mak had two hits while Mackling, Garrett and Norrbom each had a hit.

“If we put a complete game together – meaning play defense, execute our offensive approach and throw strikes – we have incredible potential,” Slaney said.

Wednesday, Sonoma took a 3-1 lead into the sixth inning, but Justin-Siena put six runs on the board to take a 7-3 lead. The Braves won 7-4.

The Braves have a number of Sonomans on the team, several of whom contributed to the win.

Nolan Dunkel started for the Braves and struck out eight of the first nine batters he faced. Luigi Albano-Dito put Justin ahead with a two-run, two-out single in the sixth and he also had another hit, two stolen bases and the win on the mound going two innings in relief. Asher Sutter followed Albano-Dito’s go-ahead single with a monster three-run homer. Other Sonomans on the roster include Alex Kirley, Toby Hilliard, Will Natuzzi along with coaches Jeremy Tayson and Craig Ray.

The split gives the Dragons a 2-3 record. Sonoma will be on the road Friday, today, when they play Vintage. Sonoma returns to Arnold Field Saturday to host Tamalpais at 7 p.m.