Should high school baseball playoffs be a double elimination tournament? It goes to vote in October. Or, is a state tourney better?

The CIF-Southern Section executive committee is against a proposal on the table that would produce a double-elimination format for the high school baseball playoffs, but the proposal is gaining momentum among Southern Section coaches. The Southern Section council will vote on the double elimination proposal in October. If this format is eventually adopted and used next season, is it a good idea? I’m not so sure, it would create a marathon postseason, the cost would be expensive for schools and quite frankly, I love the suspense of a one-and-done tournament. I’m in the minority, however. Every coach I have spoken with is in support of it, which is no surprise because it’s very doable and would crown more of a true champion. How the double-elimination would work is still up for discussion, but in the proposal sent to CIF, the only one-and-done would be wild card games. Once those are completed and a 32-team field is set, the first round is broken into four groups of eight who play a double elimination tournament the first week and a half. The second stage would take the four semifinal winners and have the top half and bottom half of the bracket each play a two-out-of three to determine who advances to the championship. The final could be another two-out-of-three or a one-and-done final. The format might have to be tinkered with if approved, but is a double-elimination a good idea? What I would suggest is starting the CIF playoffs a week early and having a Southern California regional tournament, which would crown a true champion of all the divisions. You could take the seven division champs and one at large and have a Southern California tournament right after the CIF championships, and you could do it in a week. Any thoughts on this?

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Playoffs: Baseball/Softball, second-round schedule

Are you as surprised as I that there are only six area baseball teams in the second round? The Valley took a hit in the wild card and first round. Kind of interesting the Montview, Del Rey and Sierra are the only area leagues with two teams left. The Valle Vista is the only league not to advance a team to the second round, when was the last time that happened? The usual heavyweights, South Hills and Glendora, didn’t make it past the first weekend either. But I’ll tell you what, the area is still on track to win a couple titles, and you know who I’m talking about. In softball, the biggest surprise on paper are St. Lucys and Azusa, but they do have one thing in common, great pitching, and this is the playoffs. Regents pitcher Danielle O’Toole is zeroed in and sharp as ever, and if you haven’t seen Azusa pitcher Veronica Ramirez, you’re missing out. She could pitch for any of the area’s top teams, and is finishing her senior year in style. Softball advanced nine teams to the next round and six have home games Tuesday. Now, the tough job, what games do we cover?

Photo: Azusa pitcher Veronica Ramirez

CIF-Southern Section Playoffs
Tuesday’s second round
Baseball

Tuesday’s second round
Division 2

Damien at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, 3:15 p.m.
Chino Hills at Etiwanda, 3:15 p.m.
Division 3
Bonita at Northwood, 3:15 p.m.
Division 4
Bishop Amat vs. St. Bonaventure at Ventura College, 3:15 p.m.
Division 5
Oak Hills at La Puente, 3:15 p.m.
Sierra Vista at Montclair Prep, 3:15 p.m.

Softball
Division 2
Bonita at La Mirada, 3:15 p.m.
Division 3
Highland at St. Lucy’s, 3:15 p.m.
Chino Hills at North Torrance, 3:15 p.m.
South Hills at Lakeside, 3:15 p.m.
Oak Park at Bishop Amat, 3:15 p.m.
Division 4
Ocean View at San Dimas, 3:15 p.m.
Division 5
Alhambra at South El Monte, 3:15 p.m.
Savanna at Azusa, 3:15 p.m.
San Marino at Arroyo, 3:15 p.m.

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Track: Remontay McClain sets records at CIF Finals, and Kylie Price doubles in 100 and 200; West Covina’s Beejay Lee scratches in 100

RESULTS: For immediate results of today’s CIF-SS finals races, click this link for RoyalResults.Com. Results are posted soon after races are completed.

