Kravitz resigns as SRV football coach

As if Matt Sweeney’s departure from Foothill High School wasn’t enough to shake things up in the East Bay Athletic League football coaching ranks.
Dave Kravitz resigned Monday after a successful 15-year run as the head coach at San Ramon Valley. Sweeney resigned May 29, and Kravitz’s departure leaves the EBAL without two of its most noteworthy coaches for the upcoming season.
Because Kravitz’s resignation was verbal and not written, there’s still a chance he could change his mind. But he sounded Tuesday night like he had every intention of turning in the written resignation on Wednesday.
Kravitz cited a disagreement with San Ramon Valley prinicpal Joe Ianora as the primary reason for his resignation. Ianora said he knows of no such disagreement and will be sad to see Kravitz go.
Regardless of whatever off-field disputes may or may not have ocurred, no one denies Kravitz’s coaching ability. He went 102-58-4 in his 15 years with the Wolves and led them to the 2004 North Coast Section 3A championship.
His resume might not be as long or as sparkly as Sweeney’s, but then again, who’s is? Sweeney won four NCS championships and won or shared 11 league titles in 21 years at Foothill. But both Kravitz and Sweeney left indelible marks on the league, their communities and the players they coached.
San Ramon Valley linebacker Kai Cummings expressed frustration that he couldn’t help bring Kravitz his first league championship last season and that he wouldn’t have a chance to remedy that as a senior in the fall. If the Wolves manage to claim the EBAL title this year, rest assured Kravitz will be in their minds.
“We all really respected him a lot,” Cummings said. “We know it wasn’t his intention to abandon our team — it was more in-depth than that. But this season is going to go out to him.”
Check out Wednesday’s Times for more on the story.

— James Leonard


All Times Boys Vball

One of the toughest duties we have here at the Times is selecting the 2007 All-Times team. Personally, the whole process is akin to light torture, which is why one coach said it was the reason the “professionals” get paid the big bucks to do it.
Picking the best six boys volleyball players out of hundreds is a daunting task especially when there are differing points of views from coaches and when team success is factored into the equation. Talent alone won’t get you on the Times team, which is sometimes confusing.
Should we penalize or reward a player even if their teams finished near the bottom of a league or didn’t make the playoffs? Or does it hurt that he plays libero, a vital part of any team but a position that can go unnoticed by many?
Many names were thrown into the mix by coaches, but the one name that was always mentioned first was Matt Rice, a talented volleyball prospect that is rare around these parts. In fact, this was the year of the opposite hitter, as four of them (Rice, Justin Smith, Chris Brecheisen, and Todd Travis) made the team. Outside hitter Nik Tertel and setter Erik Aku rounded out the top six. Selecting a coach was also tricky. We made Deer Valley’s Lou Panzella our coach of the year over Foothill’s Dusty Collins, who was a leading candidate for the award again. Collins was able to replace five starters, including the EBAL’s MVP Billy Arnold, and repeat as NCS champions. Either way, one couldn’t go wrong. In the end, it was an exciting boys volleyball season and we look forward to next year.

–Ricardo Sanchez Jr.


Ain’t no cure for the summertime blues

So, what exactly does a prep sportswriter do when school is out? I can’t tell you how many people have asked me that question since we wrapped up the spring season. Well, the answer isn’t as complicated as you might think. We don’t get shipped off to the Federated States of Micronesia to cover cricket and we don’t end up in Brazil covering beach volleyball (trust me when I say that I’m not opposed to that idea AT ALL).

So what’s the answer. Well, for starters, we all take a little time off. It’s a long haul from August to June and the batteries need a little recharging. Once we’re back at full speed, summer gives us an opportunity to pursue some avenues that we don’t get a chance to explore during the regular season. For me, a fun summer exercise is to follow local baseball players who are toiling in the minor leagues.

Just in the past few days, I’ve caught up with some guys I enjoyed watching in high school. How about De La Salle grad Clayton Tanner? On June 12 for the Giants single-A affiliate Augusta, Tanner tossed 5 1/3 innings, allowed three runs and struck out eight. After the start, Tanner stood at 8-2 with a 2.47 ERA. Try Atlanta Braves farmhand and Monte Vista grad Jeff Lyman on for size. Pitching for the Rome Braves, Lyman went 7 innings, allowed three runs and struck out seven to pick up a victory on June 14. The fun never stops.

