SGV at its Best: Northview and San Dimas deliver another Classic, Vikings win in nine innings, 4-3

Northview, getting a solid outing from Ruben Ramirez, above, took a major step
towards a fourth Valle Vista League title with a 4-3 victory over San Dimas on Thursday.

Northview just continues to deliver, and now they are getting the production for the most unlikely of candidates.
Catcher and No. 9 hitter Arman Valenzuela hit Erik Salcido’s first pitch for home run with one out in the ninth inning and the Vikings took a major step towards their fourth consecutive Valle Vista League title with a 4-3 victory over the visiting Saints in a battle of two of the top three teams the area on Thursday.
Northview, getting a solid 3 1/3 innings of relief from Eddie Pedroza, improved to 15-4 overall and took over first place with a 9-1 league record. San Dimas, which got a two-run home run from Matt Thrall to tie it at 3 in the sixth, slipped to 15-5, 9-2.
Northview closes the regular season with home-and-home series against Ganesha and Covina and a home game against Pomona.
Northview coach Darren Murphy: “You don’t really expect your (No. 9) hitter to hit the walk-off homerun to win it, but we like storybook endings. I’m not much an author. I’ll take it whatever way it happens.
“Sometimes, it’s better to be the team (that does the catching), because when you do, you have all that momentum going. But I feel like we let a three-run lead go. I think for the most part, they had the momentum for about three or four innings. We were on our heels. We had to make some big plays, Eddie made some big pitches. But we escaped and got out of here, got out of here with a win. That’s a heckuva team. They are going to make a run in the playoffs, too.”
San Dimas coach Mike Regan (on his coach’s interference in the eighth): “I don’t have anything to say. I made a mistake. The kids played great and I screwed up.”
Northview’s Arman Valenzuela: I knew he was going to throw that fastball. I didn’t think he was going to leave it up, because he got me with it the last (at-bat). But he came back with that same pitch, I put a good swing on it and let it go. I was trying to get a gap hit, but I got it up and got a (homerun).”

Today’s games
Montview League

Sierra Vista 10, Bassett 0
Azusa at Duarte, 3:15 p.m.
Workman at Gladstone, 3:15 p.m.
Valle Vista League
San Dimas at Northview, 3:15 p.m.
Pomona at Baldwin Park, 3:15 p.m.
Covina at Ganesha, 3:15 p.m.
Sierra League
Damien at Ayala, 3:15 p.m.
Chino 5, Diamond Bar 3
Chino Hills at Glendora, 3:15 p.m.

CIF-Southern Section Polls
Division II - 1. El Toro, 2. Yucaipa, 3. Upland, 4. Notre Dame, 5. Palos Verdes, 6. Chino, 7. Foothill, 8. Damien, 9. Arcadia, 10. San Luis Obispo
Division III - 1. Beckman, 2. Gahr, 3. Bonita, 4. Hemet, 5. South Hills, 6. Alhambra, 7. Downey, 8. Charter Oak, 9. San Gorgonio, 10. Laguna Hills.
Division IV – 1. Bishop Amat, 2. Northview, 3. San Dimas, 4. La Quinta, 5. Palm Desert, 6. Torrance, 7. Fullerton, 8. El Segundo, 9. Anaheim, 10. Colony.
Division V – 1. San Jacinto, 2. Santa Ynez, 3. Maranatha, 4. Calvary Chapel, 5. Campbell Hall, 6. Gladstone, 7. Woodcrest Christian, 8. Citrus Hills, 9. Cabrillo, 10. Linfield Christian.

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Championship Week: Los Altos moves closer to Miramonte League league title, beats Bonita, 3-1

Los Altos reigning player of the year Diana-lynn Patterson struck out eight and scattered four hits to lead the Conquerors to a 3-1 victory (just as predicted) over Bonita this afternoon to take over control of the Miramonte League title race. Bonita scored first when Jacki Campa’s double skipped past the left-fielder, allowing her to round third and go all the way home for a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Los Altos freshman Justine Zavala doubled home the go-ahead run in the second, and the Conq’s added a run in the seventh to secure the victory.

