On Sunday, Yolo Post 77 had two chances to win the Area 1 tourney, but a pair of close decisions — along with the area’s automatic berth in the American Legion state baseball tournament — went to Petaluma.
Still, Yolo (32-9) held out hope to get an at-large bid to the state event, held in Yountville each season.
On Monday, however, Post 77 and retiring head coach Matt Castles were disappointed to find out that they hadn’t gotten the state tournament invitation. More frustrating still was that Yolo’s Area 1 rival Napa — which took fourth place in the area tournament including a 15-2 loss to Post 77 — had gotten the at-large berth.
Napa did beat the local twice this season, but those games were back in early June.
And Yolo would not have been in the position of hoping for an at-large bid if it had won just one of the two Sunday games against Petaluma. Coming into Doryland Field in Chico for the Area 1 championship round, Post 77 had rolled through the double-elimination tournament without a loss.
In the first matchup — a 17-15 Petaluma win — both teams scored early and often but, after Yolo went ahead 13-9 in the fourth inning, a six-run fifth gave Petaluma a lead it would not relinquish.
The winner-take-all second game was another tight match and Post 77 took a two-run advantage into the ninth inning. Petaluma, however, scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to win 8-7.
Though Yolo had 12 hits in the nightcap, all of the runs came courtesy of a three-run homer by Hayden Duer in the fourth and Robert Daugherty’s fifth-inning grand slam.
Offensive highlights from the opener included two more home runs by Duer — who finished the day with six RBIs — and three hits each from Daugherty, Joe Murray, Thomas Galart and Adam Castelan. Galart and Murray knocked in three runs apiece, while Chris Gnos was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.
On the mound, Carlos Enriquez was the workhorse, pitching a combined 9 1/3 innings in the two games. Other pitchers seeing action were Galart, Chavarria, Daugherty and Jake Miille, who had to leave with a heat-related illness but was okay after cooling down.