Now that I’ve geeked out over the dog days of summer, I feel compelled to remind you that August is right around the corner and football season is coming soon. For proof of that, look no further than our message board. Several readers have already chosen who will be the Diablo Foothill Athletic League champion for 2007. Just you wait. It’ll be here before you know it.
– Ben Enos


State baseball rankings

Cal-Hi Sports released its final state baseball rankings for 2007 this morning and the East Bay is well represented in the Top 50. Heading the list is Acalanes as the Dons check in at No. 14 after cruising to the NCS 2A East Bay title. Next are the two schools who met in the NCS 3A East Bay championship, with De La Salle at No. 19, followed by Alameda at No. 29. Rounding out the list is Clayton Valley at No. 36. Also of note are the division rankings because Acalanes finished the year as the No. 1 ranked team in Division III. In case you’re wondering, the No. 1 team in California this season was Wilson-Long Beach. As is normally the case, these rankings will probably be a lightning rod for debate since the season is now over and everyone has an opinion of how things went down. I think what these rankings show is that while some felt this was a down year on the diamond in these parts, we did have some extremely good talent to watch. You’re going to see several players off these ranked teams playing at the next level.

Also, as an aside, I got a chance to get out and see the Giants and Blue Jays last night at AT&T Park and got to see San Ramon Valley grads Nate Schierholtz and Randy Winn make quite an impact. Schierholtz got his first major league hit in the first inning and Winn made a leaping catch at the wall to keep the Giants in front, 3-2, in the ninth inning. Somewhere, Rick Steen is smiling.
-Ben Enos


NCS 2A East Bay Baseball Championship (Acalanes vs. Albany)

The final linescore..
Acalanes, 16 Runs, 17 Hits, 3 Errors; Albany 3 Runs, 6 Hits, 5 Errors.

Not much analysis needed for this one. Acalanes simply did what it’s done all season long, and that’s hit the baseball. It was the fifth time in six games that Dons compiled 10 hits or more. Albany just didn’t have an answer for their relentless offensive attack. Stone clearly is the player of the game, finishing 3-for-5 with 8 RBI. Guglielmo was also impressive on the mound as he pitched two-hit ball over five innings. With just four seniors on the team, a young Albany team can hang its hat on a strong season and a promising future.

Thanks for sticking with us today. Hope you enjoyed it.

Donny Miller comes on to pitch the seventh for the Dons. Adney opens things off by reaching on an error. Spencer McNamara pinch hits and draws a walk as Miller is doing his best Kiko Calero impersonation: Doing everything but getting outs. Miller rebounds with a strikeout of Spence…Stephney ends the shutout with a double over Montero’s head in center field. One run scored, but Stephney got hung out to dry when Spence stopped at third base and he was promptly tagged out for the second out of the inning. Yiadom beat out an infield hit for the Cougars second run and Babitt followed with a triple to right. It’s now 16-3 Acalanes…Miller strikes out Murakawa for the final out. 3 Runs, 3 Hits, 1 Errors, 1 Left on base. FINAL: Acalanes 16, Albany 3

T.C. Lee opens the inning with the Dons 17th hit of the afternoon, a single to left. Guglielmo re-enter to hit and flies out to left. Montero walks, and Sean Nixon bats for Matthew. Nixon grounds into a 4-6-3 double play and so ends the Dons day at the plate. 0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors, 0 Left on base. Acalanes 16-0.

Andy Applebury is now pitching for the Dons, which closes the book on Guglielmo. Babitt leads off the inning with a walk. Stone’s day just keeps getting better as he becomes just the third catcher this year to throw out Babitt trying to steal. Babitt entered the day with 30-for-32 in stolen base attempts. Murakawa follows with a one-out single to right field. After a wild pitch moves Murakawa to second, Agate flied out to left. The inning ends when Shipley lines out Wallace at second. 0 Runs, 1 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 Left on base. Acalanes 16-0.

