2016 NCS Les Schwab Tires Baseball Tournament Semi Final Preview

2016 NCS/Les Schwab Tires Baseball Tournament

CIF - NCSPlayoff Preview (1)

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016
By: Gabriel Rios

The NCS Les Schwab Sectionals have six divisions each competing separately in a single elimination tournament. All divisions start their semi final battles today. The winners of each division advance to the Championship game later this week.  Great day of Northern California High School Baseball and a perfect way to wind down the high school season. For the sake of time we will only be breaking down the semi final contests in divisions I-III.

Previous High School Playoff Articles

Part 1: CIF San-Joaquin Section
Part 2: NCS Les Schwab Section Division I
Part 3: CIF Sac-Joaquin DI Recap
Part 4: NCS Semi Final Preview

2016 NCS/Les Schwab Tires DI Semi Final Preview

(1) De La Salle vs (4) College Park

Semi Final contest number one pits the heavily favored Spartans from De La Salle vs the Falcons of College Park. Both teams reach the semis after making short work of their opponents in their quarter final contests. De La Salle is the goliath of DI Baseball and College Park is hoping they can dial in their inner David.  The odds are not great and we are guessing that newest chapter of David slaying Goliath will not be written in Concord today.

Keys to the Game

De La Salle

  1. De La Salle players not getting lost on the way to their field.

College Park

  1. Understand their competition is against the ball not De La Salle. What that means is College Park needs to forget they are playing De La Salle and instead focus on playing the ball. Who throws it, hits it doesn’t matter. Just play the ball.
  2. Do all the small things flawlessly.

(2) Heritage vs (14) Castro Valley

Please read the Part 2 preview for the Castro Valley Game. For those too lazy let me just break it down like this. WE CALLED IT. Most who read the article likely thought we were smoking the funny tobacco when we predicted Castro Valley upsetting Monte Vista but we knew. Just like we know Castro Valley is in another great spot today and unless they completely fall apart will be playing against De La Salle in the finals.

I admitted in Part 2 that I’m a Heritage homer.  I love that squad, love their talent and love the players on that team. So going picking against them is hard to do but I feel like Castro Valley is the team of destiny this year. Player for player these teams are very evenly matched.  Don’t let their records or DI commits fool you. Castro Valley and Heritage are neck and neck with the slight edge going to Heritage because of the Milam factor and if Milam were to pitch today Heritage would be my pick.

In order to understand why we give the edge to Castro Valley you would have to understand the history of the players on the teams. I don’t expect those reading this now to know the players backgrounds and history but I do and because I do, I know that Castro Valley truly believes they are better than Heritage. It doesn’t stem from a place of being cocky it’s more about being confident.  Castro Valley is filled with guys that have beat Heritage numerous guys at all levels of baseball. From Brue and Penland at Grant to Coffey, Mascio and Costa with the NorCal Grizzlies.

The two X factors in this game for Heritage are Kevin Milam and Noah Daubin. Why do I single out those two? Well because both have the respect and admiration from the Castro Valley guys. Both are players that are older and both have been guys that have been dominant in the past.  Yes time changes and players get better, worse, whatever. Time doesn’t change memories though and those two guys are the two players CV players for the most part know and respect.

This game will be close there is no doubt but in the end I think Castro Valley digs deep and pulls out the Dub.

Keys to the Game


  1. Start Milam Again. He is the one guy that could neutralize CV confidence.
  2. Jump on CV early.

Castro Valley

  1. Stay loose. Play confident.
  2. Rely on their teammates to pick up the slack should they fail.
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2016 NCS/Les Schwab Tires DII Semi Final Preview

(9) Northgate vs (4) Maria Carrillo

This is going to be a fantastic battle of teams on opposite ends of the spectrum. Northgate is a team energized with youth and Maria Carrillo is a squad with filled with wiley veterans.  Both teams enter this semi-final contest feeling good and confident and look to continue their recent stretch of good play to a championship berth.

Maria Carrillo (19-9) is led by University of Cal Commit Andrew Vaughn. Carrilo has a host of dudes like, Sellner, Gavin, Bynum, Riggio and Simone that make them an elite caliber team but this ship sails when Vaughn is at his best.  I’m expecting Vaughn to grab the ball in this semi-final contest and that likely will spell the end of Northgate’s fantastic run.

Northgate (18-7) is likely the youngest team in the playoffs of all Northern California teams.  In fact they usually start 6 underclassmen. That is crazy and the future for this Bronco team looks bright as can be.  The Broncos are led by Sophomore standout and another University of Cal commit Ian Villars. Villars has been running the ball up to the plate in the upper 80’s and touching 90s all season long.

In the end it will be Maria Carillo’s experience that makes the difference here and catapults the Pumas to the championship.

Keys to the Game

Maria Carrillo

  1. Rely on their experience.
  2. Be patient against Villar.


  1. String hits together vs Vaughn.
  2. Don’t get caught up in the emotions of the game.

(7) Livermore vs (11) Montgomery

Man the guys doing the seeding really screwed up in this division huh? Livermore and Montgomery have proved the number of the seed is meaningless and it’s all about playing the game.

Livermore (13-13) has had quite the up and down season.  Luckily for them right now is one of those up times. Livermore is led by Senior pitcher Brian Martinez. Martinez isn’t a power pitcher but he is a guy that throws a lot of strikes and relies heavily upon his defense. Offensively Livermore relies heavily upon the power of Justin Mitchell who has 4 bombs this year and Logan Cole.

Montgomery (13-14) is another candidate for yoyo team of the year.  Montgomery has suffered more defeats than victories but that doesn’t matter anymore because they have started playing their best baseball at the perfect time. Nick Smith, Blake Mcdonald and Colin Prince lead the way for Montgomery.

Keys to the Game


  1. Play stellar Defense
  2. Timely hits


  1. Do not surrender the big inning.
  2. Stay confident.
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2016 NCS/Les Schwab Tires DIII Semi Final Preview

(1)Acalanes vs (11) Miramonte

This semi final contest is a battle of league mates, region rivals and of course bragging rights. Acalanes heads into this semi final battle feeling ultra confident knowing they have defeated Miramonte twice this season by the combined score of 21-2. Miramonte will need to erase those lopsided defeats from their minds and play their best baseball of the year if they are to have any chance here.

Acalanes (24-2) has been dominant this year and will look to continue their winning ways.

Miramonte (16-10) has had a somewhat roller coaster season winning some big games and also being throughly dominated in a few contests as well. James Vacarro and Zach Wong are the leaders for Miramonte and both will need huge games if they are to have any chance at all. One key element that Miramonte does have is they believe they can win this game and they have a huge chip on their shoulder looking to avenge their earlier loses.

We are gonna go out on a major limb here and predict Vacarro throw the game of his life, the defense steps up huge and the offense strings together some timely hits that push Miramonte just enough to pull of the upset of the division.

Keys to the Game


  1. Not get over confident.
  2. Play fundamental sound baseball.


  1. Vaccaro going deep in the game
  2. Role players stepping up HUGE.

(10) El Cerrito vs (3) Analy


El Cerrito 3 vs Analy 8


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