Twelve days ago, the quest to win a North Coast Section championship began for 36 Redwood Empire baseball and softball teams.
Saturday, the titles in all divisions will be decided, and only two area teams have a chance to win a trophy.
Those would be Analy’s baseball team in Division 3 and Cloverdale’s softball squad in Division 5.
The No. 3-seeded Tigers will play No. 1 Acalanes at 3:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s College while the top-seeded Eagles will host No. 2 St. Joseph Notre Dame at 5 p.m.
Analy and Acalanes will be meeting for the first time this year, while Cloverdale and St. Joseph Notre Dame met March 19 in a tournament the Eagles annually host. That day, Cloverdale came out on top, 2-1, in eight innings.
Acalanes has won 12 in a row and brings a 25-2 record into the title game. Analy is 23-6 and has won eight of its last nine.
The Tigers will be facing a pitcher who has signed to play with the University of San Francisco beginning next season.
“Going up against a pitcher with the credentials of Grant Young will be a tough task,” Analy coach Jeff Ogston said. “Acalanes is good every year and typically they’re the top seed in our division.
“However, we’re playing good right now and believe we can play with them. The guys have stayed focused through finals and graduation and we’re ready.”
The schools met three years ago with the championship on the line and Acalanes prevailed, 4-3.
“We had the tying run on second in the seventh inning. Some of our seniors were on that Analy team and they know how close that game was.”
Gabe Werthimer will be the Tigers’ starting pitcher. He has a 2.09 ERA.
Analy got to Saturday’s game by defeating Bishop O’Dowd (10-5), Albany (3-2) and El Cerrito (4-1).
The Dons from Lafayette eliminated Hercules (7-2), Campolindo (5-0) and Miramonte (6-2) on their way to the title game.
Analy has a team batting average of .318 this season. Leading the way is Nolan Alvarez (.441), followed by Ryan Calderon (.429), Mason Snodgrass (.385), Jacob Beeler (.348), Devin Ogston (.344), Tayler Cullen (.333) and Jordan Parks (.333).
Cloverdale’s softball team, meanwhile, will take a 20-3 record and six consecutive victories into the title game.
St. Joseph Notre Dame, from the Tri-County League, will bring a 13-10 record to town. The Pilots have won four in a row.
The late afternoon starting time was requested by Cloverdale. The seniors on the team graduated Friday night and then attended a school-sponsored party that lasted until 4 a.m.
St. Joseph seniors graduate at 10 Saturday morning in Alameda.
This will be the final high school game for Teanne Edens, who has done it all for the Eagles.
In her senior year, she has tossed five no-hitters while compiling an 18-3 mark. Her ERA is 0.68.
At the plate, she leads her team with a .532 average and has belted six home runs.
As a team, Cloverdale is hitting .348. Jordyn Turner (.435), Bailey Creager (.357), Hailey Donahoo (.348) and Amer Adams (.323) have also enjoyed productive seasons.