Dan Ariola didn’t know exactly what to expect this baseball season, but the Davis High School coach knew one thing.
The Blue Devils would compete.
Davis (9-0) is the lone upper-division unbeaten and untied team in the Sac-Joaquin Section, a start punctuated last week by a 10-6 victory over Bay Area power Serra of San Mateo for the North championship of the Boras Baseball Classic, one of the top tournaments in the country.
Davis jumped from unranked to No. 7 in this week’s Cal-Hi Sports Top 20.
Ariola was a Davis star and coached the Blue Devils to section Division I titles in 2000, 2004 and 2014, so this really matters to him. He won’t project any section titles this early in the season, but Ariola calls his team “confident and fearless.”
In the Boras tournament, Davis also beat Heritage of Brentwood 6-2, Oak Ridge 6-2 and Maria Carrillo of Santa Rosa 7-5 to top the 16-team North field. In the final against Serra, Reed Hessl drove in three runs and Tyler Gibson reached base four times to help the Blue Devils rally from a 5-0 deficit.
The Blue Devils will play the South winner May 7 at Cal in the tournament’s state championship game. The Boras South field plays this week.
Davis also is healthy this season. Standout shortstop Ryan Kreidler, a UCLA commit, sat all but one game last season with a wrist injury. He is batting .348 with nine RBIs and 11 runs. Pierce Tujo, who missed last season because of a sore arm, pitched 2 1/3 innings against Oak Ridge.
Ryan Holgate (.355, 11 RBIs), Gabe Gutierrez (.462) and Hunter Jury (.444) also are hitting well for the Blue Devils. The leading pitchers include Peter Frame (3-0), Ryan Bell (2-0) and Tyler Mortensen (2-0).
When Delta League play begins April 11, title contenders will include Davis, Elk Grove, Franklin, Jesuit, Pleasant Grove and Sheldon.
Big Red trip – Jesuit (7-2) placed seventh in the 14-team IMG National Classic in Florida, beating Carrollwood Day of Tampa, Fla., 11-3 and Moseley of Lynn Haven, Fla., 11-6 and losing to Rockledge (Fla.) 3-2 and Cullman (Ala.) 13-3.
Sophomore Cody Jensen, a Stanford commit, is 2-1 with two saves for Jesuit. Jack Wolger, a Cal commit, also has pitched well. Nick Sogard and Nick Iwasa were leading hitters for the Marauders in Florida.
Brothers bash – Christian Brothers (9-0-1) won the Woodland Easter Tournament by beating Winters 2-0 behind pitchers Andrew Guerra and Tanner Cunha. Jeremy Wackman is hitting .360 and Joe McNamara .343 for the Falcons.
Bulldogs uprising – Folsom won the Allegiantgiving.org Tournament with a 4-0 record after coming in at 0-4. Three times, the Bulldogs rallied in the seventh and final inning, including in the championship, a 5-1 win over Del Oro. Tournament MVP Josh Hook pitched six innings and drove in three runs in the title game.
Folsom also beat Antelope 7-6, Laguna Creek 9-6 and Bear River 7-6. Final-round games were held at Folsom Lake College and Del Oro High School.
Knights roaring – Rio Linda is 8-0 thanks to a lot of runs and stout pitching. The Knights shut out Center 6-0 and Foothill 12-0 and allowed one run each against Sacramento, Monterey Trail, San Juan and Mira Loma. Ace Cevin Longacre is 4-0. Ryan Aguilar is hitting .500 with 12 RBIs, and Jeremy Jones is batting .450 with nine RBIs.
Basketball finale – National No. 1 Chino Hills capped the prep basketball season with a 70-50 rout of De La Salle for the CIF Open Division boys title Saturday night at Sleep Train Arena.
Chino Hills (35-0) broke open a defensive game in the second half, entertaining the crowd with outlet passes, alley-oop dunks and blocked shots. Some observers regard the Huskies as one of the greatest teams in state history, with some national prep writers suggesting they could be one of the best teams in national history.
Only one starter will graduate – 6-foot-6 point guard Lonzo Ball, who is headed to UCLA and broke Jason Kidd’s state record for career assists this season. Ball had 15 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and four steals against De La Salle, which beat Sacramento in the NorCal Open semifinals. Ball’s younger brothers, LiAngelo, a junior, and LaMelo, a freshman, had 18 and 14 points, respectively.