Two years ago, Casa Grande went 27-3 and took the NBL Baseball title they set a pattern of winning one run games. Calling it a pattern might be a little bit of an understatement. Seventeen of its wins were by one run, including the first nine of league play.

Casa pitch
Chris Joaquim has been tough to hit this season

Casa Grande is in first place again and they setting a different type of pattern.  This season is turning in the season of the shutout.  On April 10th, Santa Rosa’s Richard Prentice hit a ground ball to second which scored Sawyer Croft.  That play came with two outs in the fifth inning and Casa Grande went on to win the 7-2.  That didn’t seem like such a big deal at the time, but that is the last time anyone has scored against Casa Grande.
On Wednesday, they played their first game as the NBL first place team, not to mention as the No. 1 team in the rankings and defeated Montgomery 5-0.  The win raises their record to 14-5 overall and 8-1 in the NBL race, which is good enough for a one game lead over Maria Carrillo and Cardinal Newman.  It was the Gauchos ninth straight win and fifth straight shutout..
This is five games and 37 1/3 innings since that run has scored.  Six pitchers, which is a third of the roster, have had a hand in the streak.  The most appearances belongs to Eric Parnow.  He pitched the final inning in wins over Windsor and Cardinal Newman, which started the streak.  He also started the latest game which was the win over Montgomery.  He went five innings, giving up two hits while striking out eight and walking two.
The most innings during the streak belongs to Chris Joaquim, who started two of the games, giving up four hits in 11 2/3 innings.  Joaquim’s starts came against Cardinal Newman and Maria Carrillo, the two teams battling Casa Grande for the NBL lead.
Jon Cristy also started two games, going ten innings and giving up two hits.  Jack Hill pitched four innings in two relief appearances with Justin Broihl and Nick Bostow each having an appearance each.
Christy started the streak by retiring the first ten batters in a 6-0 win over Windsor.  The closest a team has scored is Rancho Cotate during the third game of the streak.  It was the fifth inning and Jack Hill had come in relief.  They led 2-0 and Rancho Cotate had runners at first and third with no outs.  A caught stealing, a fly out and strike out later, they were out of the inning.  It is one of six times during the streak that a runner has reached third.
During the streak, nineteen have reached base and they have a WHIP of 0.51.  The WHIP is the average of baserunners per inning and 1.0, or one an inning, is considered good.  The most hits in a game are three, which was by Montgomery.
By the way, the rest of the league has a combined four shutouts, with Maria Carrillo having two.
Casa Grande tries to keep the streak alive when it meets Ukiah Friday afternoon. More importantly,  they will try to keep its lead in the NBL race.  Ukiah is in fourth place, two games back of Casa Grande.
Casa Grande isn’t the only team that has a hot pitching staff.
In a game that was originally scheduled for tonight, that was play on Thursday, No. 2 Sonoma Valley defeated No. 10 Analy 1-0.  Junior MacLean Meyn pitched his seventh complete game and fourth shutout, while raising his record to 7-3.
That is Sonoma Valley’s fourth straight shutout.  They haven’t allowed a run since the April 14th 6-2 win over Piner.
Overall, Sonoma Valley has won eight straight, all league wins, to raise its record to 11-8 and has a one game lead over Petaluma.   That is who Sonoma Valley meets next at Petaluma on Tuesday.  In the first meeting Sonoma Valley took a 2-1 win.
During the eight game winning streak Sonoma Valley has given up four runs.
Casa Grande’s first win of their nine game winning streak was against Sonoma Valley, which is their last loss. You would think with all these numbers it was a tight 1-0 or 2-1 game. That wasn’t the case. Casa Grande defeated Sonoma Valley 11-8.
It has been a big week No. 2 Ukiah. Two one run wins has put them in control of the NBL race.
The big win was on Tuesday when they edged Rancho Cotate 4-3, scoring the winning run in the bottom of the seventh. They followed that up with a 2-1 win over Casa Grande on Thursday.  Ukiah has a two game lead over Maria Carrillo with four games to go.
Ukiah has won twelve straight and are 16-4 on the season.  They haven’t finished over .500 overall and in league play since 2012.  That mini-streak ends this season.
Meanwhile the NCL I race has a familiar look to it. No. 5 Cloverdale and No. 6 Clear Lake are tied in the loss column for first, one game ahead of No. 9 Lower Lake. One Tuesday, Cloverdale defeated Lower Lake 5-1.  Cloverdale and Clear Lake split its two games and don’t meet each other again.  Lower Lake has one game left against each of the leaders.
maiya v mont
Maiya Flores, All State Freshman.

It was quite a season for the Cardinal Newman Girls Basketball team and the awards keep coming in.  Maiya Flores was named to the ten player Cal Hi Sport State Freshman Team.  Unofficially Flores is the eighth player in Sonoma County history to be named to an All State list.  Bianca McCall of Montgomery was named twice as a sophomore and Junior in 1998 and 99.
One other player on the list is her head coach Monica Mertle who made it in 2002.
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