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Back-to-back five-run innings powered No. 1 Casa Grande past visiting No. 4 Rancho Cotate, 12-1, in a North Bay League postseason tournament semifinal game on Wednesday.

The Gauchos’ victory advances them to the tournament final on Friday at 4 p.m. versus No. 2 Maria Carrillo at Santa Rosa Junior College.

Casa Grande (19-6) tagged Rancho Cotate (14-11) starter Joey Kramer for eight earned runs in three-plus innings.

“We worked Kramer’s pitch count really high early in the game. Pressure situations tend to fatigue a pitcher and I just think we wore him down,” Casa Grande coach Chad Fillinger said. “We have been leaving runners in scoring position in previous games but we didn’t today. We cashed in runners and our timing was great today on offense.”

Casa Grande starter Travis Morgan earned the win with a six-inning outing, giving up no runs and four hits.

“Travis threw awesome. He mixed his speeds and got a lot of one-pitch outs. He was very efficient,” Fillinger said.

Rancho Cotate coach John Morrow said his batters were helping Morgan out by being too anxious at the plate.

“Morgan was keeping us off balance. We were swinging at stuff we shouldn’t have,” Morrow said. “We aren’t a big scoring team, so going down 5-0 kind of took the wind out of our sails and it was tough to come back.”

Casa Grande’s AJ Miller had the big bash in the fourth inning — a bases-clearing triple in the left-center field gap that made it 8-0 Gauchos. Miller (1-3, 3 RBIs, 2 runs) was joined by Joey Loveless (2-3, 3 RBIs, run) and Cameron Downing (2-3, RBI, 2 runs) in leading the Gauchos offense.

Kramer was 3-3 with a double to lead the Cougars.

Casa Grande and Maria Carrillo were 1-1 against each other in the regular season and are very evenly matched.

“Our offense is firing on all cylinders right now. I expect a battle. Maria wants to get a little bit of revenge,” Fillinger said. “Maria is a good team and they will give us a dogfight.”

Maria Carrillo 7, Cardinal Newman 0

The No. 2 host Pumas (19-6) won their NBL semifinal and got revenge for the 17-2 thrashing that the No. 3 Cardinals (14-11) handed them on Saturday.

“There was a payback element today. I was waiting to see how the kids would respond,” Maria Carrillo coach Sam Bruno said. “This was our rubber match with Cardinal Newman and we wanted to make a statement.”

Maria Carrillo starter Connor Charpiot iced the Cardinals over seven innings, giving up zero runs and three hits.

“Connor was getting ahead of hitters all day and throwing all his pitches for strikes,” Bruno said. “He was able to do what he wanted to do today.”

Cardinal Newman’s Dante Cavallo went four innings in the loss.

“In the beginning, Cavallo was getting ahead of our hitters with the curveball,” Bruno said. “Around the third and fourth innings, he lost control of the curveball and we were able to hit the fastball.”

The Pumas’ Brian Orr hit a two-out triple in the fourth inning to break up the scoreless tie and ignite five runs in the inning. Orr (2-3, triple, 2 RBIs, run) and JJ Neiman (2-3, double, RBI) led the Pumas.

“Friday should be a great game,” Bruno said of the matchup versus Casa Grande. “We have very similar teams — we both have great pitching, hitting and defense.”

Analy 8, Piner 0

At Sonoma Valley, the No. 3 Tigers (17-8) upset the No. 2 Prospectors (13-11-1) in a Sonoma County League postseason tournament semifinal game.

“We put the bat on the ball tonight,” Analy coach Casey Cunningham said. “Our attitude for tonight was to be aggressive. Anything in the strike zone, we were swinging early.”

Analy scored a run in the first inning, four in the second and another run in the third for a 6-0 lead against Piner starter Brennan Carpenter. Analy’s Luke Tollini had a two-out, two-run double in the fourth inning that broke the game open.

Meanwhile, Analy starter Tyler Stasiowski blanked Piner over seven innings and worked his way out of several Piner scoring threats.

“He pitched well,” Piner coach Nick Green said. “We had him on the ropes in two innings and he weaseled his way out of it.”

Said Cunningham of Stasiowski: “He had a lot of movement on his fastball. He dialed in his breaking ball when he needed to. He got out of some good jams.”

Analy will play No. 1 Petaluma Thursday at 7 p.m. at Sonoma in the tournament championship. The Trojans defeated the Tigers twice this season.

“We’ve got to match Petaluma’s intensity,” Cunningham said. “Petaluma is very good, they are well coached and have some young hitters that are very good. Getting a little lucky tomorrow would help.”

For Piner, it’s now a waiting game as to whether it will receive an invite to the North Coast Section playoffs.

“We didn’t get off the bus tonight. Our defense was lousy (three errors),” Green said. “We go back to work tomorrow and hope to get a call from the NCS on Sunday.”

In SCL playoff softball:

Sonoma Valley 12, Analy 2 (5 innings)

The host No. 2 Dragons (13-11) led 7-0 after two innings and cruised to the win in a shortened five-run game due to the 10-run rule over the No. 3 Tigers (17-8).

The Dragons will play No. 1 Petaluma Thursday at 5 p.m. in the tournament championship at Sonoma.

“Sonoma Valley came to play and we didn’t,” Analy coach Nick Houtz said. “We didn’t hit.”

The Dragons blasted three home runs to lead the offense. Abby Alcayaga (3-3, 4 RBIs, 4 runs) hit a three-run shot in the second inning and Ally Alcayaga and Kaliyah Hensic both hit solo homers in the middle innings.

Dragons starter Kennedy Midgley threw a complete game in the win.

“Kennedy was getting ahead early in the count and hitting the corners,” Sonoma Valley coach Keeley Ray said.

Analy starter Carson Rasmusson took the loss after leaving in the third inning after being hit by a comebacker.

Sonoma was 0-2 verus Petaluma in the regular season.

“We need to get our bats going against Petaluma and play with more confidence,” Ray said. “We tend to play timid against Petaluma and I can’t figure out why.”

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