NCS baseball roundup: Cardinal Newman topples Alameda; Montgomery’s upset bid falls short

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Pitcher Zak Faber responded to his first start of the season with a stellar performance Tuesday as he hurled visiting Cardinal Newman to a 4-1 victory over Alameda in a first round NCS Division 2 game.

The Cardinals, the No. 8 seed, advance to play at No. 1 Casa Grande on Friday. Those teams have met four times with Casa coming out on top in three of those games.

Faber, who had been the team’s closer, gave up four hits and walked six.

“It really wasn’t a gamble starting Faber,” coach TJ McMahon said. “He’s been phenomenal all season as our closer. I was confident he’d handle the assignment.”

Faber’s teammates made his job less stressful as they scored twice in the first inning.

The Cardinals came out swinging as the first four batters — Jeff Rebello, Mitchell Wilhelmsen, Erik Owenson and Ricky Clark — each singled. Clark got the first RBI and George Foster’s fly ball to center field brought in the second run.

Newman added two more in the fifth. After two were out, Foster and Jake Popoff both reached on errors and Austin Calos walked. Pinch hitter Ray Hernandez then followed with a two-run single.

Alameda scored its run in the sixth and had the tying run come to the plate in the seventh.

Corey Hammell, taking over for Faber as the team’s closer, came on with two outs and got a strike out.

Even though Newman was the eighth seed and Alameda was No. 9, the Hornets got home field because they won their league. However, the Cardinals were the home team on the scoreboard.

The Cardinals had defensive gems turned in by right fielder Calos, left fielder Alex Roeser and infielder Foster.

Cardinal Newman, the third place finisher in the NBL, takes a 15-12 record into the next round. Alameda finished 17-10.

CAMPOLINDO 2, MONTGOMERY 0

At Moraga, despite scratching out only three hits, No. 2 seed Campolindo eliminated No. 15 Montgomery, 2-0, in a first round NCS Division 2 game Tuesday.

The Cougars scored in the second and third innings and that was more than enough support for starting pitcher Trent Shelton.

The 6-foot-4 lefty struck out seven and allowed three hits. The Vikings had only one player reach second base.

The Cougars’ first run came home on Scott Singh’s two-out single and then Shelton helped himself with a sacrifice fly in the third.

Anthony Prince, who came into the game with a 1.16 ERA, was the tough-luck loser and his record dropped to 5-3.

Josh Lunney was the only Viking to reach second. He doubled in three trips to the plate. Mitchell West and Max Meredith accounted for the other hits.

“We gave them a run for their money,” coach Dean Haskins said.

“Shelton’s a very good pitcher. We couldn’t do much with him.”

With a 14-9-1 record, Montgomery completed its best season since 2009. Last year, the Vikings were 9-15.

“We only have three seniors on the team,” Haskins said. “I’m looking forward to next year. It was good the players that will be returning got a taste of playoff ball.”

Campolindo (18-6-1) will host Washington on Friday.

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