Softball All-Area Nominations: The toughest year ever!

NOTE: Baseball nominations thread come Sunday …

Inevitably there’s going to be someone very very good left off this year’s first team. With so many talent in pitching alone, it’s almost impossible to get every deserving player on the team. But we’ll have to make some tough decisions when the time comes, and we’re going to wait until the end of the playoffs to make our picks. But you guys have seen so many games, and it’s no surprise you have your own formed opinions, biased or not. It’s always nice to bounce off ideas to get an idea, but I can’t remember in my nine years picking All-Area teams having this tough a year. I’ve received All-League selections for one league so far, but I’d like to get all of them, so if you have them e-mail them to me, and I promise not to post them until you tell me when to do so. Have at it, but keep it classy. If this turns out of control I’ll just shut off the comment section.

Player of the Year:
Coach of the Year:

FIRST TEAM
Pitchers (2):
Catcher (1):
Infielders (4):
Outfielders (3):
Utility (1):

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Baseball: Monrovia edges La Salle, 2-1, in Division 4, but the big shocker is in Division 2 where Arcadia again is handed a first-round exit, loses 1-0 to Valencia.

It happened last year, and I couldn’t believe it. Six of seven area teams lost in first-round action on the same day, leaving only Alhambra, Maranatha and Pasadena Poly as the lone teams standing. On Thursday, Alhambra, Maranatha and Gabrielino each won their respective first-round games. We’ll cover three games. Our Keith Lair will be at Arcadia, our Nathan Cambridge will cover Pasadena Poly and I’ll be at Monrovia. I urge all coaches/boosters to text me final scores so we can update them, or do it yourself and post scores here.

Also, check this out from Robledo’s blog. Very interesting …

South Hills wins protest — CIF officials denied Montebello’s protest of Thursday’s Division 3 first-round playoff win by South Hills, 3-2. The Oilers argued the Huskies conducted an illegal batting practice before the game. After watching video of the incident provided by Montebello, CIF ruled there was in fact a an illegal batting practice, but it was not enough to warrant a disqualification of South Hills from the playoffs. The rules allow CIF to make a judgment call in situations such as this.

“At the end of the day, nobody is here to penalize kids,” Southern Section Director of Information Thom Simmons said. “Did a penalty occur? Sure. Did a team gain a competitive advantage? No. Did they (South Hills) win on the field? Yes.”

“In the rules, it says a ‘may’ be removed from the playoffs for something like this. Not that they ‘will’ be. The rule allows us that leeway. We don’t think it was worthy of removing a team from the entire playoffs.”

The Huskies knew of the protest before the game and the stress of the situation sent one of the two players involved in the illegal batting practice to the hospital with chest pains, according to a source.

BASEBALL
CIF-SS PLAYOFFS
FIRST ROUND SCORES
DIVISION 2

Valencia 1, Arcadia 0
DIVISION 4
Savanna 5, South Pasadena 0
Oaks Christian 3, Temple City 2
St. Paul 10, La Canada 0 (corrected)
Monrovia 2, La Salle 1
DIVISION 6
Flintridge Prep at Capistrano Valley Christian — Flintridge Prep
Pasadena Poly 12, Nordhoff 2
Rio Hondo Prep at Bloomington Christian — Bloomington Christian

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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.

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Softball: Thirteen teams vying to be last one standing

As the Mayfield softball team prepares to host Covina in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 playoffs today at 3:15 p.m. at Brookside Park, one can’t help but wonder how this team’s confidence vastly differs from last season.

The biggest difference can be summed up in one word: depth.

The addition of two freshmen – Mireya Hernandez and Jessica Parada – has significantly bolstered the Cubs’ supporting cast and given standout pitcher Katie Clancy some serious talent behind her.

Mayfield (19-5), for good reason, has felt it has a shot at winning since Clancy’s arrival. This season alone, Clancy, a junior, is batting .329 with a team-leading 25 RBIs, but her forte is in the pitcher’s circle.

She’s 18-2 with a 0.83 ERA and a staggering 238 strikeouts. Clancy starts every game and has pitched a complete game in all but one to go along with eight shutouts.

