SEMIFINALS: Pasadena Poly beats Desert Christian 5-1; Arcadia can’t come from behind in 3-2 loss to Etiwanda; La Caada beats South El Monte 6-2 to reach D5 final.

CIF-SS PLAYOFFS
BASEBALL
SEMIFINALS
DIVISION 2
Etiwanda 3, Arcadia 2:
Etiwanda took a 2-0 lead in the fourth off consecutive singles and a leadoff triple and made it 3-1 with another set of consecutive singles. Arcadia got within 3-2 in the fifth after George Papavasiliou led off with a double. Tyler Dominguez’s sac bunt moved him to third and then Papavasiliou scored on a balk. There was a controversial play in the bottom of the seventh when Erik Trask was called out at first despite the first baseman’s foot off the base. Arcadia coach Nick Lemas asked the first base umpire to call for help at home, but to no avail. The final two batter struck out to end the game and the Apaches’ dream season.

DIVISION 6
Pasadena Poly 5, Desert Christian 1:
Brian Holman pitched six innings and gave up just one hit for his 13th win of the season. Jordan Kutzer hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning after Hunter Merryman’s two-run double in the third inning. The Panthers will play Saturday at 3:30 against the Oxford Academy/Bishop Union winner at UC Riverside.

SOFTBALL
DIVISION 5
La Caada 6, South El Monte 2:
Lauren O’Leary was a little shaky, hitting three batters and a couple walks, but prevailed, giving up three hits and two earned runs to lead the Spartans. Aubri Thompson connected on two of La Caada’s seven hits of the game. The Division 5 championship game against Beaumont will be either Friday or Saturday at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine.

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Baseball: Edson, Trask, lead Arcadia to first semifinals trip since 1987 with gritty 2-1 win over Pacifica; Pasadena Poly gets past Capo Valley Chr. 11-7; Maranatha falls on the road to Oak Hills, 7-4.

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

GARDEN GROVE — There was a perfect balance of brilliance, clutch-through performances and steady poise Friday afternoon from the Arcadia High School baseball team.

KJ Edson was brilliant on just two days rest, epitomizing true durability and consistency for the second-seeded Apaches.

Greg Papavasiliou was clutch, time and again proving that the No. 7 hitter is also dangerous task, in front of a standing-room-only crowd and on the road at Pacifica High, no less.

Erik Trask was steady, never succumbing to pressure in the biggest game of his career.

The junior right-hander delivered when called upon, culminating a strong outing with a strikeout to end a standoff to send the Apaches to their first semifinals trip since 1987 with a 2-1 win over Pacifica in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 playoffs.

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Baseball: Arcadia makes its deepest playoff run in 24 years, visits Pacifica; Maranatha hits the road against Oak Hills; Pasadena Poly hosts Capo Valley Christian. Check back for scores later. Can the WSGV go 3 for 3?

We will have reporters at every game today. I’ll make the drive to Orange County and cover Arcadia at Pacifica of Garden Grove. As soon as I land at the nearest Starbucks I’ll post results along with final scores of the other games. Our Clay Fowler at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin will cover Maranatha at Oak Hills of Hesperia and our Nathan Cambridge will cover Capo Valley Christian at Pasadena Poly.

CIF-SS PLAYOFFS
TODAY’S QUARTERFINALS
ALL GAMES 3:15 P.M.
DIVISION 2

Arcadia at Pacifca/GG
DIVISION 5
Maranatha at Oak Hills
DIVISION 6
Capistrano Valley Christian at Pasadena Poly

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

The last and only time the Arcadia High School baseball team won a CIF-Southern Section championship was in 1965 under Lani Exton in Division IV-A, then the highest division.

The Apaches also reached the finals the year before. But after consecutive finals appearances, Arcadia went 13 years before making its next finals in 1978 and needed another nine years before reeling off another deep run to the semifinals in 1987.

Since then, success in the playoffs has eluded the Apaches. Mike Parisi never got past the second round in four years at the helm, and Sean McCorry didn’t either following Parisi in three years as coach.

Four painful postseasons saw coach Nick Lemas and Arcadia bounced in the first round.

His fifth season has proven to be more fortunate as the Apaches make their deepest playoff run in 24 years when they visit Pacifica of Garden Grove today at 3:15 p.m. in Division 2 quarterfinal action.

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Softball: La Caada heads back to the semifinals with 8-1 win over Katella; Mayfield falls to Kern Valley, 4-2.

MAYFIELD STORY: One close play is all it took to decide the fate of the Mayfield Senior School softball team on Thursday afternoon. Josie Luck was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a passed ball and host Kern Valley scored a 4-2 victory in the CIF-Southern Section Division 6 quarterfinals. (CLICK ON THREAD TO READ STORY)

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE – The last time La Caada trailed in a game was just over a month ago.

And much like they did then, the Spartans, albeit trailing just 1-0 this time, showed resilience and were unfazed while playing from behind.

