Relief pitching carries Palo Alto past Sonoma in opener

Roland Martinez-Luna collected three hits for Palo Alto in Saturday's 11-10 victory over Sonoma.

Adrian Contreras drove in three runs, Roland Martinez-Luna collected three hits and the Palo Alto Babe Ruth 13-15 all-stars opened the NorCal state tournament with an 11-10 victory over Sonoma on Saturday.

Christos Mavrakakis, Stephen Lee and Michael Gonzalez each drove in two runs for Palo Alto, which play an opponent to be determined at 7 p.m. Sunday.

Mavrakakis pitched three solid innings of relief to gain credit for the victory. William Pires recorded the final four outs for the save. Mavrakakis and Pires combined to allow one unearned run on four hits.

Palo Alto scored six times in the top of the fifth inning to overcome a four-run deficit and take control. Ritter Armsbaugh reached second on an error and went to third when Martinez-Luna singled. Palo Alto was successful on a double steal, with Armsbaugh scoring.

Garrett Faure singled and Mavrakakis followed with another single to drive in a run. After Pires walked to load the bases, Lee singled and Gonzalez was hit by a pitch to tie the game.

An error allowed Pires to score the go-ahead and Ben Gordon hit a sacrifice fly to make it 8-6. Palo Alto tacked on three runs in the sixth and survived a Sonoma scare to hold on.

Palo Alto loaded the bases with one out in the top of the seventh but failed to score.

Pires allowed a leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh but came back to strike out the next batter and then the next batter lined out to Martinez-Luna at second, who threw to Contreras at first to complete a game-ending double play.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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