Baseball: Cardinals trump Pumas, Sonoma Valley upends Analy

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Cardinal Newman, after losing three times to Maria Carrillo during the regular season, got its revenge Wednesday as the visiting Cardinals defeated the Pumas, 3-0, in an opening round game of the North Bay League Tournament.

In other first round action Wednesday, league winner Casa Grande ousted No. 4 seed Rancho Cotate, 5-4 in 12 innings.

The two winners will meet at 4 p.m. Friday at Santa Rosa JC for the championship.

No. 2 seed Carrillo had every reason to feel confident when taking the field against its cross-town rival.

When the two schools met earlier in the season, the Pumas came away with a pair of one-run victories and last Friday, on Newman’s home field, they won 4-1.

Wednesday’s game was scoreless through five innings.

In the sixth, sophomore Alex Roeser led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jeff Rebello.

After Mitchell Wilhelmsen struck out, catcher Richard Clark singled to left field and advanced to second when there was an unsuccessful play at the plate on Roeser.

Pitcher Ridge Etchell followed with a single up the middle to knock in pinch-runner Bryce McChinack.

The Cardinals tacked on an insurance run in the sixth when Rebello’s single scored pinch runner Nick Verity from third base. Etchell pitched his second outstanding game in a week. Last Wednesday, he was the winning pitcher as Newman defeated Casa, 4-2. The loss snapped the Gauchos’ 21-game hitting streak.

“This was an important one,” Etchell said of Wednesday’s game. “We wanted this game bad.

“I was able to get ahead in the count with my fastball and then I was coming in with my curve which got me a lot of outs.”

Etchell, who improved his record to 6-5, gave up three hits.

The Cardinals didn’t make an error, a fact that was not lost on winning coach TJ McMahon.

“We took care of the ball in all aspects,” he said “It was great to see because in some games we’ve been our own worst enemy.

Carrillo had the leadoff man aboard in three innings.

“We had our opportunities,” coach Derek DeBenedetti said. “When we got runners on base, we didn’t move them along.

“Bottom line, Newman executed and we didn’t.”

Alec Rennard started for the Pumas and took the loss. He gave up a single to Rebello to start the game and didn’t allow another hit until the sixth inning.

The senior has been pitching with a fracture in his non-pitching arm.

Zack Shimek was the hero in the Casa Grande victory. The senior singled up the middle to score Iggy Llorence with the game-winner.

Shimek also had an RBI in the bottom of the 10th after Rancho took the lead with a run in the top half of the inning.

The Cougars had three runners thrown out at the plate and left 13 runners on base.

No. 4 seed Sonoma Valley shocked league champion Analy, 4-1, in Wednesday night’s opening round game at Arnold Field.

Sonoma scored three times in the second inning with Vince Albano’s two-run double keying the inning.

Cole Brennan pitched the first five innings to get the win.

Analy was a perfect 12-0 in league and is now 20-5 overall. The Dragons will take a 16-9 record into Friday night’s championship game.

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