College Park High's Austin Garcia delivered a bases-loaded, walk-off single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the No. 5 seed Falcons to 1-0 win over No. 12 Livermore in a first-round North Coast Section Division II baseball playoff game Wednesday.
Garcia's hit came on an 0-2 count and made a winner out of Joe DeMers, who struck out nine and allowed just two hits.
"I got a little anxious, cooled myself down, took a breath," Garcia said of falling down 0-2. "He gave me a pitch, and I hit it hard."
Garcia's shot got over the left fielder and went to the wall as DeMers, who led off the inning with a double, scored the winning run.
"He's been swinging the bat well in practice," Falcons coach Andy Tarpley said of Garcia. "Clutch (hit). I'm so proud of him."
College Park (19-5-1) will face No. 4 Maria Carrillo (18-8) on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Santa Rosa.
The game was a classic pitchers' duel as the sophomore DeMers (10-0) locked horns with junior Daniel Slominski, who took a one-hitter into the seventh for Livermore (11-14).
"There's a lot of pressure in games like this, NCS, a big pitchers' duel," DeMers said. "But I think our team handled it well and came out with a big 'W'."
DeMers hit an opposite field liner to lead off the seventh, and Trevor Larnach was intentionally walked. The Falcons couldn't put down a sacrifice bunt and then Slominski induced a pop-up for the second out.
Willie Maciver worked a walk to load the bases and set the stage for Garcia.
Carondelet 8, Arroyo 3: A member of the rugged East Bay Athletic League, the Cougars feel like they've been in the playoffs for weeks.
No. 10 seeded Carondelet, which faced a must-win situation last week to just qualify for the postseason, looked well-prepared for the No. 7 Dons in its NCS Division II first-round win at Oak Grove Middle School.
Megan Lantsberger, Carondelet's No. 8 hitter, went 4 for 4 with four RBIs and two runs, and the Cougars banged out 14 hits total. Lantsberger's big day included a two-run homer on what was supposed to be a hit-and-run that put Carondelet up for good in the second inning.
Carondelet (13-12), which finished seventh out of eight teams in the final EBAL standings, advances to face No. 2 Alhambra in Friday's quarterfinals.
"Every (league) game is a playoff game as I've told the girls and there's no better league around," Carondelet coach Martin Soares said. "We face pitching as good if not better than anyone else, so we're ready."
Arroyo's Heather Rygg had two of the four hits allowed by Carondelet sophomore Taylor Blair, including a two-run homer in the fifth. Carondelet already had an 8-1 lead at that point.
Blair also went 2 for 4 with a two-run double during Carondelet's four-run fourth inning.
Acalanes 12, Piedmont 9: The Dons earned their second trip to the NCS Division II title game in three years as Wesley Greason scored five goals and Cameron Bosshart made 13 saves in a win over the Highlanders.
No. 2 seeded Acalanes (18-4) will face No. 1 Marin Catholic-Kentfield (17-6) at 4 p.m. on Friday at Dominican University in San Rafael. It'll be a rematch of the 2011 championship game won 8-7 by Marin Catholic.
"We're one step away, but we're not satisfied until we get it," Acalanes coach Brent Ringwood said of the semifinal win.
Acalanes, which staved off a late surge by No. 3 Piedmont (18-3), got a big game from Scott Lindsay, who won almost every faceoff, and Robbie Stern, whose third goal made it 12-8 with 1:35 left.
Greason, the MVP of the Diablo Foothill Athletic League, put Acalanes ahead 2-1 late in the first quarter and sparked the offense.
Mark Bublitz had three goals and two assists for the Highlanders.
Bublitz scored off Ryan Ellis' second assist of the match to cut the deficit to 9-5 in the fourth quarter, before Ellis scored with a bouncing shot. Acalanes, though, tacked on clutch goals from Pete Mitchell and Sam deRoque.
-- Matt Schwab