MORAGA -- The De La Salle High baseball team used an early hit parade to capture its eighth North Coast Section championship Saturday with a 6-2 win over San Ramon Valley in the Division I title game before an above-capacity crowd at Saint Mary's College.
Junior left-hander Justin Hooper, a year after taking the loss in the NCS finals against Amador Valley, threw 5¿1/3 one-hit innings and made sure the Spartans' early offense held up.
The UCLA-commit, who consistently hit 93-94 mph with his fastball, already has his sights set on next year's title game for a Spartans program that has reached the finals the past four years.
"I know we're going to be back here next year," Hooper said. "We just proved that we can get here four years in a row. It's the biggest thing for me confidence-wise because hopefully I'll get the rock again next year."
No. 2 seed De La Salle (21-7) took an aggressive approach early. John Velasco ripped the game's first pitch from Connor Loar for a triple and Austin Dondanville followed with an RBI single.
"Our approach was get on the dish and handle the outside pitch and that's what we did," Dondanville said. "John hit a ball in the gap and then I got one that was a little bit fat and got the job done."
Two-out hitting proved critical in the second inning as the Spartans took control of the game early. Dondanville delivered a two-out, two-run single and Michael Mcadoo did the same. Ben Polshuk added an RBI single and De La Salle was up 6-0.
No. 1 San Ramon Valley (20-8) scratched across an unearned run in the second inning and another in the third when Ryan Weisenberg cranked a leadoff triple and scored on a groundout.
The Wolves didn't deliver many serious threats afterwards, although they did put two runners on in the sixth. Spartans reliever Henry Alms battled out of that and pitched a scoreless seventh to secure the title for De La Salle.
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Division I Championship De La Salle 6, San Ramon Valley 2
DLS 150 000 0-- 6 9 3
SRV 011 000 0-- 2 2 0
Hooper, Alms (6) and Schatz. Loar, Neumann (2), Morgan (5) and Kanat. W: Hooper. L: Loar. 3B: Velasco (DLS), Mcadoo (DLS), Weisenberg (SRV). Records: De La Salle 21-7, San Ramon Valley 20-8. Highlights: DLS -- Hooper 5¿1/3 IP, ER, H, 4 K; Dondanville 2 for 3, 3 R, RBI; SRV -- Weisenberg 1 for 3, R, Kanat 1 for 3.