NCS baseball championship sites

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.


East Bay baseball poll — 5/13

The baseball poll is back here on the blog. Sorry, I’ve been off the past month so I haven’t been around to post the poll here, but with a week left in the regular season, here’s our latest. This is actually the second to last poll of the year. We won’t have one next week when NCS starts (there’s no reason to at that point, since things will get decided on the field). We’ll come back with the final poll after NCS is complete.

Team Record Points Last week
1. Granada (5) 21-1 75 1
2. Campolindo 15-6-1 70 2
3. Clayton Valley 18-4 63 3
t4. California 17-5 58 8
t4. College Park 16-5-1 58 6
6. De La Salle 15-7 51 5
7. Acalanes 16-7 45 4
8. James Logan 15-7 39 NR
9. Alhambra 14-8 32 11
10. Newark Memorial 16-6 28 10
11. Amador Valley 13-9 24 7
12. Washington 15-7 22 9
13. Bishop O’Dowd 16-8 11 14
t14. Concord 15-6-1 7 NR
t14. Freedom 16-6 7 12

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.


East Bay Baseball poll — 4/8

It’s finally time for us to debut our baseball polls this season. We’ll have our first baseball/softball package running in Thursday’s paper and that’s when this poll will debut in print. But here’s a sneak peak.

Team Record Points Last year
1. Granada (5) 12-0 75 10
2. Amador Valley 9-3 66 NR
3. De La Salle 7-4 63 2
4. Campolindo 5-6-1 57 1
5. Acalanes 9-4 50 6
6. College Park 8-3-1 45 4
7. Newark Memorial 9-3 40 9
8. Alhambra 9-4 35 NR
9. Washington 9-3 33 NR
10. Clayton Valley 8-3 31 12
11. Heritage 8-5 27 NR
t12. California 8-3 20 5
t12. Deer Valley 9-4 20 8
14. Dougherty Valley 8-5 14 3
15. St. Mary’s 7-3 8 t13

Also receiving votes:  Foothill (6-6, 7 points), Freedom (8-4, 4), El Cerrito (10-4-1, 3), Berkeley (9-4, 1), San Leandro (10-3, 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.


Baseball: EBAL/DFAL Challenge on Saturday

Most of us are caught up in the high school basketball season, but a pretty cool baseball event is slated for Saturday. It’s the First annual EBAL/DFAL Challenge. Dougherty Valley coach Brian Freitas is serving as the event director for the challenge, which will take place at three different venues.

At Granada High, Amador Valley will face Alhambra at noon, followed by Granada vs. Dublin at 3 p.m.

At San Ramon Valley, California meets Las Lomas at noon and San Ramon Valley plays Acalanes at 3 p.m.

At Dougherty Valley, there are two excellent games with Monte Vista facing Dougherty Valley at noon, followed by a showdown between De La Salle and Campolindo at 3 p.m.

Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for childer 12 and under, and under 5 is free.


High school baseball updates

I’ve had baseball news piling up over the past few weeks, so I figured I’d throw it out there in one fell swoop.

On the coaching front, we’ve had several changes. For starters, College Park has hired former Acalanes head man and DVC assistant Andy Tarpley to replace Matt Lisle. Lisle is now an assistant for the University of Oregon softball team. Tarp attended several College Park playoff games, and his hiring came as no surprise.

At Clayton Valley, Casey Coakley is returning to lead the Eagles on the diamond. Herc Pardi will remain with the program in his former role of pitching coach. Coakley returns from Los Medanos, where he’s coached the past couple seasons.

Deer Valley has filled its vacancy at the top, picking Dan Peters to take over for Dennis Luquet. Luquet was hired as the head coach at Diablo Valley College. Peters, a College Park grad, has an impressive resume of his own with stints as pitching coach at DVC and LMC as well as a brief run as head coach at Clayton Valley.

