The 2012-13 school year was the first for realignment for the North Bay and Sonoma County Leagues.    Two teams from each switched to the other league.

In the sports we cover the most; realignment had a bigger impact on the SCL.  It was felt when the school year and the football season started.   Over the past decade, Casa Grande had dominated the SCL race and its dynasty was ended in 2011 by Windsor.   Both those teams went to the NBL.

Analy took advantage by winning its first ever SCL football championship, going undefeated, which they also did in basketball and baseball before the school year ended.  The baseball title was their first since 2001.

Over in the NBL there wasn’t as noticeable of difference.  The football and boys basketball races went like so many have over the past few seasons.   The biggest impact by a new NBL team made was in the Girls Basketball race when Casa Grande playing the spoiler role, defeated Montgomery in the last regular season game to cost the Vikings a share of the league crown with Santa Rosa.

That is until the baseball season.


Casa Grande winning the NBL baseball season isn’t the reason they are the No. 2 story.  It is the way they did it that got them here.

On March 27th, Casa Grande played its first ever North Bay League baseball game and defeated Maria Carrillo 4-3.   The win continued what had been a successful start to the Gauchos season.  The record was 10-1.  Four of the wins were by one run. 

To have 40% of wins to be one run is a high ratio.   By the time the season ended that ratio would grow.

The first nine North Bay League games in the school baseball history were one run wins.  They kept topping themselves which let this website to update the run over and over.

So why not do it again.

March 27th:  3-2 over Maria Carrillo.  They scored a run in the top of the seventh to take a 3-1 lead and then held on. 

March 29th:  4-3 over Windsor (10 innings):  They trailed 2-0 in the third and needed to score a run in the eighth to keep the game going.

April 3rd:  2-1 over Ukiah.  After giving up a 1-0 lead in the sixth, they scored the winning run in the seventh.

April 5th:  4-3 over Santa Rosa (12 innings).  This almost broke the streak and then turned into a marathon.  Casa Grande looked like they had a routine 3-1 win going to the bottom of the seventh.  Santa Rosa scored two to tie and they went nearly into the night before taking the win.

April 10th: The streak almost ended again, this time with a one run loss.  But Casa Grande scored two in the bottom of the seventh to take a 3-2 win over Rancho Cotate.  It was the second walk win of a 4-0 league start.

April 12th:  This was the start of four straight of the streak in which they didn’t trail.  The tying run was thrown out at third to end the game when Nate Bills made a nice catch of a foul ball down the first base line and then made a brilliant throw. 

April 17th:  Scored the game’s only run in the third in a win over Montgomery.  Dominic Garihan and Eric Parnow combined for a four hitter in a big win in the league race.  Montgomery went into the game with one league loss.

April 19th:  A two run third equaled the biggest lead of the run and held on for a 2-1 win over Maria Carrillo.  This win basically put away the NBL race, taking a three game lead with six to go.  The only suspense was how long the streak would go

April 24th:  This turned out to be the last one.   They broke a 1-1 tie with a run in the sixth in a 2-1 win over Windsor. 

Anthony Bender led Casa Grande with ten wins and an ERA of 1.11
Anthony Bender led Casa Grande with ten wins and an ERA of 1.11

After the one run marathon they turned into a monster, winning four of the next five by scores of 7-1, 14-0, 6-0 and 9-2.   The other game was its only league loss to Cardinal Newman 4-2.

It looked like the one run madness was behind them.  That is until it came time for post season play.

Casa Grande won the North Bay League Post Season tournament by defeating Rancho Cotate 5-4 and Cardinal Newman 2-1.  

In the win over Rancho Cotate they were behind 2-0 going to the bottom of the sixth when they scored two runs to tie.

Then they fell behind 3-2 in the eighth and 4-3 in tenth and tied it each time before winning in the 12th.

The championship win over Cardinal Newman was not as dramatic.  After falling behind 1-0, they scored two in the fifth for a 2-1 win.

After all those one run wins they saved the best for last.  In the semi-final of the North Coast Section playoffs they played a game for the ages.   It’s a game that took nearly four hours and 13 innings to play before they pulled off a 12-11 win over College Park.   

The game was tied 2-2 after five when each team scored five runs.

Then in the tenth both teams scored three runs to make it 10-10.

On it went to the thirteenth when College Park scored again to take an 11-10 lead.

In the bottom of the inning Francis Christy hits a two run homer for a 12-11 win.

Francis Christy hit a two run homer to win the most dramatic of all of Casa Grande one run games
Francis Christy hit a two run homer to win the most dramatic of all of Casa Grande one run games

Casa Grande ended 30-3 overall, 13-1 in NBL Play and 16-0 in one run games.

They won six games on its last at bat, four of them in extra innings.   Five times they were behind in the seventh inning or later but scored to either keep the game going or to win it there.

The season didn’t end the way they wanted to as they lost the NCS Championship game to Campolindo 8-0.

As disappointing as that was, doesn’t take away from an amazing season and the No. 2 Sports Story of the 2012-2013 school  year.


No. 5—Cardinal Newman and Montgomery play in the regular season at SRJC

No. 4—Rancho Cotate record run to NCS Championship Game

No. 3—Cardinal Newman record season to State Basketball Championship Game

No. 2—Casa Grande One Runs Its way to the NBL Baseball Championship

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