CASA GRANDE NBL CHAMPIONS
After the 9-0 start of one run wins, No. 1 Casa Grande is not fooling around. They broke the nine game by one run winning streak with a six run win last Friday and they really let loose on Wednesday defeating Santa Rosa 14-0. The win not only raised its winning streak to twenty, but that combined with Rancho Cotate defeating Cardinal Newman 6-4, the NBL Baseball Championship is wrapped up.
The offensive outburst against Santa Rosa was its biggest of the season for both runs and hits (16). It was the first time this season they scored in double figures in a game. They scored at least one run in the first five innings. They scored six in the fifth, which is more run than they scored in any game since they beat Sonoma Valley 6-1 on March 23rd.
One week ago we were talking about a 2-1 win over Windsor, which was the last of the one run wins and they were the second lowest scoring NBL team in league games. Now they are No. 4.
Four players for Casa Grande had at least two hits led by Casey Longaker who went three for three, scored three times, hit two doubles and drove in two. It was the second game of the season that he had more than one hit and the first game he had more than one RBI.
Dominic Garihan went five innings and is now 4-0 on the season. He has given up two earn runs in 36 innings for an ERA of 0.38.
Pitching is why they are where they are. On the season they have a team ERA of 1.08. During the twenty game winning streak they have given up over three runs one time. That was on March 16th in an 8-5 win over Livermore.
In the power rankings, Casa Grande is No. 57 in state and No. 16 in the state. That is out all team. In Division 2 only, Casa Grande is No. 3 in the state and No. 1 in the North Coast Section.
League championships are not a new thing for the Casa Grande baseball program. They won them outright in 2007 and 2009 and tied for another one in 2011. That was of course in the Sonoma County League, which when it comes to baseball was a coin flip when it comes to strength compared to the North Bay League.
Now in its first year in the North Bay League, they are champions.
AS FOR THE REST OF THE LEAGUE
If it wasn’t for Casa Grande this league race would be a mess. The battle for second and the final three spots in the post season tournament is a mess.
Line them up. Cardinal Newman, Maria Carrillo, Montgomery and Rancho Cotate are all tied for second place. That means they are also all tied for third, fourth and fifth. Although all of the teams will be NCS playoff bound, you don’t want to finish fifth because you miss the North Bay League post season tournament.
The game that went the right way to throw things into the tie was Rancho Cotate defeating Cardinal Newman 6-4. Rancho Cotate carried a 4-2 lead into the fifth inning when Cardinal Newman tied it. But it the bottom of the inning Rancho Cotate scored the two winning runs.
Maria Carrillo and Montgomery kept pace with two different kinds of wins.
Maria Carrillo rallied from an early 3-1 deficit to defeat Ukiah 5-3.
Montgomery defeated Windsor 10-1 in a game that Lucas Buchmann pitched a no-hitter. The sophomore struck out eight and walked six to raise his record to 4-0.
None of the four teams tied meet in the next game, which mean one plays Casa Grande. That lucky team is Rancho Cotate who they host on Friday.
Maria Carrillo is at Santa Rosa today (Thursday). The other games are on Friday with Cardinal Newman at Windsor and Ukiah at Montgomery.
SRJC OPPONENT KNOWN
When the information of the State Baseball playoff brackets was released,they were a little deceiving. The bracket made it look like SRJC would be playing of the winner of one of the two play-in games between No. 17 Modesto and No. 16 College of Sequoias. It turned out they would be meeting the lowest seed who survived the play-in games and that is No. 18 Los Medanos, who defeated No. 15 Mission 8-5 in the first round.
So that is who SRJC will host in a best of three series starting at 2:30 on Friday.
Los Medanos is 19-18 on the season and finished in a fourth place tie in the Bay Valley League. The winner of that league was Marin College, who is a No. 3 seed behind SRJC and Sierra
Game 2 will be played Saturday at 11 pm, with Game 3 (if necessary) to be played right after Game 2.
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