A pattern has established itself for the 2013 baseball season for Casa Grande and Santa Rosa.  That pattern continued when the two teams met Friday Afternoon.
That means it was good news for Casa Grande and not such good news for Santa Rosa.
No. 1 Casa Grande takes over sole possession of first place going 12 innings to edge the Panthers 4-3.  Casa Grande is now 4-0 in league play with all four wins by one run.   They have scored the winning run in all four games in the seventh inning or later.  It is the second game they have won that went extra innings.
This was almost a game that Casa Grande let get away, but then that would have ruined the 2013 theme.   They had a 3-1 lead going to the bottom of the seventh, when Santa Rosa scored two runs to force extra innings.   Then on they played…and on and on and on.
With the threat of having to stop the game because of darkness Casa Grande finally scored the winning run in the twelfth.     It scored when Tyler Moore hit a sacrifice fly.   Moore would be one of the lower picks if you were picking a Gaucho who would bring in the winning run.   The sophomore went into the game hitting .100 in twenty at bats.   The RBI was his fifth of the season and his first since the first game of the season.
Anthony Bender closed it out by retiring Santa Rosa in the bottom of the 12th.  Bender pitched the last 5 2/3, striking out 11.   He did blow the save in the seventh, but got the win to raise his record to 4-0.

Casa Pitcher Bender
Anthony Bender Strikes out 11 in Casa Grande’s 12 inning win.

The 5 2/3 innings was the most he has pitched all season.  Going into the game he struck out 12 in 12 1/3.   The two runs he gave up in the seventh were the first runs he has given up this season.
To add to the theme of the season, Casa Grande now has a 13 game winning streak.  They have won eight of them by one run.
The game lasted nearly four hours.
For Santa Rosa the close games has gone the other way.   The Panthers are 1-3 in league with two of the losses by one run.  It is also its third extra-inning game in the last four.    They had won the first two.
Casa Grande moved into sole possession of first place because they got some help from Cardinal Newman who handed No. 5 Rancho Cotate its first league loss by a 5-1 score.
Cardinal Newman scored three unearned runs in the sixth to put the game away.  After two errors led to one run, Ray Hernandez and Erik Owenson Sr. had RBI singles.
That was plenty for James Procter who pitched a complete game, striking out eight.   He controlled everyone in the Rancho Cotate lineup outside of Anthony Sosa, who had two doubles and scored a run.  The rest of the team had two hits.   Procter retired 13 of 14 batters (one of Sosa’s doubles) during one stretch.
Because of the rain on Thursday the game was moved to Cardinal Newman, which means the second meeting on May 1st will be at Rancho Cotate.
That wasn’t the only Friday game that the weather got involved.  The Montgomery game at Windsor was postponed.  They will play the game at Montgomery on Monday.
In the other NBL game Maria Carrillo used a three run first to defeat Ukiah 4-1 to even its NBL record at 2-2.
The 4-0 record gives Casa Grande a one game lead over Rancho Cotate and Cardinal Newman.   Montgomery can move to 3-1 with a win over Windsor on Monday.
Next week is a big week in the league race especially for Casa Grande, who has a home game with Rancho Cotate on Wednesday and then goes to Cardinal Newman on Friday.
The SCL race was also affected by the weather.  The Analy-Piner game was originally scheduled to be played at Piner, but was moved to Analy, where the Tigers raised theirs winning streak to nine, holding Piner to one hit in a 4-0 win.
Analy needed the win to keep pace with Petaluma, who had a five run first and went onto defeat El Molino 11-0.
Petaluma is 4-0 in league play and has outscored its league opponents 40-5.
Analy sits at 3-0 and every other team has at least two losses.
Saturday is D-Day for the SRJC baseball team.
Well not quite but it’s a big game.  They finish off the three game series at Sierra.  The two teams have split the first two and are tied for first in the Big 8 race.
My email address is jacpasquini@comcast.net