By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Colin Imm’s solo home run in the first inning turned out to be the game’s only scoring as Cardinal Newman handed visiting Maria Carrillo its first NBL loss in nearly two years on Wednesday.
The outcome also tightened up the league race as the Pumas and Casa Grande are now tied with 6-1 records at the halfway point. Newman is 5-2.
Carrillo entertains the Gauchos on Friday at 4 p.m.
Wednesday’s loss snapped a 20-game league winning streak for the Pumas. Their last NBL loss was May 15, 2013, at the hands of Newman.
Imm, who bats third for the Cardinals, made solid contact on a Zach Scott thigh-high fastball and deposited the ball over the left-field fence and onto the tennis courts. It was the junior’s first varsity home run.
Pitcher Michael Clark and the Newman defense made the run stand up. The senior scattered five singles and his fielders played error-free.
Alex Roeser and Chris McMahon helped out with outstanding defensive plays.
“Clark pitched phenomenal,” Newman coach TJ McMahon said. “He consistently gave the Carrillo hitters tough balls to hit.
“Zach Scott also had great stuff. It’s a shame one of them had to lose.”
Newman never got close to scoring after the Imm homer. The Cardinals managed only three other hits and had three runners picked off first base.
“It’s definitely the biggest win of the year for us and puts us back in the NBL race,” McMahon said. “It was nice to see a clean defensive game. The bats didn’t do much, but credit goes to Scott for that.”
Carrillo got only one runner as far as third base. That was Clayton Andrews in the first inning.
“We had several opportunities to score but weren’t disciplined at the plate,” Pumas coach Derek DeBenedetti said. “I was impressed with both pitchers. Clark stuck mainly with his fastball and we went for some pitches out of the zone.
“It was a good high school game. Well-played pitching and defense by both teams.”
The loss snapped Carrillo’s seven-game winning streak.
CASA GRANDE 2, RANCHO COTATE 0
At Rohnert Park, the Gauchos’ pitching staff posted its third consecutive shutout.
Last week, Casa defeated Windsor, 6-0, and Cardinal Newman, 8-0.
Jon Christy and Jake Hill combined on Wednesday and limited the Cougars to only two hits. Christy went the first four innings.
The Gauchos scored their runs in the first inning on RBI singles by Spencer Torkelson and Austin Garatti.
MONTGOMERY 8, SANTA ROSA 7
At Montgomery, Jacob Swarthout hit a two-run double in the seventh that brought home the tying and winning runs.
The ball found the gap in left-center field and scored RJ Flores and Joe Peterich. Daniel Herring opened the inning with a double and was replaced by pinch-runner Flores.
Santa Rosa had taken the lead in the top of the seventh with a pair of runs.
UKIAH 11, WINDSOR 1
At Windsor, winning pitcher Colton Crabtree threw a complete game while striking out six. The Jaguars’ only run was unearned.
“Crabree was doing a good job of locating his fastball and breaking ball,” Ukiah coach Stephen Summers said. “He only walked one. I was really happy with that.”
The Wildcats scored three in the first inning as they took advantage of three walks.