2-A Championship, No. 7 Piedmont vs No. 1 Northgate

Bottom 7, Northgate – Kosturos leads off with a hard line drive to SS, but its an easy play. 1 out. Johnson grounds out to third and everyone is now standing. Krueger up, 1-1 count. 1-2, swing and a miss, he pops its up to third and PIEDMONT IS YOUR 2008 NCS 2-A EAST BAY BASEBALL CHAMPIONS.

Top 7, Piedmont – Steady is leading it off for Piedmont, he flies out to bring up Remer, who is 2-for-3. He hit what looked to be a gapper, but LF Chris Pelayo makes a nifty catch to make it two outs. Chu and Menke both reach base and Kyle Heise comes in to pitch for the Broncos. Bonacum grounds out and we head to the final frame. Piedmont 6, Northgate 5.

Bottom 6, Northgate – Chu is now pitching for Piedmont, he threw 87 pitches on Wednesday. He looks strong, striking out Mike Navolio to open it up. Two quick outs follow and the Highlanders are 3 outs away from the NCS 2-A title. Piedmont 6, Northgate 5.

Top 6, Piedmont – Bonacum gets out to start the inning, but Davis doubles (probably would have been gone at any HS stadium)to bring up McCalmont. A walk and a passed ball make it first and third for Steven Deutsch. Deutsch grounds to third and they get Davis at the plate. 2 outs, first and second. A pop up in foul territory somehow falls, Northgate better hope that doesn’t come back to haunt them….. and it does. George doubles to the wall in LC, bringing in two runs. Piedmont is back on top, 6-5. Campopiano goes to the pen and No. 51 Chris Bataska. George steals third while the pitcher has the ball, but slides off the bag and he is tagged out. Piedmont 6, Northgate 5.

Bottom 5, Northgate – With 1 out, Cartwright reaches on an error. He gets to second and third on pitches in the dirt. Kosturos grounded out to Remer and there are 2 away. Another error by Chu allows Johnson to get on first and the Broncs to get on the board. Johnson steals second. The Piedmont students were chanting “Krueger sucks, Krueger sucks” this led the P.A. announcer to make a statement about sportsmanship, quickly quieting the purple-clad bunch. Although it didn’t quiet the NG students, who kept throwing comments out. Campopiano quiets his student section and play resumes … just in time for a past ball to allow another run to score 2 UE runs in the inning. WIth Pelayo up and a 3-0 count, Remer’s pitch count has reached 98. He walks him and that is all we’ll see from the USF-coung Remer, who finishes the day without allowing an earned run. He allowed just 1 hit and struck out 5, but he did walk 6 guys. Now pitching for Piedmont is No. 4 Jeremy George. His second pitch find a lot of the dirt and the runners advance to 2nd and 3rd. Wow, the error streak continues. This time by the 2b and its 4-3. Runners on 1st and 3rd, 2 away. Another dirty ball and we have a tie game. Kent is up with and Dell’Anno on third. Kent walks and George is holding his arm, it has to be tough coming into a situation like that in this venue. George has Kent picked off, but they took way too much time going after him. Dell’Anno was able to score from third by the time they got George. Northgate 5, Piedmont 4. No hits for NG that inning as Piedmont made 4 errors. What a goofy inning, remnant of the A-11 offense the Highlanders employ during the Fall.

Top 5, Piedmont – Ryan Patee hits a grounder in the hole, beats it out … bringing NG coach John Campopiano out to argue the call. Next batter, George hits a line drive up the middle that was knocked down by a diving Dell’Anno. He gets up throws to second, but Patee is safe again. That brought Campopiano out of the dugout again, but we’ve decided he was arguing to give Sam Church time to warm up down the line. Steady bunts them over, Remer up with 2nd and 3rd. Little chopper from Remer scores Patee and a sac fly from Moore makes it 4-0. That’s all the damage done, heading to the bottom of the 5th its Piedmont 4, Northgate 0

