Solid hitting, pitching carries De Anza Dons past Mission College Saints 5-1

The De Anza college Dons battled their way past Mission College in a 5-1 victory at Mission on Saturday, April 22 in a must win game that helped keep the Don’s playoff hopes alive.

“I thought it was gonna be a good game coming in because Mission is always a good team,” catcher Ro Mahanty said. “We’ve had good battles in the past with them.”

The team focused on specific areas to work on during practice before playing against them.

“Offensively, we did a pretty good job,” Mahanty said. “Each team has something different to bring to the table.” He said the team mostly focused on the game, playing catch throwing strikes and keeping its offensive approach.

Designated hitter Nicholas Kafer said that the Dons played solid catch throughout the game. The Dons only committed one error which came late in the game, but had no effect on the score.

“We made sure we shut down their run game,” Kafer said. “We came to the play with a good approach, and able to drive the ball and made sure to keep these guys on base.”

Before the game, the Dons paid extra attention to preparing for their at bats against Mission’s starting pitcher.

“This guy who was pitching a fastball switches speeds, so we were making adjustments,” Kafer said. “We came knowing how he was going to throw it. We were ready for that.”

From their preparation, the Dons knew they had to focus on their offense for this matchup.

“We have to attack. We always have a scattering point. Every week is different. We prepare different, we know what we’re getting,” pitcher Justin Contreras said.

The Don’s bats came alive with De Anza batters recording six hits in the game. Only two of the Dons’ five runs were earned, but the solid hitting put runners in position to score on sacrifices Mission’s errors.

Head coach Erick Raich praised his team’s effort in the field.

“We pitched and played a great catch. I’d like to see us catching with more runners on base. When you pitch and play catch, you’re going to be in every game,” he said. Raich was very pleased, and said the catch was phenomenal.

He said that it was a fun game, and there was couple of base running mistakes that they shouldn’t have made. Raich said it was something they recently practiced. and that they have to work on it more.
Note: The Dons went on to  win their next two games against West Valley, but Chabot stayed hot, preventing the Dons from reaching the playoffs.