Campolindo 10, College Park 0
The No. 1 seeded Cougars are eying their third consecutive NCS title and will face No. 2 seeded Dougherty Valley High at the O.Co Coliseum on Saturday.
The Cougars have an embarrassment of baseball riches - seven players slated to play in college. They also hold the title of MaxPrep’s third ranked ball club in the state.
On Wednesday afternoon, College Park had no answer for Campolino as Cougars’ center fielder Brett Stephens launched two homers, lefty starter Trent Shelton dialed in a complete game shutout and shortstop Josh Cushing slapped two doubles on his way to going 4-for-4.
“They are the best team I have seen so far,” said College Park coach Matt Lisle. “They have great pitching, hitting and defense. Stephens had an unbelievable game. I was just talking about the shot he hit to left field with my assistant coaches and that thing must have been going 100 mph, it probably still has not come down. That one would have landed in McCovey Cove.”
Lisle was describing Stephens first homerun, where he led off the second inning with a solo rocket to left. He tacked on his second homer, with two men on, pushing the lead to 10-0.
Stephens finished the day with four RBI’s, three runs and high praise for the Coug’s starting hurler.
“Trent has been dominant all year long,” said Stephens.
Shelton blanked the Falcons for seven innings but said after the game that he did not have his best stuff.
“I battled and they were hitting my fastball, but the defense made a lot of good plays,” said Shelton. “It feels great [to be going back to the NCS championship].”
In the sixth inning, Cougar’s right fielder Cole Rider made a sensational diving catch on a line drive in the right-center field gap that saved a run and squelched any potential Falcon rally.
Stephens, who also led Campo to the Coliseum for the football NCS championship, said it was an honor to play again on the Oakland Raiders and A’s professional field.
“We jumped on them early,” added Stephens. “[Joe] Demers is going to be a great pitcher but today we wanted to be aggressive and put pressure on him.”
The NCS finals matchup is slated to be much more competitive than the semifinal. Campolindo split the season series with Dougherty Valley after being shutout, 3-0 in a home contest on April 17th. The Cougars then bounced back, May 10th on the road and squeezed out a 2-1 victory.