BASEBALL PLAYOFFS: Locals start their title quests as pairings released on Monday …

By Keith Lair,

Staff Writer

Alhambra came oh so close to winning its first CIF-Southern Section baseball championship last year.

The Moors reached the Division 3 title game for the first time in 85 years, losing to Bonita, 5-1. The Almont League champions drop a division and head into the playoffs, and with the exception of Rio Hondo League teams, a somewhat unknown factor.

Being in different divisions, we’re facing teams we’ve never faced,” Alhambra coach Steve Gewecke said. “The matchups we’re playing, I had to look up where both schools are located.

Alhambra will face a wild-card entrant, Bishop Diego or Godinez, in Friday’s first-round game at Moor Field.

We’re not familiar with them and it’s obvious we get a chance to see an opponent and they cannot see us. It’s huge.”

Gewecke can only hope that the Moors, 19-6, make a magical run like last year.

A lot of things have to happen to make that kind of run,” Gewecke said. “The longer time goes, the more we can understand that. There are so many wild-card games than instead of 32 teams having a chance, now it’s 48 teams that can make a run.

If we’re playing our best baseball… If we can put our No. 2 and No. 3 pitchers on our shoulders, we have a chance.”

Alhambra’ s issue this season has been hitting.

We get the ball in the air too much,” he said. “We can’t put a finger on it. If we get better at-bats and with our pitching being very good and because our defense is also very good, we can do it. Some of our pitchers give up less than a run a game so all we have to do is scratch one or two runs out.”

Twelve west San Gabriel Valley teams earned berths into the playoffs. Four teams will play wild-card games today.

Arcadia has a home game against Pioneer Valley and Pasadena plays at Santa Barbara in Division 2. Fullerton plays at San Marino in Division 4 and Marshall is at Santa Paula in Division 6.

First-round games in divisions 5 and 7 are on Thursday with the five other divisions playing on Friday. The quarterfinals are scheduled for May 24, semifinals May 28 and finals, if any area teams advance, on June 1 at UC Riverside. The CIF-SS’s top three divisions will play at Dodger Stadium on May 31.

Prep League champion Flintridge Prep earned the lone seed from the west valley. The 15-8 Rebels will play the wild-card winner between Marshall and Santa Paula at the Glendale Sports Complex in Division 6. 

Rio Hondo League champion La Canada also drew a Division 4 wild-card team and will face today’s winner between Barstow and host California. La Sierra will play at Monrovia on Thursday. 

The lone area matchup will be Duarte at Olympic League champion Maranatha in Division 5. The game has been tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday at Robinson Field.

In another Division 6 game, Bloomington Christian plays at Pasadena Poly. In Division 7, Southwestern Academy is at Avalon and St. Monica will play host to Marywood.


Division 2 

Tuesday’s Wild-Card Round

Pioneer Valley at Arcadia

Pasadena at Santa Barbara

Division 4

Tuesday’s Wild-Card Round

Fullerton at San Marino

Friday’s First Round

Barstow/California winner at La Canada

La Serna at Monrovia (Thursday)

Bishop Diego/Godinez winner at Alhambra

Division 5 

Thursday’s First Round

Duarte at Maranatha

Division 6

Tuesday’s Wild-Card Round

Marshall at Santa Paula

Friday’s First Round

Marshall/Santa Paula winner at Flintridge Prep

Bloomington Chr. at Pasadena Poly, 4 p.m.

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  • Insomniac

    Can we get a thread for softball?