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American River Messenger

Cougars' season ends in first round of NorCal Finals

Jun 01, 2022 12:00AM ● By Story and photos by Shaun Holkko, sports editor

Del Campo coach Kevin Dawidczik speaks to his team after a 4-2 extra innings victory against Vanden to win the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Baseball Championship on Wednesday, May 25 at Union Stadium at Sacramento City College.

Cougars' season ends in first round of NorCal Finals [4 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

CONCORD, CA (MPG) – A magical season for the Del Campo High School varsity baseball team came to an end Tuesday afternoon in the Bay Area with a 9-3 loss at De La Salle in the first round of the 2022 CIF Division I NorCal Baseball Championships.

The Cougars (29-6, 13-2 Golden Empire League) were elevated to Division I for the Northern California tournament after winning the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Baseball Playoffs Championship on May 25 against Vanden (29-6, 13-2 Monticello Empire) of Fairfield.

Del Campo was moved up to D1 as part of the CIF’s “competitive equity” model, factoring in a team’s overall resume. The Cougars earned impressive wins against eventual CIF SJS D2 champion Granite Bay on March 22 and CIF SJS D1 runner-up McClatchy on April 30.

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The Cougars were given the No. 8 seed in the NorCal tournament and were matched up against the No. 1 seed De La Salle Spartans (25-6, 11-2 East Bay), who won their fifth straight North Coast Section D1 title this year. The Spartans jumped out to a 6-0 lead after the first inning and never looked back.

Following the first inning, each time Del Campo scored, De La Salle would match it, erasing any momentum the Cougars may have been gaining. Del Campo got on the scoreboard in the top of the second inning, scoring once. The Spartans answered with one run in the bottom of the third. The Cougars scored twice in the fifth, followed by De La Salle scoring twice in the sixth. The Spartans went on to win 9-3, ending Del Campo’s season.

Despite losing by six runs, the Cougars outhit the Spartans 11-10. Four Del Campo batters had multiple hits. Senior catcher Logan McCord had a game-high with three. Senior outfielder Jordan Jacobson and juniors, shortstop Anthony Martinez and center fielder Matt Moses had two each. In McCord’s final game as a Cougar, he recorded three hits (two doubles), one run batted in and one run scored in four at bats. Before moving on to play collegiately at Sacramento State, Jacobson tallied two hits, including one double, in four plate appearances.

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Senior pitcher Hayden Hughes suffered the loss on the mound in his final start for Del Campo. The 6-foot-1 flamethrower, who will be attending Sierra College in the fall, pitched 2.1 innings allowing five hits, seven runs (three earned), four walks, two stolen bases, one hit by pitch and one balk on 58 pitches. Senior Thomas Martinez came on to pitch two innings in relief and allowed four hits, two earned runs and one walk on 30 pitches.

De La Salle senior pitcher Tyler Wood got the win after pitching four innings, allowing five hits, two earned runs, one walk and one HBP with two strikeouts on 66 pitches. Three Spartans racked up two RBI each: Seniors, third baseman Cade Cushing and second baseman Alec Nava, and junior catcher Connor Harrison.

On Thursday, De La Salle will host its league rival, No. 4 Foothill (26-5, 10-3 EB) of Pleasanton, in the regional semifinals of the tournament. The winner will play in the regional final on Saturday.