Petaluma, Casa can play with Nor-Cal’s best

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Although neither had a chance to win the tournament after the first round, both the Petaluma and Casa Grande baseball teams proved they could play with the best in Northern California in the Boras Classic played last week in Sacramento.

The tournament brings together 16 carefully selected teams from all over Northern California for four days of intense competition. This year marked the second appearance for Casa Grande and the classic debut for Petaluma.

Both local teams lost their opening games but played well throughout the tournament, with Petaluma going 2-2 and Casa Grande 1-3.

Opening games

Blake Buhrer lost a tough pitching duel with Woodcreek’s Ryan Harvey, 2-1, in Petaluma’s first game on Tuesday. Buhrer pitched 6⅔ strong innings against the Roseville team, allowing two runs on four hits with four walks and eight strikeouts. Unfortunately for the Trojans, Harvey was just a touch better, giving up only one run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

Petaluma hits came from Bradley Smith, Nick Andrakin, Sam Brown and Sam Jacobs. Petaluma scored five runs in the third inning against Carlmont and then held on behind three pitchers for a 5-4 victory and its first Boras Classic victory. Danny Marzo earned the win for three scoreless innings, allowing just two hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Nick Siembieda gave up two hits and two runs in an inning of mound work, while Jacob Tuchband earned the save, allowing two runs in three innings.

Marzo had two hits, including a big triple and drove in two runs in the Trojans’ third-inning rally. Porter Slate and Garrett Lewis also drove in Petaluma runs.

Casa Grande took a similar road on its first day. Casa Grande lost its first game to St. Mary’s of Stockton by a deceiving 4-0 score.

Casa Grande trailed just 2-0 going into the seventh inning when St. Mary’s rallied for two more runs to put the game away.

Broc Burleson pitched six good innings for Casa Grande, working in and out of trouble. He allowed seven hits, but just two runs, while walking four and striking out five. The Rams scored two runs off Travis Morgan in the seventh.

Casa Grande had nine hits off St. Mary’s pitcher Dylan Fagundes, but could never get the crucial run-scoring hit. Joey Loveless, Cameron Downing and Dylan Moore each had two hits for the Gauchos.

Coming back in a night contest, Casa Grande received another well-pitched game, with Nick Kamages throwing six strong innings to beat Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep of San Francisco, 4-3.

Kamages gave up one earned run, with two Sacred Heart runs scoring on a bases-loaded error. The senior scattered six hits and walked just two, while striking out six.

All three Sacred Heart runs came in the fifth inning, after Casa Grande had built a 4-0 lead with two runs in the second and fourth innings.

Aaron Van Tighem, pitching for the first time in more than a year as he battles back from Tommy John surgery, earned the save with a pressure-packed 1-2-3 shutdown in the seventh.

Joe Lampe went 3-for-4 for the Gauchos, with Ibai Guadron collecting two hits and driving in three runs. Justin Millard and Moore each had two hits.

Casa, Petaluma clash

The results put Petaluma and Casa Grande head-to-head on the losers’ side of the bracket in the next round. Petaluma scored five runs in a decisive fourth inning in a game for Petaluma bragging rights that was played 90 miles from home and held on for a 7-2 victory.

Petaluma pitchers Nick Andrakin and Sam Brown combined to limit Casa Grande to five hits. Andrakin worked three innings, allowing two runs and four hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Brown came on in the fifth and shut the Gauchos out the rest of the way, allowing just one hit with three walks and a strikeout.

The tournament took a toll on Casa Grande pitching. Travis Morgan started and gave up seven runs on six hits in five innings before Chris Sanchez pitched a scoreless sixth, allowing two hits.

Big hitter for the Trojans was Kempton Brandis, who tripled, singled and had three RBI. Brown also had a pair of hits for Petaluma. Marzo, Garrett Lewis, Bradley Smith and Gallagher also had hits for the Trojans. Casa’s hits came from five different players — Moore, A.J. Miller, Cole Santander, Von Tighem and Guadron.

Final games

Both local teams lost tough games in their final Boras efforts, with Petaluma losing the consolation title to San Benito, 6-5, and Casa Grande dropping a slugfest to Palo Alto, 14-10.

San Benito’s Haybalers pushed across a run in the top of the seventh to edge the Trojans for the consolation title and spoil a strong comeback for the Petalumans.

Petaluma trailed, 5-1, after four innings but battled back for three runs in the sixth inning and tied the game with a tally in the seventh.

With four games in three days taking a toll on the pitching, Petaluma started freshman Gavin Ochoa. He was relieved in the fourth by senior Danny Marzo, who yielded the winning run in the seventh.

Petaluma continued to smack the ball, with nine hits, two by Gallagher. Marzo, Lewis, Smith, Andrakin, Brown, Brandis and Porter Slate all had hits for the Trojans.

The toll the tournament takes on pitching was also apparent in the Gauchos’ final game as they and Palo Alto’s Vikings combined for 24 runs and 22 hits. Casa defenders further complicated their pitchers’ burden by committing five errors.

The game looked like a rout early, with Palo Alto jumping out to an 11-0 lead through the top of the third inning, but in the bottom of that frame, Casa battled back with a six-run outburst to make the contest competitive.

Chance Torri and Mario Taomina, two of four Casa pitchers, each threw a scoreless inning.

Joe Lampe, Miller, Guadron and Moore each had two hits for the Gauchos. Guadron had four RBI with a pair of doubles and Miller tripled and drove in three runs.

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