The defending North Coast Section Division II and III champions played a nail biter on Tuesday. Campolindo grinded out a run in the bottom of the ninth to beat Acalanes 3-2 and clinched at least a share of the Diablo Foothill Athletic League title.
Junior Ben Skinner reached in the ninth inning after swinging at strike three in the dirt, which got to the backstop. After stealing second, he came home on a single from junior Conner McNally. Austin Fisher (Santa Clara), who had a pair of singles at the plate, took the loss in going 2.1 innings of relief. Denis Karas (California) picked up the win after throwing two scoreless innings. He also had a RBI double in the fifth inning to tie the game at two.
"Obviously getting a runner on there was the priority. We were able to make things happen. We didn't have a lot of good things going for us today at the plate, but we kept our composure and we kept battling," Campolindo head coach Max Luckhurst said. "This time of year, it's about figuring out ways to win games."
The ninth inning heroics capped a day that featured a pair of Division I bound left-handers on the bump. Campolindo's Matt Ladrech (California) threw 102 pitches (71 for strikes) over seven innings. He gave up seven hits, two runs and struck out six. He commanded multiple pitches, including a good curveball. Outside of a 26 pitch first inning, he didn't have another inning with more than 17 pitches.
"The most impressive thing was he was sick all week. It was going to be 50-50 if he was ready to go. He came out and didn't have his best stuff, but he competed," Luckhurst said. "You can't take that away from somebody like him."
Acalanes junior Zach Stromberg (Boston College) didn't disappoint in his outing . He worked out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning and got a double play ball with runners on first and third in the third. In total, he went six innings of two run ball with six hits. He walked two and struck out three changing speeds and displayed a good breaking ball.
"Stromberg did a good job. He changed speeds well. He tied us up at the plate, but we just had to battle. We knew he was going to be good," Luckhurst said.
Acalanes got the board in the first on a RBI single from sophomore Tommy Henderson. Campolindo responded with a home run from leadoff hitter Bear Smith. After the Dons' ninth place hitter Matt Jorgenson had a RBI single with the infield drawn in, Karas delivered a two out double to eventually send the game into extra innings.
Kris Bubic (Stanford) went the distance and struck out 14 batters in Mitty's 5-1 win over Valley Christian-San Jose. Drew Mount went 3-for-3 with a RBI for the Monarchs, which takes on No. 1 St. Francis-Mountain View on Friday. A win would garner a share of the West Catholic Athletic League title and the No. 1 seed in the league playoffs next week.
Serra has won five in a row after the Padres beat Bellarmine (2-0). Sophomore John Besse (seven innings, two hits, two strikeouts) out-dueled Corby Punian (6.1 innings, five hits, two unearned runs, five strikeouts). Neil Sterling (Utah) and Angelo Bortolin each had a RBI for the Padres.
Elk Grove got one of the two wins it needed this week for an outright Delta Valley Conference title. After scoring two in the top of the seventh to force extra innings, Elk Grove scored four runs in the eighth inning en route to a 6-4 win over Davis. Oregon State bound Nick Madrigal went 2-for-4 with four RBI in the win.
After losing the opener to Sierra (4-3) on Monday, Manteca captured the Valley Oak League with a 4-0 win. Lucas Vaughn notched a no-hitter to clinch the league crown. Manteca figures to be the favorite when the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs get started.
In a matchup of Marin County Athletic League leaders, the story was right-handed pitcher Joe Ryan. The Cal State Northridge signee threw a two-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts in a 2-0 win. The Pirates take a one game lead over Tamalpais and Marin Catholic with the regular season finale against Redwood on Thursday.
Stanford commit Nico Hoerner went 4-for-4 at the plate with two RBI in a 7-1 win over Bentley. He also threw five innings of three run ball (one earned) with six strikeouts. Head-Royce remains a game behind Redwood Christian in the Bay Counties League-East Division.