Last year, two Sonoma Valley High School diamond all-leaguers, outfielder Vinny Albano and pitcher Jimmy Flatt, were key players and contributors for the Petaluma Leghorns American Legion Baseball team that won the area, state and regional titles, and reached the baseball association’s World Series.
This year, Albano, a 2014 SVHS graduate, and two recent Dragon teammates, incoming Sonoma senior CJ Vitale and junior MacLean Meyn, played for Petaluma’s Post 28 squad, which won its second straight American Legion area tournament title, but fell short of repeating as state champions.
Comprised of top Sonoma County prep and Santa Rosa Junior College players, the Petaluma Leghorns won nine games in both the double-elimination area and state tourneys.
But the Leghorns’ back-to-back losses to Chico, which they beat once in each tournament, in the state final, cost them their second straight state crown and a spot, as defending champions, in the Section Regional in Arizona, and a chance for a second consecutive trip to the American Legion World Series.
In going unbeaten in five straight games en route to winning the American Legion Area Tournament in Fairfield, the Leghorns beat Yolo 12-1; defeated Redding 15-4; lumbered past Humboldt 28-11; trimmed Fairfield 12-9; and edged Chico 10-8.