By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Logan Thrap struck out 13 as St. Bernard’s Catholic defeated Tomales, 6-0, to claim the North Coast Section Division 6 championship Saturday in Eureka.
“He dominated us,” said coach Bill Tucker of the lanky right-hander. “He’s the best we’ve seen.”
The Braves had three scoring opportunities, with the best coming in the sixth inning. But after allowing runners to reach second and third, Thrap struck out the next batter to end the threat.
Senior Ivan Gomez was the losing pitcher as he allowed three earned runs. Three errors by No. 4 seed Tomales allowed No. 2 St. Bernard’s (15-13) to tack on the additional runs.
It was a long Friday and Saturday for the eight seniors on the Tomales roster. The athletes graduated Friday night, attended a Project Graduation party afterwards and then boarded a bus at 8 a.m. for the six-hour ride to Eureka.
“I didn’t feel like I was all there,” Gomez said after the game. “We all left Project Graduation at midnight and I got a few hours sleep before going to meet the bus. I definitely didn’t have my best stuff.”
Tomales finished with five singles and Ty Evenich was the only Braves player who didn’t have trouble with Thrap. The junior went 3 for 3. Gomez and Ryan Giammona accounted for the other hits.
Gomez agreed with his coach’s assessment of Thrap.
“He was by far the best pitcher I faced,” Gomez said. “He threw hard and also had a good curve.”
While he was disappointed about the loss in the championship game, Gomez found reason to feel happy.
“I’ll take second place any day,” he said. “We had a good run in the playoffs and beat the No. 1 seed (Rincon Valley Christian) along the way.
“We improved as the season went along and communicated better in the field. We were a tight-knit group by the time playoffs started.
Tomales wound up with a 12-9 record.
The day also marked the final game for coach Tucker. He’s retiring after 20 years leading the program. His 2013 team won an NCS title.
“This turned out be a great season,” he said. “We made it further than any baseball team in the Redwood Empire.
“I’m proud of this group. It was tough to play our best after making the long bus ride. That’s especially true for the seniors who graduated Friday night.
“However, we showed up and gave it our best.”