Miramonte League Softball title
CIF-Southern Section Division III

No. 10 Los Altos at No. 3 Bonita, 3:15 p.m.
Prediction: Nothing would surprise me about today’s outcome. At this point, I don’t think the players need any extra motivational speeches, they should be fired up and emotions will be high, even for the spectators who hopefully remain civil and act with class no matter what happens. Games like this usually come down to experience and preparation, and Los Altos has both. The Conquerors are the defending champs and have played a tougher schedule. In case anybody missed it, they did just beat powerful Mater Dei. Bonita is by far the area’s most improved team, but if I’m picking the winner, Los Altos is still the better team. Prediction: Los Altos 3, Bonita 1.

Feature on Diamond Bar sophomore standout Stephany LaRosa

Today’s games:
Del Rey League

St. Joseph’s at Bishop Amat, 3:15 p.m.
Miramonte League
Los Altos at Bonita, 3:15 p.m.
Diamond Ranch at Charter Oak, 3:15 p.m.
Montview League
Duarte at Sierra Vista, 3:15 p.m.
La Puente at Azusa, 3:15 p.m.
Bassett at Workman, 3:15 p.m.
Sierra League
Chino Hills at Glendora, 3:15 p.m.
Chino at Diamond Bar, 3:15 p.m.
St. Lucy’s at Ayala, 3:15 p.m.

CIF-SS Softball Rankings
Division III – 1. Tesoro, 2. Oaks Christian, 3. Bonita, 4. Patriot, 5. Crescenta Valley, 6. Chino Hills, 7. Cajon, 8. Downey, 9. Ayala, 10. Los Altos. (Where is Glendora, this is beyond ridiculous).
Division IV – 1. Ocean View, 2. El Segundo, 3. St. Joseph’s, 4. Segerstrom, 5. Santa Monica, 6. Torrance, 7. Aquinas, 8. Bishop Amat, 9. Morro Bay, 10. Buena.
Division V – 1. Woodcrest Christian, 2. Whittier Christian, 3. Village Christian, 4. Calvary Murrieta, 5. San Jacinto, 6. San Dimas, 7. Riverside Christian, 8. Sierra Vista, 9. La Canada, 10. Walnut.
Division VI – 1. La Salle, 2. Maranatha, 3. Marymount, 4. South El Monte, 5. Ramona Convent, 6. Oxford Academy, 7. Grace Brethren, 8. Campbell Hall, 9. Arroyo, 10. Marlborough.

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Championship Week: Charter Oak 6, Bonita 3

There was a time when Jake Bailey had solidified his spot in the Charter Oak High School baseball team’s starting line-up do his ability behind the plate.
But Wednesday the senior catcher showed he can be quite effective either behind the dish, or beside it.
Bailey hit two home runs and went 3 for 3 with five RBIs and the Chargers took over first place in the Miramonte League with a 6-3 victory over visiting Bonita in a battle of two of the top teams in the area.
Charter Oak, also getting a complete game from freshman Travis Santiago, improved to 14-6 overall and 6-2 in league play. Bonita, which will get a second, and final shot at the Chargers on Friday, slipped to 14-5 and 6-3.

Charter Oak catcher Jake Bailey: “I just had a lucky day. We had a freshman pitcher going today and I was just trying to give him some support. I wouldn’t say they were (mistake pitches). They were pretty good pitches. I got some good swings on them. (Bonita’s Jason Plowman) is one of their aces, so I wouldn’t say they were mistakes. They were pretty good pitches. I just got lucky.”
Charter Oak coach Tom Quinley: “We’ve put (freshman pitcher Travis Santiago) in some tough situations this year. I said (earlier) that he grew up. Well, today, he really grew up. He threw one heckuva game today.
Bonita coach John Knott:
“You have to give (Bailey) all the credit. He had two quality at-bats when they needed them. Their entire line-up hit the ball off Plowman really well, and obviously Bailey had two big hits.
“Friday’s going to determine our fate, our involvment in this league here. We’re just going to have to hit the ball better and ultimately play a better game, and come out with a little better energy and fire.”

