With senior Jake Bruml pitching a no-hitter and striking out nine, Menlo School advanced to the semifinals of the Central Coast Section Division III baseball playoffs with a 10-0 victory over Sacred Heart Cathedral in a quarterfinal that was shortened to five innings at Washington Park in Santa Clara on Saturday.
The No. 3-seeded Knights (24-5) next will play on Tuesday at San Jose Municipal Stadium (4 p.m.) against No. 2 Carmel (26-3), an 8-5 winner over Sacred Heart Prep in another quarterfinal. The winner will advance to the championship game next Saturday, also at San Jose Muni.
The other semifinal will match No. 8 Santa Cruz (14-14) against No. 5 Half Moon Bay on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Santa Cruz shocked top-seeded Palma on Saturday, 4-0, while Half Moon Bay eliminated No. 4 Soquel, 7-2.
In a rematch of last year's Division III semifinal that Menlo won, 4-3, with a dramatic two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh, there was no need for such heroics as the Knights jumped all over the Irish. Menlo benefited from seven walks, a hit batter and two errors while the Knights helped themselves with nine hits, two each by Jake Batchelder and Phil Anderson. Dylan Mayer and Anderson each drove in three runs to make Bruml's afternoon a quick one.
In the late game at Washington Park, No. 12 Sacred Heart Prep (17-12) erased an early three-run deficit, but the Gators couldn't overcome a four-run hole in their Division III quarterfinal loss to Carmel.
Sacred Heart Prep was led by senior Tomas O'Donnell, who concluded his prep career with two hits -- including a double -- while helping rally the Gators after they fell behind at the outset.
With SHP trailing 3-0 in the top of the second, O'Donnell slammed a triple with two outs and scored on a wild pitch to get the Gators back in the game. He also started a two-run fourth with a one-out single. After Bo Sakowski followed with a double, both scored on an error to tie the game.
Carmel, however, broke the game open in the bottom of the inning with four runs.
In the CCS Division I quarterfinals, Palo Alto advanced to the semifinals following a 9-2 victory over No. 6 Homestead on Saturday at PAL Stadium in San Jose.
The Vikings (26-9) will play No. 2 Mitty (25-5-1) in the semifinals on Wednesday at San Jose Municipal Stadium at 7 p.m.
Mitty bounced Valley Christian, 3-2. The other semifinal, at 4 p.m., will match No. 5 San Benito (21-8) against No. 8 Salinas (19-9-1). San Benito eliminated No. 4 Wilcox, 1-0, while Salinas ousted No. 16 Carlmont, 2-1.
Homestead grabbed an early lead against Palo Alto, which responded with three runs in the second inning -- highlighted by a two-run triple by Cory Tenanes. Austin Braff then brought home Tenanes with a single to left. The Vikings added four runs in the fourth to take a 7-2 lead.
John Dickerson singled up the middle to open the fourth. With one out, leadoff hitter BJ Boyd was safe on an error and Christoph Bono walked to load the bases. Braff walked to score one teammate then his brother, senior T.J., smacked an RBI single. Senior Will Glazier followed with a single to left field that scored Bono and Austin Braff.
Junior righthander Ben Sneider gave up three hits in the first inning but settled down to get the victory.