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
The chase is on and the records are starting to fall.
Covina High School’s Remontay McClain took care of business at the CIF-Southern Section track and field championships at Cerritos College on Saturday, keeping his hopes alive of winning back-to-back state titles in the 100 and 200-meters by setting a Division 3 meet record in both events.
Although he was admittedly slow out of the block, McClain set a Division 3 record in the 100 meters, winning in 10.31 to break the 1998 meet record (10.36) set by Alemany’s Miguel Fletcher, while also running the second fastest 100 in the nation this season.
Just getting warmed up, McClain returned later and gave the crowd a show, coasting to victory in the 200 in 20.68, breaking the 1998 mark also set by Fletcher in 20.95, while also posting the fastest 200 in the country this season.
Next up is Friday’s Masters Meet and the State championship in Fresno that follows. (To continue click thread).

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You want a shot at La Verne Lutheran? Here’s your chance, they have a schedule to fill

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
La Verne Lutheran High School, best known for its back-to-back state champion boys basketball teams, will drop out of the Arrowhead League and go independent in all sports, pending CIF-Southern Section approval. The school, which boasts an enrollment of about 150 students, has decided to make the move because several of its sports programs have not been competitive in the Arrowhead League, and its boys basketball team has been simply too good.

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Baseball: Bonita wins 10-0 behind Garza’s two-hit shutout; Novelo leads Sierra Vista to 1-0 victory; Los Altos goes out, 7-3; La Puente wins 8-2

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Leave it to Bonita High School junior pitcher Justin Garza to add some intrigue to the final moments of a 10-0 blowout over visiting Bell Gardens in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs on Friday. Garza took a no-hitter into the seventh before giving up a one-out hit to Danny Romero, followed by another hit by the Lancers’ Ryan Arambula. Garza battled out of it to run his undefeated record to 12-0, throwing his seventh complete game and first shutout. (To continue click thread).

Grand Slam buries Los Altos: - The CIF-Southern Section baseball playoffs are about stepping up when it matters most. Enter Rialto High School’s Angel Perez and Angel Mariscal. Perez slugged a grand slam in the sixth inning and Perez hit a three-run home run in the seventh as the Knights rallied for a 7-3 victory over Los Altos on Friday in a Division 3 first-round game.

Sierra Vista’s Novelo shines again: Sierra Vista High School played its first-round, CIF-Southern Section Division 5 baseball playoff game like summer vacation was going to start after the final out. In a game that took 1 hour, 40 minutes, the Dons (20-4) scored without benefit of a hit for a 1-0 victory over West Valley (Hemet) on Friday afternoon.

Today’s CIF-SS Baseball Games
Division 3 first round results

Bonita 10, Bell Gardens 0
Rialto 7, Los Altos 3
Division 5
Sierra Vista 1, West Valley 0
La Puente 8, Desert Hot Springs 2
Cathedral 6, Duarte 3
Lompoc 4, Arroyo 0
Nipomo 3, Gladstone 1

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It never fails, Alhambra will likely forfeit after another illegal batting practice fiasco

I’ve gone on record many times saying I do not like the CIF-SS playoff rule that prohibits pre-game batting practice. Not that it’s a bad rule, but the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. Still, every year it happens, and it may have happened to Alhambra’s softball team in its 3-2 win over fourth-seed Duarte in the Division 5 playoffs opening round. In fact, if Duarte goes through with this, I don’t see how CIF couldn’t rule in the their favor after the comments from Alhambra coach John Zabala to our reporter immediately afterward: “We do it the way we always do,” Zabala said of the pregame warm- ups. “We take about five feet off to the side and we use wiffles. We kind of teach our girls that we get beat on the field.” That’s great that he’s honest, but honesty will likely result in a forfeit, which is a shame. I’ve always thought a more reasonable punishment would be to lose a home playoff game, a suspension of coach or players involved, and it you commit it again, you forfeit the next time. I just hate seeing players end their seasons, and in the case of seniors, their careers ending over something like this. I know I’m in the minority, most don’t agree with me on this, but I do agree with Zabala about one thing, you win on the field and you lose on the field. But it’s never that simple, right?

