Sonoma Valley stays unbeaten with 8-7 comeback against Pinole Valley
The Sonoma Valley varsity baseball team took advantage of a break in the weather to play a twilight game against Pinole Valley Friday night at Arnold Field. After some rough weather on the diamond itself, the Dragons came from behind to defeat the Spartans, 8 – 7.
With Joel Costanzo on the mound for the Dragons and Fernando Duenas for the Spartans, the teams sounded out each other’s lineup for a couple innings before the Spartans strung together a couple hits and smart base-running choices to score 4 in the top of the third.
Undeterred, in the bottom of the same inning the Dragons rallied to close the gap to 4-3. Shortstop Max Handron doubled with one out, then center fielder Tucker Pierce walked, after a brief game-interrupting conversation with a fan who wandered onto the field.
Right fielder Anthony Tommasi followed up with a hard grounder that was bobbled by the Pinole shortstop, allowing Handron to score from second, Pierce to reach third, and Tommasi to get to second base. Jamie Pierce kept the train moving with an infield single, scoring Tucker Pierce and bringing Tommasi to third.
Then with speedy Jake Baker coming in to run for Jamie Pierce, Baker and Tommasi successfully ran a double steal for a third run.
Costanza pitched into the fourth, then Brendan Hogan and Jamie Pierce combined to finish the game. The Spartans added a run here and two there, but the Dragons needed to pull off just one more scrappy inning for the win.
Down 7-3 in the bottom of the sixth the Dragon offense, sparked by designated hitter Tyler Garrett, posted five runs to take the 8-7 lead.
Designated hitter Tyler Garrett led off the inning with a single, then Duenas walked pinch hitter Riley Phelan and catcher Logan Mak to load the bases with nobody out. After a run came across and another was stopped by a force at home, shortstop Max Handron came to the plate with the bases loaded and the score at 7-4.
Handron, who went 3 for 3 on the night, drove an 0-2 pitch through the left-center gap for a 2-RBI double, tightening the score to 7-6.
Pinole Valley brought in a relief pitcher, but Tucker Pierce forced in a run on an error and a walk to tie the game at 7 - 7. Tommasi drew a walk setting the stage for Garrett to come to the plate for the second time in the inning, with the bases loaded and two out. The DH hit his second single of the inning to drive in Handron for what would be the winning run and handing Pinole Valley their first loss of the year.
“The comeback was unreal and to help lead that was an amazing feeling to be a part of,” said Garrett, now battling .400 on the year and named the Player of the Game by coaches.
Jamie Pierce got the win by going 3.2 innings and holding the pesky Pinole Valley hitters to two runs.
Monday afternoon the Dragons – still undefeated at 4-0 – hosted Alhambra at Arnold Field, rescheduled from the Feb. 27 rainout (results too late for presstime). On Friday, March 15, they host Casa Grande in the first league game of the year, at 6 p.m.
Coach Rich Blanchard contributed to this report.