Matt Trask had one hit in three plate appearances last spring. Mostly, he was dialed in as an emerging ace for Davis High School.
Trask now wields a heavy, productive bat to go with his pitching duties in becoming one of the Sac-Joaquin Section's more complete performers.
And for good measure, he's perfected the walk-off role. The junior smacked a sharp single to left Tuesday afternoon to propel Bee No. 2 Davis past top-ranked Elk Grove 3-2 in another dramatic last at-bat effort against the Blue Devils' fierce rival in the Delta Valley Conference championship game.
Last month, Trask had the game-winning hit in a 2-1 victory over the Herd. He absorbed a tough loss on the mound Friday at Elk Grove (when the teams' rankings were flip-flopped). This time, Trask was mobbed as the Blue Devils celebrated the program's fourth league banner since 2008, capping a chippy and chirpy afternoon that again included coaches from both sides chewing on umpires, and umpires chewing right back. This has become the norm when these teams meet.
"I think (Elk Grove coach Jeff) Carlson chews on an ump at least once an inning," Trask said with a grin. "It gets emotional (when we play them). I feel like we'll play them in the playoffs. I was upset with the loss on Friday against them, but I turned the page quickly." Trask is batting .455 and has 19 RBIs.
Davis' No. 2 pitcher, Bobby Young, struck out four and hard-throwing reliever Adam Inouye struck out three.
Ryan Kreidler gave Davis a 2-1 lead in the third with a hard shot off pitcher Mickey Wright's glove, scoring Brett Bloomfield. Derek Hill tied it 2-2 for Elk Grove with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Carlson, the veteran coach who was seeking the program's 10th league championship since 2001, said he protested the game to match the protest Davis had levied before the game, all linked to Davis senior star Joe Murray. Murray was ejected from Friday's game for crashing into Elk Grove catcher Dom Nunez at the plate, and per CIF rules, ejected players or coaches must sit out the next game. By the letter of the rule, an ejected player cannot be in the dugout.
Davis coach Dan Ariola said he cleared it with Carlson during warmups so Murray could go through the Senior Day ceremonies. Murray remained in the dugout, in uniform, until Carlson protested during play. The umpires instructed Murray to leave. Carlson said he made the move after Murray offered words during a heated moment.
"He's not supposed to be here," Carlson said of Murray. "Believe me, I know the rules. I've been thrown out of enough games."
Murray rejoined his jubilant teammates well after the final pitch. He didn't deny getting chatty during the game and he admitted a fourth meeting between the programs that have combined for six section titles since 2000 is inevitable.
"I don't know what the rule is on sitting in the dugout, but I know Elk Grove was trying to win a championship," Ariola said. "It was a great atmosphere. I think we'll see Elk Grove again. I hope we do."