In the sport probably least expected to take place during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Justin-Siena wrestling team closed out a memorable season with a 27-15 nonleague victory Friday night over friendly rival and two-time defending Tri-County Athletic League champion Bethel in the sixth annual Foundation Cup dual.
The Foundation Cup was inaugurated in 2016 to help raise money to support youth wrestling in Vallejo, allowing middle school students to compete in the Vallejo City Championships for free. Although this year’s Cup was not held as a fundraiser, it was still the first competition for Vallejo wrestlers since the pandemic began in March 2020, according to Justin-Siena co-coach Jason Guiducci.
COVID protocols were in place as the event was held in the open-air Bethel quad and its field was cut from the traditional four teams to two.
The Braves racked up points behind the pin fall victories of Anthony Fannin, Sebastian Medina and brothers Jacob and Brandon Guiducci. Cooper Cohee add a minor decision in what was arguably the most technical matchup of the night.
The five victorious Braves made the All-Foundation Team, along with Bethel winners Dylan DeLeon, Ashton Balassu and Crystal Fraire.
“It was a very special night as we were honored to be able to compete with Bethel in what was a majestic Ivy League-type setting,” Coach Guiducci said. “From a competitive standpoint, we knew we were in for a battle. Their lineup was loaded with alumni from the Springstowne Wrestling Academy, which I am privileged to coach with Bethel head coach John Jackson, and many of these kids have been competing with each other since their youth.
“It was fitting to watch Jacob (Guiducci, senior) go out on Vallejo soil, as he'd been rolling on Vallejo mats since he was biting ankles, and we couldn’t have been more proud to see Anthony and Sebastian notch victories in their last matches as Braves. This trio of four-year seniors never gave up and held the line so younger kids could develop. Though they will definitely be missed, they are all on an amazing path and Justin-Siena should be proud of them all.
“Cooper and Brandon were also stalwart tonight and we are ecstatic they will be returning next season.”
Sonoma Valley 2, Napa 1
Dragons senior Jasper Ray (earned run, 4 hits, 5 strikeouts, 2 walks) won a pitchers’ duel when junior Jack Alcayaga led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a walk-off home run on a 1-1 pitch from Napa junior Kaleb Matulich (2 earned runs, 6 hits, 3 strikeouts, hit by pitch, 1 walk).
Sonoma Valley (2-13, 2-7 VVAL) went up 1-0 in the third on a sacrifice fly by senior Jayden Filippi after a pair of one-out singles.
The Grizzlies (3-12, 1-9 VVAL) came right back to tie it in the top of the fourth when Cameron Taylor (1 for 3) led off with a double, took a third on a sacrifice fly by Lucas Brandon, and scored on a Matulich groundout.
Graham Chapouris and Connor Ross each went 1 for 3 and Calvin Snyder was 1 for 4 for Napa. Chapouris, a sophomore, was making his varsity debut after leading the Napa JV with a .405 batting average, 3 doubles, 15 hits and 15 RBIs in its first 13 games.
Napa was coming off a 9-3 nonleague loss to Windsor in Thursday’s Senior Day game, when Aiden Chatham, Daniel Healy, Tracy Willoughby, Snyder and Brandon were honored. Elliott Zuidema (1 for 3, run), Taylor (1 for 3, stolen base, run) and Ross (1 for 3) had hits and pitcher Chatham walked and scored a run.
Sonoma Valley 12, American Canyon 10
The Wolves dropped Saturday’s VVAL slugfest at Peterson Field in Sonoma.
Jaedon Mendoza pitched the first 3 innings for the Wolves, giving up 3 earned runs on 8 hits while striking out 1 and walking 1. Mason Gaskins came on in relief and yielded 4 earned runs in 3 innings on 8 hits while striking out 1.
At the plate, J.J. Sundita was 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored, Ryan Landaverde 2 for 5 with a run, and Gaskins 2 for 3 with an RBI, stolen base and 2 runs scored. Ethan Ergina went 1 for 1 with a double and RBI, James Aken 1 for 5 with a run, Isaiah Peterson 1 for 1 with a stolen base and run, Josh Jaimon 1 for 2 with 2 RBIs, and Mario Juarez 1 for 5 with an RBI and run. Kamari Antoncich scored twice.
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