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Baseball: Start thinking about All-Area teams

Since I asked the question in softball, I’m asking in baseball too. Start thinking of player of the year and first-team all area honorees. In all my years doing this, this could be the toughest of all. There are so many deserving players to choose from. You could come up with a solid first team all area’s just from the Sierra League alone. Of course the CIF playoffs will have a lot to do with it, but who are your leading candidates to this point. Go ahead and fill in the blanks, and make your arguments.
Player of the year: ?
First team
Pitcher: (2); Catcher: (1); Infielders: (4); Outfielder: (3); Utility: (1)

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Jacob Shirley’s appeal denied, South Hills standout must sit out the rest of the season

Highly regarded junior shortstop/pitcher Jacob Shirley, who transferred from West Covina to South Hills high school over the summer, lost his appeal to the CIF-state appeals board and will be ineligible the rest of the baseball season. As its policy, the state had no comment. Shirley will be eligible for high school participation in the fall, but has not decided whether he will play football again. He was a starter on West Covina high’s football team as a sophomore, but hasn’t played since. CIF-Southern Section commissioner of athletics James Staunton handed down the initial ruling, explaining that Shirley’s transfer was “athletically motivated.”

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Another Instant Classic: Northview wins 7-6, rallying from 6-4 down in the seventh

“We were three-outs away from relinquishing a league title we have won three years in a row. But the the heart of a champion came out. If you’re going to beat us, you have to knock us out. They knocked us down a couple times today but we kept getting back up.” — Northview coach Darren Murphy.

“They went up, we fought back, they went up, we fought back, that’s Northview-San Dimas. I love my guys. We will come back on Thursday with the same guys and do it again. We’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves, that’s for sure.” San Dimas coach Mike Regan.

Game story: While the San Dimas High School baseball team ponders how it unraveled and loosened its grip on the Valle Vista League title chase, three-time defending league champion Northview found what it has desperately been searching for.
After scoring two runs to tie the score in the seventh inning, the Vikings pushed an unearned run across in the eighth inning to win it, 7-6. “”The swagger and the heart came back to life today,” explained Vikings coach Darren Murphy. “It always seems like it takes a do-or-die situation to bring out the best in us.”

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Baseball Rankings: Bishop Amat holds steady, but San Dimas is knocking on the door

Baseball top ten rankings
1. Bishop Amat (16-5) – The CIF-SS Division IV’s top-ranked Lancers split a pair last week, losing to Long Beach Wilson then beating Lakewood, 12-6. Are they still the area’s best team? Yes, but it’s getting closer.
2. San Dimas (15-3) - – This is where we disagree with the Division IV polls. We think San Dimas deserves to be ahead of Northview because of their head-to-head win over the Vikes. Of course, that could all change this week in the much antcipated head-to-head series with the Vikings.
3. Northview (13-4) – We will find out what the Vikings are made of this week. Did competing in the National Classic prepare them for the must-win games they face this week and down the line in the playoffs? We’re about to find out.
4. Bonita (14-4) – By this time of year I expected the Bearcats to be crushing teams and running away with the Miramonte League title. It hasn’t happened, and another loss against a so-so Los Altos team makes you wonder. But hey, on paper you can’t argue with this group.
5. Glendora (13-6) – After a split with Diamond Bar and Damien, I still think the Tartans are the best of the three, but it’s so close. The Tartans impressive run in reaching the final of their own tournament and winning the Arcadia tournament will pay dividends down the stretch.
6. Damien (15-5) – How impressive has new coach Leyva been? They beat a very good Chino team and split with Glendora, leaving them in a three-way tie for second with Glendora and Diamond Bar. This race will continue to go back and forth until the end.
7. Charter Oak (13-6) – Losing Tiffany, their shorstop/pitcher and captain, is going to hurt. The Chargers were one of those teams that couldn’t afford injuries, so I’m guessing this plays a big role in the home-and-home against Bonita this week.
8. South Hills (12-7) – The Huskies closed out the week with a 6-2 loss to Alemany. They still lead the San Antonio, but the question of late is what’s happening with pitcher Jacob Shirley? He was declared ineligible when the season started, but his appeal should be heard any day now.
9. Diamond Bar (11-8) – The Brahmas are at No. 9 for now but can jump and jump quick if they go on a run the final two weeks. They can play with anyone and get beat by anyone. Either way, it sure is fun to watch.
10. Nogales (16-7-1) – There are two kinds of Nobles teams, the one when Andrew Melchor pitches, and the average Nobles when he doesn’t. The one with Melchor can beat anyone, which is going to make them a dangerous playoff opponent.

