Dons triumph over Reedley in 4-3 walk-off win

Talina Rocha, Staff Writer

The De Anza Dons baseball team earned their first win of the season against Reedley College in a nerve racking nine innings.

Starting pitcher Alex Zarate went five innings allowing only one run in the third, leaving the Dons trailing 1-0 behind the Tigers.

Entering the third inning with De Anza loading the bases, Justin Edgar hit a sacrifice fly to bring Joey Shimono home tying the game at 1-1.

Through the next two innings, the score remained the same. Many opportunities came for the Dons in the fifth as Shimono rounded the bases stealing second, allowing Danny Molinari to slide home, but was called out on the play.

Alex Martinez was substituted for Zarate in the sixth inning while the score was even 1-1. With De Anza at bat and the bases loaded, the Dons still couldn’t find a way to take the lead.

In the seventh inning, Reedley wasn’t able to get on board leaving the score at 1-1. With a runner on base and Justin Edgar up to bat, De Anza took the lead with a two run home run leaving Reedley trailing 3-1.

Reedley quickly responded in the eighth, cutting the deficit in half leaving the score 3-2 late in the game.

With minor errors in the top of the ninth allowing runners to advance to third and first, Reedley College tied the game 3-3. De Anza struggled to get the last three outs, but Martinez kept his composure and was able to keep Reedley from scoring anymore runs.

“First time pitching in a while; felt beautiful to get the first win of the year,” Martinez said.

As the Dons took their turn to bat, tied in the bottom of the ninth, it was a make it or break it moment. The first batter, Nate Bock, hit a single and got on base, followed by a walk making it two runners on base. Bock and Shimono waited patiently for the next batter TJ Conroy.

A Conroy single followed by an error brought Bock home to score the game winning run in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Dons a satisfactory win.

“This win feels amazing,” Edgar said.

Starting pitcher Zarate said he felt good knowing he could trust his defense. The win lifted the spirits of the team, head coach Erick Raich said.

“It’s nice to get one out of the way, and hopefully more to come.”

The next home game for the Dons is on Tuesday Feb. 10 against Contra Costa College at 2 p.m.