By Kyle Foster
Twitter: @NapaKyle @NapaSportsLive
Not all wins are satisfying even if they’re by a score of 14-4 as was the case for the Napa High baseball team Tuesday.
The Indians of Napa (10-10 overall, 4-5 Monticello Empire League) scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first. Jason Pridy walked and later scored when Caden Cortese reached on a fielder’s choice and on the same play there was a throwing error by Anthony Thomas.
Napa jumped out to a nine-run lead after scoring eight runs in the bottom of the second.
After the bottom of the second Napa’s energy wasn’t there, and it was like they were going through the motions the final four innings of the contest according to Napa coach Todd Pridy.
“In no way do I want to disrespect the other team, but I know that we came out ready to play and we came out and took some good at-bats in the first inning, we came out and were fortunate enough to hit the ball well, take advantage of some mistakes and put up eight in the second and then we relaxed,” Pridy said of the game post second inning. “For a team that’s sitting on the bubble of .500 for most of the season, you need to recognize the opportunities to put a team away and we came out and made some what I consider to be very uncharacteristic mistakes and I just think that we need to expect more from ourselves and that kind of a let down after a big inning like that you should stay hungry, you should stay motivated and in that respect we pretty much went the opposite direction and for a coaching staff that’s around this team every single day we could clearly see it — I don’t know how visible it was to anybody else, but for us watching that knowing what we’re capable of and how we work and how we plan that was disappointing, but with that being said it was a good win, the bats continued to stay hot, but I guess in the parts of the game where you can be tempted to relax we can’t afford to do that, we’re not good enough to do that and Armijo has had their lumps this year and there’s nothing more dangerous than a team that’s hungry, and they’re hungry, so we were fortunate enough to put up that big number and we were able to extend it here near the end of the game, but I think everybody here recognizes that we need to expect more of ourselves, and again no disrespect to our opponent — it’s about what we do and the way we were going about our business. We are capable of doing a better job.”
Armijo (1-15-1, 0-9 MEL) scored their first run of the day in the top of the third.
The Indians of Armijo scored their first three runs of the day in the top of the fifth. A single by Cole Thompson started everything, followed by a uncharacteristic error by Napa third baseman Trent Maher to allow Brad Williams to get on base gave the Indians life. Thomas had a triple to bring home Thomson and Williams. Thomas later scored on a Ryne Richard single.
“Yeah, and there were also errors that don’t show up in the error column, balls that we didn’t attack that we should’ve turned two on that we sat back on,” Pridy added on the errors that don’t normally happen. “We had a couple plays where we didn’t move our feet and it’s just not the brand of ball that we come to expect here, so we’ll get back to the drawing board tomorrow and today’s a learning lesson and again happy about the win, happy that the bats were rolling, but we were able to take advantage of some miscues and throwing errors and we were able to extend the lead, but under no circumstances are we going expect that to be the difference for Thursday and Friday’s games — we have to be better.”
Napa tacked on another run in the bottom half of the fifth, and four in the sixth.
The bright spot for Napa was on the mound as senior left-handed reliever Brandon Herter had a good days work. Over 1 and ⅓ innings of work he struck out three.
“Herter was outstanding on the mound, came in with two outs and I think he went fastball, breaking ball, breaking ball and locked the guy looking on three pitches, goes out has another dominant inning — he was throwing great we were going to get him out of there because we wanted to keep that arm fresh for the two games we’ve got coming up Thursday, Friday,” Pridy said of the seniors good performance on the mound. “And he also had a great day at the dish (2-for-4, two singles), I mean he swung the bat well. We say that yesterday (Monday) in batting practice and kinda slid him back up into that five spot where he’s been the majority of the year and he responded, so good job for him.”
If Napa can win their games Thursday and Friday both which are at Fairfield against the same Armijo team they will keep themselves in contention for the CIF Sac-Joaquin division I baseball playoffs.
“We need to take care of business this week to stay relevant in the playoff conversation,” Pridy explained of the importance of this week’s games. “It’s an opportunity to as you said kind of create the proper momentum heading into some really big games. If we can take care of our business this week our name doesn’t fade away in the playoff conversation, and then you know a couple big games with Rodriguez coming up, and then the Vintage games are always exciting and you never know what’s going to happen, so these ones are vital.”