NBL BASEBALL: SANTA ROSA PULLS A SURPRISE
As far as wins go, business has been slow for the Santa Rosa baseball team. Over the last three seasons, the Panthers have won fourteen league games. To put that in perspective, last year Maria Carrillo went 14-0 to win the NBL championships.
The 2015 season for Santa Rosa has started out the same way. They went into the Friday’s game with a twelve game losing streak, five of the losses in league play. So it wasn’t particularly surprising when the Panthers gave up five runs in the fourth inning to fall behind Ukiah 5-0. What was surprising is what happen next, as the Panthers rallied for an 9-5 win.
The big hit of the five run Ukiah fourth inning was a two run triple by Preston Mello. Santa Rosa responded with a run in the bottom of the inning. The game took a little more of a serious tone when they added two to cut the lead to 5-3.
Next came the inning of the season for Santa Rosa, as they sent eleven men to the plate, scoring five times to turn the game around. Marcus Hollingsworth and Jordan Walker each had two RBI singles, which was part of a seven hit inning.
Shamus Lyons retired the last six men he faced, the last two on strikeouts to get the win.
It wasn’t only the first league win for Santa Rosa, but a tough loss to take for Ukiah, who like Santa Rosa is trying to sneak up the NBL pecking order. Ukiah has six league wins over the last two years and hasn’t finished over .500 in league play since 2011. This season they have shown some progress, which included a win over Cardinal Newman last Friday. On Wednesday, they played No. 1 Maria Carrillo tough before losing 4-0. The loss to Santa Rosa drops its record to 9-7 overall and 3-3 in NBL play.
Meanwhile in the showcase game of the day in was no problem for No. 2 Casa Grande as they defeated No. 3 Cardinal Newman 8-0. Casey Longaker had three hits and three RBI. Sophomore Chris Joaquin pitched six shutout innings to raise his record to 4-2 and drop his ERA under 1.00.
Casa Grande and Cardinal Newman went into the day one game behind first place Maria Carrillo. The Pumas made it seven in a row with an 8-2 win over Rancho Cotate. Clayton Andrews had three hits to lead a 13 hit attack. Andrews was one of four players to have at least two hits.
Maria Carrillo is 13-2 on the season and 6-0 in league play. They face a big week when they end the first half at Cardinal Newman on Wednesday, and start the second half with a home game against Casa Grande next Friday.
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