Baseball: Alhambra, Maranatha, Gabrielino in spotlight


Above: Maranatha hopes to end the season just like it did last year.

There’s little going on in area high school baseball as the CIF-Southern Section playoffs in divisions 3 and 5 begin today at 3:15 p.m. Most of the action comes Friday with divisions 2 and4.

Alhambra, Gabrielino and Maranatha are the lone teams playing today and all are at home. Perhaps more important is they all have serious heat on the mound that could translate to playoff success.

Alhambra (22-4) is the No. 2 seed in Division3 and a six-time defending Almont League champion. With a formidable pitching staff led by Jonathan Beltran and Greg Saldate, the Moors figure this is the year when playoff experience and confidence from a successful regular season will pay off, but they’ll have their hands full when they host La Serna (14-12-1) at Moor Field.

“They look a lot better than 14-12,” Alhambra coach Steve Gewecke said. “They play catch and have some good guys who can swing it. They’re well-coached and their three and four holes are legit.”

La Serna is led by Andrew Rosales, who is batting .543, and Nate Casillas, who is batting .412 with 20 RBIs, two home runs and five doubles.

For Alhambra, it starts on the mound with Beltran, who is 9-1 with a 1.60 ERA. Saldate is 6-1 with a 1.49 ERA in 56 innings. Beltran and Saldate have been productive, but La Serna is not a team to back down from a challenge.

“That program has won for a long time, so those kids are conditioned and expect to win,” Gewecke said. “I don’t think they’re going to be intimidated by us at all, not by our record or our ranking.”

Division 5
Paraclete at Gabrielino:
The Eagles (16-9) once again will rely on sophomore Angel Acosta to lead the way on the mound. He’s 9-4 with a 1.46 ERA and 130 strikeouts. Gabrielino last season was upset in the first round. Paraclete (15-9) features a future Division I pitcher in 6-foot-3 senior Tim Torsney. The Spirits of Lancaster finished second in the Alpha League and beat St. Joseph, 3-2, in a wild-card game Tuesday.

Division 5
Calvary Murrieta vs. Maranatha at Jackie Robinson Field: Calvary Murrieta (12-15) had little trouble against Twentynine Palms in a 8-1 wild-card victory Tuesday. The same, however, can’t be expected when the Warriors visit defending champion Maranatha (17-9) at Jackie Robinson Park. They’ll face the area’s most touted pitcher in Dylan Covey, whose fastball tops out at 96 miles per hour. David McAllister (.425), Mark Jebbia (.400) and Covey (.400) also can be dangerous offensively.

  • alhambra rocks

    Good luck Maranatha. Perhaps after you whoop the Cavalry, you can move on to play the Silver Sluggers, Bob’s Babes and Little Sister Mary Elementary. Be proud!

  • Knows the Game

    Good luck to all the local schools and and by the way “Interesting Data” The new poll came out and Arcadia is 59 in the section while Monrovia dropped to 64, don’t fret though, Football will be starting soon.

  • LSFan

    Wishing the best for Steve Gewecke and his Alhambra team.

  • Interesting Data

    Arcadia jumped 34 places in 2 days that is interesting.

    As far as Monrovia I must have got their ranking wrong the last time because the stats show they did not move.

    But Overall you got my point from that Blog, how the Area rankings were so different from Max-Preps.

  • Anonymous

    Gabby is victorious with a 4-1 win over paraclete.

  • HS Baseball fan

    Here’s wishing every area team the best of luck throughout the playoffs, with recently added exception of Alhambra (Unfortunately represented by “Alhambra Rocks” in this blog.
    I must say that if you are the voice of how your team really feels about Maranatha with your sarcastic comments then that’s just plain sad.
    It’s very interesting to hear your sarcasm about who Maranatha plays when considering the FACT that Alhambra has been too afraid to even schedule a game with the Minutemen for the last 3 years. Hmmm…I wonder why!
    Again..good luck to everyone BUT Alhambra!!

  • Sam32

    HS Baseball fan

    Thanks for stooping lower than Alhambra rocks. Good luck to all the area teams. Great game Moors! Keep it going to the next round! GO MOORS!

  • Wow

    Alhambra is ducking MHS – I wont deny it – but without Covey MHS is hurting. He’ll work 90% of the last couple CIF games I bet..and they are in an easy division. That said, the kid can throw and I’d duck him as well.

  • Anonymous

    Wow –
    You make the same mistake that every other Maranatha critic does. Calling them a one man show. Let’s hope for Maranatha’s sake that all of they’re opponents are that stupid. You’ve obviously never seen this team play.

    Sam 32- It would be very hard to stoop lower than alhambra rocks did. Not giving a team proper respect is pretty low, ESPECIALLY when you won’t play them!

  • HS Baseball Fan

    Wow –
    You make the same mistake that every other Maranatha critic does. Calling them a one man show. Let’s hope for Maranatha’s sake that all of they’re opponents are that stupid. You’ve obviously never seen this team play.

    Sam 32- It would be very hard to stoop lower than alhambra rocks did. Not giving a team proper respect is pretty low, ESPECIALLY when you won’t play them!

  • MHS Fan

    Anonymous –
    Was division 5 an easy division when Monrovia won CIF a couple of years back also???

  • sure

    In Monrovias two d-5 finals appearances they face St Bonaventure and Bishop Amat. Dont go crazy Maranantha fan, all those teams have moved up, and Amat never should have been there in the first place.

  • CIF Rules

    Alhambra would be stupid to play Maranatha. That would be like USC’s football team scheduling Oxy. What benefit would that give a team in a much higher division. Where was Maranatha when Alhambra had Noe Ramirez, who is tearing it up at Cal State Fullerton? Where is Covey going again? I highly doubt pro since he only has one pitch that players can hit at the next level.

  • Just Play the Game

    When Maranatha wins, it is because they are a great team.
    When Maranatha loses, it is because the sun was in their eyes, the refs were biased, the field was not maintained, etc.
    When Maranatha’s schedule is questioned the answer is “people are to chicken to play us.”

    To all teams – just play the game, play it against the people you are scheduled to play against, and see where it all falls out come June, and good luck to all. I am getting tired of this “everyone is too chicken to play us.”

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