Bottom 4, Northgate – Pelayo leads off with an F8, bringing Dell’Anno to the plate. The stadium gun has Remer at 87 MPH on his last pitch, although I’ve seen it say Barry Zito 91 MPH before, so who knows how accurate it is. Another backwards K for Remer, his 4th strikeout of the game (3rd looking). He walks Ken as Daniel Moore comes up with 2 away. Moore swings at a pitch in the dirt to strikeout, as we head to the 5th it Piedmont 2, Northgate 0

Top 4, Piedmont – Steady makes out to start the inning, but Remer singles for his second hit of the game. A walk to Chu puts runners on 1st and 2nd for Menke. I see a sizable Menke cheering section in section 115. Bartlett is having some control issues, throwing 7 straight balls, before making the count 3-1. Bartlett singles, but Remer doesn’t score (hesitated on contact). A meeting on the mound lasted about 2 minutes before it gets broken up. The meeting doesn’t help as Kyle Bonacum singles through the right side, scoring 2. Davis and McCalmont both get out, but the damage is done. Piedmont 2, Northgate 0

Bottom 3, Northgate – Cartwright hit a chopper to third, easily thrown out at first. Back to the top of order and Kosturos hits a line drive down the line in RF, but its tracked down. Two away. Johnson doubles to left, the first hit off Flemer, but Kruger flys out, ending the threat. Piedmont 0, Northgate 0

Top 3, Piedmont –Three up three down and I’ve been trying to count the people here. I lost count. Piedmont 0, Northgate 0

Bottom 2, Northgate – Joey Dell’anno is retired, bringing up Daniel Kent. Kent gets on and Remer’s pitch count is at 42. Daniel Moore hits a deep fly ball, but its caught. And by deep, I mean the CF had to run a good distance back, but it was still only about 2/3s of the way into the OF grass. Another K for Remer and we head to the 3rd, tied Piedmont 0, Northgate 0.

Top 2, Piedmont – Cardinal sin to start the second, with Alex Menke walking to get things started. Kyle Bonacum comes up, but Menke is quickly picked off first. Possibly caught gazing at the packed house. Bonacum and Davis are retired in order. Two base runners for Piedmont through 2, but the Highlanders have sent the minimum to the plate. Piedmont 0, Northgate 0

Bottom 1, Northgate – Cartwright gets caught looking to bring up Mike Kosturous. Remer gets Johnson looking too and up comes Blaine Johnson with 2 away. Interesting side note from Jimmy Durkin — John Nelson, the head coach for Piedmont played in the 2-A Football championship at the Coliseum in 1979. According to Nelson, it was the first NCS event to be held at the Coliseum. A walk puts a runner on for Kevin Krueger. Remer has already thrown 25 pitches this inning, another walk. Two on for Chris Pelayo. Fly ball to center hauled in by Steady and we’re through an inning, scoreless. Piedmont 0, Northgate 0

Top 1, Piedmont – A basehit by Remer is all Piedmont would get, and Bryce Chu grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Piedmont 0, Northgate 0

Let’s get to the details shall we. It’s No. 1-seed Northgate (24-2) vs. No. 7 Piedmont (19-7-1). By virtue of a coin toss, the Broncos will be the home team.

Here is Highlanders’ starting lineups:

1. Alex Steady CF

2. Jordan Remer P

3. Bryce Chu 3B

4. Alex Menke LF

5. Kyle Bonacum RF

6. Lawrence Davis DH

Trevor Fleshman C

7. Trevor McCalmont SS

8. Ryan Patee 1B

9. Jeremy George 2B

Here is the Broncos’ lineup:

1. Jack Cartwright CF

2. Michael Kosturos RF

3. Blaine Johnson C

4. Kevin Krueger 1B

5. Chris Pelayo LF

6. Joey Dell’Anno SS

7. Daniel Kent DH

Luke Bartlett P

8. Daniel Moore 3B

9. Mike Navolio 2B

Kyle Bonagura

Kyle Bonagura is a Pleasanton-based prep sports writer for the Bay Area Newsgroup-East Bay.