Megan Siepler’s three-run double in the second inning was all La Caada needed as Lauren O’Leary took care of the rest by going the distance in the circle and striking out 10 in the Spartans’ 8-1 victory over Katella on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 playoffs.

The top-seeded Spartans (24-3) make their second semifinals appearance Tuesday when they host South El Monte.

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Playoffs: Edson, Benson and Kim power Arcadia to 5-2 win over Alemany; Maranatha wins in the bottom of the seventh; La Salle’s rally comes up short against defending champion Palm Desert; La Caada softball wins, San Marino loses; Mayfield wins 1-0 in 10

CIF-SS PLAYOFFS
BASEBALL
SECOND ROUND SCORES
DIVISION 2

Arcadia 5, Alemany 2
DIVISION 4
Palm Desert 5, La Salle 4
DIVISION 5
Maranatha 5, Campbell 4
DIVISION 6
Pasadena Poly 15, Crean Lutheran 0

SOFTBALL
SECOND ROUND SCORES
DIVISION 5

La Canada 7, Hemet 0
Katella 3, Keppel 0
South El Monte 8, Duarte 3
Arroyo 3, San Marino 1
DIVISION 6
Rim of the World 3, Flintridge Prep 1
Citrus Valley 8, San Gabriel Mission 3
Mayfield 1, Carpinteria 0, 10 inn.

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BREAKING NEWS: Duarte wins protest, to play South El Monte in Tuesday’s second round playoff game.

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer

The CIF-Southern Section forfeited Alhambra High School’s 3-2 softball victory over Duarte after the Falcons protested Thursday’s Division 5 first-round game, alleging the Moors conducted illegal pre-game batting practice, which is against CIF playoff policy.
Duarte and Alhambra school officials met with CIF-SS representatives on Monday in Cerritos, and Duarte provided a video of the alleged incident for CIF officials to review.
After completing interviews and gathering information, the CIF-SS ruled that an illegal batting practice took place, and per CIF policy, forfeited Alhambra’s victory to Duarte.
Duarte (20-3), the fourth seed, advances to Tuesday’s second round at South El Monte (14-10) at 3:15 p.m.

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE SOUTHERN SECTION OFFICE:

LOS ALAMITOS – The CIF Southern Section has removed the Alhambra High School Girls Softball Team for a violation of playoff rules as it regards batting practice.

The violation occurred prior to a Division 5 first-round game on May 19 versus Duarte High School at Duarte.

The CIF-SS Soft ball Playoff Bulletin states the following:

BATTING PRACTICE- Includes bunting or slap hittimg. Teams entered in the softball playoff s WILL NOT be permit ed to take batting practice on the day of the scheduled contest. Batting practice will be construed as any type of pitching motion with ANY type of ball from in front of the batter (including pitching machines, underhand tossing, overhand throwing or pepper). THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE BATTING WARMUP WILL BE SIDE SOFT TOSS.

The player who tosses the ball should be on a knee and to the side of the batter. The ball should be lifted, not pitched, to the batter. THE PENALTY FOR BATTING PRACTICE WITH WIFFLE BALL, SOFTBALL, BASEBALL, ETC. MAY BE FORFEITURE OF GAME. It was determined after meeting with representatives to both schools and receiving video tape and officials statements that a violation had occurred and the violation was such as to warrant the removal from the playoff s of the Alhambra team. Duarte will now move on to a second-round contests tomorrow at South El Monte High School.

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Boys Volleyball: San Gabriel rally falls short in fourth game, loses top seed Santa Monica, 3-1, in CIF-Southern Section Division 4 Championship game.

CYPRESS — San Gabriel got off to a roaring start to win the first game, but couldn’t finish off Santa Monica in the second game despite holding the Vikings by the ropes, and the Matadors’ rally came up short in the fourth game as Santa Monica won 22-25, 28-26, 25-21, 25-23 on Saturday afternoon at Cypress College. San Gabriel was led by Kevin Quach who had 19 kills. Richard Zheng had nine kills and Harrison Tang had eight kills and six blocks. It was San Gabriel’s second CIF finals appearance. Santa Monica won its first title since winning it in 2006. San Gabriel’s season is not over. The Matadors likely will be selected to play in the CIF State Southern California Regional playoffs when the brackets are announced Sunday. First-round action is Tuesday.

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Baseball: Maranatha rides fifth inning momentum, beats Citrus Valley, 2-0; University stuns third-seed Alhambra, 2-0; Pasadena Poly’s bats come alive as Matt Saeta belts two home runs to beat Bloomington Christian, 11-0.

CIF-SS PLAYOFFS
BASEBALL
TODAY’S FIRST ROUND SCORE
DIVISION 3

University 2, Alhambra 0
DIVISION 5
Maranatha 2, Citrus Valley 0
Cathedral 6, Duarte 3
DIVISION 6
Pasadena Poly 11, Bloomington Christian 0

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Baseball: Sense of continuity starts with Gewecke; Alhambra, Pasadena Poly host first-round action today.

