A Varsity Dons Baseball Player was Once a Lafayette Little League Player

A Varsity Dons Baseball Player was Once a Lafayette Little League Player

Dons show up to share their Acalanes baseball stories to the future Dons

As we know the Varsity Baseball season had their spring sport season cut short by COVID-19, with  Seniors saddened to miss out on their last high school sports season. The 2020 Dons baseball season was guaranteed to be a golden season.     The Acalanes Dons were one of the deepest teams in the NCS during 2019 and that same depth carried over to 2020 with returning seven starters and four pitchers. This well balanced Dons team was ready to take on the world!   Senior and Varsity baseball player Tommy Thrasher shared with a group of little leaugers on Tuesday, that he was looking forward to this year’s baseball season until life was interrupted with COVID, “Having your last season of high school baseball stripped from you isn’t  easy.

Nick Kresnak, Tommy Thrasher, and Nick Bamont paid a surprise visit to the Lafayette Little League  12 year old All Star team sharing their baseball insight. The three started out  highlighting  their great times playing at  the Buckeye Fields in Lafayette Little League. They reminisced with smiles, their big moments in the field from  amazing hits to  big catches  to playing all stars to  visiting the snack shack for a chili dog or a box of Lemonheads.  

Bamont started out telling the group, “We did not know our last practice was to be the last time we would be together as a  team.  We thought it was going to be three weeks and then we would be back. That day was the last time we stood on the Acalanes field as a team”.  Yet, baseball is not over for them. These three seniors will be heading to different colleges to play baseball, yet before they take off it was time to give back to the community, where they grew up and learned  the fundamentals of baseball.   The 12  All Stars listened intensely to Kresnak, Bamont and Thrasher recounted  their  little league memories and enumerated their baseball knowledge.

Their  words of wisdom contained messages of always improve yourself,  work hard,  learn from your mistakes and support one another as a team.  All three graduates  added and often repeated their success was because of   their baseball coaches over the years.    Coach Hoover, Acalanes Varsity Coach has been the biggest  influence on the trio.  They echoed  his praises of   patience, honesty, sincerity, positive leadership and  baseball expertise. Baseball success  requires constant  strategizing and observation, Hoover gets that!   Hoover taught his players to not worry about the score, just  focus on doing your job on the field right and in doing that, great results will come.  This is something Dons baseball players will take with them to college and beyond. 

The Dons triad  drove the message home to the future Dons, the moment a baseball player starts to think they can’t get any better, they’ve lost. If you think you’re the best and never work to improve on your craft, somebody is out there who will surpass you. The future high school baseball players of the class of 2026 walked away with the message of never stop improving, work hard, have fun, and keep believing in yourself. 

Congrats to the Varsity Seniors of 2020

Nicolas Bamont
Will Easley
Logan Hurd 
Nick Kresnak
Luke Miles
Cole Murgia 
Kade Shipp
Tommy Thrasher 

Life’s a fastball, belt high,
Coming right down the middle.
Don’t stand there and let it go bye
Swing hard and aim for the stands!

The Baseball Song by Corey Smith

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap into bases at a single bound…Frosh Dons WIN, 5-4

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap into bases at a single bound…Frosh Dons WIN, 5-4

There is nothing as sweet as a comeback, when you are down and out, about to lose, and out of time…

The Freshman Baseball team traveled to Pleasanton to play Foothill High School on Wednesday evening with parents in the stands cheering on the Falcons and Dons.

Dons took their first ups and could not get on base. The Falcons did find their way to the bases, scoring 3 runs in the first inning.  Miller Smith tried to get the party started for the Dons in second inning with a deep hit to left field and Ellis Burger took a walk to first base, yet the Dons could not bring it home.   The Falcons  put another run up  on the scoreboard to to make it 4 to 0 in the third inning. 

In the fourth inning,  Kyle Bielawski made it to first base as the short stop juggled the ball, followed by Smith with a full count took a walk to first base. Colin Norstad moved the runners around to second and third with a hit to the pitcher.    With two outs, Tyler ‘Worth a Ton’ Worthington hits a bomber to center for a single and score two for the Dons.  

In fifth inning, Andrew Habas is at the plate and sends it to center for a single.  Jospeh Castelli  had a hard hit to the short stop for an out and moves Habas to second base. Bielawski next up hits in long into the left field for a double and scoring Habas. The Dons were now behind by one run, Falcons 4 and Dons 3. 

