As part of our league previews, the high school sports editor has asked each of the writers to list 5 games to watch. You know, five games that fans need to check out simply because they should be of some importance.
When it came to the East Bay Athletic League, that proved to be really tough to do.
On just about every Tuesday and Thursday for the next two months (save a week off for Spring Break), there will be a good game to watch in the EBAL. Three teams have a realistic shot at the league championship, but it’s really possible for any team in the league to knock off another on any given day.
Foothill and Monte Vista have to be considered the class of the league, simply because both teams return so may starters from last year. The playoff meeting between the Falcons and Mustangs in the NCS 3A semifinals was nothing short of epic, with Foothill winning 2-1 in the 10th inning. Don’t miss these games!
But this year you have to say that California is also part of the title chase. The Grizzlies also return most players from last year, when they lost seven league games by two runs or less. A few breaks here and there, and Cal would have almost assuredly challenged for the championship.
Livermore is rebuilding, but that’s doesn’t mean it’ll be a pushover. In fact, losing so many starters and having people doubt you may actually serve as motivation for the Cowboys.
San Ramon Valley has an experienced battery but it seems like those are the only two players who are in the same position as they were last season. The Wolves will still be a dangerous team to play, but it’ll likely be another year before they challenge for the league title again.
Granada also has most players back from last year and it could end up surprising some people. The Matadors biggest problem may be confidence. Because if there’s a couple of bad results early, it may take a awhile for the young players to recover.
Amador Valley would likely finish in the middle of the pack in any other league in the East Bay, but since it’s in the EBAL, it’s tough for the Dons to get any traction. As it is, AV could still end up spoiling someone’s day.
Players to watch
Amador Valley — SS Emily Cipolla, P Breanna Furphy
California — P Sarah Lawrence, SS Jenn Clarke
Foothill — P Val Arioto, INF Nicole Romero
Granada — C Jamie Miller, SS Becca Sabatini
Livermore — 3B Lauren Bauer, P Kellyn Trummer
Monte Vista — P Stephanie Bregante, C Sarah Axelson
San Ramon Valley — P Dominique Ortega, C Bekah Weisser