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APU is 1-1 at NAIA Tournament after two days

The Azusa Pacific University softball team, seeking the school’s first national title, is 1-1 after two days at the NAIA Tournament in Gulf Shores, Ala.
The Cougars, getting three hits from Angie Sprague (Charter Oak High School), Bekah Wiesser and Jac Harkey, opened with a 9-7 victory over St. Thomas on Thursday before dropping a heart-breaking 5-4 loss to host Mobile this morning. The Cougars led 4-0.
Azusa Pacific continues pool play against Oklahoma City at noon on Saturday. The winner likely advances to the double-elimination bracket, which begins on Monday.

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Baseball: Damien knocks off Glendora in shocker 6-4; South Hills goes down 8-3, Covina loses 3-2; Bishop Amat cruises 10-1 and San Dimas loses

By Steve Ramirez
For the Damien High School baseball team, nothing quite matches up with a win over rival Glendora, except when it comes in a CIF-Southern Section playoff game.
Kevin Hindes scored on an errant throw in the top of the sixth and Damien ousted 2010 Division 2 champion Glendora with a 6-4 victory over host Tartans in a first-round game on Thursday.
The Spartans, who didn’t play their rival during the regular season after Glendora was moved from the Sierra League to the Baseline League, improved to 16-12 and advanced to face either Crescenta Valley or Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks in Tuesday’s second round at a site to be determined.
Glendora, which won it’s first divisional title last season, finished 17-7-1.
“In order to get to the top, you want to go through the top,” Damien coach Al Leyva said. “They are a great team, well-coached with great players. It was a challenge for us, but it’s nice to get one on them. But more importantly, we just have to get ready for the next game.” (To continue click thread)

Covina loses: 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.

CIF-SS Playoffs
Thursday’s first-round results

Division 2
Damien 6, Glendora 4
Arroyo Grande 8, South Hills 3
Chino Hills 2, Peninsula 1, 8 innings
Division 4
La Salle 3, Covina 2
Chino 9, San Dimas 2
Bishop Amat 10, Ridgecrest Burroughs 1

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Softball: Amat advances with 3-0 win over Paramount; Bonita hangs on for 8-7 win; South Hills pounds California 9-2; St. Lucy’s shocks Burroughs 1-0 and San Dimas wins

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
South Hills story: South Hills High School softball coach Scott Fisch wasn’t too concerned when the Huskies finished the season with a split against Charter Oak, who didn’t make the playoffs. The Sierra League is that deep, and so is the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs, which made South Hills’ come-from-behind 9-2 victory over visiting California even more meaningful in Thursday’s first round. South Hills (18-7) advances to Tuesday’s second round against Lakeside, a 7-6 winner over Mira Costa at a site to be determined by a coin flip.


Protest?:Duarte lost 3-2 to Alhambra, but Duarte claims that Alhambra conducted an illegal pregame batting practice at protested. We will update with results tomorrow.

Diamond Bar ousted: The sophomore made just her second start of the year Thursday after returning from a meniscus tear and Valenzuela went the distance to lead Colton to a 3-2 victory at Diamond Bar in a CIF-SS Division 2 first-round playoff game.

Amat rolling: Perhaps Bishop Amat High School pitcher Natalie Sanchez was a little too good on Thursday afternoon. In addition to scoring a run and pitching a complete-game gem, Sanchez laced a shot that went foul and broke the front windshield on her mother’s car parked nearby. That’s about the only thing the senior did wrong in a 3-0 win over Paramount in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 softball playoffs.

West Covina falls: “When I went up there, my game plan was to hit it hard on the right side,” the junior outfielder said following Thursday’s 3-2, eight-inning victory over visiting West Covina. “Luckily, I hit it in the gap and did what I was supposed to do.”

