As the ball soared majestically over the left field fence, the College of Marin Baseball team knew a trip to Cosumnes River was in the cards. Ryan Schalch blasted a three run home run to cap a six run seventh inning in route to an 8-3 win over Cañada College in the opening round of the Nor Cal playoffs. Eric Smith started for the College of Marin and pitched 3.1 innings before being relieved by Cooper Casad who picked up the win in relief.
Cañada held a 3-2 advantage heading to the bottom of the seventh, as Cañada pitcher Elijah Saunders stymied College of Marin through the first six innings, allowing just a pair of unearned runs in the fourth. Jakob Davidson opened the seventh inning with a walk and Paul Kennedy followed with a hit by pitch. With one out Jason Rodriguez singled to load the bases. Chris Hayman followed with an RBI single to tie the game at 3-3. Jaymes Potts followed with another single to give the Mariners a lead and chase Saunders from the game.
Matthew Tarantino drove in the Mariners fifth run with an RBI single before Schalch stepped to the plate. He did not wait around, and unloaded on the first pitch he saw for the dagger three run bomb to put the Mariners up 8-3. Cooper Casad shut down Cañada for the final two frames to give College of Marin the victory. Casad relieved Smith in the fourth inning and threw 5.2 outstanding innings, sticking out six batters while allowing just one walk and three hits.
Cañada scored single runs in the second, third and fourth off of Smith. The Mariners scored a pair in the bottom of the fourth from RBI singles from Schlach and Davidson.
The team travels to Cosumnes River for a best of three series beginning on Friday, May 6th at 3pm. Game two is Saturday at 11am, with game three if necessary following at 3pm.