By Kyle Foster, photos courtesy of Allene Salerno – Roseville, CA (leniespictures.smugmug.com)
Twitter: @NapaKyle @NapaSportsLive
ROSEVILLE-It’s over. Todd Pridy coached his final game Tuesday as Napa High head coach in their 6-5 loss to Woodcreek.
“It’s hard to compartmentalize things because what normally would happen at this moment is my brain is shifting to ‘okay the summer weeds are about to hit the yard, what’re all the guys doing for summer ball, what do we have to do to get ready for fall ball’ and all of those things they just aren’t mine anymore,” Pridy said after coaching the final game of his 17-year stint as skipper. “Like I said I’m okay with all of it, I’m comfortable with my decision, but there are going to have to be some life changes. And I know my two dogs are going to enjoy having me around a little bit more. And I’m pretty sure my front yard will look as good hopefully as the infield because I have no excuse now.”
Although the game was close throughout Pridy said his team only played two of the games four facets well on the day.
“What I can say about today’s game is that there is four facets of the game to play,” he said. “You have to be able to hit; you have to be able to pitch; you have to be able to play defense; you have to run the bases, and I thought we were pretty darn good at two of them. I think we hit the ball well and I think we pitched the ball well. And I think in some crucial spots we did not run the bases well and we did not take care of the baseball the way we’re supposed to. And it may not have been a glaring mistake, but it’s little things, it’s little pieces of the game that’ll jump up and bite you. I’m not sure if there’s an earned run up on the board for them — if you actually pay attention to how things unfolded. I mean that first inning we get two, we don’t handle a double play ball, they get two right back, you know what I mean? So, maybe if you were sitting in the stands that was an entertaining game, pretty frustrating from a coaches standpoint, and yet I knew the guys gave it everything they had. Just in a couple moments we weren’t ready to handle the moment and at this time of year playoff baseball you have to handle those moments.”
The Indians’ (15-13) opened up the game with two runs in the top of the first. Jason Pridy and Charles Gravett both scored when Brandon Herter came through with a clutch two out single.
Woodcreek (17-10) answered back with a two spot of their own in the bottom half of the first. Their second hitter in the order, Zach Watari singled and trotted home when Napa shortstop Nathan Jessell made a throwing error on what looked to be an easy inning ending double play ball. Later, Tyler Smith who had singled to get on scored on a Cameron Carr single.
Napa scored their final runs of the game with a three-run top of the third. Pridy walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Gravett single. Gravett found his way to the plate on a Jessell double and a fielding error by Woodcreek left fielder Justin Whitaker, which also allowed Jessell to take third. On the next at-bat Jessell scored on a wild pitch.
The Timberwolves chipped away at the Napa lead from the third inning on. They scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth on a single by Dennis Boatman.
They scored a run on a wild pitch in the fourth and scored the games winning run in the bottom of the sixth. In that sixth inning the run scored when Keagan Dougherty grounded out to Gravett to score Derek Taylor who after a pair of wild pitches was on third base.
“It was huge to get a couple runs — I think it was the fourth inning to start coming back and get that momentum,” Woodcreek junior pitcher Ryan Harvey said. “That helps me as much as anything else.”
The pitching was solid for Napa on the day. Andrew Raymond started and went 3 and ⅓ innings giving up four runs, but only two of them being earned runs. Colton Maher went two innings and gave up two runs. Caden Cortese went ⅔ of an inning and allowed one run to cross the plate, but it wasn’t a run charged to his ERA.
Smith started the game and went three innings for Woodcreek. Harvey ate up the other four innings to get a winning decision. Harvey struck out five and walked one.
“I wasn’t expected to pitch, I just came in and I knew we needed to win or we’re knocked out, so I just wanted to put up some scoreless innings and it worked,” Harvey said of coming in out of relief.