Published June 5th, 2024
Campolindo and Acalanes baseball make it to NCS Championship and Semi-Finals
By Jon Kingdon
Acalanes pitcher Henry Souza Photo Richard O'Rourke
With Acalanes making it into the semi-final round in the Division NCS championship against the first seeded Granada and Campolindo playing the second seeded San Marin after earning a spot in the Division Three championship game for the second consecutive year, each team met a similar fate being shut out by 6-0 scores.
In a game where they could not afford to make mistakes; a hit batter, errors, walks and a balk saw the Cougars down 4-0 after four innings. Campolindo was two-hit by Sean McGrath, who was 11-1 for the season along with three future Division I college bound players on the roster.
Starting pitcher Joey Checchin's control was off, but did have four strike outs in three innings. "Joey just didn't have his best stuff today and wasn't around the zone as much as we would have liked," Head Coach Julian Fiammengo said.
After the game, Fiammengo spoke at length to the team "I just said I was proud of them, and they should be proud of themselves in the way they competed and to use this as motivation. We have a lot of youth and can use the experience that we got and the confidence that we gained from our success as good things to use to look forward to try and get it done next year."
Senior Andy Moon appreciated what Fiammengo has brought to the team these past two seasons. "Coach really instilled in us a work ethic and we showed how long hours and hard work resulted in us in playing for championships," Moon said. "There was a real sense of togetherness on the team and that really resonated with me. I'm really proud of the guys and I think that they're going to do good things next year."
The Dons (23-4) facing a Granada team that would ultimately win the NorCal Div. 1 Championship, missed on an early opportunity to score first when they had the bases loaded with one out, but left the bases full. "Going into the game, our mindset was on winning, but we missed an early opportunity, and they took advantage of our mistakes," Hornsby said. "We're a small group in Division One, which makes it challenging but it does make us focus on the little things. Winning our first two games in the playoffs and playing in the D1 semi-final for the first time was a huge accomplishment and showed we had a pretty special group of players."
The Don's ERA dropped from 3.09 to 1.82 and Hornsby credited the entire team for the improvement. "The mentality of our pitchers was great," he said. "The goal for our pitchers was to throw strikes early, get ahead in the count and force the batters to hit our pitches and let one of the best defenses in the district make the plays without which the team's ERA could have been two runs higher."
It was also the team's intangibles that led to the success of the team. "Our seniors saw what needed to be done for us to have a good run," Hornsby said. "We were a relentless team that had twelve come from behind wins this year," Hornsby said. "We're going to have a really young squad next year along with a strong group of leaders from our junior class that will take the torch from there and we're going to be pretty scrappy next year."

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