Dons tops King’s Academy in first Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division baseball game | Local
When King’s Academy traveled to San Mateo to face Aragon for a baseball game on Wednesday afternoon, it looked like a game between two teams that had played five games and three games, respectively.
There was sloppy play, bouncing balls, mistakes, hesitations – all signs of two teams just trying to figure out what kind of teams they have as Aragon held on for a 5-4 win.
Due to a contentious spring break, both teams were forced to start play at Bay two weeks before the rest of the PAL entered league games.
“[The game] looked like a game at the start of the year,” said Souza, whose side improved to 3-1 on aggregate and 1-0 in the league.
“It’s not fun to play league games so soon,” Souza continued. “We are always trying to figure out who we are. … It sucks to play Game 4 of the season as Game 7 of the World Series.
Despite only having five hits against a pair of TKA pitchers, the Dons took advantage of the base runners they got. Aragon worked six walks and had four more on errors.
And when the Dons got to goal, they were running, stealing nine bases to get into scoring position, then taking the opportunity to put the ball in play.
“We realized early on that we could race,” Souza said. “We created our own luck. We played aggressively and that helped.
After charging the bases but finding themselves empty late in the first set, Aragon got on the scoreboard first by scraping a run in the second set. Ronin Lee started the inning by drawing a walk on a full count. He would steal second and move to third on wild pitch, scoring on a hesitation when at-batting Ryan Fernandez. Fernandez would eventually reach a hit to put the runners in the corners, but a strikeout ended the inning.
TKA (1-4-1) responded with four runs in the top of the third inning. Aragon starter Ashton Moniz-Witten, who made it through the first two innings, struggled in the third as the Knights sent eight batters home. Aiden Rhee started the rally getting hit by a pitch and moved into second on a sacrificial bunt. Trevor Burgett then hit an error to put the runners up first and second and Trevor Polk’s RBI single to shallow center tied the game at 1. Knights a 4-1 advantage.
It was short-lived, however, as the Dons came back with four points alone down the frame. Aragon only had three hits in the inning, but the Dons walked two, got two more runners on errors, stole four bases and capitalized on a second TKA dismissal. The Dons pulled off a delayed double steal, with Colin Trizuto, who had doubled earlier in the set, scoring from the back. Lee and Schuyler Ng each made runs with singles while Noah Frandsen also ended up scoring, pushing the Dons over the top, 5-4.
From there, Moniz-Witten and Trizuto took Aragon home. Moniz-Witten – who fought for five innings, allowing eight hits but striking out six – came out in fourth and extinguished a TKA rally that saw Knights in second and third with two outs. He came out of the inning with one strikeout.
“Ashton did a great job without his best players,” Souza said.
Trizuto came in to throw the sixth, hitting the side. In the top of the seventh, he hit a batter on an 0-2 count with one out, but induced the next batter in a late game double play, with an assist from the plate umpire, who got first called the runner. after the runner at second slammed into Aragon second baseman Addison Yeh, drawing interference from the runner and ending the game.
Despite the ugliness of the game, Souza was happy to get the win.
“A win is a win,” Souza said. “It’s just super weird to play a league game so soon.”