11 innings, three hours and 15 minutes after the start of the game, the crowd chanted “MVP” as senior Adam Hussain hit a walk off single to clinch the NCS championship with a score of 5-4. A few innings earlier, Hussain had made an incredible diving catch to end the inning and save Livermore from winning the game. Hussain, on fire all night, had four hits overall.
The jam-packed stands went crazy as friends and family rushed the players on the field in astonishment, as the Giants last won the NCS championship in 1997, 18 years ago. This year, the Giants won not only the Division II NCS championship, but also the league title and the MCAL championship.
From the start, it was clear how tight the game would be. Livermore scored first in the first inning, but the Giants quickly caught up, and at the end of the first, the game was tied 1-1.
Livermore immediately responded, scoring two more runs, but the Giants this time had trouble catching up right away. However, in the fourth inning, junior Zack Kopstein and senior Aaron Dorfler hit, senior Devon Pence was walked, and senior Riley Overend came up with a much needed single, scoring two runs and tying up the game.
In the seventh inning, it was Livermore’s last time up to bat, and the score was tied 3-3. With a few lucky hits, they were able to score a run, reminding the crowd of the MCAL championship game two weeks prior when the Giants were down on their final turn up to bat in the bottom of the seventh. The team huddled and the crowd was silent, avoiding the Giant’s fate.
After an unfortunate strikeout by cleanup hitter Aubrey Sine, things were looking down, but captain Hussain was up and yet to disappoint. Hussain hit a grueling double and junior Erik Doctor followed with another double to bring Hussain home, sending the game to overtime.
Junior Zack Kopstein pitched after relieving starting pitcher Zach Cohen earlier in the game. For the next few innings, batters on both sides struck or grounded out one after another.
Kopstein had three strikeouts in the tenth inning. However, in the top of the eleventh inning, Livermore gave Redwood a run for their money.
Senior Tyler Peck, who later on secured the win for the Giants after pitching a little less than an inning, came in to relieve Kopstein. With base runners on second and third and Peck on the mound, a Livermore player hit, but the runner on third was thrown out at home.
In the bottom of the eleventh, Hussain was up with two outs and hit a chopper to third base. Overend crossed the plate as Hussain was declared safe at first, and the Giants rushed the field and landed in a dog pile.
The win at Albert Park on Friday secured the triple crown for the Giants and ended their season with a success not seen in many years.