Which NBL baseball team has the best offense?

Posted by: Press Democrat correspondent Dewey Forget

With the North Bay League baseball tournament scheduled to begin next Wednesday, and with makeup games still on the schedule, pitching will be at a premium. Few NBL teams have enough pitching depth to handle the anticipated hectic schedule. Hitters should be licking their chops. Not facing the staff ace or perhaps even the No. 2 guy … well, advantage offense.

With that in mind, I took a look at the offense of the NBL’s top four teams. Cardinal Newman (11-1) is hitting .374, a gaudy team average in any league. Montgomery (11-0) has steadily increased its team average over the past few weeks to .302. Piner (7-5) is hitting .250 and Rancho Cotate (6-5) is at .262.

At first glance, it would seem Newman has the upper hand. The Cardinals have 12 players hitting .300 or better, led by Karl Kobler at .469 with a team-leading 29 RBIs, Nick DeLorenzo (.433) and Michael Knott (.444). The Vikings’ top hitters for average are Charlie Barron (.394, 20 RBIs) and Jake Haas (.391).

However, team average can be deceiving. Total runs scored for Montgomery and Cardinal Newman are virtually even after 21 games. Both teams average better than seven runs per game with Newman at 7.66 and Montgomery at 7.16. The conclusion: the Cardinals’ offense provides it a few more scoring opportunities, but the Vikings take better advantage of their chances.

With three NBL games left, the league crown will reside at either Montgomery or Newman. The much-anticipated makeup game between the two is Monday. It will decide the league title. Or the two might share the championship. The cross-town rivals are both quality teams and should be considered section contenders.