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April 1, 2023

Lions and Tigers start playoff season with high hopes

The baseball season will begin anew for the El Molino and Analy
varsity squads this week, when both teams make a run at North Coast
Section playoff titles.
The Tigers (11-10, 9-7) landed the sixth seed in the NCS 3A
playoffs which includes (in order of seeding) Marin Catholic,
Montgomery, Maria Carrillo, Casa Grande, Cardinal Newman, Analy and
Windsor. At press time, the Tigers were preparing for a May 24
first round clash at third seeded Maria Carrillo. Should Analy
advance, they¹ll face the winner of the Montgomery-Windsor game on
Saturday, May 27 (time and place TBA).
El Molino (11-8, 9-7) was awarded the third seed in the NCS 2A
playoff tournament and were to take on visiting Fortuna in the
opener on May 24. A win for the Lions would mean they would face
the winner of the Healdsburg-Terra Linda game on Saturday, May 27.
The complete list of 2A teams in order of seeding is: Arcata,
Healdsburg, El Molino, McKinleyville, Tamalpais, Fortuna, Terra
Linda and San Rafael.
³We were happy to get the number three seed and get a home
game,² said El Mo skipper Rick Tacla. ³I¹m hoping we can finish
well, but whatever happens I¹m real proud of the guys for the kind
of season we¹ve had.²
As expected, the wide-open Sonoma County League baseball pennant
race came down to the final day of the season last Saturday, as the
Tigers fell to Casa Grande, 4-3 in a heartbreaker.
Ironically, weather played a major factor in the outcome of the
race, with Friday¹s games between El Mo and Sonoma, and
Windsor-Casa Grande washed out due to rain.
On the same day, the Tigers rode the arm of winning pitcher Brad
Graham, who tossed six strong innings to notch a rain-soaked, 9-3
win over Petaluma. The victory set up a showdown with the visiting
Gauchos on Saturday morning.
The Tigers came into Saturday¹s game needing a win to forge a
tie with Casa at 10-6, with the tiebreaker going to the Tigers.
Unfortunately for Analy, things didn¹t work out as planned, as Casa
Grande fought back from a 3-1 deficit to post the one-run
Despite the loss, the Tigers (9-7, 11-9) got an outstanding
pitching performance from senior Dana Amundsen, who went the
distance and lost a tough duel to Casa ace Eric Lebaron. Pacing the
Analy attack were Jordan Robbins (2 for 3) and Ryan McCown (2 for
3, 3B).
³The guys played well, it just came down to a couple of hits and
pitches here or there,² said Tiger coach Steve Miller. ³Overall,
you gotta be happy with our boys, they played hard and Dana pitched
a great game.²
El Mo ends league season on winning note
The Lions, fresh off a disappointing 6-0 loss at Healdsburg on
Wednesday, hosted Windsor (8-8, 9-8) on Saturday in the league
finale. Pitcher Stephen Traumann climbed the hill opposite Jags ace
Joe Van Cleave, and El Mo¹s junior stopper responded with another
strong outing.
The Lions drew blood in their half of the first inning when
Korey Gosselin went deep for his fifth homer of the season to stake
his team to a 3-0 lead.
El Mo chased Van Cleave in the third inning, and put another
three-spot on the board in the fifth to coast to an eventual 6-3
win. Anthony Franceschi tossed the final inning in relief to get
the save. Top hitters for the Lions were Gosselin (3 for 3, HR, 3
RBIs), Matt Thomson (2 for 2, 2 RBIs) and Gino Casini (1 for 3,


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