MORAGA -- When Trent Shelton was a freshman, he and his Campolindo High baseball teammates weren't interested in modest accomplishments.
Win a North Coast Section title or two? Not good enough.
"They wanted to never lose an NCS game," Cougars coach Max Luckhurst said. "They wanted four banners with their name on it."
Shelton and company can put a big, bold check mark next to that goal after this year's sterling run through the NCS Division II playoffs.
Shelton pitched two shutouts during a postseason in which Campolindo outscored opponents 14-0 in four games. After three 2-0 wins, Shelton had four hits in an 8-0 win over Casa Grande-Petaluma in the title game to give the Cougars their record-tying fourth straight title.
For his efforts, Shelton has been named the Bay Area News Group East Bay Baseball Player of the Year.
"I felt like we've had that mindset from our freshman year to win that last game," Shelton said. "Max would always preach that to us. Everyone really bought into it and worked hard every single day."
Shelton, along with fellow four-year players Brett Stephens and Robbie Tenerowicz, indeed accomplished the goal of never losing an NCS playoff game. The four straight titles is unprecedented in East Bay history and overall has been accomplished just twice, by Casa Grande (NCS 3A Redwood Empire, 2004-07) and St. Vincent-Petaluma (Class A, 1986-89).
The 6-foot-4 left-hander, who will head to Oregon State next season, got it done both on the mound and behind the plate for the East Bay's top team. He went 10-3 with a 1.48 ERA, allowing only 53 hits in 802/3 innings. He also batted .408 with 15 RBIs, 16 run scored and a .515 on-base percentage.
"After losing a good group of kids last year, he had to step up and be a leader," Luckhurst said. "We had a couple guys that didn't hit as well but he was Mr. Consistent."
Follow Jimmy Durkin at Twitter.com/Jimmy_Durkin.