NCS baseball playoffs: Campolindo rips Cardinal Newman, 13-3

By ERIC WITTMERSHAUS
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Cardinal Newman’s baseball team ran into a buzz-saw Saturday in the NCS Division 2 playoffs, falling 13-3 at top-seeded Campolindo.

“They are the best high school team I’ve ever seen,” Cardinal Newman coach TJ McMahon said of the Cardinals, the fourth-ranked team in the state according to MaxPreps. “One through nine (in their lineup), it’s pretty clear why they have seven or eight Division I-committed kids.”

Every hitter in the Cougars’ lineup had either a run or RBI, and Campolindo jumped on top with a five-run first inning.

With little room for mistakes, the Cardinals made five errors in the game, two in the first inning.

“It was tough to recover from that,” McMahon said. “It kind of changed the game plan, not playing for one run anymore.”

Nolan Formway hit a double off the fence in the top of the first, as the Cardinals threatened to take an early lead, “but we weren’t able to score him,” McMahon said.

Although there was some initial disappointment at the Cardinals No. 9 seed, which necessitated the trip to Moraga in just the second round, McMahon said the team had gotten over it.

“The ultimate goal is to win (NCS),” McMahon said. “And you’re going to have to beat Campolindo to win it, anyway. It didn’t matter if we played ‘em in the second round, the third round or the finals.”

McMahon was pleased his team kept battling, scoring its three runs in the top of the sixth.

“Some guys came off the bench to get some key hits and get a rally started,” McMahon said.

Seniors ignited the rally. Matt Wheeler, Will Hanley and Dylan Eterovich scored runs in their final high school game, and Eterovich, Matt Sullivan and Bryan Neuerburg had RBIs.

“Our guys didn’t give up,” the coach said.