Heading into the seventh inning, the Falcons strutted out on the field to get three quick outs, collect a win, wash their hands and head home for dinner. Well, that did not happen. There is nothing as sweet as a comeback, when you are down and out, about to lose, and out of time…

You are much stronger than you think and what you imagine. – Superman

Nikko Woodson smacks the ball between third base and short stop…Mason Michlitsch hits to the pitcher to move Woodson to second. Habas  back in the batter’s box, hits it the short stop and slide dives  into first base  like Superman (Side note: I wish we had a video clip because it was over the top, amazing…back to the story)…SAFE…and Woodson on third.   Habas took the opportunity to steal second, with the next batter striking out. It is now two outs, Bielawski is back with bat in hand, hits the ball deep to the center…Woodson scores….Habas rounds third with the ball coming in hard for him at home…once again, Habas Superman dives to home plate, dust all around and the umpire calls it …SAFE!  The Dons take the lead 5 to 4.   The Falcons had their last bats with three up and three down. The Dons strutted off  the field, collected their win, washed their hands and headed to In-n-Out for dinner.

Three Dons pitched for the win for Acalanes. Mason Michlitsch led things off on the hill for Dons.  Kyle Bielawski entered the game in the second inning and pitched for four innings with one strikeout and only one run scored.  Miller Smith took over in sixth inning to close the game and gave only one hit to the Falcons.  The Dons didn’t commit a single error in the field.  So cool!

Hit Summary for the Day: Nikko Woodson (2), Mason Michlitsch (2) Andrew Habas (2) Kyle Bielawski (1) Miller Smith (1)  Tyler Worthington (1) 

RBI Summary for the Day:  Kyle Bielawski (3)  Tyler Worthington (2) 

Superman Dives of the Day: Andrew Habas (2) 

Boys Golf puts up a good fight at De La Salle Tournament

Twenty of the top Northern California teams came out to play an 18 hole shoot out at the De La Salle Tournament. The match was moved to Ruby Hills Golf Club this year. Acalanes finished 18th place. Murphy Baker came in with the lowest round for the team at an 83. Ryan Reilly was close behind with an 84. Will Condy shot 87, Ely Pancoast 99 and Ryan Allen came in at an even 100.

BLUE-tiful Baseball Day for Frosh Dons in Moraga

BLUE-tiful  Baseball Day for Frosh Dons in Moraga

Bouncing back hard from a 3-1 loss in the first game of a doubleheader, Acalanes won game two, 8-3

School rivalries are the backbone to any high school sporting event, especially in Lamorinda. Ultimately, rivalries provide for fun and spirited games. Victory is always sweet, but it is even sweeter when it is against a rival team. For the day, the Acalanes Dons collected a total of 9 runs and the Campo Cougars took only 6. We call that a BLUE-tiful Day!

Game 1: We don’t lose. We either win or learn.

Both teams were strong on the mound on Saturday, but Campo was just a little bit stronger at the plate in game one. Mason Michlitsch started on the mound.  Tyson Bates and  Joseph Castelli  entered the game from the bullpen, throwing two and two-thirds innings and one-third of an inning respectively.

Cougars won 3-1. The Freshman Dons lost despite out-hitting Campo seven to five.

Game Two: Unfinished Business

The Frosh Dons scored more runs than Campo, takes victory back to the 94549 to the tune of 8-3

The Dons jumped on the scoreboard in the top of the second. Nikko Woodson with a single, Miller Smith with a double scoring Woodson. Smith stole third followed by a Campo balk on the mound, giving the Dons a free trip home, 2 to 1. In the fourth inning,   Smith doubled on a 2-1 count, scoring one run and Tyson Bates singled on a 1-0 count, scoring one run. The Dons wanted more! The team scored four runs in the fifth inning. The offensive onslaught by Joseph Castelli  and Tyler Worthington hitting the Dons to home plate, a single by Bates and a double by Smith.

Nikko Woodson led things off on the hill for the Dons. He went four innings, allowing two runs on six hits, and striking out three. Miller Smith came in to fifth inning and finished out the game with four strikeouts.

The Dons scattered ten hits in game two. Andrew Habas, Miller Smith and Tyson Bates managed multiple hits for the Dons. Smith hit three doubles for the Dons and Habas collected three hits.

Moraga police where called in for the second game-The Dons kept stealing!

The Dons stole 13 bases during the game as three players stole more than one. Andrew Habas led the way with five stolen bases and…Mrs. Habas we hope you have Oxy-Clean for Andrew’s pants. Dons win over the Cougars, 8 to 3.

Where did the baseball player wash his pants?… In the bleachers.

