Petaluma finally put together a season best complete diamond performance to knock off host Montgomery, 7-2, on Friday afternoon to finish in third place in Motgomery's A.L. Rabinovitz Tournament.
The Trojans rebounded from a pedestrian split on a rain-delayed tournament opening day to handily defeat the highly rated Vikings with a combination of solid hitting, good defense and an excellent pitching performance by Scott Hilbert.
Hilbert took command early, and had all his pitches working as his teammates quickly struck for a 4-0 lead after three turns at bat. The senior right hander went the distance, allowing only five hits while striking out six. Outstanding plays by Cameron Meyers at second and Corey Echols in center field helped along the way.
One run scored by Montgomery came when a ball hit back through the middle bounced off the glove of a scrambling Hilbert.
Petaluma had plenty of offense with at least a hit in its first five turns at bat. Blake Patrick, Austin Thomason, Hunter Williams and Hilbert all contributed a pair of hits each for the Trojans, who led from the opening inning. Petaluma forced the action by running aggressively at every opportunity.
The Trojans (3-8) broke open a 4-1 contest in the top of the fourth inning, paced by doubles by the hot-hitting Patrick and Tom Quinn. Patrick had a notable tournament with a combined 6-10 effort as Petaluma captured two of three games.
Thomason played only two games, but left his prints on the encouraging showing by the Trojans with his work behind the plate. In addition to three hits, including a booming double in the first inning against Santa Rosa, the proactive catcher picked off three runners with quick throws to waiting infielders.
In the second inning Thomason converted a short ball in the dirt into an immediate out with a quick throw to second base. Twice he picked off runners to frustrate Santa Rosa in the opening game on Thursday.
"The infielders give me the sign on those plays and that gets things started," he explained between games. "You do what you have to get those outs."
Henry Stezner doubled to pace the Viking attack against Hilbert.
Analy 5, Petaluma 1
Petaluma had a challenging afternoon solving the offerings of Analy pitcher Garrett Hill, and fell to the Tigers, 5-1, in a second-round game at Doyle Park.
Hill was in complete control after the third inning when Analy took a 2-1 advantage with a single run off Petaluma starter Jaymes Potts. Hill struck out seven Trojan hitters in going the distance, and breezed through five frames retiring the side in order.
Darin Newman rapped a single to knock in the eventual game-winning tally to give the junior right hander the margin he needed. The Tigers finished with 10 hits in the game.