All the games that were on the schedule Wednesday went to form. It would be easy to say that and move on. But two of the games were almost upset specials and both of those were in the North Bay League Baseball race.
One near upset could have changed the race and that was No. 1 Maria Carrillo having to go eight innings to defeat Rancho Cotate 6-1.
A five run eighth did it for Maria Carrillo, after Rancho Cotate threatened to win the game in the bottom of the seventh. The big inning has been a habit for the No. 1 ranked Pumas. It is the seventh time this season that Maria Carrillo has scored at least five runs in an inning. The big inning has been the difference in many games. For example, it was the Puma’s second five run eighth inning. They also had a ten run sixth inning in a win over Windsor and a five run third in a win over Casa Grande. That was all the scoring in each of those games.
A big inning will win be the deciding factor in most games, but for Maria Carrillo it is close to a lock. In winning its first nine league games, they have given up an average of under two runs a game. The most runs they have given up in a league game was in Tuesday’s 12-3 win over Ukiah. Of course they had a five run second in that game, which was the first scoring of the game.
On Wednesday it was Zach Scott who did the job on the mound, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning, before giving way to Clayton Andrews who got the win. Andrews was one of three Pumas who had two hits.
The winning streak is now thirteen as they raise their record to 16-2 on the season. They are also one win away from reaching the ten win mark in league for the fourth time in five years. They will take their first shot at that on Friday, when they host Windsor.
Maria Carrillo keeps its two game lead over No. 4 Montgomery, who defeated Santa Rosa 12-6. The Vikings also had a big inning, that was the fourth, when they scored six. Josh Lenney and Matt Miller each had two hits and drove in two. Lenney’s average is now .436 and he also has a team high 16 RBI. Anthony Prince pitched his second straight complete game to get the win.
The other near upset was No. 7 Cardinal Newman scoring one in the sixth and two in the seventh to defeat Ukiah 5-4. Kyle Scott’s sacrifice fly brought in the game winner.
Jeff Rebello started the winning rally with a leadoff single and ended up scoring on Ukiah’s third error of the game. In the third inning, Rebello hit a two run homer to wipe out a 2-0 Ukiah lead. He also came in to pitch the seventh and got the last two outs to get the win. Rebello is now batting .500 on the season in 54 official at bats. Pitching wise, he is 3-1 on the season.
Cardinal Newman remains in a tie for third with No. 6 Casa Grande, who handled Windsor 15-0. Jon Cristy threw five innings of two hit ball to get the win. Nate Bills had four hits and five RBI to lead an attack that scored at least two runs in every inning but the sixth, when they scored one.
If is basically upset alert time for the NBL leaders until they play two thirds of that round robin the last two league games of the season.
MAYBE ANOTHER SURPRISE
You have to dig a little to find this a surprise, as No. 2 Analy defeated El Molino. The way the season is going for Analy it is a surprise that it didn’t go extra innings, as they took a 9-3 lead to keep their two game lead in the SCL race.
Analy had three players with two hits. Kyle Earley’s second hit was a two run double in the fifth. He would later score in a three run inning, which made it a 7-2 game, which was more than enough for Jae Wagner to get the win.
Analy has a two game lead over No. 3 Petaluma in the SCL race, with four games to go. They are done playing Petaluma and have the tie-breaker thanks to the two extra inning wins over the Trojans.
LEAGUE LEADERS SQUARE OFF
The wild NBL softball race has settled and now, unless things turn crazy again, it is a three way race for the league title. Two of those tied teams meet this afternoon, when No. 3 Maria Carrillo travels to No. 2 Rancho Cotate. Even though things have been crazy in the league race, a Maria Carrillo-Rancho Cotate big game is pretty normal stuff. Maria Carrillo won the first game again 5-4. Rancho Cotate would lose its next game to Cardinal Newman 3-1. Since then they have won seven straight.
Maria Carrillo and Rancho Cotate are part of a three way tie for first, with No. 5 Santa Rosa, who hosts Montgomery. Santa Rosa still has to play Maria Carrillo and Rancho Cotate.
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