NCS: Epic Pitching, Sad Situation

The CIF North Coast Section D1 baseball final between Granada of Livermore and De La Salle of Concord came within one hit of both starting pitchers throwing seven-inning no-hitters, but after 10 innings on Friday of 0-0 action it couldn’t be completed as darkness set in at Monte Vista High in Danville. The historical final had to be completed on Saturday at Granada where the host Matadors won their first NCS title with a 1-0 win in 14 innings. De La Salle’s 33-game playoff win streak also came to an end.

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History had to wait in the CIF North Coast Section D1 baseball championship since the game between state No. 3 Granada of Livermore and No. 12 De La Salle of Concord that began on Friday in Danville couldn’t be finished with the score at 0-0 after 10 innings.

The outstanding pitching that started on Friday continued with different pitchers on Saturday. The contest eventually was decided in the 14th inning when De La Salle couldn’t take advantage of a great situation in the top half (runners on second and third with one out) but then Granada finally struck. A.J. Martinez delivered the game-winning hit that scored Parker Warner to give the Matadors a 1-0 win.

Jake Sekany (shown from game earlier this season) only allowed two hits in eight shutout innings of the CIF North Coast Section D1 final. Photo: @matadorbaseball /

Warner also pitched the four shutout innings on Saturday. Patrick Curran pitched for De La Salle and had three shutout innings before finally surrendering the game-winning hit by Martinez, which came just over the glove of high-leaping DLS shortstop Tyler Spangler.

The victory not only improved Granada’s season record to 29-1 but should lock up the top seed for the CIF Northern California D1 playoffs. Pairings and complete seedings will be announced by the CIF on Sunday with the first round coming on Tuesday. The Matadors also celebrated their first NCS crown.

De La Salle was not only looking to win a seventh straight section title, but also had a 33-game playoff win streak snapped. It is the second-longest playoff win streak in state history, trailing only the 40-game streak by Central Catholic of Modesto set between 2000 and 2009 when the Raiders won 10 straight section titles. De La Salle needed a seventh section title in a row to break a tie with several schools also with six for second-place on that all-time state list.

Both head coaches — Corrigan Willis of Granada and David Jeans of De La Salle — said after Friday that they were going to approach Saturday as if it was a seven-inning game. Neither probably envisioned 10 innings weren’t going to be enough on Friday and they got four more on Saturday.

There wasn’t a hit by either side until two outs in the top of the sixth inning when De La Salle’s Joe McGee laid down a bunt that the Granada catcher couldn’t make a clean throw on to first base. After a walk put runners on first and second, Alec Blair popped up for the third out.

R.J. Meyn of De La Salle had eight no-hit innings vs Granada but got a no decision in what ended up a 1-0 loss in 14 innings. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Through seven innings, that bunt was the only hit given up by Granada’s Jake Sekany. De La Salle’s R.J. Meyn did even better with a no-hitter. Sekany (ended with six strikeouts) then gave up a solid single to Sean Stafford to start the eighth inning, but a strikeout, fly out and force out ended the threat. Meyn (also had six strikeouts) walked the first batter in the bottom of the eighth and the Matadors then had runners on first and second with one out when the next batter bunted and the DLS catcher tried to get the out at second base (unsuccessful). The next batter, though, hit into what one might call a tailor-made double play.

With Meyn out of the game in the bottom of the ninth, Granada came within a whisker of winning the title. A single by Mikey Boyd, a walk to Riley Winchell and a single by A.J. Martinez (which was hit too hard to enable Boyd to score) loaded the bases. Peyton Richards then hit a grounder to Hank Tripaldi of the Spartans, who elected to try for a double play to second base instead of throwing home to get the lead runner. Shortstop Tyler Spangler got the out at second, then threw to first where a bang-bang play occurred. If it weren’t for the stretch by first baseman Stafford, Richards would have been safe. Instead, the umpire ruled him out and the game continued.

In the 10th, De La Salle didn’t score with runners on first and second with two outs while Granada went 1-2-3.

The coaches and NCS officials then met to decide to continue playing. One side could have batted, but it may have been much darker for the other team. As the top seed and designated home team, Granada had the choice of playing the continuation of the game at home on Saturday and that’s what happened.

One day earlier, we went to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 baseball final at Sacramento City College (it has lights). In fact, we’ve gone to CIF section baseball finals in every major section (except SF, Oakland & Northern) and they are all held in places where continuation of a championship due to darkness would never happen.

Even before the darkness, the field at Monte Vista was unable to seat the 1,000 or so people who came to the Granada-De La Salle game. Many fans had to peak through outside fences to see what was going on. People there should know how much worse their kids have it for their baseball championships compared to every other major section in the state. NCS officials should be pressured to make changes.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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  1. Robert Hildebrand
    Posted June 1, 2024 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    NCS 8th seed takes down St. Francis and the rest of NorCal Softball, playing every game on the road. If you don’t name Kaylee Davis POY, cancel my subscription and shutter your doors.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted June 1, 2024 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

      You’ll be cancelling a lot of subscriptions to a lot of organizations. Kate Munnerlyn wasn’t the losing pitcher for St. Francis, still finished unbeaten on the season and was one of team’s leading hitters. Kaylee had one of the greatest weeks ever and kudos to her, but state player of the year based off of one week. No one does that.

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