Spartans Repeat as NCS Champions

An emotional season came to a euphoric close for the De La Salle-Concord baseball team Saturday at St. Mary’s College. The Spartans began the school year in mourning when Ryan Abele, a 2016 graduate and player on the North Coast Section Division 1 championship squad, died after falling down stairs at his University of Nevada fraternity house. It ended with a 4-3 extra-inning win over East Bay Athletic League rival Monte Vista-Danville. “A lot of up and downs,” said De La Salle starting pitcher Cullen Kafka. The Oregon-bound right-hander, an 11-game winner, took a no decision after allowing two earned runs over six innings. “Our main goal was ... to win this championship for him.” De La Salle (21-8) trailed 2-0 after two innings against a Mustangs team that beat them twice in league play. The Spartans took advantage of a few defensive miscues to tie the game with two runs in the top of the fifth, and take the lead 3-2 in the sixth. Monte Vista (21-9) was down to its last out in the seventh when Jack Murphy cranked a tying home run on the first pitch from Nick Cirelli. The Spartans scored the winning run two batters into the eighth as Michael Curran reached on an error and Austin Elder singled him in. “It was a special year,” De La Salle coach David Jeans said, “We didn’t start off too well with the Ryan Abele situation, and they just came together and decided they wanted to win it for each other and for the spirit of our program.” Gio Mijares and Trace Tammaro each had RBI singles for the Spartans. Kafka finished with seven strikeouts.

by Chace Bryson - San Francisco Chronicle