On the recruiting front, most people know by now that Cal has snagged top-shelf local pitchers in De La Salle’s Andrew Buckley and Campolindo’s Matt Ladrech (Ladrech is only a junior). NorCalPreps.com’s Cameron Schott reported today that Ladrech’s teammate, infielder Denis Karas, is now also headed to Cal. Karas is also a junior, so that means that over the next two years the pipeline from Campo to Cal will be plenty busy. Current senior Robbie Tenerowicz is Cal-bound after this season.


Liberty’s Zaharias signs with Sonoma State

Liberty High pitcher Stevan Zaharias has signed to play baseball at Sonoma State, beginning next season.

Zaharias was a standout for the Lions this season, earning first team all-BVAL honors with a 6-3 record. He owned a miniscule 0.87 ERA, opposing hitters batted .185 against him and he tossed four complete games. He struck out 62 and walked just 12 in 64.1 innings. He helped lead Liberty to its first playoff berth since 2008.


Deer Valley pitcher Peters inks with UCSD

Deer Valley High graduate Jacob Peters, an all-Bay Valley Athletic League pitcher last season, has signed with UC San Diego. Peters had a solid senior campaign with a 5-2 record and five saves. He was excited to set the school career earned run average record with an ERA of 1.25. The old mark was 1.29.

“I was pretty excited,” he said of the record. “There have been a lot of good pitchers at Deer Valley, and so it was an honor to do that.”


Heritage’s Paul Blackburn selected No. 56 by Cubs

Heritage High’s Paul Blackburn was selected No. 56 overall by the Chicago Cubs in Monday’s Major League Baseball draft. The selection was in the compensatory round, a pick awarded to Chicago for the free-agent departure of Carlos Pena.
Blackburn was at his home in Oakley watching the draft with his family, some friends and neighbors and was surprised to hear his name called.
“I wasn’t really expecting it,” Blackburn said. “I knew the Cubs were in the mix, but I didn’t think it’d be until later in the second round.”
Blackburn was 10-3 with a 0.93 ERA for the Patriots this season and is signed with Arizona State. He said it’s too early to estimate the possibility of signing vs. attending college, but is excited about a future in the big league.
“All my hard work has paid off now,” Blackburn said. “I hope to fulfill my dream. I hope to make it through and make it to the big leagues.”
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound right-hander would like to help bring some success to the Cubs organization.
“I know the Cubs haven’t won a World Series in a long time,” Blackburn said. “Hopefully I can bring that to Chicago.”


Final East Bay Baseball Poll

Here is the final baseball poll. I thought there were a few surprises in the final vote, so have at it.

Team Record Points Last week
1. Campolindo (5) 23-4-1 89 1
2. De La Salle (1) 20-7 85 4
3. Dougherty Valley 21-7 78 2
4. College Park 20-7 68 5
5. California 15-13 66 15
6. Acalanes 21-7 61 9
7. Monte Vista 16-11 56 10
8. Deer Valley 21-4 49 3
9. Newark Memorial 21-6 40 8
10. Granada 17-10 30 12
11. San Ramon Valley 16-9 27 6
12. Clayton Valley 20-6 26 13
t13. Foothill 16-9 15 NR
t13. St. Mary’s 23-6 15 NR
15. Northgate 20-5 11 7

Also receiving votes: Head-Royce (19-7, 2 points), James Logan (15-10, 2). The East Bay High School Baseball Poll is voted on by the prep sports staff of Bay Area News Group-East Bay.


Heads up for NCS baseball in Oakland

Consider this a public service announcement to all the baseball fans planning on heading to the O.co Coliseum for tomorrow’s North Coast Section championships.

Take BART, or hit the ATM before coming.

Tickets should be a reasonable amount, as they usually are at section title games. But parking is going to be the issue tomorrow. According to the bulletin posted on the NCS website, parking will cost a whopping $25. If you want to bring your bus, it’ll cost you $75 to get through the gates. I would expect BART to be the preferred method of getting to the game.

And, to demonstrate that I feel your pain, I gotta pay that too. No parking breaks for media. If anyone wants to meet outside the gate and ride in, I got three seats open. Let’s get it goin.