CIF-SS PLAYOFFS
ALL GAMES 3:15 P.M.
FIRST-ROUND
TODAY’S GAMES WITH PREDICTIONS
DIVISION 5
Costa Mesa at San Marino — San Marino
Temple City at West Covina — Temple City
Pasadena Poly at San Dimas — San Dimas
Village Christian at Duarte — Duarte
Keppel at Cerritos Valley Christian — Cerritos Valley Christian
Covina vs. Mayfield at Brookside Park — Mayfield
Sierra Vista at La Canada — La Canada
DIVISION 6
Gabrielino at Marymount — Marymount
Desert Christian at Alverno — Desert Christian
Twentynine Palms at Maranatha — Maranatha
San Gabriel Mission at Ramona Convent — San Gabriel Mission
Marshall at Boron — Boron
Baptist Christian vs. La Salle at LDS — La Salle

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Baseball: Alhambra’s Beltran, Saldate learn how to win

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

ALHAMBRA – It’s no coincidence that after joining the Alhambra High School baseball team four years ago Jonathan Beltran’s work ethic, as he put it, “shot up.”

Greg Saldate never was challenged as much as he was over the last three years, and it’s culminated in an outstanding senior season for the Moors’ top two pitchers.

They’ve blossomed over the years and quickly went from primary role players to carrying the team.

Beltran last season was selected co-player of the year in the Almont League and Beltran earned second-team All-CIF honors. This year, they’re a combined 15-2 with 103 strikeouts and have shouldered the responsibility that comes with Alhambra’s rise and fall.

“I tell (Beltran) all the time it’s our team,” Saldate said. “Yes, it is a team sport, but it’s our senior year and we’re numbers one and two, so it’s our responsibility. The team is going to go as far as we carry it.”

Beltran and Saldate hope to bring Alhambra (22-4) some long-overdue credit as the second-seeded Moors begin their quest for a title today at 3:15 p.m. against La Serna in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs at Moor Field.

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Baseball: Hill, Derby lead La Salle to 3-2 win over Covina

CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY OF TUESDAY’S COVINA-LA SALLE GAME

La Salle’s Brian Hill pitched six solid innings and Bowdien Derby scored two runs and recorded the save in the seventh to lead the Lancers to a 3-2 win over Covina in the wild-card round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 playoffs Tuesday afternoon. Johnny Auer sent 2 for 4 with two RBIs to lead La Salle (14-12), which moves on to Friday’s first-round game against five-time defending Rio Hondo League champion Monrovia. Derby, a sophomore, was hit by a pitch in the first, scored a run in that inning, singled and scored in the fourth, drew a walk in the fifth to load the bases and was intentionally walked in the seventh. He struck out the first batter in the seventh on three pitches and got the next two batters to fly out to record his third save of the season.

OTHER WILD-CARD SCORES

PALOS VERDES 11, PASADENA 1: The Bulldogs gave up six runs with two outs in the first inning and another three runs with one out in the second to all but end Pasadena’s season.

LA CAADA 20, COSTA MESA 2: The Spartans scored 10 runs in the first inning and junior pitcher Brendon Shoemake pitched only the first inning. He’ll rest his arm and go again Friday when the Spartans visit St. Paul in Division 4 first-round action.

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Softball: Temple City has no trouble against Magnolia

Temple City scored eight runs in the second and third innings to seize control and win 10-2 over visiting Magnolia of Anaheim in their CIF-Southern Section Division 5 wild card playoff game Tuesday afternoon. Junior Jessica Loicano pitched five innings earning a save and also hit a home run to straightaway center field to lead the way. Catcher Sami Jakeway had three RBIs. The Rams visit West Covina in a first-round game Thursday.

OTHER WILD-CARD SCORES

Paraclete 4, Flintridge Prep 1
Paramount 10, Arcadia 1

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Baseball: Wild-Cards go Tuesday; first-round Thurs., Fri.