Spencer Cuiper pinch hit for Lee to open the inning and, like all every teammate before him, gets a hit. Cuiper singled to right. Will Cote pinch hit for Guglielmo and reached on the Cougars fifth error of the game. The parade of pinch hitters continues as Robbie Pestal bats and promptly bloops a single over second base. Shipley’s day on the mound ends after a bases-loaded walk to Matthew makes it 13-0 Acalanes…Spence moves from first base to the pitching rubber and, lucky him, will face the top of the Dons lineup. Englehart draws a five-pitch walk and if you 13 runs in the pool, you’re extremely disappointed. It’s now 14-0, bases loaded, no outs. The flood gates aren’t open, they’ve been washed away…Spence gets Wallace on a strikeout. Floethe shoots a single to center, it’s now 15 and counting. Stone steps in the box, and after his best attempt at grand slam No. 2, hits into an RBI fielders choice as Babitt makes a nice play to get Floethe at second base. The designated hitter is removed and Matt Ross hits for himself. He grounds out to third and the inning ends, mercifully. 4 Runs, 3 Hits, 1 Error, 2 Left on base. Acalanes 16-0.

We’re now officially on shutout watch for Guglielmo. He’s thrown just 62 pitches over the first four innings, giving up two hits while striking out four. Spence opened the Cougars half of the inning by fouling out to third base — Floethe made a fantastic catch sliding into the extended backstop. Stephney lined out to second and Yiadom’s bunt attempt was easily handled by Guglielmo for a 1-3 putout. 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors, 0 Left on base. Acalanes 12-0.

Mathews is retired on a grounder to second for the first out, but Englehart takes the next pitch and shoots it up the middle for a one-out hit. Englehart has now reached base all four times. An excuse-me swing by Wallace leads to a fielders-choice at second base, denying Englehart his chance at a fourth run scored. Floethe singled to left and an infield single by Stone gets his seventh RBI with a bad-hop single off the second baseman. Emery strikes out looking to end the inning. 1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors, 2 Left on base. Acalanes 12-0.

Shipley opens the inning with a flyout to left field. Brandon Adney was then retired on a ground ball to third. Englehart closed the inning with a strong play at shortstop, going to his left and making a strong throw to first to get John Hicks. Guglielmo needed just eight pitches this time around. 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors, 0 Left on base. Acalanes 11-0.

T.C. Lee flied out to center to open the inning and Guglielmo followed with a groundout to second. Shipley tosses an eight-pitch perfect inning after Montero lined out to center. 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors, 0 Left on base. Acalanes 11-0.

Babitt gronds out with a sharply hit ball to second base. Murakawa was retired on a soft liner to right field. Agate then ends the frame with a groundout to second. Guglielmo needed just nine pitches. 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors, 0 Left on base. Acalanes 11-0.

Matthew opens things up with yet another hit for the Dons, this one a rocket double to the right-center field gap. Englehart then hit a routine grounder to short, and Babitt’s throwing struggles continue as he skips it past the bag and another run scores as Englehart goes to second and Acalanes leads 9-0 as the game continues to spiral out of control for the Cougars…A wild pitch followed by an RBI double by Wallace and its now 10-0…For those scoring at home, that was hit No. 10 for Acalanes…Floethe reached on an error, and Stone proved human as he grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Wallace scored his third run of the game on the play and its now 11-0…Emery strikes out to end the side. 3 Runs, 2 Hits, 2 Errors, 0 Left on base. Acalanes 11-0.

Brandon Adney leads off with a ground out to short. Guglielmo gets John Hicks to strike out looking for out No. 2. Josh Spence got the Cougars first hit of the game on a high chopper to third base and moved to second when Floethe’s throw soared over first base. Ellis Stephney followed with a clean single to left field that put runners on the corners. Guglielmo escapes the jam with a swinging strikeout of Nana Yiadom. 0 Runs, 2 Hits, 1 Error, 2 Left on base. Acalanes 8-0.

Dustin Montero opened things off with a stand-up double to straightaway left. Montero moved to third on a passed ball. Albany brought its infield in, and that moves backfires as James Matthew shoots a laser shot past a lunging Babitt at shortstop for another hit and RBI. Englehart follows with a chopper to shortstop, but the throw to first is in the dirt and everybody is safe as Matthew goes to third. Agate then hits Wallace on a 1-1 pitch and Acalanes leads 4-0 with the bases loaded and no outs…Floethe is retired on a popout to second, but Stone clears the bases with a mammoth grand slam to left field for his second hit and third, fourth, fifth and sixth RBI of the game. It’s now 8-0 Acalanes, and Albany coach Jim Giblin makes a pitching change…Shipley replaces Agate on the hill and is immediately met with another Acalanes rally. Emery reached on an error and Lee singled to center. Guglielmo grounds into a force at third for the second out of the inning and Montero grounded out to second base to end the inning. The second-inning nightmare ends for the Cougars. 5 Runs, 4 Hits, 2 Errors, 2 Left on base. Acalanes 8-0.

