The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.

Wednesday is now the Coast North Conference open for the San Mateo County community college baseball teams and all three appear primed and ready to challenge for conference titles.

The battle for county bragging rights will begin right away as Skyline College (15-4) and Cañada (12-7-1) will square off in a conference-opening series. Skyline hosts at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in San Bruno. The series moves to Redwood City for a Thursday matchup, followed by the finale Saturday at Skyline.

After sweeping a trio of Coast crossover games last week, College of San Mateo brings a 16-3 record into league play, best among all 13 Coast teams. Only San Joaquin Delta College (17-2), among the state’s 88 community college teams, has more wins than San Mateo entering conference play.

The Bulldogs and cross-bay rival Chabot (13-6-1) kick off Coast North play with CSM hosting the Gladiators Wednesday and Saturday, with the series moving to Hayward for Game 2 Thursday.

Current Northern California coaches rankings are led by No. 1 Folsom Lake (16-2) and No. 2 Delta. CSM is No. 5. Chabot comes in at No. 9, Skyline sits just outside the top-10 at No. 11, while Cañda checks in ranked 17th in Northern California.

Last week, San Mateo turned back Gavilan, 16-2, De Anza, 4-1, and Hartnell, 5-4. Skyline extended its winning streak to seven games with victories over Hartnell, 14-3, Mission, 6-5, and Cabrillo, 10-6. Cañada defeated Monterey Peninsula, 6-2, and Gavilan, 2-0, and had a 4-4 tie (in 14 innings) with Ohlone.

CSM softball picks up pair of wins

The defending state champion College of San Mateo softball team (18-3) had its 2023 campaign slowed a bit by rain last week. The Bulldogs were able to quickly down visiting Modesto, 10-0, in a five-inning mercy contest on Wednesday and then took a Coast Conference victory over Cabrillo College, 6-2, on Monday to stay unbeaten (2-0) in Coast Conference play.

San Mateo is tied for the most wins in the state with Sierra (18-1).

Against Modesto, Tori Cortez had an RBI double to get things started in a four-run first inning and CSM had a 10-0 lead after just three frames. Returning state women’s athlete of the year Lafulafu Malepeai also had a hit against Modesto and scored first inning runs in both games on singles by Gabrielle Perez. Hailey Meisenbach had two hits, including a home run, against Cabrillo. Vanessa Lang had two doubles.

Coming into the week, Malepeai led the state with a .609 batting average and had five home runs, one shy of the state lead, while Cortez was hitting .458.

CSM’s revised schedule for this week has San Jose CC (9-8, 1-2 Coast) visiting on Wednesday and Hartnell (10-6-1, 2-1) on Thursday for 3 p.m. Coast Conference games.

The Bulldogs also plan to host a pair of non-league foes on their turf field on Saturday — Cosumnes River (12-5) and Fresno CC (12-5).