Home World St. Ignatius, TKA, Homestead baseball reach finals

St. Ignatius, TKA, Homestead baseball reach finals

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CCS baseball

Division I

No. 7 St. Ignatius 10, No. 6 Carmel 0 (5 innings)

After taking a couple of balls out of the zone, Evann Smith ripped the next pitch he saw into the Excite Ballpark outfield, where the San Jose Giants minor league team plays. 

St. Ignatius’ senior speedster turned on the jets, rounding first, second, third and then stepping on home plate to lead off the second inning of the Central Coast Section Division I semifinals.

“I got ahead in the count, so I was looking for something he was going to challenge me with straight,” Smith said after he went 3 for 3 with a team-high four RBIs. “He threw it to me, and I put a barrel on it. ”

St. Ignatius scored seven runs in the second inning, and then added one in the fourth and two in the fifth to run-rule Carmel in five innings. 

Sophomore pitcher Chase Gordon threw an abbreviated complete game, striking out five and walking two.

St. Ignatius will play Valley Christian or Archbishop Mitty in the final on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Excite Ballpark. The Wildcats’ star player didn’t have a preference for who the next opponent would be. 

“We want either one,” Smith said before Valley and Mitty started. 

St. Ignatius, which improved to 20-9, defeated No. 2 Serra in a first-round upset to reach the semifinals. 

Emmett Johnson went 3 for 4 with an RBI, and St. Ignatius teammate Patrick Ruane drove in two runs. The Wildcats took advantage of their speed on the basepaths, stealing nine bases. Johnson and Dominic Camarillo each swiped two bags. 

“We’ve been preparing for this for so long, and when we got to the second inning, this showed what we can do,” Smith said.

Division II

No. 7 The King’s Academy 8, No. 6 Palo Alto 3

Trailing 3-2, TKA evened the score on Nate Plata’s sacrifice fly to left in the fifth and went ahead on Shane Santaga’s two-run double in the sixth as the Knights advanced to the Division II final with a victory over Palo Alto at Mission College.

Plata followed Santaga’s double with one of his own to make it 6-3. Ethan Johnson then hit a two-run homer to cap a five-run inning that put TKA in the final on Friday against top-seeded Leigh at Excite Ballpark.

Palo Alto erased an early 2-0 deficit with three runs in the third — two on Zach Thom’s inside-the-park home run — but couldn’t hold on as it finished the season 16-13.

TKA is 17-10-1.

Division IV

No. 8 Homestead 3, No. 4 Scotts Valley 0

Homestead scored a run in the first on a ground out and that was all the offense Gavin Galvez needed as the senior left-hander pitched a four-hitter to lead the Mustangs past Scotts Valley in a Division IV semifinal at Sollecito Park in Monterey.

The Cupertino school advanced to the final on Friday against sixth-seeded Mountain View at Excite Ballpark.

In March, Mountain View swept a two-game league series against Homestead, winning 4-3 and 10-5.

Wednesday, Homestead clung to a one-run advantage until extending the margin in the visitor’s half of the seventh on Clay Bussey’s two-run single.

Galvez retired Scotts Valley in order in the bottom of the seventh to close out the victory.

Homestead improved to 16-9-2. Scotts Valley finished 17-8.

No. 6 Mountain View 9, No. 2 Sequoia 6

Chase Caringella hit for the cycle — single, double, triple, homer — in a 4-for-4 day and finished with four RBIs as Mountain View rallied to beat Sequoia in a Division IV semifinal at Willow Glen High.

Sequoia roared to a 6-3 advantage after two innings and maintained the lead until Mountain View pulled even with one in the fourth and two in the fifth.

The Spartans went ahead in the sixth on Christian Bandy’s steal of home and stretched the margin to 9-6 in the seventh on Caringella’s two-run homer.

Liam Barrett also homered for Mountain View, which improved to 16-13.

Max Stallings had three hits, including a double, and two RBIs for Sequoia, which finished 15-14.

NCS baseball

Division II

No. 1 Cardinal Newman 7, No. 4 Benicia 1

Cardinal Newman used a six-run fourth inning to defeat visiting Benicia and advance to the Division II final. The Cardinals will be looking to win their third consecutive section title when they face No. 2 Redwood on Saturday. 

Junior Jack Pezzolo was 2 for 3 and had three RBIs for Cardinal Newman. Pezzolo also pitched 5 1/3 innings in which he struck out four and allowed four hits and a run. 

Junior Brice Brunson drove in Benicia’s only run when he singled to bring home junior Jax Core

Benicia finished 18-9. 

Division IV

No. 2 Piedmont 4, No. 3 McKinleyville 1 

Senior Seve Sanchez pitched a complete game, striking out three and allowing six hits, to lead Piedmont to a win at home over McKinleyville. The Highlanders will play Justin-Sienna for the title at Laney College on Saturday.

Piedmont junior Brandon Dicke was 1 for 2 and had an RBI. Markos Lagios had an run-scoring double. 

The Highlanders will be looking to capture their first section title since 2008. 

No. 4 Justin-Siena 6, No. 1 St. Mary’s-Berkeley 1

Justin-Siena upset top-seeded St. Mary’s-Berkeley on the road behind a stellar pitching performance from Spencer Nelson

Nelson struck out four and allowed three hits and a run in six innings. 

Both teams were tied at one after the fourth, but the Braves broke the game open in the fifth inning by scoring four runs to take a 5-1 lead. 

Senior Everet Johnson went 2 for 3 with a home run, a double and two RBIs. Senior Sam Denkin had two hits, two RBIs and a double. 

St. Mary’s finished the season 16-10.

CCS softball

Division I

No. 4 Salinas 2, No. 1 The King’s Academy 0

Salinas broke a scoreless game with one in the fifth and added another run in the sixth to turn back top-seeded TKA in a Division I semifinal at Los Gatos High.

Mia Bennette had three hits and Bella Giles finished with two hits for TKA.

Abi Jones knocked in a run for Salinas.

Salinas (19-9) will play Branham or Monterey in the final on Saturday at a site to be announced.

TKA finished 21-4.

Division IV

No. 3 Christopher 11, No. 7 Cupertino 4

Christopher erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the sixth to break a 4-4 tie and advance to the Division IV final with a victory over Cupertino at Capuchino High.

The Cougars will play fourth-seeded Aragon in the final on Saturday at an undetermined site.

Zoe Griffin had two hits and three RBIs and Chevelle Quistian and Bella Loredo each had two hits and two RBIs to lead Christopher.

The Cougars improved to 15-9. Cupertino finished 15-7.

NCS softball

Division III

No. 3 Cardinal Newman 6, No. 2 Encinal 4

The Cardinals scored six runs on 12 hits on the road to beat Encinal in a Division III semifinal.



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