By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Casa Grande wrapped up its second NBL title in three years as the Gauchos defeated Rancho Cotate, 13-3, in Petaluma on Friday.
It was Casa’s 15th consecutive win.
The Gauchos finished league play with a 13-1 record. Cardinal Newman and Maria Carrillo tied for second with identical 10-3 marks. Carrillo started the day with a chance to tie had Casa lost, but as it turned out, the Pumas fell to Cardinal Newman.
Casa took control of Friday’s game early by scoring two runs in the first and five in the second.
“It feels good to win it outright,” coach Paul Maytorena said. “This is one of the best teams I’ve coached. They’re a group of selfless young men.”
The Gauchos collected 14 hits with Blake Berry, Spencer Torkelson and Casey Longaker getting three each.
Meanwhile, Eric Parnow held Rancho to two hits, a double by Oscar Urbina and single by Gunner Mefferd.
Casa has won 12 league titles since 1994, 10 while in the SCL and two since joining the NBL three years ago.
In the first round of next week’s league tournament, the Gauchos will host Ukiah and Cardinal Newman will entertain Maria Carrillo.
Other action Friday:
CARDINAL NEWMAN 3, MARIA CARRILLO 2
At Maria Carrillo, Kyle Scott belted a two-run home run in the top of the eighth.
The Pumas came back with one in the eighth and the game ended with the tying run on second base.
“There was no doubt Scott’s ball was going over the right field fence,” Cardinals coach T.J. McMahon said. “It easily cleared. He got into a fastball and got all of it.”
Colin Imm scored ahead of Scott. He reached on a dropped third strike.
Cal Clamar pitched a complete game and picked up the win.
Clayton Andrews started for the Pumas and struck out 10 before giving way to Andrew Vaughn at the beginning of the eighth.
MONTGOMERY 9, SANTA ROSA 2
At Santa Rosa, Nick Smith struck out eight as the Vikings ended their season on a winning note.
UKIAH 4, WINDSOR 1
At Ukiah, the Wildcats made the most of their three hits.
Connor Acevedo knocked in one run with a single and the other hits were by Robbie McIntosh and Karter Koch.
Windsor had four hits with Frank Bastoni contributing two doubles.
SONOMA VALLEY 1, EL MOLINO 0
At Sonoma, the Dragons finished in a tie with Petaluma for the SCL title.
The game’s only scoring came in the fifth inning. Shane O’Malley singled and eventually scored when pinch-hitter Spencer McNairy’s ground ball was mishandled.
Sonoma began the year 3-8 and is now 14-9 and 11-1 in league.
“I’m thrilled,” coach Don Lyons said. “The kids never gave up. We’re young and played a tough pre-league schedule. Once league started, we stopped making a lot of mistakes and just got comfortable.”