Notes: Bishop Amat opens day with easy 3-0 win over Paramount; St. Lucy’s does it again, knocks off Burroughs 1-0 behind a solid performance from pitcher Danielle O’Toole, who threw a one-hit shutout … Courtney Gano has a big day in Bonita’s 8-7 cliffhanger; Britney Rodriguez had two doubles and Syndey La Follette hit a two-run homer in the Huskies’ 9-2 win over California and in Duarte’s 3-2 loss to Alhambra, Duarte is protesting over Alhambra’s alleged illegal pre-game batting practice. Our reporter, Keith Lair covered the game and says Duarte has a strong case…Long Beach Wilson won a thriller over West Covina, 3-2.

CIF-Southern Section Playoffs
Today’s first-round

Division 2
Long Beach Wilson 3, West Covina 2
Colton 3, Diamond Bar 2
Cajon 1, Los Altos 0
Bonita 8, Ontario 7
Division 3
St. Lucy’s 1, Burroughs 0
Chino Hills 3, Quartz Hill 0
South Hills 9, California 2
Bishop Amat 3, Paramount 0
Division 4
San Dimas 7, Palm Desert 1
Buena 1, Northview 0
Segerstrom 2, Covina 0
Division 5
Alhambra 3, Duarte 2 — under protest for illegal batting practice.
Arroyo 1, Immaculate Heart 0
South El Monte 16, West Valley 11, 8 innings
Azusa 11, Mary Star of the Sea 2

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Azusa Pacific goes for NAIA softball title

By Steve Ramirez
Azusa Pacific University begins play in the NAIA softball championship tournament today in Gulf Shores, Ala.
But the road for the Cougars (32-21), who open up pool play against St. Thomas (31-21) of Daytona Beach, Fla., is quite a bit longer than the 2,046 miles they have traveled to Tobacco Road.
It’s a trip that was four years in the making and dates back to 2008, when coach Carrie Webber was summoned from Northern California. Along the way, there were growing pains of hovering around .500 for three seasons before finally catching fire over the past month to advance to the national tournament for the first time since 2000.
“I don’t think I could be more proud of the girls than of how they have progressed over the last four years,” Webber said. “Those girls who came before have paved the way for what is happening right now. This is where I expected this team to be at about this time.
“I thought it would take three or four years to actually see it progress to the point where we are. It just gives validation to what we are doing.”

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WILD-CARDS: St. Lucy’s holds on for 11-9 victory; Damien beats Redondo, will play at Glendora Thursday; South Hills wins; Diamond Bar loses

South Hills wins big: The Huskies jumped all over visiting Rancho Verde for six runs in the first inning and didn’t look back in a 10-1 victory.

Diamond Bar blows late lead: Timmy Robinson hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning and the visiting Ocean View Seahawks rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Brahmas in a Division 3 wild-card game Tuesday.

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Thanks to its biggest scoring outburst of the season, the St. Lucy’s High School softball team doesn’t have to dwell over its near collapse in Tuesday’s CIF-Southern Section playoff game.
When you win, everything is forgiven.
Visiting Fillmore scored five runs in the seventh and sent the tying runner to the plate, but St. Lucy’s pitcher Danielle O’Toole got a strikeout to end the game and St. Lucy’s held on for an 11-9 victory in a Division 3 wild-card game. (To continue, click thread).

Today’s predictions: Damien, South Hills and Diamond Bar should all advance to the first round, but that’s it. Northview has a chance at home, but don’t see Walnut, Baldwin Park, Nogales or any of the teams in Division 5 winning with the exception of the El Monte-Gladstone game, someone has to move on, probably Gladstone. In softball, Glendora will go down at Valencia, but I like St. Lucy’s and Los Altos to move on and possibly Covina. As for everyone else, it’s one and done I’m afraid.

Baseball
Today’s wild card results
Division 2

Damien 3, Redondo Union 1
South Hills 10, Rancho Verde 1
Division 3
Ocean View 4, Diamond Bar 3
Walnut at Knight, 3:15 p.m.
Division 4
Grace Brethren 3, Northview 0
Bishop Montgomery 2, Baldwin Park 0
Nogales at Santa Ana Calvary Chapel, 3:15 p.m.
Division 5
Gladstone 13, El Monte 1
Duarte 11, Rubidoux 6
Paraclete 2, Azusa 1 (9)
Mountain View at Linfield Christian, 3:15 p.m.

