NCS: Montgomery set for baseball semifinal

Montgomery's Matt Miller hits a line drive over third base during the Vikings' NCS Division 2 second-round game against Newark Memorial in Santa Rosa last Friday. (CONNER JAY / The Press Democrat)

Montgomery’s Matt Miller hits a line drive over third base during the Vikings’ NCS Division 2 second-round game against Newark Memorial in Santa Rosa last Friday. (CONNER JAY / The Press Democrat)

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

College Park has been a nemesis to North Bay League teams in the NCS baseball tournament and today the Pleasant Hill school will try to eliminate a third area team when Montgomery pays a visit in North Coast Section action.

The Vikings are hoping to avoid the same fate as Cardinal Newman and Petaluma in the Division 2 game. First pitch is 4 p.m.

One other Redwood Empire school will be playing an NCS semifinal game today. The St. Vincent softball team is traveling to Ferndale for a Division 5 contest that also starts at 4 p.m.

College Park, the No. 2 seed, didn’t have any trouble with the first two NBL teams it played. The Cougars defeated the Cardinals, 8-1, in the opening round and then handled the Trojans, 6-0, in the quarterfinals.

“College Park has two very good pitchers and has solid hitting throughout the line-up,” Petaluma coach Paul Cochrun said. “They’re well-balanced and play good defense.”

Cochrun also knows Montgomery and he thinks the Vikings are poised and ready for a big game.

“Montgomery has a lot of senior experience,” he said. “They’re a No. 11 seed and they seem to like playing the underdog role. I think it’ll be a good game.”

College Park, champion of the Diablo Valley Athletic League, is the No. 2 seed. The Cougars are 13-1 on their home field and 25-3 overall.

Montgomery, runner-up to Maria Carrillo in the NBL, is 19-7 and 9-1 on the road.

Both teams have excellent starting pitching that has

The Vikings will likely be seeing Chris Brown. He pitched a complete game to beat Newman and is 10-1 with an 0.85 ERA. He shares mound duties with Joe DeMers (11-2, 0.53 ERA). The junior allowed Petaluma just three hits.

Montgomery’s starting pitchers are Jared Noonan (8-2, 2.39) and Anthony Prince (5-1, 2.95).

Noonan got the victory at No. 6 Concord in the opening round.

Prince picked up the quarterfinal win over Newark Memorial.

Noonan will get the start today.

ST. VINCENT STREAK ON LINE

Two long winning streaks will be on the line in the St. Vincent-Ferndale softball game.

The No. 3 seeded Mustangs have captured 14 in a row and the No. 2 Wildcats sport a 10-game winning streak.

St. Vincent is a confident bunch heading into the game.

“We have a good shot of getting to the finals,” coach Don Jensen said. “We’re hitting our peak now. The offense and defense has been playing well.”

The Mustangs have come a long way since starting the season 1-7.

“Every year, we play a strong pre-league schedule,” Jensen said.

“We play Division 3 and 4 schools and ranked Division 5 teams. It gets us ready for league.”

The Mustangs sailed through NCL II with a 12-0 record.

Ferndale boasts an outstanding player in pitcher Meagan Earley.

She’s won 13 games and struck out 90 batters. The senior is hitting .549 with 37 RBI.

Hayley Olson, who tweaked her knee running to first base in the quarterfinal win over Calistoga, will start for St. Vincent.

“She’s ready to go,” Jensen said.

St. Vincent is attempting to win the Division 5 title for the third year in a row.

 

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