Analy’s baseball team began Saturday’s North Coast Section Division 3 championship game by scoring a run and loading the bases. Unfortunately, things went downhill for the Tigers after that.
Top-seeded Acalanes came back with two runs in the bottom of the first inning and went on to win the title, 4-1, in a game played at St. Mary’s College in Moraga.
In the first, with one out, Analy’s David Codoni hit a stand-up triple to right field. A ground ball by Nolan Alvarez scored him.
The promising inning continued with both Jacob Beeler and Carter Merlaud getting base hits after two outs. When Tayler Cullen walked, the bases were loaded. However, center fielder Will Rimbach made a leaping catch on Jack Newman’s fly ball to end the inning.
Analy would have two more scoring chances but came up empty both times.
In the fourth, Alvarez and Beeler both walked but were left stranded when Carter Merlaud and then Tayler Cullen hit fly balls to center field.
The Tigers also got something going in the fifth but again that failed to produce any runs. Devin Ogston began the inning with an infield single and was caught off first base on a hit-and-run play when Codoni flied out to the right fielder. Alvarez followed with a single but was thrown out getting back to first base.
“Offensively, we hit too many fly balls,” Analy coach Jeff Ogston said. “We’re a team that’s built on hitting line drives and hard ground balls. I think we only had four in this game. Everything else was up in the air.
“You can point to some parts of the game where we didn’t play smart, but overall, they just played better than us.”
Acalanes scored insurance runs in the fourth and fifth innings and left-hander Grant Young kept the Tigers under control after the first inning.
Young, who is going to the University of San Francisco on scholarship, allowed five hits. He struck out five.
Gabe Werthimer was the starting pitcher for Analy, with Ryan Calderon coming on during the fifth inning. The two limited the Dons to five hits.
The Tigers made one error and Acalanes didn’t commit any.
Analy, the No. 3 seed and champions of the Sonoma County League, finishes 23-7.
The Dons, the top seed, finished the season 26-2 and went undefeated in the Diablo Foothill League. It was the seventh NCS baseball title for the Lafayette school.