When they look back on the 2015 season, the Clear Lake baseball team will have mostly good memories.  In fact they will have more good memories than most teams.  The more the time slips into the future, the more they will remember those good times and forget about the ending.
Maybe the pain of the ending will be eased by the thought that it took a dynasty to bring them down.

Reid Gibbs was in control on the mound until Clear Lake mounted a rally in the 6th.

That dynasty belongs to Head Royce, who ended the perfect season for Clear Lake with a 7-3 win and advance to the North Coast Section Division 5 championship game.  On Friday at 5 pm, the No. 4 seed Head Royce will meet No. 2 Branson at the College of Marin.  Head Royce will be going for a record tying fourth straight section championship and fifth in seven years.  The two years they didn’t win it all, they were in the championship game.
It was mainly two players who were the difference, one because of his pitching.  Then when he faltered, the player who came in relief closed the door.  That player had already had an impact with his bat.
The first pitcher was Reid Gibbs, who retired the first nine of ten batters he face. Gibbs gave up three hits in the first five innings and Clear Lake never had more than one runner.  Gibbs would get the win to raise his record to 6-2.
Gibbs got into the trouble in the sixth and was replaced by Nico Hoerner.  Hoerner was one of the main reasons that Head Royce had a 7-0 lead going into the inning.  After a one out walk in the first, he scored on single by CJ Novogradac to start the scoring.
Then in the second, Hoerner hit his team high sixth homer in the second, a two run shot to make it 3-0.  He added his 30th RBI of the season in the fourth on single to make it 4-0.  That was the first of a four run inning to give Head Royce its 7-0 lead.  Hoerner, who is ticketed to go to Stanford, had three hits to raise his batting average to .518.
What Hoerner did with the bat would have made the headline, but he added to that on the mound.  He came in the game in the bottom of the sixth in a messy situation.  A two run double by Tyler Manning cut the lead to 7-3.  That is when Hoerner took the mound. He walked the first man he faced and Clear Lake was one hit away from making a serious game out of it, having the bases loaded and one out.  But Hoerner didn’t let it happen, striking out the next two batters he faced.  The first strikeout was after falling behind 3-1.  He issued a one out walk in the seventh, but ended things with two strikeouts. It was Hoerner’s first save of the season.  In 13 innings this season, he has twenty strike outs.
For Clear Lake, it ended a season in which they had won their first 26 games of the season.  It is the second longest winning streak to start a season, unofficially, in North Coast Section history topped only by the Justin Siena team of 2005 who went 27-0.
As time goes on it will be that memory that this team will be remember.  They can also take comfort in the fact that any time a team has any kind of undefeated run to start the season, this team will be mentioned.
Two local teams still have an NCS Championship game to play
No. 4 Tomales (12-8) at No. 2 St. Bernard Catholic (14-13)…Saturday at 4 pm
St. Bernard Catholic was under .500 when the playoffs started, but in two wins has outscored opponents 12-1.  They are looking for its second straight NCS Championship and its sixth in nine seasons.
To get to the championship game, Tomales has won two one run games.  After losing to Rincon Valley Christian twice during the NCL II league season, they took a 8-7 win in the semi-final game.  Tomales won the NCS Division 6 championship two years ago.  That is the only baseball section championship in school history.
No. 2 St. Joseph Notre Dame (12-10) at No. 1 Clear Lake (19-6)…Friday at 4 pm
Clear Lake is going for their first NCS Championship since 2007.  That year they finished 27-0.  They also won one in 2002.
St. Joseph Notre Dame is going for its first ever section championship.
My email address is jacpasquini@comcast.net