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NCS baseball championship game previews

Division I

No. 4 Amador Valley (17-10) vs. No. 2 De La Salle (19-7), Saturday, 4 p.m., Saint Mary’s College

The Spartans are looking to become the first team in the highest level of NCS baseball play to repeat as champions since they accomplished the feat in 1996-97. To do so, they’ll have to beat an East Bay Athletic League that swept the season series from De La Salle. Amador Valley beat the Spartans 3-2 on March 28 in Pleasanton and 7-4 on May 1 in Concord. De La Salle has only lost once since then. The Dons immediately went on a four-game losing streak after that last win over the Spartans. The streak started with a deflating 15-0 loss to Granada. But Amador has rediscovered itself in the playoffs and upset the top-seeded Matadors, handing Granada only its second loss this season, in the semifinals to reach the championship game for the first time since winning the title in 2010.

Division II

No. 2 Campolindo (20-6-1) vs. No. 1 Casa Grande (27-2), Saturday, 1 p.m., Santa Rosa Junior College

The Cougars are looking to make history by capturing their fourth straight NCS title. That would tie an NCS record set twice, most recently by their opponent Casa Grande, which won four successive NCS 3A Redwood Empire titles from 2004-07. St. Vincent also won four straight Class A titles from 1986-89, but no East Bay team has ever accomplished the feat. The Gauchos survived thewildest game of the playoffs to reach the finals, beating College Park 12-11 on a 13th-inning walk off home run. College Park blew leads of 7-2, 10-7 and 11-10 in the late innings.

Division III

No. 3 Analy (23-5) vs. No. 1 Acalanes (19-7), Saturday, 1 p.m., Saint Mary’s College

The Dons are after their third straight NCS title. They shared the crown in 2011 with San Marin when the title game was rained out and won it outright last year. They rode the arm of John York in a semifinal win over Sonoma Valley. The senior fired an 83-pitch perfect game in a 1-0 win. He had 15 strikeouts and six groundouts and not a single ball went to the outfield. Analy reached the finals with a marathon 5-4 win over Sir Francis Drake that lasted 11 innings. The Tigers are looking for their third NCS title. They won the 2A Redwood Empire title in 2000 and also won it way back in 1921.

Division IV

No. 3 Piedmont (19-9) vs. No. 1 St. Mary’s (18-5), Friday, 5 p.m., Saint Mary’s College

The Highlanders are in the title game for the first time since winning the NCS 2A East Bay title in 2008. Their coach at the time was John Nelson, who is now at St. Mary’s. Piedmont and St. Mary’s are former Bay Shore Athletic League rivals, but in the new league configurations, the Highlanders are in the West Alameda County Conference-Shoreline League and the Panthers are in the Tri-County Athletic League-Rock Division. Piedmont was the champion of the WACC-Shoreline while St. Mary’s won the TCAL-Rock. The Panthers have been dangerous all season behind their duo of aces in pitchers Devin Mahoney and Kevin Flemer. Mahoney pitched St. Mary’s to its semifinal win over Moreau Catholic, lining up the Oregon State-bound Flemer for the championship game. It’s the fourth time in the past five years St. Mary’s has made it to the finals and it’s looking for its second championship in that stretch.

Division V

No. 2 Head-Royce (22-5) vs. No. 1 Valley Christian (19-7), Saturday, 4 p.m., Fremont Christian

These Bay Counties League-East rivals met three times, with Valley Christian winning twice. Head-Royce’s win came in the only game in the set in which ace Steven Farinaro, one of the top pitchers in the Bay Area, was on the mound. He’s likely to pitch in this championship game. The UCLA-signee has an 11-1 record, 0.81 ERA and has struck out 146 batters in 69 innings. Valley Christian, which won the BCL-East title, is looking for its first NCS crown. Head-Royce in the defending champ and has won two of the past four titles.

Jimmy Durkin

I cover mostly San Jose State football for the San Jose Mercury News/Bay Area News Group, but also fill in from time to time with the 49ers, Warriors, A's and Giants.