PLEASANTON -- Senior lefthander Michael Echavia pitched a two-hit shutout and the fourth-seeded Amador Valley High baseball team beat No. 5 Heritage 4-0 on Saturday to earn a rematch with East Bay Athletic League rival Granada in Wednesday's North Coast Section Division I semifinals.

Amador Valley (16-10) was outscored 20-0 in a pair of losses to the top-seeded Matadors (24-1) in league play, but the Dons are eager for another shot.

"Playing Granada at Granada to go to the finals is just the way we want it," Amador Valley coach Lou Cesario said.

The Matadors will host the Dons at 4 p.m.

Echavia walked three batters in the first two innings before settling in. He allowed only three baserunners over the final five frames.

"I struggled the first couple innings but found it," Echavia said. "I kept pumping strikes and let the defense work."

Amador scored all four of its runs in the third inning, with three Heritage errors leading to three unearned runs. Bradley Pluschkell and Nick Carney both had RBI singles during the rally.

Freshman pitcher Kevin Milam walked three and allowed four hits in 2¿1/3 innings of work for the Patriots (17-9) before he was relieved by Roger Kruse, who kept Amador scoreless the rest of the way.

The Dons suffered a four-game losing streak late in the season, but have bounced back strong in the playoffs with a pair of 4-0 wins.


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"The last three games they've played great," Cesario said. "They've pitched really well. We got some timely hitting, playing great defense again. We went through a little speed bump. A lot of teams go through it. These guys have persevered through it, coaches have been patient with them. All that matters is we're still playing right now."