Prior to Saturday’s Central Coast Section Division III quarterfinal against Carlmont, Los Altos High baseball coach Gabe Stewart said he received a text message that read, “Good luck today.” He replied soon after the game with “Needed no luck, just needed a little Colby and Aidan.”
That would be pitcher Colby Cook and infielder Aidan Brenner, who lifted the fourth-seeded Eagles to a 2-1 home win over the No. 5 Scots. Cook didn’t allow an earned run in 6.2 innings of work and struck out 11 batters. Brenner crushed a two-run homer in the first that “most likely would have gone about 380 (feet) if the batter’s eye did not stop it,” Stewart said, referring to the screen beyond the center-field fence.
Carlmont cut Los Altos’ lead in half in the fourth, scoring on a double steal after two errors, but that didn’t seem to rattle Cook; he struck out five batters over the next three frames. Aaron Parker relieved him in the seventh with two away and a runner on. He induced a pop up to earn the save.
The Eagles (13-11) host No. 8 Santa Cruz (12-6) at 4 p.m. today.
In the Division II quarterfinals, No. 3 Mountain View edged No. 6 Pioneer 3-2 in nine innings behind Gabe Barrett, who pitched the entire game and drove in the winning run with a single. The senior struck out 12 batters.
The Spartans (15-5) visit No. 2 San Benito (14-10) at 4 p.m. today.
St. Francis more than lived up to its No. 1 seed in the CCS Open Division, dominating all three playoff foes en route to the title and an undefeated season (26-0).
The host Lancers shut out No. 2 Notre Dame-Salinas 6-0 in Thursday’s final behind home runs from Jaz Hsiao and Jessica Oakland and the pitching of Chloe Cummings, who allowed just three hits and struck out six batters in 5.1 innings of work.
Hsiao and Oakland also homered in the 9-1 semifinal win over No. 4 Aragon and the 11-0 quarterfinal rout of No. 8 Hillsdale.
Los Altos, playing in the Open Division for the first time, bowed out in the June 7 quarterfinals. The third-seeded Eagles fell 4-0 to No. 6 Pioneer. The game was scoreless until the seventh, when the Mustangs scored all four runs.
“A loss is always hard, but even making it into CCS first-round is an achievement in itself, as well as being the De Anza league champions,” Los Altos starting pitcher Shelby White said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end my high school pitching career with this amazing team.”
Los Altos finished 12-2.
With five starters bowing out of the postseason, Mountain View coach Xavier Cook said his team “exceeded our expectations” by taking Mercy-Burlingame to extra innings before falling 9-8 in the Division III quarterfinals.
The fifth-seeded Spartans (7-6) twice rallied from three-run deficits and tied the game at 8 in the seventh.
“We had a couple of chances in the eighth,” said Cook, who brought up five players from the JV team for the game, “but we didn’t capitalize on them.”
No. 4 Mercy took advantage of its opportunities in the bottom of the inning, when Mountain View made three errors. After a sacrifice, the Crusaders drove in the winning run on a fly ball.
The Spartans recorded 14 hits, including a homer by Mikayla Kim, in the June 8 road game.
Track & field
Based on their performances at last weekend’s CCS semifinals, 19 Los Altos athletes have qualified for Saturday’s finals at Soquel.
Jimmy Dessouki led the boys by advancing in four events (300-meter hurdles, 110 hurdles, 4x100 relay and 4x400 relay), while Megan MacKenzie (triple jump, long jump and 4x400) and Jenna Houdek (100, 200 and 4x100) paced the girls.
Fifth-seeded Mountain View lost 19-10 at No. 4 Los Gatos in Thursday’s CCS quarterfinals. The Spartans finished 9-4.