CHICO — Yolo Post 77’s three-run seventh inning broke a tie with Petaluma on Wednesday, and the local American Legion baseball squad hung on for an 8-5 win in its Area 1 Tournament opener.
“Petaluma was one of the top few teams in this tournament, so getting through them (Wednesday) was huge,” said Yolo coach Matt Castles. “Now we are in really good position to at least make it through to Saturday, if not farther.”
With the win, Post 77 put itself in a 7 p.m. outing Thursday against the winner of a Wednesday night game between Chico and Humboldt.
On Wednesday, former Davis High star Joe Murray paced the local offense going 3-for-5 with an RBI, while teammate Thomas Galart submitted a 2-for-4 performance with one run knocked in.
Adam Castelan added a hit and two RBIs for Yolo, which also got one-hit, one-RBI outings from Mike Chavarria and former Blue Devil standouts Bobby Young and Chris Gnos.
The District 6 champions, who improved to 29-7, fell behind 2-0 in the top of the first, but took their first lead with four runs in the bottom of the second inning. Petaluma battled back to take a brief 5-4 advantage in the sixth, but Post 77 answered again in the bottom of the frame, scoring once to tie the contest. That set up the decisive seventh-inning rally.
Robert Daugherty and Carlos Enriquez combined on the mound for Yolo, with DHS graduate Hayden Duer doing the catching.