Empire baseball roundup: Windsor to play Piner for tournament title

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Top-seed Windsor relied on North Bay League-Redwood Division pitcher of the year Tyler Hellums to lead the Jaguars to a 6-3 victory on Wednesday against visiting fourth-seeded El Molino in a semifinal game of the league postseason tournament.

“Hellums might not have had his best game, but he competed and kept us in the game,” Windsor coach Dave Avila said. “With him on the mound we always feel we have a chance.”

Hellums got the win with 5⅓ innings of work, allowing three runs, six hits and eight strikeouts.

El Molino (9-13) starter Connor Romeo took the loss, only recording one out in the first inning and giving up two runs and three hits. Windsor (15-6-1) came out hitting early, scoring two runs in the first inning and three in the third.

“Our pitching has always been our strength, but now our bats are coming around, which is really good,” Avila said. “With the wind blowing in, we did a good job of hitting line drives.”

Ian McGee (2 for 3, 2 RBIs, run) and Cameron Hayman (3 for 3, 2 RBIs, run) led Windsor’s offense.

Sam Wilson-Mietz went 2 for 4 with an RBI to lead El Molino.

Windsor will host second-seed Piner at 4 p.m. Friday in the tournament championship.

Piner 2, Santa Rosa 1

The host Prospectors (15-8) defeated the third-seeded Panthers (13-12) in dramatic fashion to advance to the NBL-Redwood tournament championship game.

Leading 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh with one out and Panthers runners stationed at second and third bases, Piner reliever Dominic Sandoval threw one pitch to induce Santa Rosa’s batter to hit a foul pop-up 25 feet behind first base.

Piner second baseman Alex Tamayo made a sliding catch, got up and threw a strike to catcher Mason Steele, who tagged out Santa Rosa pinch-runner Roman Correa to end the game.

“It was a great play by Tamayo,” Piner coach Nick Green said.

Tamayo also drove in two runs via a bases-load walk in the fourth inning and a sixth-inning single.

Jesus Luna (6⅔ innings, 1 run, 7 hits, 5 strikeouts) earned the win for Piner.

Dylan Day (6 innings, 2 runs, 1 earned, 7 hits) suffered the loss for Santa Rosa.

Cardinal Newman 3, Rancho Cotate 1

The top-seed host Cardinals (19-6) rallied behind starting pitcher Sean Flowers (Win, 7 innings, 4 hits, 1 unearned run, 9 strikeouts) to put away the Cougars (7-17). The Cardinals will host the championship game of the NBL-Oak Division postseason tournament at 4 p.m. Friday against visiting third-seeded Maria Carrillo.

“It was one of Flowers’ best games of the year,” Cardinal Newman coach Derek DeBenedetti said. “He was able to locate a lot of first-pitch strikes. All of his pitches were working for him and he was locked in.”

Riley Cronin (6 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits) took the loss for Rancho Cotate.

Nick George (3 for 3, double, 2 RBIs, 3 steals) was the offensive star for the Cardinals.

Maria Carrillo 14, Ukiah 1

The visiting Pumas (16-8) exploded offensively in an NBL-Oak semifinal for a runaway win over the second-seeded Wildcats (16-9). Maria Carrillo had 18 total hits and scored 11 runs in its first four at-bats.

“We had plate discipline and our plate selection was impeccable,” Maria Carrillo coach Sam Bruno said. “This is our best all-around game of the season.”

Connor Charpiot went six innings for the win for the Pumas.

Jordan smith went three innings in the loss for the Wildcats.

Bryce Veler (4 for 5 double, 2 RBIs), Bryce Cannon (3 for 3, 2 triples, 4 RBIs, 2 runs), and Gabe Henschel (2 for 2, 2 RBIs) led the Pumas’ offense.

Petaluma 5, Vintage 2

The visiting Trojans (14-10, 8-4) clinched a three-way co-championship in the inaugural season of the Vine Valley Athletic League (VVAL) with a victory over the fifth-place Crushers (11-13, 6-6).

Sonoma Valley and the winner of Friday’s game between Casa Grande and American Canyon will share the co-championship with the Trojans.

“We are extremely happy,” Petaluma coach Jim Selvitella said. “We have a very young team. For us to accomplish this co-championship this year, we are really proud.”

Petaluma lefty starter Mark Wolbert (6 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, 5 strikeouts) earned the victory.

“Mark is consistently around the plate, challenging hitters,” Selvitella said.

Garett Lewis hit a massive two-run homer to left field in the sixth inning to give Petaluma a 5-1 lead late in the game.

“That was a huge home run because it gave us some breathing room,” Selvitella said.

Sam Brown (2 for 3, RBI, run) and Jack Gallagher (2 for 3) chipped in offensively for the Trojans.

Justin-Siena 5, Sonoma Valley 4

In the final VVAL game for the Dragons (16-6, 8-4), Sonoma Valley failed to win the league title outright with a tough loss to the sixth-place Braves (9-14, 3-9).

Sonoma Valley led 4-3 after five innings but surrendered the tying run to Justin-Siena in the bottom of the sixth inning and the winning run in the seventh.

Casa Grande 4, Napa 2

The visiting third-place Gauchos (12-11, 7-4) defeated the last-place Grizzlies (2-21, 2-10) in a VVAL game by scoring solo runs in the first, third, fourth and seventh innings.

The Casa Grande win gives it the opportunity to share in the league co-championship if the Gauchos can defeat American Canyon on the road on Friday.

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