After losing the first game of the Area Tournament to Yolo, 8-5, the Petaluma Leghorns won three straight games to make it to the championship where they had to beat Yolo twice. Petaluma beat the odds and won, 17-14, and, 8-7, to win the Area Tournament and earn a spot in the State Tournament beginning Saturday at Yountville.
This will be the first time the Leghorns will play in the State Tournament, consisting of the top six American Legion baseball teams in California.
In the final championship game, Petaluma took an early 3-0 lead by scoring two runs in the first inning and one run in the third.
Anthony Bender brought in the first run of the game with a single to score Chase Stafford. Bender scored the second run on a wild pitch.
Petaluma's next run came from a Weston Bryan sacrifice fly to score RJ Busse, who singled, stole second base and went to third base on a passed ball.
Yolo scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning to tie the game, but the Leghorns scored once more to regain the lead in the bottom of the inning.
Stafford gave the Leghorns the lead with a single to score Ryan Walsh, who doubled.
Yolo responded with a four-run fifth inning, giving them a 7-4 lead over Petaluma.
Petaluma's next run was another Bryan RBI. Ryan Huag started the inning with a walk, and scored on a Bryan single.
Going into the bottom of the ninth inning, the Leghorns were down 7-5, facing the last three outs of their season.
Huag started the inning off with a single, and Bender followed with a walk. Busse tied the game with a single, scoring Huag and Bender. Blake Patrick walked and reached third base on a pinch-hit single by Vinnie Albano.
The winning run came from Patrick hustling down the third base line and scoring on a wild pitch, as a hard curveball slipped past the catcher. Fellow Leghorns immediately rushed Patrick at home plate, and the championship belonged to Petaluma.
Petaluma's first game resulted in an 8-5 loss, after they led early.
The Leghorns gained control in the first inning, Bender singled with two outs to keep the inning alive and Busse put Petaluma on the scoreboard with a two-run home run.
Yolo came back in the bottom of the second with a four-run inning, to take a 4-2 lead.
Petaluma inched closer with another run in the fifth inning. Busse led off the inning with a hit by pitch, and advanced to second and third base on passed balls. Blake Patrick knocked him in on a groundout double play.
In the sixth inning, the Leghorns took the lead by scoring two more runs. Dom Deville and Charlie Parnow started the inning with walks. Huag singled to load the bases. Following Huag, Bender and Busse hit RBI singles to score two runs.
Yolo scored in the bottom of the inning to tie the game, and three more times in the seventh inning for the last runs of the game.
After a frustrating first loss, the Leghorns saw their offense explode in the next game with a 14-4 win against the Humboldt Seals.