By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
PETALUMA — Thanks to the pitching and hitting of Jeff Rebello, Cardinal Newman knocked host Casa Grande from the unbeaten ranks Friday and in the process advanced to the championship game of the Adam Westcott Tournament.
The Cardinals will play Maria Carrillo for the title at 4 p.m. Saturday. The Pumas defeated Eureka, 3-2, earlier Friday.
Rebello tossed a complete-game shutout as Newman notched an 11-0 victory in a game that was stopped after six innings by the 10-run rule.
At the plate, Rebello banged two doubles and knocked in a pair of runs.
“He was phenomenal,” coach T.J. McMahon said. “He’s truly our leader.”
The senior allowed six hits and didn’t walk a batter. Meanwhile, the three Casa pitchers issued 10 free passes.
Rebello knocked in the game’s first run in the top of the third and it stayed, 1-0, until the fifth when the Cardinals struck for seven.
They batted around and got hits from Rebello, Ryan O’Leary, Alex Rogers and Ray Hernandez.
Rogers’ triple, just out of the right fielder’s reach, knocked in three.
Newman tacked on three more runs in the sixth and when the Gauchos didn’t score in the bottom of the inning, the umpires called the game.
Casa came into the contest with a 7-0 record while averaging five runs per game. However, they couldn’t break through against Rebello.
“I started out spotting my fastball and then the cutter and change-up started working,” the right-hander said.
“At the plate, I felt good all day. On the two doubles, I got ahead in the count and was looking fastball. Both times I got it.”
Newman had struggled the first three weeks of the season winning only two of seven games.
“This was the first game where we put everything together,” McMahon said. “In the games we lost, we’d have one bad inning and it would cost us.”
While McMahon had plenty to smile about, in the other dugout, coach Paul Maytorena was looking for answers.
“We got our butts kicked,’ he said. “Newman was the better team.
“If this turns out to be a wake-up call, maybe it’ll turn out to be good for us.
“Saturday will tell me a lot about this group. If they come out with fire and play like they can, we’re going to have a good year. If they come out flat and just go through the motions, it’s going to be a long season.”