NCS Softball 3-A and 2-A East Bay Title Game Predictions

NCS 3-A East Bay: No. 7 California vs. No. 1 Freedom

BOWER: I would have taken Freedom no matter who they played in the championship game today. I haven’t seen California this year so I can’t really compare the two. But I have seen Freedom, and I know how good the Falcons and Hannah Williams are. I also think Freedom already got its shocking loss out of the way at the end of the regular season. That one was to Clayton Valley. My pick: Freedom.

BONAGURA: Over the past seven years, Freedom is 24-1 in NCS games, the lone loss came to Cal in last year’s quarterfinals. All year long Cal has been on the cusp of being an upper echelon team (top-4) and finally got through Foothill after losing to the Falcons twice during the year. Williams is obviously the game’s “name” player, but Cal’s roster is easily just as talented and pitcher Krista Miller is good. Foothill had scored 44 runs in its previous four games before being held to 1 by Miller on Friday. Cal also features a slew of good hitters in Miller, Jamie Foley, Mariah Nisbet, Brittany Wright and Stephanie Hatley. Pick: Cal.

NCS 2-A East Bay: No. 1 Albany vs. No. 3 Concord

BOWER: I haven’t seen either team in person, but I will use my American right to make a prediction, if that is OK with everyone? My colleague, Ben Enos, over at the CCT has tabbed Albany as the team to beat all season long. And after reading about the way Albany has been playing, I can’t imagine them not winning the title. My pick: Albany.

BONAGURA: I haven’t seen either team, either…. Concord is 15-2 over its last 17, Albany has won 20 in a row, so there definitely can be arguments made for both teams. However, I’m going with Albany as well.


  • EBAL Fan

    Tough to pick against Freedom, but Cal throughout the years has been a giant killer in NCS. Go grizzlies.

  • erndog



    ARROYO 4



  • groundskeeper

    Erndog, From What I heard Pries didn’t pitch against Pinole. I watched the whole game and Machado pitched good the problem was the home plate umpire. Blue squeezed Tyler all day or the score wouldn’t have been even that close. Not to take anything from the Hornets they are “The Big Fundamental” but blue was definately not on par today. Pries came in about the 4th and pitched pretty good but if Arroyo was more patient today he would’ve walked in a run or two. Well all things considered a win is a win! Look out Livermore here come the Dons!

  • Michael Bower

    Nice win for Arroyo! Thanks for that update. I was at track all day. Good for the Dons! Should be a great one at Livermore!

  • ciz

    the ump was bad… but he was bad for both teams not just arrroyo

  • erndog

    Groundskeeper, thanks for your insight and DAMM…what an exciting game between Arroyo and Alameda.

    OK…to the details…

    Starting pitchers = Machado for the Dons and Miller for the Hornets. MILLER FOR THE HORNETS??? Wasn’t Jordan Pries going to start this game??? Evidently not…

    Highlights: Arroyo scores 4 in top 2. Basehits by Jordan Bratton and Alex Jack coupled with a sac bunt by Nick Grucza, a walk to Tyrone Hunter, base hit by Brandon Plotz (RBI), ground out by Andrew Richardson (RBI) followed by a two out double by Johnny Petros (2 RBI’s) resulted in four runs for the Dons.

    Alameda responded in bottom 3 with 2 runs of their own.

    Sorry I only have last names due to no upload of Alameda roster to MaxPreps…but thats another blog….lol

    Machado walks Smith (in the 9 spot) in lead off bottom 3. Bassachi singles. Shortly after, the defense play of the game. Jordan Pries hits a screaming liner deep to center field. Dons center fielder Johnny Petros lays out completely to take away a certain triple to the deep outfield. What easily could have lead to a HUGE inning by the Hornets resulted in only two Alameda runs coming in.

    Top 4 for the Dons. Very interesting stuff here. The Hornets make a pitching change to #21 for Alameda. Like I said I don’t have a roster to refer to so please bear with me.

    Anyway, #21…(I think) pitches to one batter, Tyrone Hunter, walks him on 4 pitches and then leaves the game.