Dons ace Mike Guglielmo starts his game off by getting Zach Babitt to strike out swinging. Junna Murakawa hits a high chopper to third base and is gunned down by Floethe. Graeme Agate draws a five-pitch walk Agate advanced to second on a throwing error by Guglielmo in an attempted pickoff. The pitcher bounces back by striking out Kyle Shipley to end the inning. 0 Runs, 0 hits, 1 error, 1 Left on base. Acalanes 3-0.

This season’s best 2nd-Team All-League shortstop, Ben Englehart, leads off the game with a walk. Joe Wallace follows by raking a 1-1 pitch for a clean single into left field, runners now on first and second with nobody out. If you didn’t know this already, Acalanes can flat hit…Jake Floethe follows with a sharp hit single that skips right under the glove of Albany third baseman Kyle Shipley. The hit parade continues with a two-run single to left by Mike Stone, and Acalanes leads 2-0. Still nobody out…Scott Emery hits a long fly ball that the wind helps turn into a single off the left field fence, another run in. It’s now 3-0, nobody out…Albany gets their first out on a pop out to short by T.C. Lee. The Cougars then get a break when Mike Guglielmo’s short flyball is caught by left field by Nana Yiadom, and then doubles Stone off of second base. The damage is done. 3 Runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, 1 Left on base. 3-0 Acalanes.

We’re about ready to kick off game number two of this East Bay championship doubleheader.
Here are the starting lineups.

ACALANES (visitor)
1. Ben Englehart, SS
2. Joe Wallace, 2B
3. Jake Floethe, 3B
4. Mike Stone, C
5. Scott Emery, DH /Matt Ross, 1B
6. T.C. Lee, LF
7. Mike Guglielmo, P
8. Dustin Montero, CF
9. James Matthew, RF

ALBANY (home)
1. Zach Babitt, SS
2. Junna Murakawa, C
3. Graeme Agate, P
4. Kyle Shipley, 3B
5. Brandon Adney, CF
6. John Hicks, 2B
7. Josh Spence, 1B
8. Ellis Stephney, DH / Jake Phillips, RF
9. Nana Yiadom, LF


NCS 3A East Bay Baseball Championship (DLS vs. Alameda): Let’s get it on!

It’s all over for the 3A championship and the story was Taylor Reid, who struck out seven and went the distance for the Spartans. Early offense for DLS stood up and the title is heading back to Concord. Stay tuned for the second half of our doubleheader, as Chace Bryson will take over the blogging duties for the 2A Championship, Acalanes vs. Albany.

Total lines: DLS – 4 runs, 6 hits, 1 error. Alameda: 1 run, 7 hits, 1 error.

Last chance for the Hornets and Reid is back out to begin the inning. Hess is warm in the bullpen if they need him. Noah Perio with the defensive play of the day so far to grab a looping pop up down the first base line from Murphy… Peterson with an infield hit into the six hole… Danny Smith in to run for Peterson. Borba to the mound and has decided to leave Reid in the game… Moyer hits the first pitch to second baseman Perio and the Spartans turn the 4-6-3 double play. We have a champion! 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB. De La Salle wins 4-1.

If DLS puts up any more runs in this frame, it might be over… Arnerich is back out to start the seventh. Carter walks to begin the inning… Miller with the nice sacrifice bunt up the first base line to get Carter to 2nd… Carter steals third base… Hom strikes out and it’s up to Jones with two out… Jones grounds out and Alameda holds its ground heading to the last half inning. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB. 4-1 DLS.

O’Reilly strikes out on a high fastball that he tipped into Andrews’ glove… Nisco handles a tough chopper by Wada and tosses to a covering Reid for the second out… Miller fouls out to Nisco to end the inning… 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB. End 6, 4-1 DLS.

Walter lines back to Arnerich for the first out… Andrews strikes out by swinging through an outside fastball… Pugh flies to center to end the inning… 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB. 4-1 DLS.

Jared Wagner is warming up in the bullpen for DLS as we start the fifth… Peterson flies harmlessly to center field for the first out… Moyer hits a sharp single back through the middle and is aboard with one out… Perri fouls out to Nisco at first with a soft, looping liner… Arnerich singles up the middle, sending Moyer to third with two out for Pries… Reid with a nasty, nasty breaking ball that catches the outside corner to strike Pries out looking and end the threat. 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB. End 5, 4-1 DLS.

