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June 14, 2011 > Pitching lifts Logan to NCS title

Pitching lifts Logan to NCS title

By Gary van den Heuvel
Photos By Mike Heightchew

James Logan High School was able to overcome a masterful pitching performance by De La Salle's Logan West with a mound masterpiece of their own by Alex Martinez, and scratched out a 1-0 win in the North Coast Section (NCS) Division 1 baseball championship game on Monday, June 6.

Both Logan and De La Salle pitched one-hitters in the final - which was rescheduled to June 6 due to poor weather on the originally scheduled June 4 date - but the Colts benefited by a Spartans defensive lapse to score the game's lone run. Pascual Flores started the Logan rally when he doubled with two outs in the sixth inning. Martinez was intentionally walked, and Michael Johnson hit a playable ground ball to shortstop which was bobbled, and then thrown errantly to third base. The ball bounced out of play, allowing Flores to score.

Logan head coach John Goulding credits his outstanding pitching staff for the Colts' success this season. "Brandon Yau, Alex Martinez, Pascual Flores and Joe Armstrong pitched all of our innings and were outstanding all year," said Goulding, who may have been understating his squad's dominance - Logan's team ERA was a microscopically low 1.22.

Martinez, a sophomore who earlier this season pitched a no-hitter against Valley Christian-San Jose, gave up his only hit (a leadoff double) in the top of the sixth inning.

The NCS win came as no surprise to Goulding, who had high expectations for his team, which made it to the semifinals last year and returned most of its players this season.

"The kids worked very hard all year," said the coach. "We knew we had a good team when we beat Serra 10-1, no-hit Valley Christian, and beat defending NCS champion Amador Valley when they were 5-0."

Goulding also cited his team's defense as a crucial factor.

"Our defense was terrific with Jason Puckett, Alex Abeyta, Joe Armstrong and Zack Vallejo controlling the outfield. Our infield was led by Pascual Flores at shortstop with Michael Johnson at second base and Sammy Nieves at third. You can have eight good players and if your catching is bad, your team is bad. Brandon Lamm did an outstanding job handling this great pitching staff."

The Colts will have a different look next year, with six of this year's starters graduating. However, it may be a case of reload, not rebuild, as his incoming players have won the junior varsity league title, going undefeated in the MVAL. The varsity squad finished the season with a 24-4 record, and a No. 1 ranking in the East Bay.

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