The Correa name resonates at McClatchy High School.
Brothers Dom and Howie Correa spearheaded championship baseball teams two decades ago, including Howie and friends beating CC Sabathia of Vallejo to win the 1998 Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship.
Their father, Steve, has been a decades-long fixture as a youth coach and mentor to those who fed into the Freeport Blvd. school.
These days, it's Greg Correa, the nephew of Dom and Howie and Steve's grandson, who has inspired his teammates with a refocused effort in the classroom and bulldog results on the mound.
Now competing in the Division II postseason, Correa came on in relief and put the clamps on free-swinging Oakmont by retiring seven of the nine batters he faced in a 6-5 opening-round playoff victory Friday night at American River College.
A stout 6-foot-1 senior, Correa picked off the only man who had a hit against him, and he struck out two in the seventh inning for the Metro Conference champions.
His face beamed with relief and pride, and his coaches raved about Correa's academic drive to match his athletic feats.
Correa had to take extra classes to get back on track. He had considered getting his GED instead of finishing school, but coach Mike de Necochea and his teammates convinced him to remain a Lion. He has been working with teachers and counselors ever since.
"I had to get on it academically, and I realized that education is important and graduating with these guys would be special," Correa said. "And baseball is something I live for. I'll never forget this. It's all come together."
Said de Necochea: "Greg stuck with it, a testament to him. He's a hard-luck story who earned this. He's been our big guy."
McClatchy also is known for being an academic powerhouse with its renowned Humanities and International Studies Program (HISP).
Senior leaders Alex Jang, Rod Mackey, Kevin Krause and Kenny Nishimura are all HISP students with 4.0 grade-point averages and headed to college.
The team's power and personality come from another good student in Jared James, a senior slugger who expects to be drafted next month.
Add it up, and it's no wonder the Lions are all grins.
"We can be pretty good," de Necochea said.
Nelson Muniz and Nishimura each had two hits. Muniz's RBI double gave the Lions a 5-4 fourth-inning lead, and James had a groundout RBI in the fifth to make it 6-5.
Jimmy Lunardelli, Justin Garvin and Robert Walton combined for seven hits for Oakmont, which bid farewell to retiring coach Dean Perkins. Perkins made the playoffs 17 times in 25 seasons.
Granite Bay 11, Del Campo 3 Sophomore designated hitter Devin Lehman has a three-run double in the first inning and a three-run triple in the second, and Brendan Keeney tossed five consecutive shutout innings for the Grizzlies to improve his record to 6-0.
Four Del Campo pitchers surrendered 13 walks. Mitch Hart had two RBIs for the Grizzlies, who made some spectacular defensive plays, including second baseman Vinny Esposito, the son of veteran coach Pat Esposito. Granite Bay plays McClatchy today at ARC to start a best-of-three series.