Casa Grande applied immediate pressure

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Posted by: Press Democrat Staff Writer Eric Branch

I covered the Casa Grande-Analy baseball game Friday and focused on Gauchos pitcher Matt Nadolski in my game story because it’s not all that often that several major-league scouts attend a high school baseball game in Sonoma County.

But in focusing on Nadolski, I didn’t write about an aspect of the game that was pretty interesting.

That is, how Casa Grande, which won 9-1, broke Analy’s back with a four-run, five-hit first inning that featured two balls hit out the infield.

The Gauchos’ inning included two bunt singles, an infield single and a misplayed popup to shortstop.

Gauchos coach Paul Maytorena said the bunts were part of his team’s philosophy: Make the opponent make plays.

“That first inning was about making the other team play fast catch,” Maytorena said. “That’s our motto, put the pressure on the other team. When you put the ball in play, good things happen.”

The strategy seemed to momementarily unnerve Analy, which entered in second place in the Sonoma County League behind first-place Casa Grande, winners of six North Coast Section titles since 1998.

It was a big game. At Casa Grande. And the Gauchos immediately applied pressure.

“We kind of fell asleep in the first inning and they made us pay for it,” Analy coach Steve Miller said. “That’s what we talked about. We didn’t field a pop up and two bunts. We gave them six outs in the first inning. You can’t do that against a good team and Casa’s got one.”

By the way, the teams meet again on May 5 in Sebastopol in the next-to-last game of the regular season.

“We’ve got a good club,” Miller said. “They’re going to come to Analy and we’ll give them a game. They know that.”

Photo caption (above): Casa Grande’s Sean Purtell steals second base ahead of the tag by Analy’s Jordan McCall during Friday’s game. Photo by Press Democrat photographer John Burgess.