Monte Vista Christian is headed back to the Central Coast Section Division III Finals after nearly a decade, but it took the longest game of the season to get there.
The No. 3 seeded Mustangs defeated No. 2 Menlo School, 7-5, in 11 innings in Thursday's D-III Semifinals at Washington Park in Santa Clara.
MVC (16-13) advances to the championship against The King’s Academy on Saturday at Excite Ballpark, formerly known as San Jose Municipal Stadium. First pitch is scheduled at 4 p.m.
It’s their second title-game appearance in school history and first time back since losing to Palma in the D-III Finals in 2009.
MVC junior Quinn Alexander went 2-for-5 with two RBIs, while junior Tyler Keenan went 2-for-4 with a double and three runs scored.
Junior Matt Woods went 2-for-5 with an RBI, while junior Sam Finnegan went 2-for-5 and scored twice. Junior Nathan Renggli also recorded two base hits.
The Mustangs built a 3-0 lead after scoring once in the fourth inning and adding two runs in the fifth. But the Knights tied it at 3-all after scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
MVC retook the lead in the top of the seventh inning when Quinn singled to center field and Keenan scored to put the Mustangs ahead 4-3. Yet, the Knights found themselves right back in it after scoring a run in the bottom half of the seventh to tie the score, again.
The Mustangs finally took the lead for good after adding two runs in the top of the 11th to make it 7-5.
Alexander, who also threw for four innings, was the winning pitcher for MVC. He recorded a strikeout, allowed four walks and an earned run.
Thomas Avila, Harrison Zischke and Finnegan also pitched for the Mustangs.
Hillsdale 16, Aptos 1 (4) >> The Mariners’ magical postseason run came to an end in the CCS D-II Semfinals after a loss against the Fighting Knights at Los Gatos High. The game was called after four innings.
The Mariners, who placed second in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League, finished the season 16-10 overall and 9-3 in league play.
Aptos senior Julia Cano went 1-for-2 with an RBI, while junior Shea Garcia went 1-for-2.
Freshman Ada Neu threw for 1 and ⅓ innings and allowed six runs on nine hits, while Cano went for 1 and ⅔ innings and allowed 10 runs on 11 hits for the Mariners.
Hillsdale senior Kealani Kaufusi recorded seven strikeouts and allowed a run on two hits in four innings for the Knights. She also went 3-for-3 with a game-high five RBIs.
Sophomore Mika Chong went 4-for-4 with three doubles, five RBIs and scored four runs.