NCS playoffs: Bold play lifts Analy over Alhambra; Carrillo’s rally fizzles

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Pinch runner Scott Hoffman stole home with what proved to be the winning run as Analy defeated visiting Alhambra, 3-2, in a North Coast Section Division 3 quarterfinal baseball game Saturday.

The Tigers began the bottom of the sixth down 2-1. Garrett Hill got the home team going with a double and scored the tying run on Grant St. Martin’s single.

Later in the inning, with Kyle Earley on first and Hoffman on third, coach Jeff Ogston put on a double steal. Earley took off for second and when the pitcher made a throw to that base, Hoffman motored toward the plate.

“There was a play at home but it was apparent Hoffman beat the tag,” Ogston said.

Hill was the winning pitcher. The right-hander came on in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and no outs, and got out of the jam allowing just one run.

The Moors had the tying run on third with one out in the seventh but Hill responded by striking out a batter and getting the final out on a grounder to third baseman Jake Royer.

Analy (22-5) will go on the road for the semifinal round, playing Drake at Alberts Field in San Rafael.

COLLEGE PARK 4, MARIA CARRILLO 3

At Maria Carrillo, the Pumas baseball team waited until the final inning to get the offense in gear and came up a run short.

Carrillo narrowed College Park’s lead to 4-2 and had runners on second and third with no outs. However, they could get only one of those runners home.

Jake Scheiner had a double leading off the seventh, and Andrew Vaughn and Austin Martinez both contributed singles.

College Park, the No. 5 seed, used the long ball to take down Carrillo. Nick Oar hit a solo shot in the fourth inning and Trevor Larnach connected on a two-run homer in the sixth.

“I knew both of those were gone leaving the bat,” Pumas coach Derek DeBenedetti said. “There was no doubt. Both went over the fence in right center field.”

Vaughn, who is a freshman, pitched the first five innings and struck out six. Clayton Andrews finished up.

The Pleasant Hill team will travel to Sonoma County again on Wednesday, where top-seeded Casa Grande will be waiting.

SONOMA VALLEY 4, EL CERRITO 3

At Arnold Field, Sonoma Valley’s baseball team advanced to the Division 3 semifinals by scoring a run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Pinch runner Mike Stovall slid in just under the tag with the game-winner. The inning started with Rich Nuñez being hit by a pitch. He moved to second on a wild pitch and was replaced by Stovall, and Jaxson Strong’s sacrifice bunt moved the runner to third.

C.J. Vitale then hit an infield grounder to score Stovall.

“It was a bang-bang play at the plate,” coach Don Lyons said. “The El Cerrito infielder had no choice but to throw home.”

The Dragons trailed early and took the lead with a three-run uprising in the sixth. Dan Deely’s two-run double was the big blow.

Reliever Devon Graff allowed two runs in the seventh and still had the bases loaded with no outs. He then proceeded to strike out the side. During the inning, catcher Miles Hagin made an acrobatic stop on a potential wild pitch that would have scored at least one run.

Sonoma (14-9), the No. 4 seed, will travel to No. 1 Acalanes on Wednesday.

MOREAU CATHOLIC 3, CLOVERDALE 2

At Cloverdale, the Eagles softball team squandered scoring opportunities in nearly every inning and lost a Division 5 quarterfinal game.

In the third, the home team loaded the bases with no outs and didn’t score. In the sixth, the Eagles stranded a runner on third. And in the final inning, a runner was left on second base.

The Eagles outhit their opponents, 9-5.

Morgan Robinson and Jordan Turner each had a double and a single for Cloverdale, which finished the season with a 20-4 record. The Eagles started four freshmen and a sophomore.

POINT ARENA 4, FERNDALE 3

At Point Arena, the Pirates advanced to the Division 6 baseball championship game by scoring on a passed ball in the 10th inning and defeating Ferndale.

The game had been scheduled for Friday. However, it had to be postponed because no umpires showed up. There was a miscommunication between the NCS and the area umpires’ association, according to Pirates coach Trevor Sanders.

No. 2 seed Point Arena will journey to No. 1 Tomales for the final on Friday.

Tim Sanders scored the winning run. The junior singled and went to second on the play as Cody Cissna was thrown out at home. Sanders then advanced to third on a balk and scored on the passed ball.

Cissna came on to pitch the eighth and got the win. In the final three innings, two Ferndale runners were picked off and another was caught stealing.

Justin Sundstrom started for the Pirates (14-1) and struck out 11 before leaving at the start of the eighth.

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