CASA GRANDE TAKES OVER FIRST PLACE IN NBL RACE
The North Bay League baseball race has had its complete change.
Because of that, so will the top of the YSN365.com rankings.
Casa Grande, who just missed defeating Maria Carrillo, the favorite in the league race the first time the teams met a month ago, got the job this time behind what might be a historic pitching run. Make it four shutouts in a row in 3-0 win over Maria Carrillo.
It has been thirty innings since a run has scored on the Casa Grande pitching staff. In an embarrassment of riches, five different pitchers have contributed to the streak. The riches got richer with the appearance of senior Justin Bruihl, who made his second appearance of the season after being out because of arm surgery. Bruihl came in with two outs in the sixth with a runner at third and the Gauchos nursing a 1-0 lead. He got the last out of the inning and then after Casa Grande scored two in the top of the seventh, got the last three outs to push Casa Grande into first place.
Bruihl injured his arm last season and had Tommy John surgery. The plan to have him back for the end of the season and the playoffs is right on schedule. He pitched a perfect inning on April 8th against Ukiah, striking out two.
Sophomore Chris Joaquim pitched the first 5 2/3 innings and gave up two hits. It is the second game of the shutout streak that he has started. Last Friday, he went six innings in an 8-0 win over Cardinal Newman. He is the last Casa Grande pitcher to give up a run. That was thirty innings ago in a 6-2 win over Santa Rosa. Joaquim raised his record to 6-2 and has an ERA of 0.81. To add frosting to the cake, he had a double that drove in two insurance runs in the seventh.
It turned out that Casa Grande had enough runs after a RBI single by Casey Longaker in the first inning. That scored Tyler Moore who led off the game with a walk. It was Longaker’s team high 24th RBI on the season. It was his only hit in three at bats and his averaged actually dropped to .490.
It ended a disappointing week for Maria Carrillo, a week that started with a seven game winning streak this season and a NBL streak of 26 over the last three. They were shutout in both losses, getting a combined eight hits.
Maria Carrillo did have a runner reach second in each of the last three innings. In the sixth and seventh it was with two outs. In the fifth a double by Gunner Flanders came with one out. Flanders also had a two out double in the seventh. His fifth inning double snapped a steak of eight straight batters retired by Joaquim. A walk to Flanders was the last runner before the streak.
Casa Grande, has won eight straight and has an overall record of 13-5. The Gauchos are 7-1 in NBL play, which is a one game lead over Maria Carrillo and Cardinal Newman.
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