A warm sunny April day on the Island of Alameda. The game features two teams from the new West Alameda Foothill League. The Bishop O’Dowd Dragons lead the league but Alameda has a long history of success, the Hornets were just two games back.
History was what this game was all about. The Arnerich family has had three generations of baseball players work and play for this baseball program. The first Ken Arnerich was involved for many years with Alameda Parks and recreation. Ken Jr. is the long time head coach of the team and Ken the third graduated from the program Alameda in 2006 and went on to play at Long Beach State.
Chris Kyriacou is the head coach for Bishop O’Dowd. Chris coached for years at San Leandro and is now entrenched at the top spot for the Dragons. Chris is a whirling dervish of a coach always moving and talking, even during the game. He, like Coach Arnerich, is a delight to be around. Kyriacou’s son David is a starting infielder for the Dragons.
So it was with this history and generational past this game was played at Lincoln Park this week. The Hornets desperate for a win to keep pace with the Dragons and the rest of the league. The early going was tight, I have a great shot of Coach Kyriacou wildly getting the attention of a runner at first base with two out and another runner at third. Kyriacou was going to try the play where the runner from first gets caught in a rundown allowing the runner a third to score. The runner race toward second then stopped, the runner from third took off but Alameda had the play read and threw toward to the catcher. The runner from first arrived safely to second, but no run scores. Alameda pitcher Joe Riley struck out the next hitter ending the Dragons threat.
As it turned out Alameda won big. Riley was great on the mound, the Junior pitcher allowing only five hits and one run in the 8-1 Hornets win. The Dragons suffered their first league loss of the season throwing the league race into turmoil with six teams within one game of first place.
Author's note: After the game the first Ken Arnerich came up to me to say hi. He is a legend in Alameda and must be 80 years old now. He still comes to nearly every game and loves to talk about his family. That’s what this game was all about, generations of family from two outstanding coaches meeting on one warm April day.