SCL BASEBALL RACE CHANGES…BUT NOT AT THE TOP
With the records of the last few seasons, you could have received pretty good odds that the game between Analy and Piner would have been buried deep behind the headlines.
Last season the teams won nine games between them. That isn’t nine league games, that is nine games period. Yet there they were playing in one of the biggest games of the SCL season and both teams were double digits over .500. They are both in the top three of the YSN365.com and the top five in the Press Democrat rankings.
It was also a do or die kind of game for Piner to stay in the SCL race as Analy has controlled things from the start. This game they didn’t control it from the start, but they had full control at the end, so much that it was stopped because of the ten run rule, taking a 17-5 win and keep full control of the SCL baseball race.
For the first three innings the game was similar to the first meeting which was a 4-0 Analy win. It was similar to the point that it was a low scoring pitch duel, with Piner holding a 2-0 lead. The thought that the ten run rule was going to be used seemed as unlikely as this being thought of as a big game.
But the game changed in the fourth inning as the two teams combined for 11 runs. As has been the case all season, Analy got the best of it.
An eight run fourth inning, with the first three scoring without a hit, gave Analy control of the game. A wild pitch and three walks scored those first three runs and by the time the inning was over 13 men had come to the plate and Analy was in control 8-2.
Piner scored three unearned runs to get close in the bottom of the inning. They were only close for a short time. A five run fifth basically put things away. Ricky Thokle-Sample hit a three run double that broke things wide open. That was part of a three hit-five RBI game for Thokle-Sample. The five RBI equals how many he had on the season going into the game.
Analy ended up with 14 hits with Grant St. Martin having four hits and 2 RBI.
A three run sixth put Analy over the ten run lead mark and Jae Wagner kept it there by closing things out. Wagner came in and got Analy out of the fourth inning and settled things down the rest of the way pitching 2 1/3 and allowing just one walk to pick up his fourth win.
Analy is at 17-4, which is the most wins they have had since 2009. That was also the last year the Tigers finished over .500 both overall and in league play.
Piner is having the same kind of season. At 16-6 they will finish over .500 for the first time since 2007, which is also the last time they finished over .500 in league, that league until this season was the North Bay League.
With three games left, Analy has a two game lead in the SCL race. They could clinch a tie for the SCL championship with a win at Elsie Allen on Thursday.
While Analy kept control of things at the top of the race, the middle of the race had a major change. It seemed like a lock who would be the four teams in the SCL post season baseball tournament would be.
Hold that thought.
Robert Hatcher pitched a three hit shutout as Healdsburg defeated Sonoma Valley 1-0. Healdsburg scored the run in the first inning on a ground out by Cody Newman.
Sonoma Valley and Healdsburg each have six losses, which is tied for the final spot for the SCL post season tournament.
Sonoma Valley has the schedule advantage with two games left against the bottom two teams in the SCL. Meanwhile two of the three games Healdsburg has left are trips to Piner and Analy. The game at Piner is Friday.
A CHANGE IN ONE RACE
It appeared that the NCL II baseball race was going to be decided when St. Vincent and Sonoma Academy met in the final game of the regular season.
Hold that thought No. 2.
Tomales changed the race with a 4-2 win over St. Vincent. It snapped a nine game winning St. Vincent winning streak and it was exactly two years to the day when they last lost a league game, which was twenty three games ago.
Morgan Giammona gave up two first inning runs and then shut down St. Vincent the rest of the way to pick up his fourth win over the season.
Tomales took the lead with three unearned runs in the fourth. The two teams combined for six runs, seven hits and seven errors. The tough luck loser was Alex Neve who gave up three hits.
In the first meeting St. Vincent beat Tomales 12-0.
Meanwhile a six run third pushed Sonoma Academy to a 9-3 win over Upper Lake. Frankie Graham led a 12 hit attack with three hits and scored two runs. Austin Albertson and Dylan De La Montanya each drove in two runs.
The win pulls Sonoma Academy into a first place tie with St. Vincent at 6-1. Tomales is one game back at 5-2.
On Friday, Sonoma Academy travels to Tomales. In the first meeting Sonoma Academy took a wild 10-8 win. In that game Tomales scored seven in the fifth to wipe out a 5-0 Sonoma Academy lead. But Sonoma Academy took the game with a three run fifth.
NORMAL STUFF EVERYWHERE ELSE
Four of the five ranked softball teams won games via the ten run rule. The other team, No. 4 Santa Rosa didn’t play. That doesn’t include St. Vincent who also won via the ten run rule.
No. 2 Maria Carrillo has a one game lead over No. 3 Rancho Cotate. No. 4 Santa Rosa, who won its six straight with a 3-0 win over Cardinal Newman on Monday, is two games back.
Santa Rosa is at Casa Grande on Thursday which looked like to be a big game between two teams that were battling to stay into the race. Casa Grande was defeated by Ukiah on Tuesday 6-5 in eight innings which basically takes them out of the race.
Ukiah rallied for one in the seventh and two in the eight to take the win.
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