    Now here comes Pries. 4 innings pitched. 8 K’s, 3 BB’s, 1 hit allowed and 1 HBP.

    Outstanding performance, but it was too much….much much too late. Greg Boyson relieved Tyler Machado in Bottom 4 with runner on 1st and no out. After the bases became loaded as result of an infield hit to second base and a perfectly stroked bunt by Smith, the Dons proceeded to allow only one run to score. The final out, Jordan Pries on a strikeout swinging with the put out going 2 to 3.

    Boyson shows the calmness of a veteran. VERY cool under pressure with sort of a confidence that is quite rare in HS sports.

    Boysons’ numbers 4 innings pitched, 3 hits allowed,
    1 earned run allowed, 4 K’s, and 3 walks.

    Well…enough from me for now…but be assured…more to come…and some good stuff too… c u in a bit…

  • Ballfan

    Thanks for the report ErnDog. Congrats to the Dons!

  • erndog

    I am STUNNED that Pries did not start the Alameda game with Arroyo.

    Is it remotely possible that Alamedas’ coach felt he could pitch someone other than Pries (whom I believe did NOT pitch vs. Pinole Valley) vs. Arroyo so he could go mano au mano vs. Livermore???

    If I were an Alameda parent I would be pis___ off BIG TIME!!!

  • erndog

    Couple of sidebars to Arroyo – Alameda.

    First of all, outstanding hospitality by the host of the game. Appreciate their courtesy and sportsmanship. Several of the fans (I hate to say but…students at Alameda HS) in the stands a bit over the line but no big deal.

  • gaucho

    Preis had a tender elbow. Could not throw curves. Only had a couple innings in him.

  • groundskeeper

    Any scores from the CP – NM game?

  • erndog

    Gaucho, u r on target. Understand ur comment but he WAS throwing curves today…and quite well at that.

    While warming up, one could see he was hurtin a bit. Still an outstanding performance BUT the question still stands…do you go with whom brought you to “the dance” or do u just try…to get by…

  • erndog

    Michael, Jimmy and Kyle…OK gentleman…Livermore vs. Arroyo…coin flip to determine home team… Oh, by the way, all 3 of you predicted Alameda…Yes, Mike B., you were very clear that an Arroyo victory would not surprise you…understand and appreciate that comment… But now…the NCS semi-final…

    Yes, I will offer my prediction on this BUT I do have to complete my research 1st…

    Go DONS!!!

  • erndog

    Any updates on the Newark game???

  • Kyle Bonagura

    Clayton Valley beat Newark…. more to come later tonight

  • Michael Bower

    If I would have known that Pries wasn’t healthy and wasn’t getting the ball, I would have taken Arroyo. Anyway, my early pick is Arroyo over Livermore and to win it all at this point.

  • Scorekeeper

    I believe that Arroyo can and will beat Livermore because Arroyo can outslug you, or they can simply outpitch you. They have one of the best pitchers in the Easy Bay in Alex Jack, one of the best defensive teams with Brandon Plotz at third, Richard Johnson at shortstop, and Johny Petros in center. Plus, Jordan Bratton is a threat every time he steps in the batters box.

  • Kyle Bonagura

    You can say the same thing about Livermore. They won 12-8 in the first round and 2-1 in the second. Illustrates the same point.

  • groundskeeper

    Arroyo and Livermore have one common team they both played against twice. Castro Valley. Check the stats at Maxpreps. I like the Dons being underdogs. Should be a must see game.

  • groundskeeper

    Scorekeeper, don’t leave out one of the best coaches in only his second year Eric Anderson.

  • Michael Bower

    Actually, Arroyo and Livermore played San Ramon Valley as well. Arroyo beat SRV 3-0 behind a shutout by Alex Jack. Livermore beat SRV 5-2 and 3-0 in EBAL play.

  • Scorekeeper

    Your right groundskeeper.Coach Anderson is definitely one of the best coaches. He has a detail oriented coaching staff that puts his players in a position to win every game. Him and his staff teach the players the right way, along with the detailed scouting reports and meticulous records they keep on other teams.

