The Sac-Joaquin Section Division I finals are set with Davis and St. Mary's winning decisive third games. Also, the Marin Catholic Athletic League shows its depth with a pair of second round wins.
Davis won its third SJS Division I North title in the past 14 years with a 5-2 win over Elk Grove in an elimination game on Friday night at Sacramento City College. Game three was forced after the Thundering Herd posted a 3-2 win to start the night. In the previous years with a North title (2000 and 2004), Davis has gone on to win section titles. The Blue Devils, with talented seniors like Matt Trask and Brett Bloomfield and a talented underclassman in Ryan Kreidler, haven't been the top ranked team in the Sacramento area this year but will end the season there.
The Blue Devils will face championship mainstay St. Mary's-Stockton, which won its sixth straight SJS Division I South title after a pair of wins over Tokay. The Rams posted 13-0 and 11-0 wins in completing its trek through the loser's bracket. While the top end talent isn't at the same level of previous years, the Rams are once again playing on the final weekend under first year head coach Rob Selna.
While some power leagues have struggled in the playoffs, the MCAL is proving its worth. Marin Catholic beat NCP Top 20 ranked Carrillo (5-4) after scoring three runs in the seventh inning. Bryan Jackiemiec got the win with a complete game and tallied three hits at the plate. The Wildcats have won nine in a row with wins over Drake (2), Tamalpais and Carrillo.
Tamalpais joined the MCAL winning trend with a 2-0 shutout of Miramonte in the North Coast Section Division III playoffs. Max Gamboa had a two-hit shutout for the Red Tailed Hawks. They will face the winner of Drake-Acalanes in the semi-finals. Those three teams make up the top three squads in Division III this spring.
Head-Royce, the two time defending NCS Division V champions, had little drama in its 10-0 win over St. Vincent in five innings. Nico Hoerner threw a complete game with nine strikeouts and Sami Tuqan had a home run and three RBI.
Despite being the NCS Division IV defending champion, St. Mary's flew under the radar in the early season starting 5-6. They ended the regular season winning 12 of 16 games including a win over Division I Serra. The Panthers reached the semi-finals on Friday with a 3-2 win over St. Patrick/St. Vincent. Senior Max Goldstein had the game winning RBI and Josh Cohen picked up the win in relief. Sophomore Andre Nnebe threw five innings of two run ball. The Panthers await the winner of Moreau Catholic and Arcata.