Hits Summary for the Day: Andrew Habas(4) Miller Smith(4) Nikko Woodson (3) Tyson Bates(2) Tyler Worthington(2) Mason Michlitsch(2)

RBI Summary for the Day: Tyson Bates(2) Miller Smith(2) Andrew Habas(1) Joseph Castelli(1) Tyler Worthington(1)

The Frosh Dons head to Foothill High School , Wednesday March 11 and Saturday, March 14 the Cougars visit the Dons in another doubleheader Saturday battle.

Track vs Clayton Valley

This past Wednesday, March 4th, we hosted Clayton Valley Charter for our first home  Diablo Athletic League (DAL) dual meet. Due to some major unforeseen issues with the timer we hired, the meet ran exceptionally long and there are still a lot of corrections to be made with the results.  Huge thank you to everyone who volunteered and participated!

As it stands now, our boys team cruised to a 78-57 victory and the score on the Girls side is still being verified.  On the girls side, despite incredibly valiant efforts from Caroline Crossland and Nicole Frigon, who hopped in the 3200 late in the meet in an effort to swing the score, we fell 63-59 – a heartbreaking loss that could have been swung by only one event. Big shoutout to Nicole for rallying her teammates and also running an outstanding leg in the 4×400 relay only 15 minutes after competing in the 3200m.

Next week, we start a 2 week road trip at Las Lomas for DAL #2! 

Photo Links: Galley 1, Gallery 2

Full results are here, highlights below. There were a lot of great performances – so many that we have had to split hurdles and sprints into separate categories for the first time!

Jumps

  • Portia Seymour and Gema Villafan-Perez both PR in the High Jump – Portia also wins the Triple Jump and currently ranks as the DAL #2 in High Jump
  • Owen McNamara polevaults to a DAL leading 13’10”
  • Scarlette McCullough returns to the pole vault, also posting a DAL leading mark
  • Marcela Wiznewska leads a squadron of her teammates to PRs in the Long Jump with a jump of 13’-10”
  • Devin Miniello PRs with a jump of 17’-5” in the Long Jump as well

Throws

  • Josh Ramlan hits 3 digits with a throw of 108’-5” in the discus – a PR of nearly 10 feet!
  • Ben Thistleton-Dyer and Brooke Blacklidge PR in both Shot and Disc
  • SPRINTS
  • Led by Dane Jenssen, our varsity boys sweep the 100 meter dash
  • Freshman Eli Brent posts a huge PR of 11.53 (and DAL #4) in the 100
  • Freshmen Sarah Gohres and Rachel Pan PR and take 3rd in the Frosh-Soph Girls 100 and 200 respectively, leading all of their teammates to PRs- both run impressive relay legs in the 4×100 and 4×400 as well
  • In the 400, freshmen Jasmine Lattimer and Laura Selle both PR  
  • Freshman Bennett Dodge posts an impressive 52.52 in the Varsity Boys 400m

Hurdles

  • Senior Emily Sverak wins the 300m Hurdles with a DAL #1 time
  • The 3 sophomores Marshall Lockwood, Evan Malmquist, and Connor Spellman PR sweep the Varsity Boys 110 Meter Hurdles 
  • Sophomore Josh Gohres leads a trio of Frosh-Soph Boys 300m hurdlers 
  • Finally, senior Kevin Mlynek PRs in the Boys 300m hurdles with a time of 41.53 – a DAL #1 mark and a #7 Acalanes all time mark

Distance

  • Freshman Taylor Carlin debuts with an impressive time of 6:05 in the 1600
  • On the Boys side, freshman Dominic Sarica turns heads in his 3200 debut
  • Junior Megan Baginski PRs in the 1600
  • Dominic Basaldua and Tyler Hunt take 1st and 2nd in the Boys 800 – both PR!
  • Lauren Yee and Nicole Frigon cruise to easy victories in the Girls 800 AND the girls 1600!
  • Andrew Owens breaks the 5 minute barrier in the boys 1600

Relays

  • Rayce Walton anchors the Boys 4×400 with a huge PR
  • Freshman Carly Harriman runs a great leg on the Varsity Girls 4×400, giving our team a chance
  • Lauren Yee leaves it all on the track and nearly snags the win for our Girls team – she also splits an impressive 61 seconds

Tough Match for Boys Golf

Sadly the cold, windy weather made for some tough rounds as the Dons fell to the Las Lomas Knights on Friday. The teams played at Acalanes’ home course, Rossmoor GC, for a 9 hole match, but fell short by 3 strokes. Mike O’Donnell led the team with a top score of 39, followed by Will Condy with a 41 and Tucker Gannon with a 42. Next match is Monday, March 9 at the De La Salle Tournament.

