Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Casa Grande Gauchos Gearing Up For Playoff Run

The Casa Grande Gauchos Front Office is usually a pretty laid back organization.  Pretty low tech.  Except when it comes to stats.  Or rankings now that the Playoffs are within sight.  The coaching staff is now hanging on every electron as daily updates are posted.  The bottom line of the Division II, Division III, Bay Area and Statewide rankings mumbo jumbo is that the Gauchos are the North Bay's Top Team.

Casa has played exceptionally well the last few weeks getting great pitching and hitting at just the right time.  A quick peek at Max Preps tells the tale.  The Gauchos are 14-4-0 overall and 8-1-0 in Sonoma County League play. Those pesky purple PHS Trojans.  Casa is ranked #2 in the North Coast Section behind Clayton Valley.  Early season games against stronger teams have vaulted the Gauchos to a #15 ranking in the Bay Area Overall. Casa Grande loaded up its schedule with games against the big boys in the South Bay.  Not expecting wins, but hoping to gain respect, they knocked off the Bay Area's #6 Bellarmine Prep by a score of 6-1 early in the season and hung in there with top ranked Serra, losing a 6-4 game.  At least one organization has rewarded that effort by ranking Casa Grande #8 in the State within their Division. I'd tell you which organization, but frankly, I'm too confused ;-) Perhaps a loyal reader will comment with a cite.

A look at the Sonoma County League Leaderboards tells the tale. Three of the SCL's batting leaders are Gauchos. Senior Scott Harkin is batting .476  in 20 games and had the best average in the state for about a week last month. Scott is second in the league to Sonoma's Steve Filippi with Gaucho senior Sean Purtell close behind hitting .422, and senior Matt Gallo at #5 with a .406 average.  The Gauchos are also deep with long ball hitters, occupying the #2-5 spots on the Home Run Leaderboard.  Seniors Matt Nadolski and Sean Purtell have put 2 over this year while Matt Gallo and Scott Harkin have each pounded one.  The same group dominate the league in stolen bases. Harkin and Purtell have 14 with Gallo and Nadolski at 10. Harkin, Purtell and Nadolski are #3,4,& 5 in slugging at .635, .625 and .565 respectively.  Matt Nadolski leads the league with 24 rbis and Purtell is in the #5 spot with 17.

Harkin, Nadolski, and senior Spencer Finkbohner are also getting it done from the mound.  Harkin leads the SCL and the North Coast Section with a 0.00 ERA.  Nadolski and Finkbohner are #2 and 3 in the League with 2.10 ERAs. Nadolski has 46 Ks and Finkbohner 44, occupying the #2 and 5 spots on the League Leaderboard.  Nadolski has notched 4 wins and Harkin 3. 

The weather is wrecking havoc with the final week of the regular season. Today's scheduled game at Analy has been pushed to tomorrow.  Thursday, the Gauchos trek to Windsor and close it out Saturday with a rematch at Petaluma to avenge the green and gold's loss earlier this season.  PTownFan hopes PTownJr won't notice when she ducks out of his Junior Little League game to catch the cross-town show down. Thank God it's not on Mother's Day.

The post-season gets underway with the SCL Tourney in Sonoma and selection for the North Coast Section Tournament on May 18th.  PTownFan is clearing the calendar for playoff baseball as the Gauchos go for their 6th NCS Championship in 7 years.  You gotta believe.

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