Did you know: That San Dimas center fielder Tim Brookes had a game for the history books. In a 20-4 win over Covina, Brookes hit two grand slams and finished with nine RBIs, which was the most RBIs in a single game in more than 20 years. His nine RBIs ties him with Rio Hondo Prep’s Jim Key (1977) and Don Lugo’s Bob Malins (1978) for second all-time in the CIF-SS record books for RBIs in a single game. Only Calvary Baptist’s Eddie Martinez had more, setting the record with 11 in 1977.

Baseball Standings and Schedules
Del Rey League
Miramonte League
Mission Valley League
Montview League
San Antonio League
Sierra League
Valle Vista League

<a href="">MaxPreps High School Sports</a>

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Girls Softball rankings: Glendora holds on to No. 1, but Los Altos is making a strong argument

Girls Softball top ten rankings
1. Glendora (14-2) – Out of respect for winning the San Dimas and Charter Oak tournaments, and for beating every area team that’s challenged them, the Tartans remain on top despite Los Altos’ big result over the weekend. It wasn’t just the win over San Dimas, it was how easily they did it.
2. Los Altos (12-5) – Oh my goodness, this is what I’m talking about, quality wins. I almost jumped the Conq’s to No. 1 simply because when you defeat powerful Mater Dei, 4-3, that’s making a statement. The Monarchs were the No. 4 team in Division I, and they beat their No. 1 pitcher Matthews in the process on Saturday in the Santiago tournament. Forget the 14-5 loss to Bishop Amat afterward, Patterson was sick and didn’t pitch. The swagger is back.
3. Bonita (16-3-1) – After easy wins over Diamond Ranch and Wilson, the Bearcats have one more tune-up against Charter Oak before hosting Los Altos on Thursday in the most anticipated softball game of the year. I’ll hold my prediction until then.
4. San Dimas (15-4) – It is clear the Saints are not ready for the top three but still a strong number four. I wonder what an 8-0 loss to Glendora will do to their confidence? They had a chance to prove they belonged with the area’s heavyweights, but played like it was their first game of the season.
5. Bishop Amat (12-11) – They defeat Los Altos without Diana-Lynn Patterson, which isn’t the same as beating Los Altos but still a nice result. The big win came in a 2-1 win over St. Paul.
6. South El Monte (12-6) – Reina Gaber is tough as nails, in the circle, at the plate, she can do it all. But South El Monte still loses games that make you go hommm, like that one to Ontario Christian
7. Sierra Vista (13-3) – How impressive is it that the Dons have compiled this record without standout pitcher Brittney Flores in the circle most of the season. This is a dangerous Div. V team is she’s healthy.
8. Walnut (12-6) – I know they lead the San Antonio, which is an improving league, but not there yet. What’s disturbing is a 2-0 loss to Diamond Bar, which shows outside of league, San Antonio teams still struggle.
9. South Hills (10-7-1) – The Huskies were idle last week, but overall record is encouraging.
10. Northview (9-7) – Not the same dominating Vikes, but a big win over rival Covina basically ties them for second with the Colts behind San Dimas. And since the Vikes won the recent head-to-head with the Colts, they land at No. 10.

Softball Standings and Schedules
Del Rey League
Miramonte League
Mission Valley League
Montview League
San Antonio League
Sierra League
Valle Vista League

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Canada’s mom speaks out

Miguel Melendez posted this quote from Gala Canada, who is the mother of Jordan and Jaime Canada. Jordan and Jaime left Duarte High and are now enrolled at South Hills. With so such speculation surrounding her son’s transfers, Gala Canada contacted the newspaper to give her reasons for the move. Melendez left messages for Duarte officials seeking reaction, and if they choose to do so, we will give you their response.

“I need to make the statement clear, that’s partially the reason,” said Gala Canada in reference to the firing of coach Wardell Crutchfield, who has since been replaced by Tip Sanders. “That’s the only reason (Jordan and Jaime) were at Duarte was because of Wardell, but they’re leaving for a number of things. The athletic programs need help and someone needs to look at that. I have spoken to (Duarte) principal (Eric Barba) and athletic director (Robyn Garcia). The program needs a lot of help. I volunteered all last year to bring as much assistance I could, but I’m one person. They didn’t leave just because of the firing. We love coach Crutchfield but this (lack of support) started last year with the principal. This has been going on for a long time and I’ve had enough. (South Hills) had a little bit of everything. I looked at a lot of schools. This wasn’t just a decision we were going to make out of the blue. There was research that went into it and I evaluated a lot of schools.”