Varsity Baseball Co-Champs of Pittsburg Invitational

The Dons got their season underway this past week by becoming co-champions of the 2nd Annual Pittsburg Invitational Tournament, a tournament they also won last year. The tournament included all top D1 teams and ended up crowning co-champions because both semi-final games ended in ties, which led to having two “final” games.

2020 Varsity Dons

Dons win Game #1 (3-2) vs. Amador Valley High School: Nick Kresnak was an iron horse on the mound and went the full distance, pitching a complete game with just 3 hits, 1 ER and 9 K’s. Thatcher Hurd led the Dons’ offense, going 2 for 3 with 2 doubles, and 1 RBI. Luke Miles (1 RBI), Davis Diaz, and Brady Huchingson also had hits in the game. Kresnak was awarded Player of the Game for his excellent pitching performance.

Dons tie in an epic Game #2 (4-4) vs. Vacaville High: The match-up that pitted the #11 Vacaville Bulldogs against the #12 Acalanes Dons (in PBR state rankings) ended in an extra-innings tie when the game was called because it was time to turn the lights off at the ballpark! The competition was stiff and strong pitching on both sides shaped the game. Michael Castelli started for the Dons and pitched a gem, going 4.2 innings with 6 hits, 1 ER and 9 strikeouts. Logan Hurd picked up where Castelli left off, pitching 4.1 innings, with 4 hits, 1 ER and also 9 strikeouts. Dons offense was led by Tommy Thrasher who went 2-3 and was helped by Nick Kresnak (1H), Davis Diaz (1H), Thatcher Hurd (1RBI), Nicolas Bamont (1RBI) and Cole Murgia (1RBI).

Dons win Game #3 (6-1) vs. Berkeley High: The Dons extended their success on the mound, with Sam Winkles pitching six strong innings, allowing just 4 hits, 1 ER and striking out 7. Sophomore Dante Montgomery came in to close out the final inning, keeping Berkeley off the bases and striking out 2. Sophomore Kyle White (1H, 3B, 3RBI) was the offensive hero, and named Player of the Game, for coming up with a bases-loaded line drive triple in the six inning to blow the game open. After Nicolas Bamont (2H, 1RBI) knocked White in with a line drive single of his own, the Dons were up 6-1. Davis Diaz (1H, 2RBI) got the Dons on the board in the 1st inning with an RBI single that brought in Cole Murgia (1H) who had flexed his lead-off speed on the base paths and stole his way over to third base. Other offensive contributors in the game included: Nick Kresnak (1H, 2B) and Brady Huchingson (1H).

The Dons will build on this strong start to the season when they take on an always-talented Foothill High School squad on Wednesday, March 11 at 4pm at home. Come out and cheer on the Dons!

Follow on Twitter: @AcalanesDonsBB and on Instagram: acalanesbaseball

Nick Kresnak receiving his Player of the Game award for Game 1
Kyle White receiving his Player of the Game award for Game 3

Another Solid Performance for Boys Golf

The Dons came out strong at the Cowboy Classic tournament held at Wente Golf Course. Teams from all over the Bay Area brought their top players for the all-day, 18 hole competiton. Will Condy golfed a solid round of 74 followed by Tucker Gannon with a 77 and Joe Evans at 79. Mike O’Donnell shot an 82 and Murphy Baker an 88. Next match is at home (Rossmoor GC) Friday against Las Lomas.

Strong Start for Boys Golf

The Dons took on Alhambra at Franklin Canyon Golf Club and bested the team by an astounding 53 strokes! Will Condy led the pack shooting a 38, followed closely by Mike O’Donnell and Joe Evans, both shooting 39. Tucker Gannon came in with a 40, Murphy Baker a 41 and Ryan Reilly a 44. An impressive start – Congrats Dons!

Frosh Baseball traveled to Vacaville and faced high powered offense.

Frosh Baseball traveled to Vacaville and faced high powered offense.

Vacaville Bulldogs got the best of the Freshman Dons last Saturday 12-3. Maybe it was the long car ride or maybe it was all the headline coronavirus news, but the Dons just couldn’t match the Bulldogs hitting power this time around. Vacaville got on the board in the first inning, scattered a few more runs in the middle innings and unfortunately had a huge final inning to really tilt the score.

Joseph Castelli started on the mound for Acalanes and although he gave up 8 hits, he also struck out 10 batters and walked zero. Ellis Burger pitched in relief. The Dons defense will look to give better support to the pitching staff going forward. Highlights for the Dons offense: Kyle Bielawski went 2/3 at the plate, Mason Michlitsch had five stolen bases on the day and the team had 13. Acalanes batters collected 7 hits on the day.

Next game is a double header at Campolindo on Sat. March 7th 11 am. Come support your Dons baseball!