Varsity Baseball Splits with Campo

The Varsity Baseball team lost a dramatic back and forth battle in Moraga on Thursday 8-7. They split their two game series with the Cougars this week. The boys finished the regular season 21-3 with a 7-3 league mark. The Dons fought to the very end before dropping their final regular season game. Fortunately the NCS Playoffs begin next week.

The spirited contest featured a packed house with engaged, enthusiastic fans surrounding the field.

The Acalanes offense was active early with three runs in the first inning. Keegan Goddard got the boys started with a nice bunt single. He would later go on to score the game’s first run. Keegan had a solid game with two hits and a run scored and an amazing circus catch in center field.

The Cougars came back with runs in the second and third innings to tie the Dons at 3-3 after three frames. In the top of the fourth inning shortstop James Stadt reached on an error with two outs to start another Acalanes rally. Second baseman Mason Zirkel then laid down a perfect bunt to put two on. Right fielder David Gonzales followed and sharply singled to center field to score Stadt and give the Dons a 4-3 lead. Gonzales had a great day with three hits and three RBIs.

It remained 4-3 until the bottom of the sixth inning when Campo exploded for four runs to take a 7-4 lead. It looked grim for Acalanes heading into the top of the seventh inning trailing by three runs, but this team never gives up. They rallied for three runs thanks to hits by third baseman Gavin Bender, first baseman Sully Baily, an RBI sacrifice fly from left fielder Ando Butner, a couple of walks from Everett Glass and James Stadt and a clutch single up the middle to score two runs by David Gonzales. The game was tied at 7-7 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning and the Dons were fired up!

Unfortunately the boys could not hold leads on Thursday. The usual reliable Dons pitching staff had an off day. Isaac Copen started the game on the hill and gave up three runs, with three walks, two hits and four strikeouts in his 2.2 innings of work.

He was relieved by Branson Smith who gave up four runs, with two walks, five hits and four strikeouts in a 3.1 inning outing. It was Smith’s twelfth appearance of his strong season. Branson finished the regular season with a 1.52 ERA. The Sophomore has had an outstanding year.

Mason Zirkel came in to pitch the bottom of the seventh and ended up giving up a run, a couple of hits and two intentional walks. It was the first run that he gave up in league play this year. Mason finished the regular season with a tight 1.11 ERA. Freshman Tyler Winkles replaced Zirkel at second base when Mason came in to pitch. It was Winkles first inning in the field in his high school career. He has a bright future ahead on him on the diamond.

Offensively the boys were led by David Gonzales and Gavin Bender with with three hits and Goddard, Sully Bailey and Zirkel with two hits, including a booming double by Mason over the center fielders head. DH Drew Asadorian and James Stadt both walked twice on Thursday to add to the Acalanes attack.

It was a gut punch loss that shouldn’t tarnish a great season. The boys set a school record starting 17-0 and are in position to make a nice run in NCS competition. The games start next week. The match ups and locations will be announced this weekend. Stand by for more information on your favorite Dons Nations platforms. Let’s keep the energy up and get ready for more outstanding baseball. Go Dons!