Baseball: Analy beats Ukiah in A.L. Rabinovitz finals


Analy's Ry McAulliffe throws a strike during the Tigers' championship game against Ukiah in the Al Rabinovitz Baseball Tournament on Friday. (Conner Jay / The Press Democrat)

Analy’s Ry McAulliffe throws a strike during the Tigers’ championship game against Ukiah in the A.L. Rabinovitz Baseball Tournament on Friday. (Conner Jay / The Press Democrat)

Following three years of playing sub-.500 ball, Analy’s baseball program is back on track in a big way.

The Sebastopol school took another step on the comeback trail Friday by defeating Ukiah, 4-3, in the championship game of the A.L. Rabinovitz Tournament at Montgomery High.

It was the Tigers’ third win of the two-day tourney and they’ll take an 8-2 record into Sonoma County League play, which begins Tuesday when Sonoma Valley pays a visit.

With its next win, Analy will match its total from last year when the team finished 9-15. In 2010, the Tigers were 4-19 and the year before their record was 11-12.

The turnaround comes in Jeff Ogston’s third year at the helm.

“I’ve had some of these kids three years now and they’ve bought into how we want to play the game,” Ogston said. “We don’t have the power hitters, so we try to beat our opponents by doing the little things well.

“That’s things like moving the runners along one base at a time and making the smart plays on defense. The goal every game is to create havoc.”

It was small ball that got Analy off and running against Ukiah. In the first inning, Garrett Hill led off with a walk. He moved to second on a productive infield grounder by Jacob McKnight and then stole third base. The junior then came home on a base hit by Darin Newman.

The Tigers added to their advantage by scoring single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings and took a 4-0 lead to the bottom of the seventh.

Three walks and singles by Conner Franz and Russell Pinnegar produced the three runs.

It was a frustrating afternoon for the Wildcats as they stranded nine runners. They only had three hits but received seven walks and two other batters were hit by pitches.

“We had plenty of chances, coach Bob Dieffenbach said. “We just couldn’t get the timely hit.

“They (Analy) used their outs better than we did. We had a good tournament, we just came up a little short.” The Wildcats won two games in the opening rounds and finish the pre-league portion of their schedule with a 7-4 record.

Ry McAuliffe got the win with relief help from Evan Hill and Newman. McAuliffe went the first four innings and gave up one hit while walking three and hitting two batters. Hill took over in the fifth and needed help from Newman, who came in to get the final out.

Analy’s Grant St. Martin was named the tourney’s outstanding hitter and Ukiah’s Jeff Piver was selected the outstanding pitcher. Piver pitched a no-hitter against Windsor in the opening round.

It was Analy’s second Rabinovitz victory in five years. The Tigers took home the trophy in 2009.

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