MORAGA -- Thanks to another dominating effort on the mound, the Head-Royce baseball team earned its third straight North Coast Section Division V title with a 5-0 win over St. Joseph Notre Dame on Friday at Saint Mary's College.
Nico Hoerner fired six scoreless innings and Eian Peters, who help jumpstart the Jayhawks' offense, got the final three outs as Head-Royce (20-4) completed its NCS title quest, outscoring its three opponents in the Division V playoffs 26-0.
"We had a tough task as the team that repeated," Hoerner said. "Coming into a baseball tournament that's single elimination and winning, that's a tough task. We didn't give up a single run in this tournament and we just did our best to handle it."
Hoerner struck out 10 and allowed just two hits in his six innings of work. He got into some trouble against the Pilots (18-10) in the third inning when he loaded the bases with three walks, but escaped that jam by inducing an infield pop up.
Peters provided a big spark in the bottom of the third when he hit a ball over the right fielder's head and lumbered into second with a head-first dive. One batter later, Cole Bamberger tripled pinch-runner Kyle Russell home and Head-Royce had the only run it would need.
"That's his first career slide in high school," Hoerner said of Peters' dive into second. "That was an amazing moment. It's something we've been waiting for and it couldn't happen at a better time."
Head-Royce scored twice more in the fourth when Sami Tuqan doubled home CJ Novogradac. An error in the outfield allowed Tuqan to come all the way around himself and make it 3-0. Single runs in the fifth and sixth gave the Jayhawks more than enough cushion.
Since the NCS rearranged its divisions in 2009 and created Division V, Head-Royce has appeared in all six title games and won four, including the last three. This is the Jayhawks' sixth title overall.
Division V Championship Head-Royce 5, St. Joseph Notre Dame 0
St. Joseph 000 000 0-- 0 3 1
Head-Royce 001 211 x-- 5 9 1
Hansen and Venturini; Hoerner, Peters (7) and Novogradac. W: Hoerner. L: Hansen. 2B: Tuqan (HR), Peters (HR). 3B: Hoerner (HR), Bamberger (HR). Records: St. Joseph Notre Dame 18-10, Head-Royce 20-4. Highlights: SJND -- Alldridge 2 for 3; HR -- Hoerner 6 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 3 BB, 10 K, 2 for 3; Bamberger 1 for 2, 2 RBI.