Andrew Buckley threw a gutsy complete game and the No. 1 seed De La Salle High baseball team beat No. 10 California 3-2 to win the North Coast Section Division I championship at the O.co Coliseum on Saturday.
With his pitch count climbing, Buckley went back out for the seventh with De La Salle (20-7) holding on to a one-run lead.
He issued a leadoff walk to Blake Guardino, and a sacrifice bunt moved Guardino second. Guardino eventually stole third with one out, but Buckley battled back to strike out Shaylor Giberti and got Travis Roberts to fly out to right field.
"After the sixth inning, right after I came out, I said 'I'm finishing this game,' " said Buckley, who threw 113 pitches and struck out 10.
California (15-13) went ahead 2-1 in the second, when Tyler Johnson singled in Kevin Farley and Guardino tripled in Johnson.
But the Spartans went back on top in the fourth, thanks to coach David Jeans' trademark small ball approach.
After two walks to start the inning, Allen Smoot bunted the runners to second and third. Austin Lonestar snuck a ground ball under the glove of shortstop Cameron Santos to score one run, then Steven Herting laid down a perfect safety squeeze to score the eventual winning run.
"It was just continuing what they started last year," Jeans said. "Just focusing on the little things. Pitching in, pitching out. Executing. Throwing strikes and playing for each other.
Cody Ball and Adam Kimmel threw well for California. Ball struck out five and Kimmel worked three scoreless innings in relief.
Acalanes 4, Tamalpais-Mill Valley 0: Andrew Merken took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and the No. 1-seeded Dons used four runs in the first two innings to beat the No. 6 Red-tailed Hawks in the Division III championship at the Coliseum.
Merken didn't allow a hit through five innings, but had already thrown 95 pitches going into the sixth inning with Acalanes (20-7) up by four.
Merken got the first two outs quickly, then walked a batter. The Hawks' Matt Davis followed with a shot to third base that Connor Hornsby smothered.
The ball kicked far enough away that Hornsby's throw to first was late, and after originally being scored a hit, was ruled an error.
Having thrown 116 pitches at that point, Merken, who walked eight and struck out seven, departed. Reliever Johnny York got out of the sixth quickly, but walked two in the seventh before Chris Hayman delivered the first hit of the game for Tamalpais (21-8). York induced a ground ball back to the mound to end the game.
"I put this team together two years ago and cut some seniors and put some sophomores on (varsity) that maybe weren't quite ready yet," Acalanes coach Justin Santich-Hughes said. "Those sophomores then are seniors now and we knew we'd have the team this year. We built this, and it's so gratifying to see that pay off."
Marin Catholic-Kentfield 8, St. Mary's 1: The Wildcats scored eight runs in the first two innings and never looked back, beating the Panthers in the Division IV championship at the Coliseum.
No. 1 Marin Catholic (20-7-1) took advantage of what it was given to build the early lead. The Wildcats drew five walks, a hit batsman, and scattered four singles over the first two frames, taking command and putting No. 2 St. Mary's (22-6) in a hole it could never climb out of.
"We have nothing to hang our heads about. We had a great year," St. Mary's coach John Nelson said.
The Panthers turned to ace Kevin Flemer to stop the bleeding with one out in the second. Flemer threw well in 22/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Head-Royce 3, Valley Christian 2: In a game between Bay Counties League-East rivals, the No. 3 seeded Jayhawks held off the No. 1 Vikings in the Division V championship at Saint Mary's College.
The game turned into a pitchers' duel between the Jayhawks' Steven Farinaro and Valley Christian's Julian Kelly, who combined for 22 strikeouts. Kelly, a left-hander, struck out 12 and tossed a two-hitter, and Farinaro carried a no-hitter into the bottom of the sixth.
The Vikings ended Farinaro's no-hit bid on a Jared Vick leadoff double. Josh Stevens followed with an RBI single to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Kelly tripled to lead off the seventh and scored on Jared Dalrymple's deep sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 3-2. Will Cantrell added a two-out double, but Jayhawks freshman reliever Nico Hoerner, the starting shortstop, struck out Zach Paulson to end the game.
Neither team had a hit through the first three innings. Head-Royce's Michael Greenfield woke everyone up with a two-run home run to right field in the fourth after Hoerner singled.
In the sixth, Hoerner scored on Sami Tuqan's blooper to shallow left field.
-- Matt Schwab