CIF-SOUTHERN SECTION PLAYOFFS

DIVISION 2
FIRST ROUND FRIDAY
WILD CARD TUESDAY

Peninsula-Norwalk winner at Glendora
Harvard-Westlake-Arroyo Grande winner at Foothill
Redlands-Arlington winner at Upland
Atescadero-Valencia/P winner at Arcadia
Vista Del Lago-Rancho Cucamonga winner at La Mirada
Rialto-Burbank winner at Alemany
San Marcos-Nipomo winner at Mira Costa
Woodbridge-Burroughs winner at Cypress
Bellflower-San Luis Obispo winner at Redlands East Valley
Palos Verdes-Pasadena winner at Damien
Pacifica/GG-Alta Loma winner at Canyon Springs
Loyola-Dos Pueblos winner at El Toro
Chaminade-Diamond Bar winner at Paso Robles
Los Osos-AB Miller winner at Santa Barbara
Crescenta Valley-Northwood winner at Mayfair
Yucaipa-Rancho Verde winner at Crespi

DIVISION 3
FIRST ROUND THURSDAY
WILD-CARD TUESDAY

No. 1 Beckman vs. Vista Murrieta-Fountain Valley winner
Colton at Charter Oak
Bell Gardens at California
La Quinta at Ocean View
Rancho Alamitos vs. El Dorado-Westlake winner
Santa Monica at Quartz Hill
Gahr at Walnut
No. 4 Hemet vs. Hart-St. John Bosco winner
No. 3 South Hills vs. Dana Hills-Hueneme winner
Santa Fe at Lancaster
University at Downey
Bonita vs. Thousand Oaks-Saugus winner
San Gorgonio vs. Newport Harbor-Roosevelt winner
Garden Grove at Culver City
No. 2 Alhambra vs. Long Beach Poly-Corona winner


DIVISION 4
FIRST ROUND FRIDAY
WILD-CARD TUESDAY

No. 1 Bishop Amat vs. Patriot-Oak park wild-card winner
Colony at Estancia
South Pasadena at Savanna
Torrance vs. Victor Valley-Cathedral wild-card winner
Fullerton vs. South Torrance-Calvary Chapel winner
Temple City at Oaks Christian
Jurupa Valley at Indio
No. 4 Nortvhiew vs. Bastow-Century wild-card winner
No. 3 St. Paul vs. Costa Mesa-La Canada wild-card winner
Kaiser vs. Troy-La Quinta wild-card winner
San Dimas at Garey
El Segunodo vs. Carpinteria-Magnolia wild-car winner
Monrovia vs. Covina-La Salle wild-card winner
St. Bonaventure at Sonora
Anaheim at Granite Hills
No. 2 Palm Desert vs. Don Lugo-Laguna Beach wild-card winner

DIVISION 5
FIRST-ROUND THURSDAY
WILD-CARD TUESDAY

Aquinas-Desert Mirage winner at Woodcrest Christian
Sultana at Calvary Chapel/D
Serra at Lompoc
San Jacinto-Mountain View winner at Sierra Vista
St. Monica at Heritage
Paraclete-St. Joseph/SM winner at Gabrielino
Big Bear at Arrowhead Christian
Serrano-Gladstone winner at Montclair Prep
29 Palms-Calvary Murrieta winner at Maranatha
Citrus Hill at Hesperia
South El Monte at Campbell Hall
Azusa-Santa Ynez winner at Western Christian
La Puente at Cabrillo/L
Rim of the World-Whittier Christian winner at Cathedral
Linfield Christian at Yucca Valley
Village Christian-Ontario Christian winner at Tahquitz

DIVISION 6
FIRST ROUND FRIDAY
WILD-CARD TUESDAY

Desert Christian/BD-Hesperia winner at Desert Christian/L
Bishop Union at Villanova Prep
Flintridge Prep at Capistrano Valley Christian
La Verne Lutheran/St. Margaret’s winner at St. Anthony
Victor Valley Christian-Calvary Chapel winner at Sage Hill
Windward at Buckley
Kern Valley-Mojave winner at California Christian
Bell Jeff-Chadwick winner at Vasquez
Excelsior Ed-Oakwood winner at Oxford Academy
Silver Valley-La Sierra Academy winner at Academy Excelsior
Desert Chapel-Salesian winner at Rosamond
Sierra Canyon-Nordhoff winner at Pasadena Poly
Saddleback Valley Christian-Rio Hondo Prep winner at Bloomington Christian
Viewpoint at Crossroads
Apple Valley Christian at Boron
Avalon-Upland Academy winner at Grace Brethren

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Softball: La Caada, La Salle earn No. 2 seeds in playoffs

DIVISION 3
WILD CARD GAMES
TUESDAY, 3:15 P.M.

