Petaluma tops Analy for Rabinovitz title

Petaluma’s Ben Sanderson picks up a grounder during the Trojans’ game against Analy in the A.L. Rabinovitz Tournament at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa on Thursday. (CONNER JAY / The Press Democrat)

Petaluma’s Ben Sanderson picks up a grounder during the Trojans’ game against Analy in the A.L. Rabinovitz Tournament at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa on Thursday.
(CONNER JAY / The Press Democrat)

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By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

After scoring 19 runs on Wednesday, Petaluma showed Thursday it can also win playing small ball as the Trojans defeated Analy, 6-1, to win the A.L. Rabinovitz Tournament at Montgomery High.

Petaluma wound up with four hits and began the afternoon by scoring twice in both the first and second innings with only one hit.

That single in the first by Austin Thomason knocked in Luke Wheless and Cameron Meyers. Lead-off hitter Wheless was hit by a pitch and Meyers walked.

In the second, the Trojans cashed in again on a walk and a hit batsman. Greg Thomas and Wheless were both on base when Meyers’ fly ball was misplayed by the right fielder for a three-base error.

Petaluma got its final runs in the seventh, again with only one hit. The inning began when Harrison Royall’s fly ball to left field was misplayed. He came home on a triple by Wheless. Meyers, the next batter, hit a sacrifice fly to score Wheless.

“Our game plan was to play small ball,” said Austin Gabbert, who was selected outstanding hitter of the tournament. “We wanted to put the ball in play and then make Analy have to make the plays.”

Winning coach Paul Cochrun reiterated the game plan.

“On offense, the key was getting runners on and moving them from base-to-base. They made a couple of errors and we had runners on to take advantage of that.

“On defense, our pitchers needed to pound the strike zone and they did that.”

Starting pitcher Ben Sanderson faced only two hitters (both walked) before coming out of the game.

The relief pitching was brilliant and then some.

Meyers, who began the game at shortstop, pitched 3« innings, allowed two hits and an unearned run.

Greg Thomas, the starting second baseman, was even better in his stint on the mound.

The junior didn’t allow a hit and struck out six in the final 3» innings.

“I had a feeling I was going to pitch in relief, so I was ready,” Thomas said. “I had good control of my fastball and knew if I threw strikes and they hit the ball, the defense would make the plays.”

The Trojans’ pitching was lights out in the two-day tournament. In three games, opponents scored only four runs.

It was the third tournament trophy for Petaluma in the past eight years. The school also took the crown in 2007 and 2010.

The Trojans have won four straight and are 7-3.

Analy, now 5-4, won’t have long to wait for another crack at Petaluma.

The two teams will play next Tuesday in the Sonoma County League opener for both teams. That game will be played in Sebastopol.

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