|Selector||No. 5 Arroyo at No. 1 Livermore||No. 15 College Park at No. 11 Clayton Valley|
|Michael Bower||Arroyo||Clayton Valley|
|Jimmy Durkin||Livermore||College Park|
|Kyle Bonagura||Livermore||Clayton Valley|
|Selector||No. 5 El Cerrito at No. 1 Northgate||No. 7 Piedmont at No. 3 Campolindo|
|Jimmy Durkin||El Cerrito||Piedmont|
Bower’s comments: Starting with 3-A, I obviously think both games can go either way. I am going with Arroyo because I simply can’t pick against Alex Jack and the way the Dons’ offense has been playing. The Dons have been coming through in the clutch and Jack should keep the game close on the rubber. That adds up to a one or two-run victory in my head. Besides that, I cover the HAAL and am going to homer it the rest of the way! In the other semifinal, I am taking Clayton Valley. I know all about how well College Park’s pitching staff has been doing, shutting down two EBAL teams is very impressive. All signs point to me taking the team that is pitching better _ College Park. But I just can’t get over Clayton Valley’s ability to put up runs. I can’t imagine the offense gets shutdown. So, I am making a dumb choice and taking hitting over pitching _ that goes against every belief I have. I always think good pitching will beat good hitting. But I am just playing a hunch here. In 2-A, the only team I have seen that is left is El Cerrito. The Gauchos didn’t hit too well against Moreau Catholic, but Max Clause had a phenomenal outing on the mound. He won’t overpower a team, but he can work that outside corner and drop that curve ball in there with the best of ’em. So, why am I picking against them you ask? Northgate has won 14 in a row and only lost two games all season. Simply, the Broncos know how to win. I can’t pick against that. The other 2-A game, I have basically bought into Durkin’s analysis of the Piedmont pitching staff. You can read his analysis on that one.
Durkin’s comments: In the 3-A, I could certainly see Arroyo giving Livermore a tough game and possibly beating them. I figure it’ll be decided by a run or too. But when you see it being that close, it’s hard to not go ahead and pick the No. 1 team to win. As for our crazy No. 15 vs. No. 11 matchup, what can you say about College Park? That pitching in the postseason has been phenomenal. It’s held two EBAL teams to a combined one run. That’s the kind of stuff you need to go far and I’ve got to believe they have enough to get to the Coliseum.In the 2-A, they’re probably both a toss up. I haven’t seen Northgate play, so I don’t really know much about them. El Cerrito’s a pretty good team so I’ll just play a hunch there and pick the upset. As for Piedmont-Campo, I just love the pitching 1-2 punch that Piedmont has. Expect Bryce Chu on the mound in that one and I see him getting the win and handing over the ball to Jordan Remer for the title game.
Bonagura’s comments: I’ve touched on Livermore/Arroyo quite a bit. A lot of parallels between the two teams. Well coached, good hitting, good pitching, good seniors (but when a team makes it this far in NCS, that is normally the case). Livermore has been in a lot of close games and always seems to get it done and I think the state’s No. 1 team will win. As for CP/CV, CP’s pitching has been ridiculously good and CV scored 20 runs in its first NCS game. Now that could mean a whole lot of things, but I think CV is probably a little deeper and I just don’t see CP keeping it up. As for the 2A games, Northgate has been playing lights out and I don’t see the Broncos losing t0 EC. I picked Campo in the other game, but that pick was more because Durkin and Bower both picked Piedmont so I was just evening it out a little bit. I haven’t seen either team and neither has been all that dominant. Piedmont has had a nice run to end the year, but Campo was a little more tested. I’ll be out at Livermore today, should be fun.