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Softball: If you took away the pitcher, who has the area’s best team?

While discussing all-area and player of the year on another thread, you realize how important a dominating pitcher is to the success of your team. But let me ask you this: If you took away the pitcher from the equation, who has the best softball team in the area? Who is the most complete from a defensive and offensive standpoint. In other words, using reigning player of the year Diana-Lynn Patterson as an example, if you put Patterson on (blank) team, they would become the best in the area.

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Steve Ramirez: Say it ain’t so, Brigham Harwell signs with the hated Washington Redskins

Above: Former Area Player of the Year Brigham Harwell
signed with the Washington Redskins.

There was good news and bad news over the weekend, at least for this reporter, who is a fan of our former area stars. The good was that after failing to be picked in the seven rounds of the NFL Draft, 2003 Area Player of the Year Brigham Harwell of Los Altos signed a free-agent contract. The bad news, at least for this reporter, who is fan of the Dallas Cowboys, was that he inked with the hated Washington Redskins, and will turn his blue and gold in for cardinal and gold. Here’s the rest of my post on the Prep Stars: Where are you now? blog.
Also I have news on Damien’s Freddie Brown and Ian Johnson, Charter Oak’s Aaron Perez and Bret Lockett. All will get their shot in the NFL.

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The Aram Tolegian anniversary tour: Looking back at the resurrection of Bishop Amat football

As we celebrate the fourth-anniversary of the blog originator, Aram Tolegian, we’re looking back at some of his best topics throughout his one-year plus reign on the blog (2006-07), which brought out the best and worst of bloggers. On July 2, 2006, Aram wrote the five things Bishop Amat needed to do to turnaround its football program. It’s interesting how everything has unfolded since, and fun to look back now. At the time, Mark Verti was replacing Mike DiFiori after the Lancers went 6-4, but were 2-3 in the Serra league and missed the playoffs. Here is Aram’s No. 1, click the thread for 4-5.

Aram, July 2, 20061 . Hire a name coach – This one is completely off the books now, but it’s worth repeating. I am not saying Mark Verti isn’t going to do a good job. Nobody has a clue about him yet. But the school had a wide open door of opportunity after Mike DiFiori resigned, and they hired from within. Great.
Verti could either be the find of a lifetime or a 20-something-year-old gamble that sends Amat fans off the deep end. Not exactly the predicament most fans wanted to be in, but hey. Here’s the thing Verti has going for him. His youth can be played two ways. He’s either too young to handle such a position or he’s the young guy who relates to the players. No matter how you feel about himt, Verti is a former UCLA football player and he’s got that on any other local coach. He knows what it takes to go from Amat to the big-time. He can wield his connections to the next level as something that gets kids to Amat because the coach can help them to the next level.
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The releaguing appeals process; a note from CIF commisioner of athletics, Jim Staunton

Note: South Hills, Charter Oak, Glendora and Rowland have filed appeals to the recent Mt. SAC area realignment. Here is a note today from CIFSS-Commissioner Jim Staunton on what happens next.

The nine areas in Southern Section are finalizing their area configurations for the 2010-2014 releaguing cycle. The Section office recognizes that there may be schools dissatisfied with their placement. In accordance with Bluebook Article 3, Rule 32.5, number 2, the appeal process shall begin with a hearing before the Releaguing Committee. Any school seeking an appeal “is directed to forward a copy of the appeal to the CIF Southern Section office, a copy to the Area Releaguing Chairperson(s) and a copy to the principals of all schools assigned to the respective area(s). The appeal committee will meet May 6, 2009, beginning at 10:00 a.m. to hear appeals in the Southern Section office. Continue reading, click thread

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Softball: With a couple weeks left in the season, start filling in the blanks for All-Area

First-team all-area and especially player of the year is a tight race. Hey, it’s always a tight race. Last year Los Altos’ Diana-Lynn Patterson won player of the year with Northview’s Hannah Fraijo a close second. Will Patterson go back-to-back, or will it be someone else? Who will fill out the rest of our first team? Go ahead and fill in the blanks, and make your arguments.
Player of the year: ?
First team
Pitcher: (2); Catcher: (1); Infielders: (4); Outfielder: (3); Utility: (1)

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