Kobre leads Vikings past Panthers

By HOWARD SENZELL

Alec Kobre, who starred on the Montgomery basketball team, now pitches for the Vikings' baseball team. (CRISTA JEREMIASON/PD).

FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Alec Kobre, who led Montgomery to the North Bay League basketball title earlier this year, might do the same for the Vikings baseball team.

The senior made the first varsity pitching start of his high school career Monday and limited Santa Rosa to three hits in five innings as Montgomery advanced to the championship game of the Al Rabinovitz Tournament with a 12-0 victory.

The Vikings will entertain Maria Carrillo for the championship at 4 p.m. next Monday. The Pumas defeated Analy, 14-4, in the other winners’ bracket game. In the other tourney game Monday, Petaluma defeated Piner, 6-2.

Kobre relied on a nasty curve, with an occasional fast ball and change-up mixed in, to handcuff Santa Rosa. With the 10-run rule in effect, the game was called after 4½ innings.

Montgomery scored four runs in the third and eight in the fourth. The Vikings had eight players contribute one hit each. The Panthers committed three errors to go along with two walks. Panthers pitchers also hit two batters.

Kobre, who led the Vikings basketball team in scoring while the team went 14-0 in league and 28-4 overall, decided to tryout for the varsity about a month ago.

He had pitched for the junior varsity as a sophomore and had played Little League. The 6-foot-2, 170-pounder asked coach Dean Haskins if he could tryout even though the season had already started.

Haskins watched Kobre throw a couple of times and gave him a uniform.

“We had to bring him along slowly,” Haskins said. “He hadn’t pitched in so long.”
Kobre got his feet wet with a couple of relief pitchers and gladly accepted the challenge when Haskins selected him to start the second-round game of the Rabinovitz.

“I always loved baseball, but basketball was my focus,” Kobre said. “Now, it’s my senior year and when basketball ended, I started thinking how much fun it would be to play on the baseball team.

“I had good stuff (against Santa Rosa). They’re a good-hitting team, so I was very happy to hold them scoreless. My concentration was good and the curveball was working.

“Jake Finley called a great game behind the plate. Also, the defense was there for me all afternoon. It was a lot of fun.”

The Vikings opened the season with seven straight losses (three were one-run games), but have now won three straight.

“It’s taken awhile for the pieces to come together,” Haskins said. “We have three guys from the basketball team that came out late and we have two freshmen starters.

“Our confidence is growing and we’re getting in a game flow that comes with playing together as a team.

“It was encouraging to watch Kobre pitch like he did. We brought him along slowly and now that’s paying off. He’s got good mound presence and the competitive spirit transferred over from basketball.”

Montgomery (3-7) goes to Santa Rosa (3-6) on Wednesday, this time for an NBL game.
Santa Rosa will play Analy next Monday at Maria Carrillo for third place in the Rabinovitz. The consolation championship pits Petaluma against Windsor and will be played at Santa Rosa High.