Carter draws a walk to start the fifth… Miller executes a perfect hit and run, driving the ball to RF while Carter was running. That sets up runners on 1st and 3rd with nobody out and Hom at the plate… Hom singles to CF, plating Carter and sending Miller to 3rd. The DLS offense is in full swing right now… A controversy has broken out over the use of noisemakers by the Alameda crowd. All that served to do was get the Hornets’ faithful louder… Slider in the dirt gets Jones swinging. Runners on 1st and 3rd with one out for Nisco… Nisco swings through an outside fastball for the second out of the inning. Perio to the plate… Perio grounds out to second and Alameda averts potential disaster. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB. 4-1 DLS.

Arnerich drops down a drag bunt and beats out a good throw by Hom for an infield hit to start things… Pries pops it up and Hom puts it away for the first out of the inning… O’Reilly hits a shot through the 4 hole and Arnerich moves to 2B… Will Boscacci in to run for O’Reilly… Wada swings through a fastball for out No. 2… Miller comes up with a huge two-out hit to RF. Arnerich scores and Boscacci goes to second to make it 3-1 DLS… Murphy flies out to RF to end the inning… 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB. End 4, 3-1 DLS.

Nisco lines a single to RF and is on base to begin the inning… Eric Angerer comes in to run for Nisco… A grounder up the middle becomes a 6-3 double play with a nice turn by Jordan Pries… Walter strikes out on a breaking ball but Arnerich’s pitch was wild, allowing Walter to reach first base and prolong the inning… Arnerich’s pickoff attempt goes wide and Walter heads to 2nd on the E1… With Walter running on the pitch, Andrews lines a single through the 6 hole and Walter scores easily to give DLS a 3-0 lead… Arnerich strikes Pugh out looking to end the inning… 1 run, 2 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB. 3-0 DLS.

Before the inning begins, the best dressed award of the day goes to freelance writer Damin Esper. Damin is sporting a cowboy hat that, on this sunny day, is both stylish and practical. Back to the action… Peterson flies to right for the first out of the inning… Moyer hit one hard but Carter puts it away in CF for an easy out… Reid drains a fastball on the outside corner to set down Perri and retire the side. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors and 0 LOB. End 3, 2-0 DLS.

Miller grounds to a drawn in third baseman for the first out of the inning… An inside breaking ball catches the corner and Hom strikes out looking… Jones flies out to LF and the inning is over… 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB. 2-0 DLS. (Editor’s note: If anyone has access to a roast beef sandwich or two, the snack bar is not open here at James Logan… I’m just sayin)

O’Reilly swings through an outside fastball for the first out of the inning… Wada drives one over the left fielder’s head and into the gap and settles at 2nd with a double… Miller grounds out to first, moving Wada to third and setting up Murphy with a man on third and 2 out… Murphy grounds to Hom and the inning is over. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB. End 2, 2-0 DLS.

Inside breaking ball catches the corner and Walter goes down looking for the first out. Arnerich is still working through some wildness, and that draws a conference with coach Arnerich… Andrews pops up in the middle of the infield and Arnerich squeezes it for out No. 2… Pugh hits a grounder in the 6 hole that Pries had to hurry on and Pugh beats it for an infield hit… Pugh steals second. Inside breaking ball gets Carter to whiff, stranding Pugh in scoring position. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB. 2-0 DLS

Moyer leads it off with a pop out to a backpedaling Noah Perio in shallow right field. Perri follows that with a tough grounder up the middle that deflects off Perio’s glove for an E4. Arnerich strikes out on an outside fastball that Reid painted the corner with and Arnerich swung through. A breaking ball in the dirt gets Pries to strike out. 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB. 2-0 DLS end 1.

Arnerich’s first pitch was an errant breaking ball that sailed over Carter’s head and the second pitch hit Carter… First pitch to Miller was a wild pitch, allowing Carter to move to 2B. Third pitch to Miller hits him and Arnerich gets a visit from O’Reilly. Runners on 1st and 2nd, no one out… Arnerich walks Hom – bases are loaded with nobody out for Jones… Jones swings at first pitch and grounds into a 4-6-3 double play. Carter scores and DLS takes a 1-0 lead with 2 out… Big two-out single into CF by Nisco plates another run – 2-0 DLS… Perio hits a sinking liner to CF that stays up and the Hornets limit the damage to 2 runs. 2-0 DLS after a half inning… 2 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 Left on base.

