The Walnut Creek Crawdads mercy ruled their first opponents of the season in seven innings of play.
By Annika Bereny
DANVILLE, Ca – The Walnut Creek Crawdads got a hot start to their season, rivaling the 85-degree Danville heat as they mercy-ruled non-league opponents the Alameda Anchors 13-2 in front of a large home crowd.
A three home run game helped propel the Crawdads to victory, making up five of the team’s runs on Sunday. Most notable of the three was a blast out to left field by first baseman Joey Donnelly, a sophomore out of UC-Berkeley, who knocked two runs in with his hit. Ryan Ellis out of St. Mary’s College and Tyson Pointer out of the University of Texas at Arlington made up the other two homers for Walnut Creek, each with a solo shot out of the park.
Shaky pitching and errors from the infield were the downfall of Alameda today, as seven of the Crawdads’ 13 runs came unearned due to wild pitches and overthrows on easy outs. A lot of this disconnect may be chalked up to nerves as well as the lack of communication between players still getting to know each other. The Anchors are, however, in the early stages of their season and likely to become a more cohesive team as the summer progresses.
Despite the great day that the Walnut Creek bats had, there were a collection of gems from their defense as well. Possibly the play of the game was a moment when catcher Sam Gilliam, a junior out of Sacramento State, made a diving catch, colliding with the wooden wall behind the batter’s box to end the top of the third inning with a runner in scoring position for the Anchors. The Crawdads’ home crowd reached its loudest then, cheering on that flash of the leather by their own.
For the Anchors, Dylan Lee performed well under the bright lights of Monte Vista High School’s baseball stadium. The right-handed pitcher out of Lewis & Clark College showcased his nasty curveball to strike out two hitters and prevent any runs from scoring in his 1.1 innings of play. His name will certainly be one to watch as the Anchors continue their season.
Next up for the Crawdads is a trip up the road to face the Bay Area Admirals in Vacaville before rematching them in their home stadium of Monte Vista High School. With a season opener where Walnut Creek proved that their success last summer will only continue to grow, they look ahead to what will surely be a promising season.