What we saw on Wednesday may have been the biggest baseball day in Sonoma County History.
It certainly was one of the most dramatic.
For the first time since the format of the playoffs included the East Bay and Redwood Empire, a Sonoma County team has made the finals in both Division 2 and 3.
The way they did it is hard to believe.
Casa Grande and Analy each won marathons that lasted nearly four hours. Casa Grande’s was decided in the 13th inning, Analy’s in the 11th.
The two games were as different as night and day. Considering one game started on a bright windy sunshiny afternoon and the other ended nearly at midnight, it is appropriate.
In the order of the games, Casa Grande defeated College Park 12-11. Francis Christy hit a two run homer in the bottom of the 13th for the win. It was Christy’s fourth hit of the long game and his sixth homer of the season.
It also ended a game that summed up the Casa Grande in a nutshell. It also ended a game that had so many twists and turns, the crowd didn’t know what to think.
College Park seemed to have the game put away at least a couple of times.
They broke a 2-2 tie by sending ten men to the plate in the sixth inning and taking a 7-2 lead.
Casa Grande matched the College Park in the bottom of the inning to make it 7-7.
College Park scored three in the tenth to take a 10-7 lead.
Casa Grande matched that in the bottom of the inning.
College Park scored a run in the 13th to make it 11-10.
Enter Christy and his walk off homer.
So much happened in this game that it makes your head spin. This is a much shortened version of things. There will be more about it at a later time, hopefully in the next 24 hours.
I was at the game and frankly in someways it is taking more time than I have at the moment to process things and give the game its justice, if that is even possible in this case.
The bottom line for now is Casa Grande advances to the NCS Division 2 championship game and will meet No. 2 and three time Division Champion Campolindo.
The game will be played Saturday at 1 pm at SRJC.
Not too long before that epic game ended, another one was starting. In a game that ended at about 11:30, Analy defeated Drake 5-4 in a game that went 11 innings.
While the Casa Grande-College Park marathon was a free swinging duel, this one had little scoring. Analy scored two runs in the first and it looked like they would hold up. They had several other chances thanks to ten walks, but left 11 men on base during regulation.
Drake scored a run in the fourth without a hit. They wouldn’t get their first hit until the sixth when they tied the game at 2-2.
Analy scored two in the tenth to take a 4-2 lead, but Drake tied it up in the bottom of the inning.
Drake actually had the runner at third with no outs and the bases load with one out in the bottom of the tenth, and Analy got out of the inning. That was thanks to a daring attempt to steal home that back fired.
Dylan Mathias hit a two out RBI double in the 11th to drive in the winning run. Drake threatened in the bottom of the inning (of course they did). Darin Newman, who pitched his first inning in the 11th, ended things by picking a runner off second base.
Analy is now 23-5 on the season and will meet No. 1 Acalanes for the Division Championship on Saturday afternoon. Like the Casa Grande championship game, it will also start at 1 pm. The game will be played at 1 pm at St. Mary’s College.
Acalanes advanced to the Championship Game by defeating Sonoma Valley 1-0. Johnny York made a third inning run stand up by tossing a perfect game, striking out 15 of the 21 outs.
Sonoma Valley ends the season 19-10.
Again there will be more about this remarkable day coming.
No. 1 Casa Grande 12 No. 5 College Park 11 (13 innings)
No. 1 Casa Grande vs. No. 2 Campolindo…Saturday 1 pm at SRJC
No. 1 Campolindo 1 No. 4 Sonoma Valley 0
No. 3 Analy 5 No. 2 Drake 4 (11 innings)
No. 1 Campolindo vs. No. 3 Analy…Saturday 1 pm at St. Mary’s College in Moraga
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