PLEASANT HILL -- Daniel Slominski knows he's going to hear about Wednesday's first round North Coast Section Division II baseball game all summer long.
Not just because his good friend Joe DeMers and the College Park Falcons bested Slominski and the Livermore Cowboys 1-0. But because DeMers started a seventh-inning rally for the game's only run with a leadoff double. That inning -- and the game -- ended with Austin Garcia's walk-off single.
"I'm playing with him in summer, I'm not going to hear the end of it," Slominski said, adding.
Said DeMers, "Probably. Just as he would do if he won. I was pumped and I wasn't going to let him beat me."
The Falcons (19-5-1) advanced to Saturday's second round against Maria Carrillo-Santa Rosa. The Cowboys finished the year 11-14.
The game lived up to its billing with two of the top pitchers in the area squaring off. The matchup was made even more delicious by the fact that Slominski and DeMers have known each other since they were 9 years old, playing on travel ball teams every summer.
"It's just hard looking at him on the mound, just laughing," Slominski said. "I pitched against him a couple of times. But not in high school. It's a mix of emotions, I don't know what to think about it. It's fun, it's weird, it's exciting, it's everything."
This was their first matchup in a high school game of the right-handers. DeMers, a sophomore, allowed three hits and struck out nine against no walks. Slominski was not quite as sharp, also allowing three hits (two in the seventh) while striking out two and walking six (one intentional).
DeMers retired 14 in a row at one point, striking out seven of those -- including five consecutive strikeouts in the fourth and fifth.
However, DeMers was touched for a leadoff single in the top of the seventh by Austin Hall. Ryan Ruley was asked to sacrifice pinch-runner Scott Chapeta to second, but DeMers fielded the bunt quickly and threw Chapeta out. Ruley was caught stealing with Slominski at the plate, and Slominski then was caught looking on a fastball to end the inning.
DeMers led off the bottom of the seventh with a booming double to right-center field.
"I just went up there to try to go the other way with something," DeMers said. "He was working outside all game, hitting his spots real well. I was just trying to get something started. It turned out a good little hit to right."
Trevor Larnach was intentionally walked and pinch-hitter Scott Hroza was asked to sacrifice, but ended up bunting foul with two strikes for a strikeout. Anthony Baleto then popped to second. Willie Maciver drew a walk to load the bases. Garcia then came up and quickly fell behind 0-2.
"We put somebody on first to get out of it and we got two outs right away," Livermore coach Gabe Gutierrez said. "(Slominski) did a great job coming through in the clutch. You get him down two strikes and you're down to the last batter, it's one of those things, either the guy hits it or he doesn't. And he happened to hit it."
Yes, Garcia did. He lofted a deep fly ball to left field. Sean Amaral turned left, then right but the ball was well over his head.
Slominski said there's not much to say about a game like Wednesday's.
"It comes down to that one thing," he said. "A couple of pitches, that's what will decide the game. I just couldn't get out of it. Came close. Just that one pitch."
Slominski added that he was impressed with how DeMers pitched.
"Wonderful like always," he said. "Whenever I see that guy pitch, he's on his game. Can't wait to play with him this summer."