Freshmen Dons traveled to Orinda this Saturday to meet the Miramonte Matadors in a 9-inning affair (the originally scheduled double-header was converted to an extended single game due to COVID-19 issues). The Dons wasted no time in getting the scoring going, with Mason Zirkel bringing in two runs on a long single to the right in the 1st inning. Mason ended up leading the team with 3 RBIs on 3 hits, while also scoring two runs. Dons kept it going on offense through the first 6 innings, steadily building the lead to 8-0 at the bottom of the 6th. Mason knocked in another run in the 3rd, and Henry Garbo tacked on two more. In the 6th, Brady Morrow plated Mason on a sac fly, and then Aleksey Volobuev’s chopper up the middle was bobbled by Matadors, with Jack Giorgianni scoring on the play. Dons pitchers were dominant early on, with Mason Zirkel and Sully Bailey each pitching 3 innings of no-hit, shutout baseball.
After cruising through the first 6 innings, Dons took the foot off the pedal, and allowed Matadors to get back in the game. Helped in no small part by suddenly shaky Dons’ defense, the Matadors mounted a valiant comeback attempt, scoring 3 runs in the 7th, 1 in the 8th, and 3 more in the bottom of the 9th, while Dons could only scratch out a single insurance run in the 9th when Peter Thorn walked, advanced on a passed ball, and then scored on a botched pick-off attempt. Things got interesting late: with two men on and two outs in the 9th, the Matadors brought a go-ahead run to the plate, but Jack Giorgianni struck out the last batter on 3 pitches to end the threat. Dons 9, Matadors 7.
Dons spread the offense around, with Mason Zirkel, Kiran Foster, Sully Bailey, Everett Glass, Jack Giorgianni, Henry Garbo, and Aleksey Volobuev all collecting base hits. The Dons also benefited from porous Matadors defense which committed 5 errors, allowing 4 Dons to reach on an error. Dons collected 12 hits in all, scoring 9 on 6 RBIs, while stranding 12. Aggressive base running was a key factor in the victory: Dons ended up with 6 stolen bases, and perennially had runners in scoring positions. While Dons’ overall defense wasn’t stellar, with 3 errors committed, there were also a few highlight reel plays, like Brady Morrow snatching a hot line drive out of the air for a double play, and then Mason repeating the feat.