  • Kyle Bonagura

    CV is the only team both teams played twice. They had 6 common opponents though. In those games against those opponents (the first time they played that team).

    Selector Livermore Arroyo
    Pittsburg 6-0 8-0
    American 6-2 21-2
    SRV 5-2 3-0
    CV 2-3 (L) 13-1
    Mt. Eden 10-2 10-1
    Foothill 8-6 1-5 (L)

    Both went 5-1, but Arroyo scored 19 more runs (56-39) and gave up 5 less (10-15).

  • Michael Bower

    That is some good analysis right there.

  • groundskeeper

    Yeah it is except I think the first team is Pittsburgh not Livermore. Man, you guys stay up late hope you’re getting paid OT.

  • Michael Bower

    BTW…Durkin took Freedom and Albany in this thing. I couldn’t get on the internet to put his picks down for him because I was at track all day Saturday.

  • Cowboy Up

    Headline in this morning’s Tri-Valley Herald sports page: “Arroyo advances to NCS championship game”…

    From the comparables it seems like Arroyo should be all over Livermore on Wednesday…the headline writer at the Herald apparently agrees.

  • Kyle Bonagura

    Wow, I don’t know how the headline writer missed that… but I do know that whoever wrote the headline knows nothing about either team.

    The thing about the stats is neither team had much trouble, both went 5-1 (which is all that really matters) and both won with much trouble, average win margin: Livermore 4.0, Arroyo 7.6.

    Yeah, Arroyo had better numbers but there wasn’t anything drastically different. Livermore has the better overall record and has definitely played a tougher schedule so that points to them like how the numbers point to Arroyo.

    I think it will be interesting to see who Perotti decides to throw on Wednesday. It’s technically Hart’s turn, but he could go with the ace, Singleton, on 4 days rest to make sure the Cowboys get to the Coliseum. Or he could start Hart and if he gets into any trouble, go quickly to Graham like he has in the past. Both ways have worked all year.

  • groundskeeper

    I agree with Kyle. Livermore has the edge in tougher overall schedule. If both teams play they’re pitching aces and they pitch good it should go down to the wire. The big difference could be which teams hitters are hotter for that day. Either way I expect a close game.

  • Michael Bower

    I think you can throw all those numbers out the window. It is going to come down who executes that day. And yes, I wish there was an explanation in the story why Jordan Pries didn’t pitch…And yes, that headline was completely blown. Not sure how that happend.

  • groundskeeper

    One last thing, hopefully the same home plate umpire from the Dons – Hornets game isn’t at this one. It would be pretty sad to have a close game decided by poor umpiring. Especially when both teams played hard the whole year to get this far.

  • EBAL Fan

    Get used to crap like that happening in the ANG papers from now on, as they are at the mercy of the CC Times desk people. As anyone in the past has known, the Times repeatedly makes mistakes because prep sports is very low on their priorities. Make sure no one blames the young guns like Kyle, Mike, Jimmy and Hoose, as they do everything they can to produce quality products, only to see them disappear when turned over to the copy desk. KEEP FIGHTING THE BATTLE BOYS!!!!

  • Jimmy Durkin

    I was out of touch this weekend since a very close relative was graduating from Chico State so I was up there helping him “celebrate,” so I’m getting caught up here. That’s also why my softball picks didn’t make it up there, but as Bower wrote in a comment, I did go with Freedom and Albany.

    My thoughts on the Alameda-Arroyo: Very surprised that Pries didn’t pitch. I knew the arm hadn’t been in great shape and that’s why they wanted till the end of the year to give him his first start, but the strength had been building and I had talked to him a couple of times after his late-season starts and he reported feeling fine. Anyways, I agree with Bower that if I had known Pries wasn’t starting, I might’ve been inclined to pick Arroyo. I figured that to be a close game and in a close game, anything can happen.

    As for Livermore-Arroyo, I think when they flip that coin to determine the home team, I’m going to ask them to flip another coin to determine who I’m picking to win the game. I can really see it going either way. Baseball’s just like that.

    More later in the week. I’m tired. Twas an exhausting weekend.