NCS BASEBALL/SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS BEGIN
In the leagues we cover here there are 35 teams, 19 baseball and 16 softball, in the North Coast Section playoffs. The playoffs begin on Tuesday for some, Wednesday for most of the rest. Eight schools have both a baseball and softball team in the race for an NCS championship.
The only bracket that doesn’t see any action over the next two days is Division 6 Softball, which has its only first round game on Saturday when Anderson Valley travels to Tomales. The Division has a Section low five teams and the top three seeds, No. 1 Ferndale, No. 2 Laytonville and No. 3 CSD all have byes and won’t be in action until the middle of next week.
Tuesday, at least locally, belongs mainly to the baseball world. There is only one softball game in Division 5 with No. 11 Calistoga traveling to No. 6 Athenian.
The rest of the action belongs to baseball, with both the NBL and SCL regular season champions in action.
Casa Grande, who also won the NBL post season tournament, is the No. 1 seed in Division 2 and will host No. 16 Pinole Valley. The way the season has gone for Casa Grande, you can expect a one run game, possibly in extra innings. They have to hope those kind of games won’t catch up with them now. They are 24-2 on the season and a perfect 15-0 in one run games which includes both games in the NBL post season tournament. Three of the games went extra innings and four times they went into a last at bat situation knowing they need one to keep the game going.
It has been a remarkable run.
Pinole Valley is 15-12 on the season and tied for first in the Tri County-Stone League. They won the tie-breaker by going 2-0 against co-champion St. Mary’s, who is the No. 1 seed in Division 4. In the second on May 1st they won by a 6-1 score. Had they not won that game, Pinole Valley would have missed the playoffs.
Pinole Valley played three NBL teams during the regular season and lost all three. To keep the theme of the year going, they lost to Montgomery and Windsor by one run. The other game was back in early March to Ukiah by an 11-1 score.
If things work out on Tuesday, we could be seeing Casa Grande and Cardinal Newman game for the fifth time this season. Cardinal Newman is a No. 8 seed and travels to meet No. 9 Alameda.
Alameda is hosting the game because they were also on the right side of a tie-breaker to take the West Alameda County championship. They won the tie breaker over Bishop O’ Dowd by defeating them in the championship game of the post season tournament 4-3, in a game that went 11 innings.
Casa Grande and Cardinal Newman are two of five NBL teams in the Division 2 bracket. The only other team playing on Tuesday is No. 15 Montgomery who is at No. 2 and three time champion Campolindo who comes into the game with a 12 game winning streak.
Montgomery was last in action 11 days ago when they lost to Casa Grande 9-2.
No. 4 Maria Carrillo and No. 11 Rancho Cotate first round games are on Wednesday.
Analy, the No. 3 seed in Division 3, is in action for the first time since losing to Sonoma Valley last Wednesday in the first game of the SCL post season tournament. That was after going through the SCL League race undefeated. Analy, who is 20-5 on the season, is hosting No. 14 Hercules who has a pretty impressive record itself at 18-6.
Hercules started the season 6-1, scoring in double figures in five of those games. They would score double figures in seven more games and are averaging 9.5 a game. They scored 20 runs twice within a three game spam in the middle of April.
With all those numbers, you can say they are due. In their last two games, both of them losses, they scored one run. As a team they are hitting .388.
Sonoma Valley and Piner are also in this division and play their opening games on Wednesday.
TUESDAY LOCAL SCHEDULE(ALL GAMES AT 4 PM)
No. 16 Pinole Valley (15-12) at No. 1 Casa Grande (24-2)
No. 8 Cardinal Newman (17-9) at No. 9 Alameda (17-9)
No. 15 Montgomery (14-8-1) at No. 2 Campolindo (17-6-1)
No. 14 Hercules (18-6) at No. 3 Analy (20-5)
No. 9 Clear Lake (14-10) at No. 8 St. Patrick/St. Vincent
No. 10 McKinleyville (15-9) at No. 7 Kelseyville (15-9)
No. 16 Sonoma Academy (13-8) at No. 1 Valley Christian (16-7)
No. 1 Tomales (10-7)…BYE
No. 5 CSD at No. 4 Anderson Valley
No. 7 Pescardero (8-8) at No. 2 Point Arena
No. 6 Archbishop Hanna (10-6) at No. 3 Ferndale (10-12)
No. 11 Calistoga (15-8) at No. 6 Athenian (11-6)
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