Baseball: St. Francis rises to the top, ready for Mission

1. St. Francis (5-0) – You can’t get any better than starting the season with five straight wins. What proved more impressive is the manner in which the Knights went about their 5-0 start. For the second time in three years, St. Francis wins the Arcadia Elks Tournament. In that span, the Knights have gone an incredible 14-1, the lone loss coming to Temple City last year to finish in third place. Nevertheless, St. Francis will either enjoy its rise to the top for the long term or fall if it’s exposed against Saugus in Wednesday’s doubleheader. We’ll know more then. But for now, you can’t overlook St. Francis’ prowess, led by Ethan Bramschreiber and AJ Burglund.

2. Alhambra (4-1) — The Moors are off to a solid start. Clearly, Alhambra coach Steve Gewecke thought the Moors should have and could have played better against St. Francis in the Elks finale, but the season’s early and Gewecke will use the exhibition series against Kalani to see who will play what and where when Almont League action opens Friday at Bell Gardens. Jonathan Beltran played just as we expected, as has Greg Saldate and Vailele Peko.

3. Monrovia (4-1) — The Wildcats finished third in the Elks Tournament. I know there’s some controversy surrounding that placement given the way things ended with Monrovia and Arcadia, but the Wildcats showed why they’re poised to win their fifth straight Rio Hondo League title. I think the only concern with Monrovia is the pitching depth. They have power from 1-7, but pitching is key when getting to the playoffs.

4. Arcadia (4-1) — The Apaches had a solid win over Pasadena Poly and takes on Northview this week before opening Pacific League action against Hoover next week. It would have been absolutely awesome to see Arcadia and Monrovia battle it out. How this game never came about is beyond me. I’m disappointed as I’m sure the fans from both fan bases are as well. By the way, Haram Park’s come out of nowhere, hasn’t he? He’s lighting it up so far for the Apaches, leading the team in batting average (.571), on base percentage (.700), slugging percentage (1,143), and home runs (2).

5. Maranatha (1-4) — When Maranatha had a stellar appearance in the Southern California Invitational last year, I bumped the Minutemen higher in the rankings. With Dylan Covey intact and seven of nine starters returning, it seemed like Maranatha would do as good, if not, better than last year’s performance in the SoCal Invite. The Minutemen finished 1-4, and the argument could be made that they played against top Division I teams, but simply playing in them sometimes isn’t enough, especially this year when expectations seem just as high, if not higher than last year. Having said that, Maranatha playing against the big boys will only prove helpful in the long run, and I certainly wouldn’t be surprised again if I find myself covering Maranatha the last few weeks of the baseball season. It’s time for Maranatha to play in the Elks Tournament. It’s time for us to see how they measure against our top teams. It won’t be a downgrade going from the SoCal Invite to the Elks because the competition level in the Elks still is much higher than that of the Alpha League and Division V. If nothing else, Maranatha gets a chance to quiet its critics. Or not. Until then, it’s all debate.

6. Pasadena Poly (3-2) — The Panthers got off to a solid start, but we’ll get a great chance on Wednesday to see how they fare against higher quality teams. Pasadena Poly hosts La Canada on Wednesday.

7. Temple City (2-3) — The Rams gave up 23 runs against quality teams (Arcadia, Beverly Hills, La Salle). Seems like Temple City still is looking for its identity. They’ll get a confidence-boosting win against Blair when they open Rio Hondo League action on Friday. But then again, Blair is 2-0 in the season and seems to be confident heading into league play, so you never know.

8. Pasadena (4-1) — Mike Parisi is doing a fantastic job with the Bulldogs. Losing their best player (Nathan Bernstein) last year and Pasadena’s off to a hot start. Its lone loss comes to St. Francis, and that loss only came at 6-3. This time last year, Pasadena was 2-2-1 heading into Pacific League play.

9. La Salle (3-2) — How the Lancers lost to Western Christian 13-9 is still puzzling, but since that loss La Salle has rebounded nicely with wins over Duarte (I know) and Temple City.

10. South Pasadena (4-1) — Tony Veiller is batting .615 and has two home runs already. It’s easy to see how the Tigers can contend for a, dare I say, shot at the Rio Hondo League title. That may be putting it over the top, but it looks like the Tigers have playoff-bound written all over them. Veiller is 2-0 on the mound with a team-leading nine strikeouts.

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  • Big Baseball Fanatic

    Miguel,

    I don’t know why you keep saying Monrovia’s pitching
    depth is an issue.

    Cats Team ERA is 1.16 with 42 strikeouts in 42 innings
    and 3 shutouts.

    So far they pitched 4 or 5 kids and they still have two more that haven’t had a chance yet.

    The only problem that could hurt them is injuries.

    With the way the Cats are hitting our pitchers will get plenty of run-support and it’s always easier to pitch with a lead.

  • Anonymous

    Finally! The Knights are where they should be!

  • Big Baseball Fanatic

    Cats defeated Sultana 15-2 pitching a shutout into the 7th before giving up a homerun.

    Any other Scores to report?

    St. Francis – Saugus ?

    Arcadia – Northview ?

    Alhambra – Kalani Double Header ?

  • Goldenarm

    is TC/Blair home or away?