Let’s set the stage for you a little bit… Player introductions are about to begin and a good crowd is building. Both the Hornets and Spartans travel well. The sun is out here in Union City, a great day for baseball. There’s a little league game going on directly behind the center field fence so when the big boppers come up, I’d advise the wee ones to watch out. Karen Smith of the North Coast Section is running the show and has a Bluetooth device in her ear. Who is she talking to? Maybe the President, I dunno… First pitch is about 20 minutes away I’m guessing.

DLS (visitor):
1. Nathan Carter – CF
2. Michael Miller – SS
3. Nick Hom – 3B
4. Brad Jones – LF
5. Joey Nisco – 1B
6. Noah Perio – 2B
7. Donald Walter – DH
8. Nick Andrews – C
9. Tillman Pugh – RF
Pitcher: Taylor Reid
Alameda (home):
1. Wes Moyer – RF
2. Jeff Perri – 2B
3. Kenny Arnerich – P
4. Jordan Pries – SS
5. Casey O’Reilly – C
6. Paul Wada – 1B
7. Jason Miller – DH (DH’ing for LF Will Sherratt)
8. Jeff Murphy – CF
9. Brian Peterson – 3B

Well, Chace Bryson and myself have found our way to James Logan in Union City and De La Salle and Alameda are warming up. We’ve got starting lineups for you in a few minutes but strap yourselves in, it’s time for baseball! Just so ya know, new updates will appear at the top of the blog. Instead of lots of little posts, it’ll be one big post.
-Ben Enos


NCS Championship Time

Well, we’ve reached the end of the NCS baseball season. Tomorrow, Acalanes and Albany will square off for the 2A crown and De La Salle will take on Alameda for the 3A title. While these will be two good games, there are a few key matchups to watch out for if you make the trip down to Union City to take in the action.
3A final: DLS vs. Alameda:
Pitching: Alameda will send Kenny Arnerich to the mound. For the Spartans, conventional wisdom says Taylor Reid will get the call after three sterling innings in relief in the semifinal. If this becomes a bullpen game, De La Salle has the huge advantage with Jared Wagner and Tyler Hess available. Alameda would need to go with No. 3 pitcher Jason Miller.
Offense: The big bopping Spartans bludgeon the ball with amazing consistency so it will be up to Arnerich to keep them off balance. Conversely, the Hornets do all the little things that help win ballgames. They bunt, they run, they manufacture runs. We’ll see which style prevails.
Intangibles: Alameda comes in as the defending champ, so there won’t be an awe factor to contend with. Likewise for DLS, as the Spartans were there two years ago. Internet scuttlebutt has the Spartans winning big. I can definitely see that happening, but if Arnerich is on, this might be Alameda’s game to lose.

2A final: Acalanes vs. Albany
Pitching: Graeme Agate toes the slab for Albany and Mike Guglielmo goes for the Dons. Both are the kind of bulldog competitor coaches love. Neither is overpowering but there is no question that they’ll both leave everything on the field. If bullpens enter into the equation, we could see both teams’ starters from Wednesday (Kyle Shipley for Albany and Scott Emery for Acalanes). No clear-cut advantage here.
Offense: Just like in the 3A game, one team pounds the ball and the other does the little things to win. Acalanes just rakes, plain and simple. One through nine in their order is capable of getting the big hit. Nana Yiadom, the Cougars No. 9 hitter, was an unlikely hero in their win over St. Mary’s on Wednesday but he embodies what the Albany offense is all about. He’s fast, he can bunt and he has good bat control. The entire Albany team fits these criteria and Zach Babitt and Agate provide plenty of pop at the top of the lineup. Still, the offensive advantage goes to Acalanes.
Intangibles: Acalanes has been the team to beat all year long. Then again, so was St. Mary’s and Albany took the Panthers out. The question here is will Acalanes’ bats continue to rip the cover off the ball? If they do, this won’t be much of a game. For Albany to win, it’ll have to play flawless defense.

So, meet us in Union City tomorrow at 1 p.m. for the 3A championship. If you can’t get there, come right back here to the East Bay Prep Sports blog as Chace Bryson and I will be blogging from both games. See you tomorrow.
– Ben Enos