High school baseball: Maria Carrillo rallies to beat Casa Grande 4-2

Maria Carrillo's Jo Bynum and Andrew Vaughn during a March 18 game. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

Maria Carrillo’s Jo Bynum and Andrew Vaughn during a March 18 game. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

By HOWARD SENZELL

FOR THE PRESS DEMOCR

In an early season showdown between two top-tier NBL teams Thursday in Petaluma, Maria Carrillo scored all its runs in the sixth inning and defeated Casa Grande, 4-2.

The Pumas trailed 2-0 heading to the sixth and scored four times with two outs. Carrillo had four singles and was helped when the Gauchos committed three errors.

The go-ahead runs scored on a hard-hit single by Jo Bynum. He got a chance to bat when Andrew Vaughn was walked intentionally to load the bases.

Other hits in the inning were by Patrick Gavin, Zach Scott and Clayton Andrews.

Carrillo had opportunities to score early but couldn’t break through against starter Chris Joaquim.

“We executed when it mattered,” Pumas coach Derek DeBenedetti said. “We were gritty scratching out a couple of hits and then got the key single by Bynum.”

Vaughn took over for starting pitcher Jared Brazis in the sixth and struck out four in his two-inning stint. Brazis was making his first start of the year.

Giving up runs in the sixth inning is nothing new for the Gauchos.

“It’s been our unlucky inning all season,” Casa Grande coach Paul Maytorena said. “Every game we’ve lost, we’ve given up runs in the sixth.

“Carrillo played good defense and took advantage of our mistakes. They were the better team and we just imploded.”

The Gauchos are 5-5 and 0-1 in league.

Casa finished with six hits. Jason Bostow and Blake Berry had two apiece.

Scott had two of Carrillo’s eight hits.

Carrillo was 14-0 in league last year and is off to a 2-0 start in its quest to repeat. Overall, the Pumas are 6-1. Their only loss was in the season opener at Vintage (10-3).

The Pumas have a big week coming up. The team is one of 32 schools invited to the Boras Classic of California.

The 16-team Northern bracket will be decided in Elk Grove and Carrillo’s first game is Tuesday at 10 a.m. against Granite Bay.

The winners from the North and South will then decide a tournament champion.

Scott, Vaughn and Clayton Andrews will pitch the first three games.