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Both the No. 24 Granada Matadors and Dublin Gaels hoped to get back on track. In this one, Nolan Long decided Dublin was not going to lose, as the Gaels fed off of his energy to a 5-1 win on Friday.
In what was a pitchers duel early on, Granada’s Will Wentworth and Dublin’s Long combined for 14 strikeouts. Will went 3 ⅓ innings while eventually surrendering three runs. Long had eight strikeouts on the day, only giving up one run on a defensive miscue by the Gaels. In the bottom of the third, the first hit of the game for the Matadors came on a misplayed ball in left field, leaving Ben Wiggington on second base. There was then a sacrifice bunt and a single up the middle by Alex Zambrano. After that, the scoring by the Matadors was finished, as Long dominated the rest of the way.
Elijah Lee later hit a ball in the gap for a double that would plate two for Dublin. It would add on one more in the fourth on a wild pitch making it a 3-1 game. Long would capitalize on the momentum and continue to dominate into the bottom of the fourth. After tweaking his lower back and then taking a comebacker to his ankle, he fought his way back.
“I still have adrenaline leftover from the game so in the car ride home it might get a little sore,” Long said.
The last few innings for Long were just as good. as he played with a passion like the whole team did, even letting out a few screams after ending a couple of the innings with strikeouts. With the 3-1 lead, the Gaels thought it might be nice to add some more runs onto the board, so Jackson Schofield decided to hit an absolute moon shot that soared over the right field wall, giving Dublin a 5-1 lead.
After Long’s day was over, Lee came in to close it down in the seventh inning. With a Johnny Cueto type delivery, his flashy delivery fooled the Granada hitters as he struck out two of the three batters he faced in his closing spot and secured the win for Dublin.
The 5-1 victory is hopefully the push that Dublin was looking for, as its confidence is building as the season gets in full swing.
“That is what we needed. I think we’re going on a roll now,” Lee said.
Dublin will look to build off its strong performance, as it will play Amador Valley twice next week. For the Matadors, after beating this Dublin team 7-4 on Wednesday, it will try to bounce back from this one by playing one of the most talented teams in the Bay Area in the Foothill Falcons.
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