Experience counts, according to an old saying.

And the Gridley High School baseball team has plenty of that in 2018.

The Bulldogs have nine returning players from a team that advanced to the CIF Northern Section championship series last year.

Gridley fell to BVL rival Sutter in a double-elimination title twinbill last season to end its season at 13-12-1.

So far in 2018, the Bulldogs are 4-1-1. The early season mark features two run-rule wins over Live Oak and a pair of wins in last week’s Colusa Tournament. 

The Bulldogs run-ruled Live Oak on Monday, 12-2.

Gridley coach Dan Crabtree has been waiting for several key players from the basketball team, which wrapped up its long season with a loss in the CIF Division V quarterfinals last week.

Pitching should be a strength for the Bulldogs in 2018, Crabtree said, with several key hurlers back from a year ago. 

“We’re going to have a lot of versatility with our rotation,” Crabtree said.

Lance Santerre, Jace Villapania, Kellen Brothers and Ty Cota are expected to form the heart of the Bulldogs’ pitching this season.

Crabtree expects Sutter and Wheatland to be among the top teams in the BVL this season. The Huskies have won the section title six years in a row.

Crabtree expects his experienced Bulldogs to be in the mix for both the league and section crowns in 2018.

The Bulldogs are in action this weekend at the American Christian Academy tournament in Redding.