Four North Coast teams compete for the NCS title

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It’s been three years since the North Coast Division last held a baseball championship, and four local teams want to get out of the COVID distraction by writing their names in the history books.

Cardinals Newman, Petaluma, Ukiah and Credo will seek to bring home division championship banners this weekend. For both schools, this will be a first.

Also at stake is a place in Northern California’s first -ever CIF regional playoff. Nine teams from NCS will advance to the regionals, which will initially debut in 2020. Six of the boards will be division champions, while the other three will be filled with the top runner-up seed.

For example, if Cardinal Newman, seed No.. But for a team like Ukiah, the No. 9 seed in Division 2, they would have to win Saturday’s division final to advance.

Here’s a closer look at the four teams that played for this weekend’s division title.

Division 2

Petaluma (21-8), no. 3 seeds

Last section title: 1980

Display of the last section title game: 1998

2022 playoff round: 10-2 win No. 14 De Anza, 8-3 win No. 6 Tamalpais, 5-2 win No. 7 Redwood

Champion game: against No. 9 Ukiah (19-9), Saturday at 1 pm Petaluma High School

Unlike the team, first -year head coach Scott Osder is no stranger to this postseason stage. Back in 2014, he led Tamalpais to the NCS Division 3 title and saw some similarities between the team and this one.

“In terms of getting them in a position to win this, yes, there is a blueprint, but they have to play, too,” Osder said Saturday night after the Trojans won the semifinals. “And we’ve played really well.”

Osder said he knew earlier in the year that Petaluma had no shortage of talent. He has three Division I titles under Joe Brown (Cal), Aaron Davainis (Cal) and Wyatt Davis (Fresno State) – and Davainis, a junior, is Vine Valley Athletic League Co -MVP and Pitcher of the Year. He threw a full game with eight strikeouts on Wednesday.

Still, Petaluma takes a few weeks into the season to find its feet. The Trojans launched 3-4 years with some terrible losses but righted the ship to enter VVAL play. He eventually won 11-1 to win the league title and finished the regular season 18-8 overall.

“This is one of the best races I’ve seen as a coach because we didn’t do very well in the first few weeks of the season,” Osder said. “Just to watch him know and play and play well over the last six weeks of this year is really good to watch.

“We have a good player, but he just knows and really wants to win game after game. He just plays with confidence and we play baseball really well.

Ukiah (19-9), no. 9 seeds

Last section title: never lived

Display of the last section title game: 2007

2022 playoff round: 1-0 win No. 8 Vintage, 1-0 win No. 1 Marin Catholic, 5-4 win No. 4 Casa Grande

Champion game: at No. 3 Petaluma (21-8), Saturday at 1 p.m. Petaluma High School

The Cinderella team from NCS, Ukiah is the lowest ranked of the 12 teams in all six divisions in this weekend’s title game.

The Wildcats are a frisky squad that ranks third in the North Bay League-Oak. He beat league champions Windsor once and became Cardinal Newman’s other three-time co-champion, but suffered two 3-2 defeats.

So far in the postseason, he has gotten a break that he doesn’t get in the regular season. He has advanced to the title match with three one-run wins, all on his way against the higher seed.

Luke Schat hit a three -hit shutout in the opening against Vintage, Austin Ford followed with a four -hit shutout on the Catholic Marine and Jace Pullins came up the coupling with one RBI to win the game in the top seven. A 5-4 victory over Casa Grande in the semifinals. Ethan Holbrook has an RBI in each of the first two games.

Head coach Aaron Ford still remembers when Ukiah came to the NCS playoffs in the late 90s.

“We were out of the semis at ‘98 when I coached with Coach (Dennis) Busse,” he said Monday after the Wildcats won the semis. “We lost to Amador Valley by five rounds, and finally lost in seventh. We were like this team, a lot of good footballers, a lot of grit. I mean, we’re here for a reason, because we’ve worked hard.