Daily Journal Sports File
Cameron Greenough is one of 14 seniors on Sequoia’s current playoff roster.
The parity in the Peninsula Athletic League’s top two divisions has been exceptional this season.
With Sequoia reaching Thursday’s Central Coast Section Division I semifinals, the Cherokees are showing just how legit that parity is. As one of just two PAL teams still alive in the CCS playoffs — the Bay Division’s Menlo-Atherton being the other — Sequoia represents the Ocean Division, which is ranked as the lower of the two.
Sequoia has fast made a case against the disparity, however.
“At this point, we don’t see ourselves as an Ocean team,” Sequoia manager Corey Uhalde said. “We’re a Bay team. We actually want to go win for the PAL. We want that representation in CCS. … It’s not really Ocean and Bay anymore. We just think we’re a really good baseball team, division aside, and we just go and play whoever is on the other side of the field, and that’s how we see it.”
Appearing as a seeded underdog for the first time in this year’s Division I bracket, No. 3-seed Sequoia (21-7-1) collides with No. 2 Westmont (22-9) Thursday at San Jose Municipal Stadium at 4 p.m. The winner will play the victor of Thursday’s doubleheader nightcap between No. 1 Wilcox and No. 12 Menlo-Atherton.
The Cherokees won their lone all-time CCS title in 1994. The current squad broke a 16-year drought without the program winning a CCS playoff game. But with the aim to win the program’s first CCS title in two decades, Sequoia is banking on this year’s strong senior contingent to do so.
Sequoia has 14 seniors on its roster, including its one-two punch of starting pitchers Kyle Cambron and Kyle Greenough. The team’s four leading hitters — Jarrett Crowell, Zane Gelphman, Cameron Greenough and Liam Clifford — are also all seniors.
“This was definitely our golden year,” Gelphman said.
Cambron earned PAL Ocean Division Pitcher of the Year honors, it was announced this week. And there has been no more prolific horse throughout the PAL. The 6-3 right-hander has fired eight consecutive complete games and currently boasts an 11-1 record with a 1.20 ERA.
Greenough earned Sequoia’s only All-PAL Ocean Division first-team nod as a pitcher, notching a 4-2 record with a 1.96 ERA. The 5-10 right-hander has also been going the distance as of late, riding a streak of two consecutive complete-game shutouts. He has also been a key contributor at the plate, hitting for a .312 average heading into action Thursday.
“Me and Kyle are not very different,” Greenough said. “There’s a size matter, but we throw about the same. We have the same pitches. And we both know nothing can [scare] us. We try to put the fear in the batters.”
As have all of Sequoia’s pitchers. The Cherokees staff has posted a 1.57 team ERA this season.
Entering action Thursday, Sequoia has posted an all-time CCS record of 13-13. The Cherokees have never faced Westmont in the postseason.
“I’m just happy this group has had a long career in baseball,” Uhalde said. “It’s an opportunity to experience this. It’s the first time I’ve done it, so I know that not all guys that are seniors gets to go to playoffs. To play games like this, with a crowd like this and an atmosphere like this, with this much on the line. I love coming to practice every day with these guys. They’re such a great group of kids. And I’m really happy for them that they get to experience it.”