Highlanders Clip Jets in Thrilling Championship

Kelly Quach--Encinal High sophomore Jonah Abrami slides into home for the tying run in the seventh inning of the WACC Shoreline League title game May 13.

Highlanders Clip Jets in Thrilling Championship

It looked like the Jets would finally overcome the rival Highlanders.

Encinal High School (EHS) sophomore Hudson Taylor stroked a two-out double in the top of the seventh inning and pinch-runner Jonah Abrami slid into home to tie the game, 5-5. EHS (13-13) clawed its way back from a 5-3 deficit entering the sixth inning in the West Alameda County Conference (WACC) Shoreline League Championship game on May 13 at College of Alameda.

“I was saying to myself please don’t strike out,” said Taylor. “Once I got a base hit there was a weight lifted off me.”

“Thankfully, I was able to get on second from a passed ball and then Hudson came in clutch with a huge two-out hit to score me,” added Abrami.

However, Piedmont (17-8) would not be denied, winning 6-5 on a walk-off in the bottom of the seventh inning. It was Piedmont High School’s (PHS) third win over Encinal this season.

Senior Chadd Edwards pitched a shutout in the sixth inning. However, the Highlanders quickly put a man on first and second in the bottom of the seventh. The Jets looked to push the game into extra innings, but second baseman Jacob Baca bobbled a double play ball. PHS, aggressive on the bases all game, sent sophomore Peter Krumins home. Krumins beat the throw to win the title for the Highlanders.

“Our team fought, and battled all year,” said EHS coach Trevor Sampson. “[This game] was a great example of how our team never quits. It was a tough way to end the regular season, but I couldn’t be more proud of the team.”

The loss eliminated Encinal from a postseason section tournament. With the win, Piedmont qualified for the Div. IV North Coast Section (NCS) playoffs.

“We all hugged and consoled each other,” said Edwards. “Few words and if there were any, they were of encouragement and comfort.”

Berkeley Buzzes Alameda
Berkeley High School defeated Alameda High School (AHS), 10-3, in the WAC-Foothill League Championship on May 13 at College of Alameda. The Yellowjackets avenged their only league loss of the season, a 3-2 loss to the Hornets on May 6.

Berkeley (19-6) used an eight-run second inning to grab a commanding lead over Alameda. EJ Fairchild led the way, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. The Hornets scored a run in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings, but the game was never close.

Despite the loss, the Hornets qualified for the NCS Div. I tournament as the 13th seed out of 16 teams. AHS lost to fourth-seed California High of San Ramon, 4-3, on Tuesday, May 17 on the road in the first round. The Hornets led 3-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, but the Grizzlies scored four runs in the bottom frame. They held the Hornets scoreless in the top of the seventh to earn the victory. Alameda's season ends with a 19-8 overall record.

Pilots Soar into Postseason
St. Joseph Notre Dame (17-7) lost 1-0 to Concord (12-12) in a non-league game on May 13. The Pilots finished second in the Bay Counties-East League.

The Pilots are seeded fourth in the 14-team NCS Div. IV tournament. St. Joe’s beat 13th-seeded McKinleyville High School, 9-5, in the first round on May 18 at the College of Alameda. The Pilots were down, 5-3, heading into the bottom of the sixth. SJND used a six-run sixth inning to take the lead and eventually win the game. Pilot junior Tommy Cooke led the team with three RBIs.

SJND will face Piedmont High in the second round on May 21, at the College of Alameda.

Kelly Quach   Alameda High sophomore Max Cohen pitches against Berkeley High in the WACC Foothill League title game on May 13.