May 11, 2011
Ben Eckels strikes out 16 to beat Franklin; SFL race settled

By Joe Davidson

It's a good thing there are extra playoff berths handed out this baseball season. The teams are that closely bunched together.

Today, Davis High School ace Ben Eckels struck out 16 in a 3-1 victory over host Franklin to lock up second place in the Delta Valley Conference behind Elk Grove

Blue Devils coach Dan Ariola said his standout junior "was outstanding." The veteran coach said the strikeouts are likely a 7-inning school record then cracked that he had 17 strikeouts as a Davis senior in 1981 when he fashioned a 6-1 record, all the more to keep Eckels hungry to up his personal best.

Davis will now play Oak Ridge in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoff opener on May 20 at American River College. Napa, third place finisher in the Monticello Empire League, plays at Franklin in a play-in game Monday, with that winner playing Jesuit on Thursday at ARC at 4 p.m.

Elk Grove, top-ranked by The Bee, opens defense of the D-I North title against Vacaville on May 20 at ARC.

In another Thursday opener, MEL champion Armijo plays Pleasant Grove at 7 p.m.

Also today, Rocklin locked up the Sierra Foothill League with Roseville taking second and Woodcreek third. All three advance to the D-II playoffs that start Monday at Sacramento City College.

About the Prep blog

Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at or

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