Henris Roofing rolls on, captures 50/70 TOC

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Petaluma American continued its domination of 50/70 league opponents by overwhelming the Mark West Giants, 16-1, in the finals of the District 35 Tournament of Champions at the Mark West Little League complex in Santa Rosa last Saturday.

The Henri’s Roofing club finished the regular season undefeated and capped the current run with a three-game tourney sweep to move into the District 35 championship play as a solid favorite after knocking off the Giants in a four-inning shortened game. Henri’s will now face four all-star teams in a double-elimination District 35 Tournament beginning on Father’s Day with the winner to advance to the Section Tournament hosted by District 4 in the East Bay.

“Mark West, Rincon Valley and Sebastopol will all combine their players into all-star teams and be more competitive,” noted Petaluma manager Blaine Clemmens after the TOC contest. “Our team will remain the same because we represent one league.”

Petaluma grabbed an early 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning against the Giants after its first two batters were retired on strikeouts by Mark West pitcher Anthony Gonzalez.

Gonzalez featured an over-the-top pitching motion that Henri’s batters quickly began to solve after a walk to Kalen Clemmens and a single bounced on the ground into right field by Nicky Gonzalez-Dachev. Phillip Liu then pulled a hard base hit to the left side. and two runs scampered across the plate.

The two-RBI smash by Liu was the beginning of a notable outing in which he accounted for six runs before the game was halted by a 15-run mercy rule.

Liu came back to get two hits and knock in three more runs in the bottom of the third inning, when Henri’s chased 10 runs across the plate while driving Gonzalez from the bump.

Fourteen Petaluma batters paraded to the plate with substitutions also making contributions in the bottom half of the lineup. Sam Larson, Cody Armbright and Sebastian Henry took good swings, while Nick Camilleri, Haden Back and Andrew Walker added to an offense that pleased manager Clemmens.

“It’s important that everyone contributes if we are to advance in the upcoming tournament,” Clemmens said. “The kids took some good cuts and made contact today.”

Gonzalez-Dachev and Ethan Arellano each banged out three hits to join Liu in the hit parade on a warm afternoon in Santa Rosa. Jeffery Rice also slugged two hits and reached base three times. Liu finished with 11 RBIs in the tournament.

Jacob Untalan went four innings to get credit for the pitching victory for Petaluma. Untalan gave up only two hits to the Giants while striking out six using mostly fastballs.

Giant batter Aiden Wedge broke a season-long scoreless streak by Untalan when he lofted a long solo home run over the center-field fence in the top of the third inning.

Mark West infielders on the left side made four well-executed ground-ball putouts on strong throws to first base to nail Henri’s runners.

The game was played in rising temperatures near 90 degrees, but a constant light breeze and between innings infield watering helped cool things down.

The 50/70 Little League program with extended distances concludes every season with a playoff series in Livermore.

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