Petaluma, Analy to faceoff in Rabinovitz Championship

Petaluma faces Analy in the Rabinovitz tournament championship on Thursday.
(JOHN BURGESS / The Press Democrat)

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

It’ll be two Sonoma County League teams — Analy and Petaluma — playing for the championship today in the 20th annual A.L. Rabinovitz Tournament at Montgomery High.

Petaluma stamped its ticket with impressive victories Wednesday over Santa Rosa and the host Vikings while Analy, the defending champ, had two close games.

The Trojans opened the day with an 11-2 win over Santa Rosa and then took out Montgomery 8-1. Analy edged Ukiah 6-5 and then held on to defeat Windsor 6-4.

[PHOTO GALLERY: Check out more photos from Wednesday’s game]

In the win over the Vikings, Petaluma received 11 walks from three Vikings pitchers.

Pitcher Dante DelPrete went the distance, allowing six hits, and designated hitter Taylor Richardson came up with the hit that gave Petaluma the lead for good in the fourth.

Richardson’s single with two strikes knocked in two and put the Trojans ahead 3-1.

“It was a fastball down the middle of the plate,” Richardson said of his big hit. “With two strikes, I was just trying to hit it hard somewhere.”

DelPrete, who usually closes games for the Trojans, was “ecstatic” when he saw Richardson’s hit fall in front of the left fielder.

“That was big and it just made me want to compete more,” the senior said.

In his first start of the season, DelPrete had trouble locating his fastball.

“I wasn’t throwing it where I wanted, so I began relying on off-speed and junk pitches.”

Montgomery hitters kept looking for the fastball and DelPrete wound up with five strikeouts. His defense was error-free behind him.

The Trojans are on a three-game winning streak with an overall record of 6-3.

“I think we’ve come into our own,” coach Paul Cochrun said. “I’m very happy with the way the guys are playing.

“We’re getting a lot of two-out hits and going with the pitch. I think most of our hits against Montgomery were up the middle.

“It was an awesome day.”

Petaluma iced the game with four in the sixth. Austin Gabbert’s double was part of a four-run inning that iced the game. Gabbert wound up with two hits in four at-bats with three RBIs.

Montgomery scored its run in the second on a single to left by Henry Stelzner and a triple over the center fielder’s head by Peyton Miramontez.

“You’re not going to give up as many walks as we did and win a game,” Vikings coach Dean Haskins said.

To get to the final game, Analy scored a run in the bottom of the eighth to defeat Ukiah and then held on as Windsor scored two runs in the seventh.

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