Baseball: Vintage drubs American Canyon 13-1 in 5 innings

Baseball: Vintage drubs American Canyon 13-1 in 5 innings

Vintage’s Kai Gulliksen reacts after tagging out American Canyon’s Mason Harris on an attempted steal of second base during a Vine Valley Athletic League game in Napa on Thursday. 


American Canyon’s Sovann Som stretches out to make a catch in center field during a Vine Valley Athletic League game at Vintage on Thursday.



Vintage’s Noah Piersig delivers a pitch against visiting American Canyon on Thursday. 


Vintage’s Austin Buffler slides safely into second base as American Canyon shortstop Dylan Brown catches a late throw in Napa on Thursday.


American Canyon’s Andre Lopez drops his bat after putting the ball in play at Vintage on Thursday.



Vintage’s Ian Fernandez watches the ball after making contact during an at-bat against American Canyon on 

American Canyon’s Mason Harris pitches to a Vintage batter on Thursday.


Vintage’s Austin Buffler attempts to make a diving catch against American Canyon in Napa on Thursday.


Vintage’s John Bullock looks towards teammates and claps after reaching second base during a home game against American Canyon on Thursday.



American Canyon junior Noah Johnson, shown swinging at Vintage on March 28, had one of the Wolves’ 10 hits at Justin-Siena on Tuesday.



Vintage’s John Bullock (10) smiles after he and Blake Porter (9) score on a James Burgess single for a 4-1 lead in the first inning against American Canyon on Thursday.




A Vintage baseball player stands on first base during a Vine Valley Athletic League baseball game against American Canyon on Thursday, March 28.



A scene from a Vine Valley Athletic League baseball game between Vintage and visiting American Canyon on Thursday, March 28.



Vintage third baseman John Bullock tags an American Canyon baserunner on Thursday.



American Canyon’s Sovann Som makes contact during a Vine Valley Athletic League game against Vintage in Napa on March 28.



Vintage left fielder James Burgess makes a running catch against visiting American Canyon on Thursday.



Vintage’s Ian Fernandez singles off American Canyon ace Mason Harris during the Crushers’ 8-run rally in the 4th inning in Napa on March 28.



When a pitcher goes out and dominates a batting lineup, it makes winning a lot easier.


That was what senior Noah Piersig did in leading Vintage past visiting American Canyon, 13-1, on Thursday in a mercy rule-shortened game that was called after five innings.


The right-hander hurled the first four innings and threw just 67 pitches for the Crushers, who improved to 5-6 overall and 3-1 in the Vine Valley Athletic League.


Piersig gave up 6 hits, struck out 2 and walked 1 on the way to getting his second win of the season.


“He competes and we’re going to run him (deep into the game) every time he gets to throw,” Vintage head coach Billy Smith said. “We know that we got a guy that’s gonna throw a lot of strikes and go right after hitters and he’s done that every game.”


Piersig kept hitters off balance all day thanks to a strong breaking ball. He allowed one unearned run. Blake Porter pitched a hitless fifth with a walk and a strikeout.


“I came out in a little trouble in the first but managed to get out of it with the double play,” Piersig said of his day on the hill. “I had a good defense behind me today and trust from my coaches, which definitely helped. But yeah, the curveball was working. I got a couple of guys fooled on that.”


American Canyon (6-7, 0-2 VVAL) scored its lone run of the game in the first inning. Jaedon Mendoza was hit by a pitch and moved to third when Mason Harris reached on an error. Following a Kamari Antoncich single to load the bases, a single by Andre Lopez brought in Mendoza.


“We came out kind of flat at the top of the first on Tuesday,” American Canyon head coach Matt Brown said a 13-5 home loss to Vintage that snapped a five-game win streak. “So that was kind of a focus for us, to come out strong. Being able to score first was one of our objectives.”


But Vintage responded with a four-run rally in the bottom of the first to grab the momentum for good.


It all started at the top of the order when Dario Freschi singled, stole second and scored on a single by Ian Fernandez. After swiping second and getting to third on an error, Fernandez came in on a wild pitch. Blake Porter and John Bullock each walked and moved up a base on a wild pitch before scoring on a James Burgess single to make it 4-1.


“Well, our bats really got going Tuesday in AC and we carried that momentum at the plate into today’s game,” Piersig said of the fast start on offense. “In today’s game, it got started with Dario just ripping a single and the rest of the guys just did their part. We’ve really been executing.”


Vintage’s Noah Piersig walks American Canyon’s Jaedon Mendoza before striking out Khalil Hunter in the fifth inning in Napa on March 28.



The Crushers scored another run in the third, when Bullock was hit by a pitch, went to third on a Piersig single, and scored when Jack Chiu grounded into a double play.


Vintage assured it would be a short contest by exploding for eight runs in the fourth, sending 11 men to the plate.


Burgess walked, Austin Buffler singled, and an error allowed Burgess to score while also getting Buffler to second. A Freschi single brought in Buffler. Fernandez singled to put runners at the corners. Porter’s sacrifice fly to right field brought home Freschi. Following a Bullock double to center, there were runners at second and third for Piersig, who singled to score Fernandez. A double down the right-field line by Chiu scored Bullock and moved Piersig to third. Piersig and Chiu scored on a single by Burgess, who went on to score his second run of the inning to make it 13-1.


Another thing the Crushers did well was put pressure on the defense by using their legs, stealing four bags and executing a pair of hit-and-runs.


“I didn’t want to sit and wait around,” Smith explained of being aggressive on the bases throughout the game. “I wanted to make things happen and make them play catch.”


Leading the Vintage offensive attack in the game were Burgess (2 for 2, walk, 2 runs scored, 4 RBI), Bullock (1 for 1, double, walk, 3 runs), Fernandez (2 for 3, 2 runs, stolen base, RBI), Freschi (2 for 3, 2 runs, stolen base, RBI), Piersig (2 for 3, run, RBI), Buffler (1 for 2 run, stolen base) and Chiu (1 for 3 double, run, RBI).


The Wolves had other chances to score and change the momentum, but were unable to get the timely hits. American Canyon was 2 for 6 with runners in scoring position.


In the second for the Wolves, Archer Hilsabeck walked and got to second on a single by Dylan Brown. However, the inning ended one at-bat later.


American Canyon had another chance in the fourth, when Sovann Som reached on an infield single and got to second on an error but was stranded.


“Vintage has a great defensive team, first of all, and I think we only struck out twice this game,” Brown said of having a tough time scoring with ducks on the pond. “I have to go back and look, but guys were putting balls in play and they weren’t dropping.”


Leading the Wolves at the plate in the game were Harris (2 for 2), Lopez (1 for 2, RBI), Som (1 for 2), Noah Johnson (1 for 2), Antoncich (1 for 3) and Dylan Brown (1 for 3).


Harris took the loss on the mound after a rough 3 1/3 innings, allowing 11 earned runs on 9 hits, 3 walks, 2 hit batters and 3 strikeouts.


American Canyon will host VVAL leader Casa Grande (7-3, 2-0 VVAL) on Tuesday and visit the Gauchos on Thursday.


Vintage is scheduled to play this Friday through Wednesday in the Concord Tournament and host Sonoma Valley on Thursday. The Crushers’ road game against the Dragons is slated for April 26.



1981 — Sophomore guard Isiah Thomas scores 23 points to lead Indiana to a 63-50 victory over North Carolina to win the NCAA basketball title.



Gideon Canice

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