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Trojans eliminated from NCS in tenth inning

El Cerrito managed the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning and held on to upset sixth-seeded Petaluma, 3-2, in a tense North Coast Secion Division 2 first-round baseball contest played May 23 on the Trojan diamond. The visiting Gauchos earned another trip to the Redwood Empire from the East Bay on May 26 when they take on Casa Grande in the North Coast Section quarterfinal round.

There was never more than a single run separating Petaluma and the Gauchos in the well-played contest that eventually ended the season for the host. The game moved along at a brisk pace on a chilly afternoon, with the Trojans salvaging extra innings on a clutch rally in their last scheduled at bat in the seventh frame.

Pitchers Nick Andrakin of Petaluma and Ricky Salas of El Cerrito both threw well enough to win, but neither was around after the seventh when the Trojans chased home the tying run on a looping single by Danny Marzo.

Petaluma was frustrated most of the afternoon as the Trojans hit the ball solidly against Salas, but came away with only two runs.

El Cerrito had trouble completely squaring up the ball against Trojan pitching and finished with a number of routine balls hit to the outfield. Petaluma center fielder Kempton Brandis had eight put outs.

A long solo home run in the bottom of the second inning by Garett Lewis gave Petaluma a 1-0 advantage. Salas left a pitch up in the zone and the freshman third baseman lifted a fly ball to left field that cleared the fence by a good margin. It was his third round tripper of the season.

El Cerrito battled back to take the lead with two runs in the top of the fifth inning. Left fielder DeAngelo Fleetwood hit a sharp ground ball past Lewis down the left-field line to move runners to second and third with no outs.

A sacrifice fly plated the tying run, but the throw from the outfield came toward the plate, and a quick toss to third got away, allowing an unearned run to score.

It was all left up to the Trojans in the bottom of the seventh after outfielder Bradley Smith managed a walk on a prolonged at bat. Smith, who was frustrated with a couple of line-drive outs in previous trips, flew around second base on a short single into right field by Devin Gottschall.

After an infield fly for the second out of the inning, Marzo made enough contact to hit a ball into open space along the left-field line, and the game was tied at 2-2. Porter Slate grounded to second base to end the inning.

Issac Sloan knocked in the eventual winning run for the jubilant Gauchos in the top of the 10th off of Marzo, who threw the final three innings for the Trojans.

Petaluma went down in order in the bottom of the 10th to eventual winning pitcher Jamison Patanapanich.

The Trojans outhit El Cerrito, 7-5, but didn’t have anything left in the tank in the 10th frame. Their season ends with a championship run in the final Sonoma County League standings and a record of 18-9 overall. El Cerrito improves to 19-6 for the season with the exciting win.

Marzo had two hits to improve his average to .446 for the season.

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