Baseball: Analy stays perfect in SCL with 5-2 win over Petaluma

By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Petaluma's Hunter Williams chases down Analy's Ricky Thokle-Sample for an out in the fourth inning Tuesday. (Scott Manchester / The Press Democrat)

Petaluma’s Wyatt Painter, left, tags out Analy’s Ricky Thokle-Sample during the fourth inning Tuesday. (Scott Manchester / The Press Democrat)

Adding on is crucial to winning baseball games and Analy continued putting up runs to defeat Petaluma in a Sonoma County League showdown Tuesday.

Most important were the two runs Analy added in the sixth inning because Petaluma did all its scoring in the home half. Outfielder Jacob McKnight knocked in one runner with his second hit of the game, a line drive to right field, and later scored on a passed ball in what would be a 5-2 Tigers win.

“I’ve been in a slump. I was just looking to go the other way, just play pepper with the ball,” McKnight said. “This was a big game for us. It gives us a little bit of an edge in league.”

Analy remained undefeated in SCL play with another test Friday at Sonoma Valley. Petaluma is grinding after losing ground in the league race and battling injuries that sidelined two starters.

“The baseball gods aren’t being too kind to us. We just have to keep working hard,” said Petaluma pitcher Scott Hilbert, who went the distance in the loss.

Putting pressure on Petaluma’s ace early gave Analy a lead the Tigers would not relinquish.

A leadoff double from outfielder Dylan Mathias was followed by a sacrifice bunt with Mathias beating the throw to third base. Evan Hill then created a rundown between first and second bases, allowing Mathias to score.

Two innings later, Analy added a run on a two-out single by catcher Grant St. Martin. Then the Tigers attempted another double-steal of second base to try to score a runner from third, but Petaluma tagged out Ricky Thokle-Sample before St. Martin could cross home plate.

Analy starting pitcher Jae Wagner made the pair of runs stand up through five innings. The right-hander allowed just two hits going into the sixth inning. Analy made only one error behind Wagner.

“I know our gloves will be there,” Wagner said.

The two runs Analy added in the sixth were matched by Petaluma in the bottom of the inning.

With one out, Hilbert started the rally with a single following a long battle at the plate. Jaymes Potts then belted a triple to the right center gap, and scored on an infield hit by Casey Talesfore.

But, just as quickly the rally was silenced. With Garrett Hill in relief of Wagner, the Tigers had St. Martin throw out Talesfore attempting to steal second base and then Hill ended the inning with a strikeout.

Pitching keeps games close for both Analy and Petaluma. Both starters threw strikes to limit free passes to batters. More of the balls off Tigers bats found holes and gaps.

“I was going good for the most part,” Hilbert said. “This game hurts, but we still have a chance in the league.”

A trio of Tigers each had a pair of hits in the contest. In addition to McKnight, both Thokle-Sample, at designated hitter, and shortstop Darin Newman banged a pair of hits with Newman’s driving in Analy’s final tally.

With different players making key contributions each game, Analy has the depth to win the league and make a run in the North Coast Section playoffs.

“This win keeps the momentum going,” McKnight said.

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