NCS playoff roundup: St. Vincent baseball squad gets wild win
In a wild opening-round game in the North Coast Section Division 5 baseball playoffs Tuesday, host and fifth seed St. Vincent rallied to tie the game in both the bottom of the seventh and 11th innings before winning 4-3 in walk-off fashion in the 12th inning against 12th-seeded University High of San Francisco.
“It’s probably one of the best baseball games I’ve ever seen in all my years of coaching,” St. Vincent coach Stan Switala said. “For us it was never say die. The guys never quit. They did not want their season to end.”
The Mustangs (21-4) won it when AJ Fetter hit a double to drive in John Romano, who had reached on an error by the Red Devils (10-12).
In the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs, St. Vincent’s Gio Antonini hit an RBI double to tie the game 1-1 to send it to extra innings.
Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the 11th, the Mustangs rallied for two runs to tie it again. Andrew Kohler hit a two-out, RBI-single for the second run in the inning.
Antonini earned the win with two innings of relief work. Teammate Trent Free went seven strong innings in middle relief to keep the game close while the Mustangs struggled against University’s dominant starter Mick Kelley (9 innings, 1 run).
“Trent pitched extremely well,” Switala said. “He kept us in the game.”
St. Vincent is scheduled to play at fourth-seeded The Bay School of San Francisco at 5 p.m. Friday in a quarterfinal game (subject to change based on weather).
Cardinal Newman 5, Moreau Catholic 1
In a Division 3 game, the host top-seeded Cardinals (21-6) defeated the 16th-seeded Mariners (12-13) of Hayward by scoring early and then holding the lead with stellar pitching.
“The story of the game was great pitching, timely hitting and perfect defense,” Cardinal Newman coach Derek DeBenedetti said. “It was a great all-around team win.”
The Cardinals scored solo runs in the first and second innings and then made it 4-0 after a two-run homer in the third inning by Nick George (2-3, 3 RBI, 1 run).
The Cardinals’ Andrew Lombardi was 1 for 2 with a triple and two runs for the game.
Staked to a 4-0 lead, Cardinal Newman starter Sean Flowers (6 innings, run, 5 hits, 9 strikeouts) went the distance for the win.
“Sean was brilliant again on the mound,” DeBenedetti said. “He was throwing a lot of strikes.”
The Cardinals will host ninth-seeded Campolindo (Moraga) at 5 p.m. Friday in a quarterfinal game.
Sonoma Valley 3, Encinal 0
In a Division 5 game, the host third-seeded Dragons (17-7) broke open a scoreless tie against the 14th-seeded Jets (13-12) of Alameda with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull out the victory.
The Dragons will host a quarterfinal game on Friday versus sixth-seeded Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland.
Petaluma 9, Redwood 1
The host sixth-seeded Trojans (17-7) wielded aggressive bats to defeat the 11th-seed Giants (13-12) of Larkspur in a Division 2 game.
Petaluma scored three runs in the first inning, propelled by a two-run double by Indya Smith (4 RBIs).
The Trojans tacked on solo runs in the second and third innings and added two more runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to pull away.
“We scored in all different ways. We had five or six bunts to move runners over,” Petaluma coach Kurt Jastrow said. “We don’t play for the big inning but to build inning after inning.”
Trojans starter Mandy O’Keefe earned the victory by going seven strong innings and only surrendering one run.
Petaluma went its fifth consecutive game without committing an error.
“We played flawless defense,” Jastrow said.
Petaluma is slated to play at third-seeded Alhambra (Martinez) on Friday in a quarterfinal.
Sonoma Valley 15, Campolindo 5
In a Division 3 game, the host third-seeded Dragons (14-11) trailed 4-0 before exploding with three runs in the third inning and 12 runs in the fourth inning to smoother the 14th-seed Cougars (10-18).
Sonoma Valley rapped out 17 hits and was aided by six Campolindo fielding errors.
The Dragons will host 11th-seeded Maria Carrillo in a quarterfinal on Friday.