By Kyle Foster
Twitter: @NapaKyle @NapaSportsLive
When you’re playing good baseball things tend to go your way. That was the case for the Napa Valley College baseball team in their 6-3 win over Mendocino.
The Storm (11-19 overall, 5-7 Bay Valley Conference) have had a strong week coming into the game against the Eagles (18-15, 8-7 BVC), having won three in a row before their win on Saturday afternoon.
“I think the biggest thing for us in the two years that I’ve been here, we build the mentality that we’re in the every game, so we’ve lost I think ten games by one run, and that’s tough to swallow, but never in any of those games we felt like we weren’t going to win just our mindset is that we’re always going to win, we’re very confident as a team, as a program, and all of our individuals are extremely confident,” Napa Valley College coach second-year coach Dan Parker said of the recent role his team has been on.
“I mean it’s just a bunch of confidence, I mean we’re all a bunch of guys that show up to the yard everyday, work, get better, and just keep that momentum on our side,” NVC sophomore pitcher and catcher Jacob Ray explained on the importance of the four-win week. “I mean it’s been a good week for us, we came in struggling, and we just all started pulling together you know, it’s just a big team win this week — looking forward to next.”
Mendocino scored the first run of the game in the games first inning of play. A Joe Brazil double brought in Carter Kimberly who walked and advanced to second on a single previously.
Napa answered the Eagles first inning run with one of their own when Justin Banks singled in Joey Kassis who had singled and stole second.
Mendocino retook the lead with a two-run top of the third, which also ended their scoring for the day. A Samuel Penning solo home run led off the inning. Mat Silva singled and moved to third by way of a stolen base and wild pitch, and scored Austin Jackson sacrifice fly.
Napa got another run in the bottom of the third to bring them to within one before they took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Parker explained that that inning was the one that changed the game.
“It was hard to make decisions to fight for just one run an inning, but we had three innings there where we had opportunities to score three runs if we played some small ball and that’s not something that I typically like to do, but in that situation I thought it was important to get two quality runs late,” Parker explained of the fifth inning.
NVC got one more run in the sixth.
The final Napa Valley run came in the bottom of the eighth, which was a key for Storm closer Jacob Ray to record the final three outs, and record the save.
“Oh it was a huge boost of confidence,” Ray explained of the relief of the extra run scored in the bottom of the eighth. “I’ve got full confidence in my teammates, I mean just getting that extra run just gave me the extra run where I could go out there and I could get a guy on, and I don’t really got to worry about it, but all in all it was just a big team win today.”
Ben Aguigui got the win for Napa Valley — he went five innings giving up all three runs while striking out three and walked one on the day.
Napa Valley will next host Los Medanos-Pittsburg on Monday at 2:30 p.m.