We Won

March 24, 2016

We won the Boras Classic. Given how these boys have been playing, winning was not that unreasonable an outcome, I mean somebody has to win, and this team… well, it’s just really well put together. So… we’re competitive, and why not us?

BUT, by game four, we were reaching the end of our pitching inventory, AND we were facing a team–Junipero Serra  High School in San Mateo, that 1) has a serious reputation and a long tradition for exceptional talent*, and 2) had saved its star pitcher for the championship game, betting on the probability that they would, in fact, reach the championship game. Which they, of course, did.

(* Barry Bonds and Tom Brady are alumni)

So, I don’t know.. but it seemed like the odds were not in our favor.

At this point, I wonder if it would be unethical for me to just paste the Enterprise article right into this spot, because I cannot do a better job of describing the game than Bruce Gallaudet whose sports writing and understanding of the game, combined with his history with DHS baseball, are incomparable.  It was such a good summary, I’m just going to do it, here it is:

Blue Devils rally to clinch Boras Classic victory
By Bruce Gallaudet  | March 25, 2016

SACRAMENTO — Sometimes words fail.

But newspapers are obligated to tell the story, so let’s push through this by starting with the simple facts …

Davis High beat Serra of San Mateo, 10-6, to win the north division of the Boras Baseball Classic in front of 350 fans at McAuliffe Field on Thursday.

Now the hard part. How to explain what transpired?

The Blue Devils were playing without front-line pitching available.

They were facing a St. Mary’s College-bound hurler who had allowed just two hits and fanned nine while the Padres built a 5-0 lead into the fifth inning.

Davis asked a just-called-up junior varsity kid to start on the mound. A guy who hadn’t pitched this season.

For long relief, DHS coach Dan Ariola gave the ball to a happy-go-lucky lefty who hadn’t toed the rubber once in the locals’ angel-kissed first eight games.

So, of course these Devils found a way to get it done. They always do.

On this night, it was the energy provided by starter Sean Finerty — the JV shortstop who was unlucky to allow three runs in two innings of work. And it was the I’m-always-having-fun presence of reliever Eton Tuttle, who baffled Serra hitters just enough to allow his brethren to catch up — and then some.

“I knew (Wednesday) I was getting the start,” Finerty told The Enterprise. “I was excited. But then I just wanted to throw strikes and help our team win.”

Mission accomplished. A lost fly ball, an error, a walk and an infield single allowed the Padres to patch together that three-run second off Finerty. But only one ball was hit hard in Finerty’s outing.

As for Tuttle, he didn’t know he would be second up until just before the game.

“It was definitely surreal. It was a shining moment, I guess,” said the upbeat Tuttle after he and DHS third baseman Tyler Gibson shared game MVP honors.

Tuttle’s line read three runs and four hits, but he did enough to keep the Devils hanging around until they put up back-to-back five-run outbursts in the fifth and sixth frames.

Tuttle and Finery were pressed into service when ace Peter Frame (arm tenderness) was scratched from his usual start. Ariola said Frame “will be fine with some rest.”

Meanwhile, it looked daunting for DHS, trailing 5-0 and Vinnie Venturi cruising for Serra.

But the Devils began a different approach at bat. Ariola said he wanted his hitters to show some patience.

“We wanted to work (Venturi’s) pitch count … and then he got tired,” said the coach, who in two decades at the Devil helm has never won a holiday tournament. “We’ve done that a number of times this year where we’ve had three- or four- or five-run innings just like tonight.”

In waiting out Venturi, who entered the contest 3-0 with an earned run average at 1.68, Davis worked four straight walks to get on the board and send the lefty packing.

With one out and a run in, Reed Hessl tapped reliever Jack Petersen for the first of his two giant hits, making things 5-2. John Lagattuta’s two-run double followed. Ryan Kreidler got his umpteenth intentional walk of the year to reload the bases before a fielder’s choice by Ryan Holgate plated Hessl.

Tuttle’s quick sixth inning further energized the Devils, who got a leadoff double to the fence in left from Gibson before a hit by Griffin Duisenberg and a walk to Max Thompson filled the sacks for Hessl.

Again, the second baseball delivered: this time a two-run single to right-center and Davis was ahead 7-5. Kreidler added an RBI hit and Hunter Jury smacked a two-run single to put Serra in the rear-view mirror.

Gibson came on to efficiently get through the seventh.

“I feel like we play well as a whole,” explained Tuttle, still shaking hands with well-wishers 20 minutes after the final out. “We have really good chemistry and our offense is great — we put up 10 runs. And defensively we’re also very good. We’re just a scrappy ball club. We never think we’re out of a ballgame. We’re always going to give it 100 percent.”

Ariola was asked what he thought about the performances of Finerty and Tuttle:

“Just great. I save them for championship games,” dead-panned Ariola.

Like May 7 in Berkeley, when the Boras Baseball Classic “state championship” game will be played against the winner of next week’s south-division tourney?

“Probably. Yeah. We’ll pitch both of them.”


I hope that wasn’t cheating.  Great article, though, right?

Here’s the team following the trophy presentation, wearing their new Boras champion shirts.


Like a dream!