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

The secret behind the Alhambra High School baseball program’s success really is no secret.

There’s a strong sense of continuity that starts with Moors coach Steve Gewecke, who has been at the helm 15 seasons. It starts with Gewecke at the top and trickles down from his assistants (Chris Cosbey, Rick Cosbey, Shawn Clingan, Colin Danielsen, Kevin Heaton) to his junior varsity staff (Roland Ortiz, Alex Perez) and freshman coach (Eric Felix).

Gewecke’s varsity staff has a combined 52 years of experience. Ortiz and Perez have been coaching the junior varsity level for 12 seasons. Felix, a 2009 Alhambra graduate, is a former pitcher who understands exactly how Gewecke runs his program.

Felix begins the process.

“He knows what I like to do and how I work,” Gewecke said. “He’s on the road to becoming a really good coach. I’m hopeful he’ll be a teacher and a coach.”

Ortiz and Perez spot tendencies and develop the junior varsity team. By the time they get to Gewecke and his staff, it’s a refined group that inevitably breeds success. It’s a process that’s developed seven consecutive Almont League championships, a dominance that’s a testament to Gewecke’s meticulous management.

The fruits of their labor will be on display today at 3:15 p.m. when the Moors (22-3) host University High (17-11) of Irvine in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs at Moor Field.

“It’s a big staff but everybody’s busy,” Gewecke said. “The kids play very hard and they practice very hard. Our whole staff has taken part in that. I might holler a little bit, but our staff handles it all so well.”

The discipline the coaches instilled is evident in practice.

“If we’re not playing well or practicing well, the kids do a good job of picking it up themselves,” Gewecke said.

Alhambra enters the playoffs having won 22 of its final 23 games, including a 12-game winning streak to end the regular season.

Frankie Wright (10-1, 0.51 ERA) and Gary Acuna (7-2, 1.52 ERA) have garnered attention after combining for four no-hitters this season. But the consistency is not limited to the mound.

There’s a strong supporting cast with junior Juan Crespo leading the team in batting (.440) and triples (3) and junior Juan Morales (.394, seven doubles) adding more punch to the lineup.

But numbers don’t always show the kind of productivity Gewecke can be proud of. Sophomore Nathan Qui ones brings qualities to the team that haven’t gone overlooked. Qui ones took over at second base midway through the season and has made an impression.

“He doesn’t have the numbers, but in terms of leadership he’s a guy you wanna have on your team,” Gewecke said. “He became the vocal leader you want to have on any team.”

Alhambra is the No. 3 seed and considered a strong contender in Division 3.

No surprise why.

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Baseball: La Salle moves on with win over Covina, 3-2.

By John Honell, Correspondent

COVINA – Taking advantage of the only error in the game, La Salle High School knocked Covina out of the CIF-Southern Section baseball playoffs for the second consecutive season.

The Lancers (18-10) scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning, two of them unearned, and came from behind to beat the Colts, 3-2, in a Division 4 first-round game Thursday.

“Playoff baseball is tough,” said coach John Agajanian, whose Lancers advance to Tuesday’s second round. “You can’t make mistakes. We’re all good teams that get in here and we took advantage of their only mistake.”

Steven Petrovich singled to lead off the fourth for the Lancers. Starting pitcher Bowdien Derby smashed a ground ball that looked like a double-play ball.

The throw hit Petrovich in the back to put runners on second and third. A groundout by John Auer scored the first run, then junior Chris Williams hit one over the left-center-field fence for two runs, which proved enough for Derby.

“I think that was just the baseball gods looking down on us,” Derby said. “We were able to get that throw and that sparked us. I was coming in from third and saw that ball go out and I started jumping up and down. I knew that run was all we needed for the W.”

Williams hit a 1-0 pitch for his sixth home run of the season.

“I just tried to drive it,” Williams said. “It happened to go out. In a playoff game, it has to be the best. After that, everything came on our side. It’s a great feeling.”

The error ruined a great pitching performance by Jason Martinez, who scattered four hits in the loss.

“They say it’s a game of inches,” Colts coach Pete Loaiza said. “A foot to the right and it’s a double play. Instead, they get three runs. I thought (Jason) was phenomenal. He did an unbelievable job and I’m sorry we didn’t win it for him.”

The Colts (16-11) jumped in front on a first-inning home run by Vinny Venegas. They scored again in the second on a double by Nick Simons, a hit batter, a sacrifice and a groundout, but that was it for the Colts as Derby struck out the side in the seventh.

“He (Derby) started off a little shaky,” Agajanian said. “He gathered himself and we’re used to that. He’s pretty good and he’s used to going all the way because he gets better as the game goes along.”

Derby, starting his first playoff game, appeared nervous at the start. He settled down, scattering five hits and striking out nine to improve to 10-1.

“It was hard for me to concentrate in school today,” Derby said. “I was a little stiff the first two innings but our defense made plays today and it was all downhill from there.”

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