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Breaking Down The CCS Open Division Playoffs

Posted May 20, 2015 by in

GetSportsFocus is presented by: Dr. Arthur J. Ting, MD – Sports Medicine & Orthopedic Surgery

GetSportsFocus is presented by: Dr. Arthur J. Ting, MD - Sports Medicine & Orthopedic Surgery

by: Jack Duffy @JDuffySports

There will be a team from the West Catholic Athletic League in the Open Division Championship this year. With four teams from the Central Coast Sections best league stacked in one side of the bracket, it goes without question that one of them will be in the final. Now that is out of the way, let me break down the first round of the Open Division Baseball Playoffs for you.

All games take place on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the home of the higher seed, the only exception being that Los Gatos and Santa Cruz will meet up at West Valley College.

#1 Los Gatos vs. #16 Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz made its way into the Open Division because Cardinals won their league tournament, but at 9-17, it looks highly unlikely that the Cards would be able to get past highly touted Los Gatos. The Cats have taken down multiple WCAL teams this year and will try to get past recent hiccups against Palo Alto and Wilcox in their league tournament to get a first round win.

DUFF’S PREDICTION: Los Gatos 8 Santa Cruz 0

#8 Branham vs. #9 Saratoga

Last year’s Division II Champion Branham will most likely go with ace Arman Sabouri, who has been lights out all year for the Bruins. At 14-1 with a 1.01 ERA, the junior has the right stuff to carry Branham to a win on Wednesday afternoon. Sophomore catcher Jordan Modesto leads the way offensively for the Bruins.

DUFF’S PREDICTION: Branham 4 Saratoga 1

#4 Carlmont vs. #13 Palo Alto

Palo Alto fell to Carlmont when the teams squared off earlier this year, but the Vikings seem to play better baseball in bigger games, as seen by their performance in the league playoffs last week to capture the SCVAL-DA division title. Unfortunately for the Vikings, Carlmont is nearly unbeatable at home with a 14-1 record, and the Scots have a wealth of pitching to help them. Despite the large difference in seeding, this game will not disappoint.

DUFF’S PREDICTION: Palo Alto 3 Carlmont 2

#5 St. Francis CCC vs. #12 Archbishop Mitty

Mitty coach Bill Hutton learned his lesson last year when he didn’t start Kris Bubic in the first round of WCAL playoffs in a loss to Sacred Heart Cathedral. Bubic then started the opener of CCS last year, and the opener of the WCAL playoffs this year. When the Stanford-bound senior has taken the hill at any time during a game over his career, the Monarchs are 28-10. Bubic will likely start Wednesday for Mitty, and you can expect him to be lights out. The Monarchs are also battle tested from league play, and have performed better against common opponents than St. Francis.

DUFF’S PREDICTION: Archbishop Mitty 5 St. Francis CCC 1

#2 St. Francis vs. #15 Leigh

St. Francis has won nine in a row and is currently ranked ninth in the country by MaxPreps, and is 6-2 against common opponents while Leigh is 0-5. The Longhorns did manage to compete in those games, but an offense that has struggled all year will have a tough time battling the Lancer pitching staff, which has an ERA of 1.96. UCLA-bound Jeremy Ydens has also been very hot for St. Francis, and leads the way offensively for the Lancers.

DUFF’S PREDICTION: St. Francis 6 Leigh 0

#7 Wilcox vs. #10 Junipero Serra

Serra has struggled lately with back-to-back 1-0 losses to St. Ignatius, a team that did not even qualify for the Open Division. Wilcox has struggled lately too, winning only two of its last five, but is at least coming off an 8-1 win against Los Gatos last week. Both teams have high-powered offenses with decent pitching and are evenly matched overall, setting up a good first-round matchup on Wednesday.

DUFF’S PREDICTION: Wilcox 6 Serra 4

#3 San Benito vs. #14 Bellarmine

Bellarmine was the 11th seeded team last year when the Bells pushed their way to the Open-Division Final, before falling to Leland 3-2. Despite a rough stretch in the second half of the season, it is certainly possible the Bells could upset the Balers in the first round. While San Benito does have the better record, higher seed, and home field advantage, Bellarmine has performed better on the road this year, and its pitching has been very strong. The determining factor will definitely be whether or not the Bells hit the ball on Wednesday.

DUFF’S PREDICTION: Bellarmine 2 San Benito 1

#6 Valley Christian vs. #11 Soquel

Both of these teams can pitch well and both of them can hit well. Statistically, the Warriors of Valley Christian and the Knights of Soquel are pretty identical, but VC has played a much stronger schedule of games. Unfortunately for Soquel, no matter how well the Knights match up, Valley Christian has also not lost in the first round of CCS since 1996.

DUFF’S PREDICTION: Valley Christian 4 Soquel 1


About the Author

Jack Duffy

Jack is a senior at Bellarmine College Prep, and has been all over the Bay Area sports scene, most notably working for Prep2Prep and covering the West Catholic Athletic League. He was Prep2Prep's Reporter of the Year in 2014. Jack also was the team manager for Bellarmine baseball during his four years, and is a stats guru. He will attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the fall of 2015.


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