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May 24, 2011 > HAAL baseball, softball seasons end

HAAL baseball, softball seasons end

By Gary van den Heuvel

An exciting baseball season which went right down to the wire in the Hayward Area Athletic League (HAAL) came to a close last week and, when all was said and done, it was the Castro Valley Trojans who raised the championship flag for the 2011 campaign.

Moreau Catholic High School finished the season with a 9-3 league record (18-6 overall), in a three-way tie for second place with Arroyo and Bishop O'Dowd, though both schools own a tie-breaker advantage over Moreau due to head-to-head meetings (both teams beat the Mariners in their only matchups against each other).

The Mariners shook off a 3-0 nonleague loss at Acalanes High School (May 17) to spank Tennyson 7-1 in their finale. Aaron Acosta pitched a near-complete game, giving up one unearned run. Acosta earned his eighth win (against two losses) and finished the season with a 1.96 ERA.

Brett Adami delivered three hits including a double, drove in a run, and scored three times. Brian Hickel had 2 RBIs and Richard L'Heureux had two hits, with a double. L'Heureux finished the season as the leading batter of a potent Moreau offense, hitting .412 to go along with a stellar 2.03 ERA on the mound. Hickel also finished the season over .400 (a .403 average), as did Ronald Zelaya (.400).

Moreau received an NCS bid into the Division III tournament as a No. 9 seed. The Mariners host El Cerrito High School on Wednesday, May 25, with the winner to visit top-seeded San Marin (time and date TBA).

Mount Eden High School had an up-and-down year, with a 10-15 overall record, but the Monarchs were able to stay in the HAAL race deep into the season, going 7-5 for fifth place. Mt. Eden finished on a down note, losing 6-0 to Arroyo. Bringing up the rear in the standings are Hayward High School (1-9, 2-19 overall), whose season concluded with a shutout loss to O'Dowd, and Tennyson High (0-11, 1-14-1 overall), who dropped a 5-2 decision to San Lorenzo.

Moreau's softball team hung in until late in the season, and last week's finale at Bishop O'Dowd was a battle for third place. It was a hotly-contested matchup, as the Mariners scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game 8-8. The game stretched into the ninth inning, where Moreau scored a run to go ahead - but O'Dowd put two runs over in the bottom of the frame to win it 10-9.

Shelby Long had three hits (including a double and a triple) in the losing cause, driving in three runs and scoring one. Leilani Akai also had three hits, drove in two, and scored a run for Moreau.

Long finished her stellar season with a .429 batting average, three home runs and 31 RBIs as well as a 3.91 ERA as a pitcher. Jessica Marin was Moreau's leading hitter (.485 average and two homers), and Alyssa Castillo was outstanding both at the plate (.407 average), and on the mound (1.24 ERA).

The Mariners finish 2011 with a 13-8 overall record, 7-5 in the HAAL, and as this story went to press, it was announced that they would get a No. 8 seed in the Division III NCS tourney. Moreau's first round game will be Wednesday, May 25, at 5 p.m. at Larry Standley Field against Sonoma Valley. The winner will go on the road to meet No. 1 seed Alhambra on Saturday, May 28, at 2 p.m.

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