One truism in baseball is that walks will come back and bite you in the butt. The Dragon boys found that out the hard way Friday evening.
With a 4-1 lead against Piner, two Dragon pitchers hit one batter walked four straight, gave up a base hit and another walk, and when the dust settled, Sonoma was down 5-4.
Piner hung on and the Pioneers walked away – literally – with a 5-4 victory.
The Pioneers took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a single, an error, a passed ball and another single.
The Dragons got on the board with three runs in the bottom of the second when Tyler Garrett walked, moved to second on Kole Morgan’s single and scored on Logan Mak’s single. Anthony Tommasi singled loading the bases, and Jack Boydell was hit by a pitch, driving in Morgan. Jeremy Mackling hit a sacrifice fly scoring Mak, and the Dragon were on top, 3-1.
Sonoma tacked on another run in the fourth when Boydell singled and came home on a Mat Norrbom single.
But then the wheels fell off in the top of the fifth when the Pioneers walked their way to a lead. Five batters walked – and three scored. Piner scored four times and had only one ball leave the infield.
But, in the process, Sonoma may have found another pitcher. Coach Joe Schiebold called on Boydell to come to come in and make his first relief appearance. With the bases loaded and only one out in the fifth, Boydell struck out the first hitter he faced and got the next to ground out halting the Piner rally. He gave up a hit in the sixth and a walk in the seventh, but didn’t allow any runs.
In their half of the fifth, Sonoma had Max Handron as far as third, but couldn’t plate him. In the sixth, the Dragons had runners on first and second, to no avail. And in the bottom of the seventh, Handron hit a shot to right that had extra-bases written all over it. But the Piner right fielder made a diving catch robbing Handron of a hit and sealing the Dragons’ fate.
Thursday the Dragons beat Healdsburg, 9-6.
The Greyhounds had a 5-1 lead after three innings, but the Dragons put up three runs in the fourth, one in the fifth and two in each of the sixth and seventh innings as they pounded out 13 hits.
Mackling was three-for-five with an RBI, Norrbom was three-for-four with a double, Tommasi was two-for-four with two RBIs and Morgan was two-for-four.
Mackling was the winning pitcher. The split leaves the Dragons with a 6-8 overall record and a 2-3 SCL mark.
Sonoma is off until Friday when they host Healdsburg at Arnold Field. Game time is 7 p.m.