By Kyle Foster
Twitter: @NapaKyle @NapaSportsLive
YOUNTVILLE-Sometimes in baseball a team just comes out ready to play — that was the case for Napa as they beat rival Vintage 10-0 in six innings Thursday afternoon.
“It is,” Napa coach Todd Pridy said of winning the first Big Game of the year. “It’s nice to get that first one in the win column for league, playing Vintage is always special, I know a lot of the kids over there, they all know each other — this game always comes with a little bit of extra excitement, but you’ve gotta keep that in check and execute a game plan and like I said earlier the pitching, the offense, defense, base running was great — they did a great job today.”
“Oh it feels great,” Napa senior pitcher Andrew Raymond said of taking the first Big Game. “This is one that I’ll remember for a while definitely because senior Big Game especially pitching like this, just getting a win, it’s always special and something that we’re all going to be able to remember for a while.”
The Indians (7-6 overall, 1-1 Monticello Empire League) jumped out to a sizable lead right away scoring four runs in the top of the first. After Colton Maher walked, and Jason Pridy singled they both scored on a Caden Cortese double. Cortese scored on Brandon Herter groundout, and Jessell scored on a Charles Gravett groundout.
“They did, and you can not overemphasize the importance of being able to put up runs in the top of the first, and then have it be a crooked number and it actually be four (runs),” Pridy explained of the early amount of runs. “It creates momentum in both directions, and having Andrew (Raymond) be on point the way he was and being able to throw the way he did in the bottom of the first kinda set the tone for the game.”
“All the credit goes to my teammates because without them I wouldn’t be performing like I was today because putting up a four spot I believe in the first inning, that helps your confidence tremendously to go out there and work,” Raymond said of the four-run top of the first.
Napa scored another five runs in the top of the fifth to extend the lead to 9-0. Another run in the top if the sixth made it a ten-run game.
The Crushers (6-6, 1-2 MEL) had their best chance to score in the bottom of the first.Troy Ghisletta singled and stole second, but Jason Brandow struck out to end the threat.
Raymond got the win for Napa. The senior went all five innings giving up only two hits while striking out six and walking two.
“I thought he did a great job, especially with that curveball and just threw a bunch of strikes,” Vintage coach Rich Anderson said of Raymond’s effort. “In a situation like this we spotted them a four-run lead and you wanna just go out and throw strikes and make your defense play and he did that for sure.”
“I’ve been coaching him a long, long time all the way back to when they were little in little league and stuff watching him and working with him and stuff and that’s pretty darn good,” Pridy said of his senior hurler. “That was a solid, solid outing. He was up for the challenge. He had a rough go of it down south in his first start in the tournament we were in, bounced back near the end of the tournament, threw well on his dads birthday and then this was his next outing and this is one he won’t forget.”
Eli Wood took the loss for Vintage. The junior went 4 and ⅓ innings giving up nine runs. He walked two as well.
Both teams are scheduled to play Friday afternoon, but weather is supposed to wipeout games for the weekend. Napa would visit Vacaville, while Vintage is scheduled to visit Davis; both games are scheduled to start at 4 p.m.