0

Snow baseball in Martinez?

When my brain has thawed out, I’ll need to come up with a suitable nickname for tonight’s Alhambra Easter Classic championship game between Albany and Dougherty Valley. With the final pitch coming at just about 10:30 p.m., the Cougars walked away with a 9-8 win and a tournament title.

Let me start from the beginning on this one. I showed up at Alhambra at about 6:20 for a scheduled 7 p.m. first pitch between the Cougars and Wildcats. At about 6:35, the weather that had been threatening all evening finally materialized. Only, it wasn’t rain. It was hail. And lots of it. I headed under the stands, and the teams retreated to the dugouts to wait it out.

When it finally stopped, we had a rarity in Martinez — a white out. Check it out below.

IMAG0011

So yeah, that’s the field we were left with. Alhambra’s is an a FieldTurf field, so it got fairly slick for a little while. But, it stopped hailing, stopped raining and credit Alhambra coach Jay Heeb, who pulled out a leaf blower and had his players use it instead as a snow blower to clear the field.

The game started about 20 minutes late, and once it did, Dougherty Valley jumped out to a 2-0 lead after two innings. Albany got on the board in the third, scoring four runs in a rally keyed by a a 2-run single by Myles Rabin. The Cougars added four more in the fourth, with a 3-run triple by Myles Babitt providing the big blow.

Albany scratched out another run in the sixth to go up 9-3, but Dougherty Valley fought back. The Wildcats scored three unearned runs, and Joey Wilson drove in another and DV cut it to 9-7. The rally chased Albany starter Daniel Supple, who threw 130 pitches in 5 2/3 innings of work. His stats weren’t the best, but he battled hard for a long time and I thought his effort was awfully impressive.

Albany reliever Zach Chiang eventually got out of the jam, but Dougherty Valley made things even more interesting in the seventh. Ryan Masterson came in to close things out for Albany, and recorded the first two outs quickly. A harmless fly ball to right field by Andrew Ramos got lost in the lights though, and Ramos ended up on third. Cory Snider followed with an infield single, scoring Ramos to make it 9-8. Snider stole second, but Masterson got Ben Polansky to strike out on a great biting curve ball to end the game.

All in all, a heckuva effort from both teams on a cold, wet night in Martinez. And, having spent a couple days there this week, it was yet another successful tournament run by the Bulldogs and coach Heeb.

Now, I’m going to try to warm up.

Ben Enos