Michael Trask agonizes while watching his son pitch. He rocks, he sways, he camps out alone in his misery. On Thursday night, pop exhaled only when it was over. Matt Trask tossed a gem, and John Ariola and Trey Golston each drove in a run to pace Bee No. 1 Davis High School past No. 5 Jesuit 2-0 in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoff game at Candlestick Park-like cold and gusty Sacramento City College.
Four games into this wide-open large-school postseason scramble and this, fittingly, was the best show yet. The Blue Devils (22-6) is the only league champion to emerge as the event heads to a double elimination. Trask, a 6-foot-3 junior committed to UCLA, struck out 10 in a complete game. He allowed seven hits and walked one.
"Lots of close games for us," Matt Trask said. "It's kind of our thing."
As for his fretting father, Trask added with a grin, "At home, he's still nervous. He never relaxes with me."
Trask went head-to-head with another promising underclassman pitcher in Chris Loeb, a 6-2 sophomore left-hander who struck out six before being relieved in the sixth. He suffered his first loss after a 7-0 start.
Trask moved to 7-2 when Ariola charged in from center field to glove a Julian Barron drive with two runners on in the top of the seventh. Had that ball dropped in, Jesuit (21-8) may have pulled the upset.
"Great, great game," said Davis coach Dan Ariola, John's father. "Both kids threw well. We're the only 1-seed to get through. Feels good."
John Ariola scored Golston in the third with a single, and Golston drove in C.K. Hicks with a single in the sixth in a game that featured no extra-base hits. Jesuit eliminated Granite Bay 11-5 in an opener on Monday but was stymied by Trask in suffering just its second shutout of the season.
"I told our guys that our reward for beating Granite Bay was getting Davis and Matt Trask, and we have to be ready," Jesuit coach Joe Potulny said. "He's very good."
Potulny and Dan Ariola have been coaching friends for years. Alumni of their respective schools, they met in 1987 while getting their teaching credentials at National University. The coaches have competed against each other three times in nonleague games at Raley Field and several times in the playoffs, seemingly every one a thriller.
Pleasant Grove 5, Vacaville 2 (8) Nico Toni doubled home Josh Adams for the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, and the Eagles received strong pitching from Dalton Gomez and Brett Elgin to eliminate the Monticello Empire League champion Bulldogs.
Adams tripled off ace Elway Santistevan, and Toni drove a two-strike pitch to center to send the jubilant senior slugger home. Pleasant Grove added two runs on throwing errors a year after getting bounced in the opening round. Gomez, a sophomore, struck out five and Elgin, a junior, fanned three in relief, including two in the eighth.
"Dalton's been phenomenal all year," Pleasant Grove coach Rob Rinaldi said. "He was on today, then got a little tired, and Elgin was unfazed against their big hitters."