  • tcchamps

    GA:

    The TC/Blair game is at TC. Blair is the home team. The baseball field at Blair has been condemmed so they are always on the road.

  • featherhead

    Lethargist,
    “Miguel,

    I don’t know why you keep saying Monrovia’s pitching
    depth is an issue. ”

    “we” know…

  • Figures

    I’ve had it, did Mig have St. F #1 for football? He had them #1 for soccer and now baseball.

    What MAKES ME laugh and completely lose even more respect for him is his arguement. He bumps MHS down (fine, I agree to an extent) but his arguement against them is the same he used to keep St. francis soccer as #1. They lost a ton of games early on against some big teams but he kept them there he said BECAUSE OF THE level of competition.

    What a joke. get off the St. Francis $$$ train.

  • Anonymous

    Top Ten List Scores

    St. Francis – Plays today vs Saugus

    Alhambra – Split a Dbl Header with Kalani 1-1

    Monrovia – defeated Sultana 15-2 Plays Kalani today.

    Arcadia – Lost to Northview 5-0

    Maranatha – Won 8-5 over Village Christian.

    PasPoly – Won 12-0 over Webb

    Temple City – Plays Blair Friday.

    Pasadena – Plays Village Christian Saturday.

    SoPas – Plays Monrovia friday.

    Note* Look for La Canada to break into the top 10 soon!

  • Archangel

    I agree with BBF –

    Monrovia doesn’t have a ” Dylan Covey” but they look pretty good.

    Max-Preps has them 2nd for Team era in SS-Div IV and 4th in Strikeouts with 47…with both Murphree, and Calver throwing complete game Shut-outs.

    Maybe once League starts they will get some respect.

  • chkyrslf

    Figures,

    Your point is off, St Francis hasn’t lost any games yet and there league competition is above anybody else in the area. I am not a St Francis fan but I have seen them play and they seem deserving of the #1 spot.

  • Slugo

    To Figures:

    Who do you think should be #1? It’s early in the season and there is little to go on, but St. Francis dominated in the Elks tournament. They are a team loaded with talent and what they have shown so far is impressive. Now, what they do this season will tell if they deserve to stay at the top. Just let the boys play ball and stop walking around with a chip on your shoulder – money has nothing to do with it!

  • Anonymous

    CORRECTION!

    Alhambra won both games..My Bad

  • MHS Fan

    Slugo -
    As a Maranatha fan I can understand the frustration with being moved down so far after facing all D1 schools.
    I don’t have a problem with SF being up there. They will soon play some tough teams as they have yet to do and we will know more then. From what I have seen, they are a deserving team to be highly ranked. I would still take Maranatha against any team in the rankings including St. Francis. That is how I determine the best team, by asking that question. Playing one game with everyone available, who wins? I think we all know that answer.

  • The Lance

    La Salle 3
    Bishop Amat (ranked 1st in the state last week) 8

  • Figures

    I dont mean to say St. Fran has money, that was poorly written, I mean to say that Mig loves St. Fran and is bias and I wonder why. I dont even like baseball, I just miss good journalism and a good blog. I am forced to read Fred and about schools my kids do not go to.

    My argument with his logic about soccer then switching it with baseball stands true. He did write that in regards to SF soccer and then changed his thinking with baseball.

  • Slugo

    Figures,

    Mig has not shown much love for SF baseball in the past few seasons. So, it is nice to see SF baseball finally getting a little recognition. They do have a good team this year and will hopefully do well.

  • C.Dawg

    Game 1 – St Francis 9 Saugus 2
    Game 2 – Saugus 2 St Francis 1

    AJ Berglund 6 for 7, 1 RBI, three doubles, one walk overall

    Chris Longo 5 IP win (game 1), not your dominant kinda thrower but he will get you bitten with that groundball or pop-up out where in that strategy he excels in tha best.

    Other game 1 stuff:
    Ethan Bramschreiber 2 for 4 & 4 RBIs with reach on error (dropped 5-3 play by 1stbaseman on last plate appearance)

    2-3-4 (saatzer, berglund, bramschreiber) batted 8 for 12 as a whole

    last 7 runs unanswered, the golden knights came through with 2 RBI hits on three occasions.

    game 2:
    Scott Kerrigan of Saugus pitched like an ace shut SF down in game 2 6 i.p eight strikeouts, issued back to back singles by Mark Saatzer & Berglund in G2′s 1st inn; stranded runner on third with inning killin double play. dont know if scott is the #1 guy though.

    Kerrigan got 3-1 flyout to CF for 3rd out with bases loaded. Closer name James Threw handed Saatzer leadoff single (to 2nd on fielding error same play) but finished off the side to end the game 2.

    – Corn Dawg
    Announcer, Music Technician, Scoreboard, Statistician – Gabrielino Eagles Varsity Baseball

    Will freelance and work a game gig, stats announcing n everything, for any school, most likely when my sched with Gab doesn’t conflict with whatever else is ont there…and most likely it’s 1 game cameo affair.

  • featherhead

    Dawg,
    Thanks for the update (validation that the Knights are the real deal). That Saatzer kid can swing it! Do you do barmitzvahs? GO EAGS!

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