The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
Skyline College and College of San Mateo are set for Tuesday’s second-place Coast North Conference baseball tiebreaker battle in San Mateo after both teams won Saturday.
CSM smashed four home runs for a 14-4 triumph at rival Cañada College in a then second-place tiebreaking contest. Skyline won 12-5 over visiting City College of San Francisco in San Bruno.
Chabot College secured the Coast North regular-season title with a 6-5 win over host West Valley College in 10 innings, giving the Gladiators (13-5 Coast North, 26-11 overall) a three-game lead with two to go.
Skyline (10-8, 25-12) and San Mateo (10-8, 26-11) are in second place, one game ahead of Canada (9-9, 21-16). CSM leads the season series with Skyline, 2-1.
Chabot and all three San Mateo County colleges appear in line for playoff assignments at this coming weekend’s seeding meeting. Cañada does have a crucial game Tuesday at West Valley, however, before closing with sixth-place CCSF (4-24, 11-24) Thursday. The other Thursday 2:30 p.m. finales have Chabot at Skyline and West Valley at San Mateo.
CSM split its season series 2-2 with both Chabot and Cañada. The Colts won their series with Skyline 3-1.
CSM 14, Cañada 4
CSM struck quickly at Cañada with three runs on five hits in the top of the first. Kai Holm led off with the first of his three singles and came home on a Chris Schuchart homer, his sixth. Schuchart had three hits, including a double and three RBIs in the game and scored twice.
AJ Carter then singled and came home on a hit by Nathan Martinez, who later had another RBI. Carter, who leads CSM hitters with a .351 average, would score three times on the day — including in the third inning on a home run by Connor Hennings — that gave the Bulldogs a 5-1 lead and their eventual winning run. Hennings also had three hits in the game.
A solo home run in the seventh inning by designated hitter Louie Zulaica gave CSM a 9-2 lead. The Bulldogs put it away with a five-run eighth, started by a Marcus Aranda two-run homer. Aranda also had his 12th double and is batting .349.
Cañada tallied single runs in the first, fifth, eighth, and ninth innings. Lucas Herrera had the Colts’ only extra base hit, a double, and scored twice. Joe Lee had three hits and scored Cañada’s final run on an error.
Joe Cirelli went 7 1/3 innings on the mound for CSM, striking out four and walking one. His record improves to 7-2. He is tied for the most wins by a Coast North pitcher with teammate Noel Valdez (7-3), Skyline’s Benito Valle-Jhanda (7-1), and Hawk Hill of Chabot.