By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Casey Longaker belted a three-run homer in the first inning and Chris Joaquim pitched a shutout as Casa Grande defeated visiting Campolindo, 3-0, in the opening round of the North Coast Section Division 2 bracket on Tuesday.
In this weekend’s quarterfinals, the Gauchos will host the winner of today’s game between Maria Carrillo and Pinole Valley.
Longaker’s home run, his first of the season, was into a wind blowing in from left field.
Tyler Moore (walk) and Spencer Torkelson (hit by pitch) were on base for Longaker’s homer.
Later in the inning, Nick Bostow got a single and that turned out to be Casa’s last hit.
Joaquim gave up four hits but didn’t walk a batter.
It was the second year in a row that the Gauchos knocked Campolindo out of the tournament. Last year, Casa was the No. 16 seed and the Cougars were No. 1.
The Gauchos won the NBL this year and were seeded No. 4. Campolindo came in No. 13.
Casa coach Paul Maytorena said it’s been a while since one of his players knocked it over the left field fence into the wind.
“I’d say it’s been six or seven years,” he said. “That wind coming in is strong.
“Joaquim was huge. He’s been pitching like that all season. Our defense also played well.”
ARROYO 6, PETALUMA 5
At Petaluma, the visitors rallied from a 5-2 deficit to advance to the second round of the Division 2 bracket.
Arroyo scored four times in the sixth, with the go-ahead run coming across the plate on a passed ball.
Petaluma had scored four in the fourth to take a three-run lead. Austin Gabbert’s line drive single to right field scored two.
The No. 8 seeded Trojans outhit No. 9 Arroyo, 10-6.
“We hit good enough to win,” Petaluma coach Paul Cochrun said. “We just had a couple of situations in the game where we could’ve done better.”
The Trojans, co-champs of the SCL, finish the season with an 18-8 record.
EUREKA 6, SONOMA VALLEY 5
At Sonoma Valley, the Dragons loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh but couldn’t score the tying run.
“The kids are broken-hearted right now,” coach Don Lyons said. “They’ll eventually smile but it’s hard for them right now.
“This was a team with a lot of character, just a real cool group of young men.”
Sonoma fell behind 6-0 after two innings and crawled back into the game with four runs in the sixth and then scored once in the seventh.
Ethan Vitale and Shane O’Malley had two hits apiece for the SCL co-champs.
CLEAR LAKE 11, BAY SCHOOL 1
At Clear Lake, the Redwood Empire’s only undefeated team advanced as the top seed in Division 5. The Cardinals (25-0) will host a quarterfinal game Saturday.