Highly respected Max Luckhurst has resigned as the Campolindo High baseball coach after a successful 16-year run in the program.
What a crazy stat to the North Coast Section baseball playoffs. We got an 18-inning thriller that lasted two days, saw the defending champions in Division I and II eliminated in the first round and had the No. 16 seed beat the No. 1 in two brackets. This is the kind of excitement we get with single-elimination tournaments on the diamond.
The highlights of the opening round:
De La Salle High ace Justin Hooper is one of 36 players nationwide to be selected for the 2014 Under Armour All-American baseball game.
The 6-foot-6, 220-pound junior left-hander holds a 1.50 earned run average and has 38 strikeouts in 28 innings pitched this season for the Spartans, who are heavily in the mix for the East Bay Athletic League title.
The all-star game will be played Aug. 16 at Wrigley Field and will be televised by MLB Network the following day. The game is part of a four-day event that also includes a formal workout for MLB scouts.
The Diablo Valley Athletic League is brimming with college baseball prospects this year. Between College Park and Clayton Valley Charter, nine baseball players have made their college commitments.
Clayton Valley has a pair of seniors who recently committed. Grant Meylan (outfield/pitcher) is headed to Santa Clara while Garrett Nelson (first base/pitcher) is going to Long Beach State.
College Park has seven players, all juniors, who have already committed. They are:
- Noah Oar – Stanford
- Joe DeMers – Washington
- Trevor Larnach – Oregon State
- Willie MacIver – Washington
- Jeff Mitchell – Cal
- Chris Brown – UC Davis
- Noah Burnham- UC Santa Barbara
Incoming San Ramon Valley High senior Matt Winaker has orally committed to Stanford to play baseball, according to Wolves baseball coach Chris de Clercq.
Cal-Hi Sports announced their state baseball players of the year on Monday, and College Park High’s Joe DeMers was named Sophomore of the Year. DeMers was a standout pitcher and also one of the Falcons’ top hitters. He went 10-0 with an ERA of 1.00 and 63 strikeouts in 63 innings, helping College Park reach the NCS Division II semifinals. As a hitter, he posted a .373 batting average with 25 RBIs. DeMers is a Washington commit with a 95 mph fastball.
East Bay natives Robert Stephenson and Joe Ross were reunited on Saturday in Fort Wayne, Indiana where the two former first-round draft picks staged a brilliant pitching duel.
For seven innings, Ross, a Bishop O’Dowd graduate, and Stephenson, a former Alhambra star, matched zeros for their respective single-A squads.
|1. Campolindo (5)||20-6-1||75||2|
|2. Amador Valley||18-10||70||11|
|4. De La Salle||19-8||58||6|
|6. Clayton Valley||22-5||50||6|
|7. College Park||20-6-1||44||t4|
|8. James Logan||19-8||41||8|
|10. Newark Memorial||19-7||26||10|
Also receiving votes: Heritage (14-8, 4 points), San Leandro (19-5, 4 points), Alameda (15-9, 1), Liberty (15-7, 1). The East Bay Baseball Poll is voted on by the prep sports staff of Bay Area News Group East Bay. Records are through Saturday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There’s nothing set in stone yet, but the North Coast Section Division I baseball championship game will likely be at Saint Mary’s College on either Friday or Saturday. For Division II, if top seeded Casa Grande beats College Park (no easy task with Joe DeMers likely to be on the mound), that championship game would be played Saturday at Santa Rosa JC.