It is only Game 2 of the 2014 Sonoma County Baseball League, but already a game is hanging over league play and will as the first half plays itself out.
That is if the first half goes as expected.
The anticipation of the April 17th rematch between No. 1 Petaluma and No. 4 Analy could grow with each game. Of course how much it grows depends how things go between now and then. There are six games before that and who knows where the two teams will be in the YSN rankings and more importantly to them, the league race.
The countdown begins on Friday and both teams can’t worry about the other, as they are playing teams that won their league opener in impressive fashion.
The action starts at 4 pm with Petaluma hosting Healdsburg, who opened up league play with a 6-0 win over El Molino. Then at 7 pm Sonoma Valley is hosting Analy. Sonoma Valley defeated Elsie Allen 10-0 and will be looking for its third straight win, which would get them to the .500 mark for the first time this season. After losing two frustrating games to start the Adam Westcott tournament, Sonoma Valley has outscored the next two opponents 23-0.
NOT 2013 ANYMORE
The weather we had this week had the looks that postponements would be rolling in. The North Bay League Baseball race did have some postponements, but they did get the first league games in, it just took them twenty four hours longer than planned to do it.
If you need any proof that this is a different season, the league opener between No.2 Maria Carrillo and No. 3 Casa Grande is just that. Casa Grande, who is the defending league champion and king of the one run game last season, dropped a 3-2 decision to Maria Carrillo. Casa Grande took a 2-1 lead in the first and that was all the scoring until the seventh when Maria Carrillo won it with two runs, the game winner coming in on a RBI single Keith Wallach.
Maria Carrillo has won four straight to move their record to 7-2. Six of the eight games they have played have been decided by one run. Maria Carrillo is 4-2 in those games.
Maria Carrillo hosts Rancho Cotate this afternoon and that is the only game between two teams that won their league opener. Conner Littleton pitched a one hitter as Rancho Cotate defeated Ukiah 3-0 in another game moved from Wednesday to Thursday.
The biggest surprise of opening day was Santa Rosa defeating No. 5 Windsor 3-0. After starting the season 2-0, Santa Rosa went into the game with a six game losing streak. It is Windsor’s second loss in nine games.
Casa Grande and Windsor are a combined 14-5 overall and 0-2 in league play. Casa Grande is at Windsor on Friday.
As for Santa Rosa, yes it is only one game but they already have as many league wins as they had all of last season. Before getting too excited Santa Rosa fans, the only league win last year was also the opening league game against Windsor. Santa Rosa was sort of the opposite of Casa Grande last season. Five of the seven league losses were by one run.
Santa Rosa is at Montgomery this afternoon.
No. 9 Montgomery lost its league opener to No. 7 Cardinal Newman, who was behind in the bottom of the second 5-0 and rallied for a 9-5 win. The Cardinals scored four in the second to get close and won it with a five run sixth. Five different players drove in runs for Cardinal Newman, including winning pitcher Jeff Rebello who drove in two. Cardinal Newman gets its record to 5-5 on the season, Montgomery after a 5-1 start drops to 5-4.
The NBL Softball race got going on Thursday and they did get all four of their games in with No. 2 Maria Carrillo, No. 4 Windsor, No. 6 Rancho Cotate and No. 8 Cardinal Newman winning.
Rachelle Butulia had a big game for Windsor, as they edged No. 5 Santa Rosa 1-0. Not only did she pitch the shutout to raise her record to 6-1, after doubling she scored the game’s only run in the fourth inning, coming in on a RBI single by Ashlynn Wells.
That was one of two one run decisions. In the other one, Cardinal Newman scored two in the bottom of the seventh to defeat No. 9 Montgomery 2-1.
Maria Carrillo scored five runs in both the sixth and seventh innings and defeated Casa Grande 12-2. Brittney Veler had four hits, drove in two and scored three. On the season she is batting .622. She has had at least two hits in eight of ten games.
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