In a game that featured 28 hits, Casa Grande scored six runs in the first inning and went on to defeat Maria Carrillo, 14-5, in the NBL baseball tournament championship played Friday at Cardinal Newman.
The Gauchos also struck for six runs in the fifth while defeating the league’s regular season champs.
In the first, Casa sent 11 to the plate. Blake Berry started things with a walk and Spencer Torkelson was hit by a pitch. Quinton Gago got the first hit and that was followed by singles from Hance Smith, John Green, Dylan Moore and Stephen Proctor.
It was the eighth win in a row for the Gauchos and coach Paul Maytorena thinks his team is ready for next week’s North Coast Section tournament.
“We’re in a groove right now,” he said. “We’re squaring up on balls and hitting our stride. We’re getting hot at the right time.”
Carrillo trailed 13-1 going to the bottom of the sixth and scored four runs in the last two innings.
“It’s always tough to lose,” Pumas coach Derek DeBenedetti said. “The positive I’m taking from the game is that we didn’t give up and showed a lot of character.
“We didn’t roll over; we continued to compete. We were still trying to come back even though we were way down.
“A game like this can serve as motivation going into NCS.”
Moore, who was called up from the Casa Grande junior varsity team at the beginning of the week, finished with three hits and three RBIs. The sophomore had two hits in the Gauchos’ opening round win against Ukiah.
“He’s definitely given us a spark,” Maytorena said. “He’s been our designated hitter and put punch in the lower part of our lineup.”
Gago, Smith and Proctor had two hits apiece.
For Carrillo, Will Brede had a 4-for-4 game. Finishing with two hits apiece were Andrew Vaughn, Jo Bynum and Patrick Gavin.
Jason Wutsch, one of four pitchers used by the Gauchos, got the win. Gavin Williams took the loss.
Casa Grande improves to 20-5 while Maria Carrillo’s record is 17-9.