Neither Capuchino baseball manager Matt Wilson nor his Menlo School counterpart Craig Schoof are thrilled to be playing each other in the first round of the Central Coast Section Division II tournament Wednesday in San Bruno.
“I know Menlo is a good team. I know they’re better than their record says,” Wilson said. “It’s definitely a tough draw. The kids are well aware they are no ordinary 12th seed. I think they’re the best 12th seed in (all) the CCS tournaments.”
Schoof has the same opinion of the Mustangs.
“I would have rather faced anyone else in the first round, just because I know how good they are,” Schoof said. “They certainly deserve a fifth seed. We’re going to be the underdog.”
Capuchino (22-8) captured a share of the Peninsula Athletic League’s Ocean Division championship, while Menlo (17-12) finished in a tie for fourth place in the PAL Bay Division. The two teams met last week in the semifinals of the PAL tournament, with the Knights drilling the Mustangs 14-1.
Schoof threw his ace, Wyatt Driscoll, last Thursday, while Wilson — having used his two best pitchers in the first two rounds — was reduced to an all-hands-on-deck mentality. Schoof said he will start Driscoll again Wednesday, but doesn’t expect a similar outcome as last week. Driscoll was 7-4 in 18 starts this season, posting a 2.76 earned run average.
“It’s been our theme (since Saturday’s practice) — we will not face the same team we played last week,” Schoof said.
You can almost count on it considering Wilson will go with Rory McDaid on the mound. McDaid compiled a 7-2 record in 14 appearances this season, posting an ERA of 1.34.
“It’s nice we’re playing each other again,” Wilson said. “This is my 13th year at Cap and I’ve had many battles with coach Schoof. We’ve always had some great games.
“My team is very excited about this opportunity. They’re not going to let this thing go to waste. They want to do something no Cap team has ever done and that’s to win the CCS title.”
Game time is set for 4 p.m.
Here is a look at the rest of the first-round CCS matchups Wednesday:
No. 10 Terra Nova (17-12) at No. 7 Mitty (22-6)
If anyone has the pitching to beat a West Catholic Athletic League team, it’s the Tigers. Senior Steven Sagasty has upstaged Ray Falk and Anthony Gordon, compiling a 4-1 record with a 1.96 ERA. Jared Milch, a sophomore, was an early season call-up from the frosh-soph team and went on to go 5-3 with a 2.72 ERA. Gordon missed most of the season with an injury, but is back and has been impressive in limited action. While Falk has struggled with a 5-4 record and a 4.23 ERA, he is capable of shutting down any team at any time.
The Tigers’ pitching will have to be on point against the Monarchs, who finished in a tie for the WCAL regular-season championship with St. Francis. Mitty has allowed only 28 runs this season.
No. 15 Serra (16-11) at No. 2 San Benito (21-6)
The Padres saw a six-game winning streak snapped in the first round of the West Catholic Athletic League tournament, 3-1 to Bellarmine.
The Padres should have plenty of confidence heading into Wednesday’s game, however, having posted a 16-5 win over the Haybalers on March 15.
San Benito, however, answered that lopsided loss by ripping off a 10-game winning streak. They then ended the regular season on a six-game winning streak of their own.
No. 16 Carlmont (15-11-1) at No. 1 Leigh (23-6)
The last time the Scots were the No. 16 seed was 2011, when they faced top-seeded St. Francis. The Scots shocked everyone but themselves in posting a 4-3 win.
Despite that upset, Carlmont is just 1-3 in its last four CCS openers.
Leigh, despite finishing a game behind Leland for the Blossom Valley Athletic League’s Mt. Hamilton Division championship, received the top seed. The Longhorns have struggled in CCS in recent years as well, winning just one game over the last three years — a 3-1 win over Branham in the first round in 2011.
No. 11 Half Moon Bay (13-14) at No. 6 St. Francis-CCC (16-8)
This is the Cougars’ third appearance in CCS in the last four seasons. They failed to make the 2012 playoffs after making the semifinals in the Division III tournament in 2011.
Half Moon Bay has struggled on the road this season, going just 1-7.
St. Francis finished fourth in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League this season and went 2-4 over their last six games.
No. 9 Sacred Heart Prep (15-13) at No. 8 Branham (16-14)
The Gators were one of four teams in the seven-team Bay Division to finish with 5-7 records in league play. SHP lost five of its last eight games coming down the stretch.
Last year, SHP won their first-round game 4-1 before losing to eventual champion Pacific Grove 4-0 in the quarterfinals.
This is the Bruins’ four CCS appearance since 2008. Last year as the 10th seed, Branham beat No. 7 Monterey 5-2 in eight innings.