A–Lancaster at Kaiser
B–Pioneer Valley at Burbank
C–St. Lucy’s at Cajon
D–Fullerton at Aliso Niguel
E–Charter Oak at La Reina
F–Fillmore at Quartz Hill
G–Righetti at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame
H–Dana Hills at Los Altos
I–San Gorgonio at Chino Hills
J–Arcadia at Paramount
FIRST ROUND
THURSDAY

Wild-card A at Bonita
Wild-card B at Sunny Hills
Wild-card C at Mission Viejo
Oak Park at Downey
Wild-card D at Alemany
Wild-card E at Highland
Paso Robles at Burbank Burroughs
Patriot at Ayala
Wild-card F at Glendora
La Habra at Tesoro
Crescenta Valley at Colton
Wild-card G at Warren
Wild-card H at Atascadero
Wild-card I at Summit
Chaminade at Knight
Wild-card J at Oaks Christian

DIVISION 5
WILD CARD GAMES
TUESDAY, 3:15 P.M.

A–Gladstone at Rowland
B–Rio Hondo Prep at Riverside Notre Dame
C–Magnolia at Temple City
D–Godinez at Village Christian
E–Tahquitz at Covina
F–Paraclete at Flintridge Prep
G–Victor Valley at Riverside Christian
H–Montebello at Sierra Vista
FIRST ROUND
THURSDAY

Wild-card A at Whittier Christian
Western at Schurr
Costa Mesa at San Marino
Wild-card B at Calvary Murrieta
Wild-card C at West Covina
Pasadena Poly at San Dimas
Ridgecrest Burroughs at Beaumont
Wild-card D at Duarte
Keppel at Cerritos Valley Christian
Wild-card E at Mayfield
Woodcrest Christian at Barstow
Azusa at South Hills
Wild-card F at Heritage
Wild-card G at Savanna
Northview at Santa Ana Calvary Chapel
Wild-card H at La Canada

DIVISION 6
WILD CARD
TUESDAY, 3:15 P.M.

A–Bishop Diego at Gabrielino
B–Los Angeles Lutheran at Mary Star
C–Lone Pine at Windward
D–Holy Family at Baptist Christian
FIRST ROUND
THURSDAY

Wild-card A at Marymount
Viewpojnt at St. Monica
Lancaster Desert Christian at Alverno
Twentynine Palms at Maranatha
Marlborough at Oxford Academy
Big Bear at Bermuda Dunes Desert Christian
Silver Valley at Grace Brethren
Wild-card B at South El Monte
Wild-card C at Oak Hills
San Gabriel Mission at Ramona Convent
Mesa Grande Academy at Yucca Valley
Providence at Nordhoff
Carpinteria at Faith Baptist
Marshall at Boron
Whitney at Arroyo
Wild-card D at La Salle

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BREAKING NEWS: Arcadia finishes perfect 14-0!!!!!

CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY FROM FRIDAY’S CRESCENTA VALLEY-ARCADIA GAME

GLENDALE – Perfect at last.

For the first time in Pacific League history, the Arcadia High School baseball team became the first team to go undefeated in the regular season with a 6-2 victory over Crescenta Valley on Friday night in front of a capacity crowd at Stengel Field.

The Arcadia (22-3, 14-0) faithful watched KJ Edson go the distance for his eighth victory. Senior Garrett Tuck barehanded a grounder to shortstop and fired to first for the last out, leading to a celebratory mobbing on the pitcher’s mound.

“You couldn’t have asked for a better end than that,” Arcadia coach Nick Lemas said. “It’s good to be able to look back and see something that nobody’s ever done before.

“To do something like that is pretty special.”

Edson struck out six and allowed six hits and two runs, both coming in the third inning. He walked only one.

The Apaches now await the CIF-SS Division 2 playoff pairings, which will be released Monday.

Tuck also set the school record for most hits in a career.

He went 2 for 4 with an RBI single in the first to score Jonathan Tom and give Arcadia an early 1-0 lead. He then broke Tim Smoley’s record of 106 career hits when he singled to right field in the fourth inning. The game briefly was stopped so that Lemas could retrieve the ball and give it to Tuck as a souvenir.

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