A year after being dropped into the Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division and missing the Central Coast Section baseball playoffs, Half Moon Bay is one win away from reaching the CCS Division III championship game.
“We proved we can pitch with other teams,” Half Moon Bay coach Steve Terraszas said. “We built that confidence in ourselves.”
The fifth-seeded Cougars (23-6) beat Soquel 7-2 to reach the semifinals, where they will meet eighth-seeded Santa Cruz on Tuesday. Julian Garcia will take the hill for the Cougars.
“We need to continue working on our defense,” Terraszas said. “We need to work on our outfielders getting better jumps.”
The two teams met on April 2 in a 10-inning 3-2 victory for the Cougars.
“We’re going to do our best to limit their damage,” Terraszas said. “If we can limit them to singles, I think we’ll be OK.”
Brett Berghammer was the hero in the teams’ regular-season meeting. The freshman threw five shutout innings and hit a walk-off double, giving the Cougars the win.
Berghammer has been producing all season. His 18 regular-season RBIs are second on the team behind Peter Bacich with 21.
Santa Cruz (14-14) reached the semifinal by shutting out top-seed Palma 4-0 in the quarterfinals.
If Half Moon Bay reaches the title game, there could be a rematch of its only other CCS title game
appearance, which came in 1988, when it lost to Menlo 9-4.
Menlo (24-5) has yet to allow a run in the CCS playoffs, defeating Scotts Valley and Sacred Heart Cathedral by a combined score of 18-0.
The defending CCS Division III champs, Menlo is searching for its fifth overall CCS crown. The Knights last won back-to-back titles in 1988-89.
Menlo will face Carmel (26-3), which dispatched Capuchino and Sacred Heart Prep, in the other semifinal.
This is only Half Moon Bay’s third trip to a CCS semifinal.
CCS Division III Playoffs
(At San Jose Municipal Stadium)