Outside of Bishop O’Dowd, baseball in the Hayward Area Athletic League hasn’t gotten much respect around the East Bay. And maybe it is rightfully, so. But this year, I expect Arroyo to get to at least the semifinals of the North Coast Section 3-A playoffs.
The Dons are certainly a lock for a spot in the 16-team field in the 3-A bracket. But Arroyo is thirsting for something else at the moment _ its first outright league title since 1978.
Arroyo has shared the league title many times since 1978, but haven’t had the crown for themselves in 30 years.
Right now the Dons are a perfect 8-0 and with Bishop O’Dowd (7-1) up on Friday, Arroyo has a shot to move in prime position to capture the title outright. The Dragons have had at least a share of the crown for the last six years, and certainly won’t go down easily.
O’Dowd is at risk of missing the 3-A playoffs with a loss to Arroyo Friday. The last time these two met Arroyo breezed to a 13-2 victory and it wasn’t even that close. The Dons had a 10-run lead by the second inning and annihilated O’Dowd pitching.
But you never know what can happen in that little yard over at O’Dowd. The problem for the Dragons will be trying to score off Arroyo ace Alex Jack. The big left-hander has been phenomenal this season and is fielding offers from colleges at the moment. He already has offers from St. Mary’s and Loyola Marymount.
The other problem for the Dragons is how to cool off the hot-hitting Dons. Arroyo, 1-9, can smash. The Dons even have a couple kids that can come off the bench and hit lasers. The team is probably as deep as I have ever seen a team out of the HAAL the past three years. I got a feeling something special is going to happen with the Dons. But only time will tell. Can’t wait for the postseason!