A great season came to a disappointing end for the El Molino
baseball squad, as they fell to league rival Healdsburg, 16-11, in
the semi-finals of the North Coast Section 2A playoffs on
The third-seeded Lions (12-9) began their playoff run at home on
Wednesday, with an historic, 7-1 win over visiting Fortuna in the
playoff opener. It was only the second NCS baseball win for the
Lions in school history, and the first since Nick Mattos patrolled
the El Mo dugout during the 2002 season.
Ace junior hurler Stephen Traumann notched his sixth win of the
campaign against Fortuna, tossing six strong innings, yielding just
four hits while fanning seven. The Lions¹ hitters struggled early
against Fortuna southpaw Travis Sanborn until the bottom of the
fourth when they rallied for a pair of runs. Gino Casini started
the uprising with a bloop single, followed by a seeing-eye knock
from Korey ³Goose² Gosselin. Both wound up scoring for a 2-0 El Mo
With Traumann on cruise control, the Lions broke it wide open in
the decisive sixth inning, when hits from Jon Canelis, Bret
Williams and a clutch, two-run knock from Matt Thomson gave El Mo a
comfortable, 7-1 bulge. Franceschi came on to pitch a scoreless
seventh in mop-up duty to post the six-run victory. Leading hitters
included: Trevor Roades (1 for 3, 2B, RBI), Thomson (1 for 4, 2
RBIs) and Gosselin (1 for 2).
The victory set up an NCS semi-final clash with second-seeded
Healdsburg on Saturday at Mendocino College in Ukiah. With wind
gusts of up to 60 miles-per-hour, El Mo junior Matt Weger climbed
the hill opposite Hounds¹ ace Jorge Gonzalez.
³Big Daddy² Gino Casini got the party started in the first
inning when he went deep for a two-run, tape measure blast, his
fifth of the season. Healdsburg, aided by three hits and a pair of
walks, answered with a four-spot in the home half of the frame to
take a 4-2 lead.
El Mo leadoff man Trevor Roades went long for a two-run home-run
shot to knot the game at 4-4 in the second, but the Lions¹
excitement would be short-lived. With Traumann on in relief in the
nightmarish third inning, the El Mo defense imploded for five
errors, with three coming on wind-blown fly balls. When the dust
cleared, the Hounds had plated nine runs, as Healdsburg opened up a
commanding, 13-4 lead.
But on this day, no lead would be safe. The Lions clawed back
with three runs in the fourth and another four in the sixth, coming
on a grand slam from El Mo masher Matt Thomson to cut the deficit
to 15-11. Brian Bush came on in relief of Gonzalez to stop the
bleeding, and the Hounds survived a 16-11 slugfest.
³I¹ve never seen the wind blow so hard in a baseball game,² said
Healdsburg coach Mark Domenichelli later. ³There¹s no way you could
prepare for something like that.²
The teams combined for 27 runs and 31 hits in the game. Leading
the 16-hit El Mo lumber company was: Roades (2 for 5, HR, 2 RBIs),
Thomson (3 for 4, HR, 6 RBIs), Randall Packard (2 for 3, 2B, RBI),
Casini (1 for 4, HR, 2 RBIs), Gosselin (4 for 4), Williams (3 for
4) and Weger (1 for 2). Gonzalez got the win for Healdsburg, while
Traumann (1 IP) took the loss. Evan Englar tossed three innings in
relief for the Lions.

Previous articleVamos a Nadar (Let¹s go swimming) go Swimmimg


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here