Piedmont baseball beats University, 8-1

Piedmont's Diego Delventhal watches the ball into his glove on a soft line drive on March 23. Delventhal turned the catch into a double play. (Photo by Damin Esper)

Piedmont High School’s baseball team got a thrill on March 23, playing at the home of the San Francisco Giants. The Highlanders defeated University-San Francisco 8-1 in the first game of the Dante Benedetti Classic at Oracle Park.

Winning the game to improve to 7-2 on the season was nice. But getting to play on a Major League field was definitely an attraction.

“I went to the 2014 World Series here and it was unreal,” Brandon Dicke said. “It’s amazing to play on this field. The field is perfect for playing on.”

Piedmont’s Peter Krumins hits a fly ball to center field in the first inning of the Highlanders 8-1 victory over University at Oracle Park in San Francisco on March 23. (Photo by Damin Esper)

Said Peter Krumins, “Walking out there in pregame, I was thinking of all of the amazing Giants moments that happened on this field. Gregor Blanco’s catch when Matt Cain threw the perfect game. Every single play that Brandon Crawford’s made at shortstop. Everything just came at me. It was so sweet.”

Krumins added, “Just driving over the bridge, I was tearing up. This is the first time I’m driving to Oracle Park to play.”

Everything seemed to work for Piedmont. Markos Lagios led off the game with a double to left and came around to score on a Dimitri Papahadjopoulos ground out. The Highlanders never trailed.

Shafer Dando and Jordan Vo led off the second getting hit by pitches from University starter Rohan Hartigan. Both came around to score in a three-run inning. Ellis Moss hit a sacrifice fly, Lagios singled in a run, and Will Parker singled in the third.

Lagios went 3-for-4 and scored three runs.

“If it’s there, I’m going to take a swing at it, no matter if it’s the first pitch of the game, the last pitch of the game, whatever,” Lagios said.

Lagios, unlike most of his teammates, is a Dodger fan. Piedmont was in the visitors dugout.

“I felt like Mookie Betts out there,” he said. “To come here and beat a team from San Francisco is always great.”

Piedmont’s Jack Meyjes prepares to make contact during a baseball game played at the Giants home at Oracle Park. The Highlanders defeated University, 8-1. (Photo by Damin Esper)

The Red Devils (5-5) got a run back in the bottom of the second to make it 4-1. Quincy Nash singled in the run but was thrown out at second base after the play at the plate on a nice throw by Hartigan backing up the play.

Piedmont broke the game open in the fifth with four runs, all unearned thanks to three University errors in the inning. Lagios singled in two of the runs to finish with three RBI.

John Olsen and Seve Sanchez combined on a three-hitter. Olsen went the first four, allowed the run and the three hits while striking out three. Sanchez went the final three innings, retiring eight of nine batters and striking out four.

Piedmont’s John Olsen throws a pitch at Oracle Park. The Highlanders beat University 8-1 as part of the Dante Benedetti Classic. (Photo by Damin Esper)

There was also plenty of defense. Second baseman Diego Delventhal started two double plays off soft line drives. Right fielder Dicke made a catch in right-center field that some might have called spectacular. Although a couple of teammates had differing views.

“That was a nice catch,” center fielder Lagios said. “I think he made it a little harder than he needed to make it. I think he just took a little bit of a different route to it but I mean it’s still an athletic play!”

Said Krumins, “A very unnecessary dive. But that’s what he does. You should see him in practice. He’s laying out for every single ball. His uniform is always dirty.”

Piedmont’s Brandon Dicke looks into his glove after making a catch in right field at Oracle Park on March 23 in an 8-1 win over University. (Photo by Damin Esper)

So what exactly happened on the play?

“I thought it was way in the gap, I’m like, ‘I’ve got to sprint for that,’ and then I overran it and then I caught it like this and I fell down,” Dicke said. “Yeah, I probably was being a drama queen, I’m not going to lie to you.”

It was all in good fun on a memorable day in San Francisco.

On March 20, Piedmont lost to Acalanes on the road, 10-3. Krumins took the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits in four innings. He struck out five but walked four. Dons catcher Benji O’Rourke went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Sully Bailey went 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Dando had two hits for the Highlanders.

On March 19, Piedmont defeated host St. Joseph-Notre Dame, 11-7. The Highlanders got five runs in the first three innings, then appeared to blow the game open with four in the sixth and two more in the seventh. But the Pilots rallied for seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to close the gap. After Brandon Ng singled in two runs in the bottom of the seventh, there were two runners on base with the potential tying run on deck. But George Bishop got Avery Sadie to pop out to end the game.

Piedmont’s William Ferreira dives back to first base as University’s Thomas Whythes tags him without the ball. Piedmont won, 8-1. (Photo by Damin Esper)

Moss pitched the first five innings, allowing one hit and no runs. He struck out four and walked three. Bishop pitched the final two innings.

Lagios, Delventhal, and Dicke each had two hits for Piedmont.

On March 15, Piedmont fell at Archie Williams, 5-4. The Peregrine Falcons led 5-1 but the Highlanders rallied for three in the seventh on a three-run home run by Lagios. However, Peter Irwin struck out Delventhal for the final out of a complete game. Irwin struck out eight, allowed five hits, and walked just one. Olsen allowed all five runs in five innings and took the loss.

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