After upsetting the 4th and 5th seeds California and Granada respectively, the Berkeley Yellowjackets took on their toughest North Coast Section playoff team yet, No. 1 seed San Ramon Valley. The Wolves' pitching staff was too dominant as they gave up just two hits on their path to a 4-0 shutout victory.
Santa Clara commit, Alex Barden, started the game and pitched six innings for the Wolves, giving up zero runs and striking out five. Senior Conor Neumann came in for the 7th inning and struck-out the side, sending SRV to the NCS championship game. Catcher Nate Kanat went 2-for-3 from the plate and drove in the Wolves' first run, scoring Matt Smithwick.
University of Washington commit, Noah Bremer, has been outstanding this season, entering the game against San Ramon, he had posted a 0.38 earned run average in 92 innings of work. Bremer went six innings, giving up two earned runs on eight hits. The problem for the Yellowjackets was not pitching, but their performance on offense. The team combined to go just 2-for-23 from the plate. Bryce Bell and David Langer both went 1-for-3.
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San Ramon Valley will face off against the De La Salle Spartans on Saturday at St. Mary's College for the NCS title. The Spartans beat Foothill in their semi-final game, 1-0, to advance to the championship. They breezed through their first two match-ups, winning 12-0 and 14-1.
It will be a pitching-oriented affair on Saturday as De La Salle will throw their ace Justin Hooper, who is one of the best class of 2015 pitchers in the region. The Wolves swept the season series against De La Salle, winning the first game, 10-5, and the second, 6-2.
With experience this season against Hooper, San Ramon Valley should know what is ahead of them on Saturday, so should De La Salle as these teams know each other well.