Softball
Today’s wild-card results
Division 1

Glendora at Placentia Valencia, postponed Wednesday
Division 2
Los Altos 2, Rancho Verde 0
Division 3
St. Lucy’s 11, Fillmore 0
Division 4
Nogales at Culver City, 3:15 p.m.
Coachella Valley at Covina, 3:15 p.m.
Division 5
Sierra Vista at Ramona Convent, 3:15 p.m.
Rosemead at Hemet, 3:15 p.m.
La Puente at Lompoc Cabrillo, 3:15 p.m.

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Sprinting to the finish line, McClain, Lee, Price and Salcido making this year memorable

If you’re not excited about high school track, you never will be. The San Gabriel Valley is known for a lot of things, but producing sprint champions is not one of them. That’s what makes the next couple weeks so exciting. Think of it, if Covina’s Remontay McClain goes on and wins back-to-back state titles in the 100 and 200 meters, he will become the first ever to win back-to-back in both events in consecutive years. Think about that. In the history of California, which has produced some of the best sprinters in history, it’s never been done? This is some great history he’s chasing. Hallowed history. And who would have thought one of the guys who could upset him is in our backyard too, West Covina’s Beejay Lee. It’s unbelievable, and why there is no way I’m missing the CIF track finals on Saturday at Cerritos College. McClain and Lee should win their respective divisions, then will square off next week in the Masters, and if they continue, in state. Bishop Amat’s Kylie Price has the state’s leading time in the 100 meters (11.75). Could the SGV actually produce the top boy and girl sprinter in the state? Price also could double. She’s one of the top long jumpers in the state and could get to the state finals in the 200 meters as well. San Dimas’ Katherine Salcido also could advance to the state finals, and could win a CIF title in the 100 hurdles on Saturday. I’m telling you, it’s a great three weeks for track, and it doesn’t happen very often like this, so enjoy the ride.

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Swimming: Jaques and Grant back out of Masters Meet individual races, will swim relays

Fred’s thoughts: Makes you wonder how important the Masters Meet is when so many of the best individuals back out of the big races. What Jaques and Grant are doing is not a surprise. Several top swimmers have not raced in what is supposed to be the biggest meet of the season. It’s not, the CIF finals are what everyone shoots for, maybe it’s time they get rid of the Masters Meet, or tinker with it so that it’s more meaningful. As one swim coach pointed out, they don’t keep team scoring. The coach said if they did, top swimmers would be more likely to swim in it … just a thought.

By Steve Ramirez, Staff Writer
Glendora High School’s Gretchen Jaques and Walnut’s Andrea Grant won CIF-Southern Section individual swimming titles over the weekend. The duo will not add CIF-SS Masters championships to their resumes. Each backed out of individual competition for today’s Master’s Meet, scheduled for 5 p.m. at William Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine. They will compete on their team’s respective relay teams, which will include top-qualifier Glendora in the 200-yard medley relay. Walnut is the No. 4 qualifier.

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Former Glendora standout Wes Roemer continues stellar year in Double-A, flirts with no-hitter

We don’t publish “Where are there now?” anymore, but here’s a story of a former area player, Glendora’s Wes Roemer, who is having a solid season for the Mobile BayBears, the Double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The former Glendora star, who also pitched for nearby Cal State Fullerton, flirted with a no-hitter, going into the eighth inning before giving up an RBI double to former West Covina star James Skelton. Here is the the story from MLB.com.

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L.A. Times’ Eric Sondheimer picks Bonita, Bishop Amat to win CIF baseball championships

Eric Sondheimer writes: Junior pitcher Justin Garza is 11-0 with an ERA of 0.60 for Bonita. He doesn’t walk batters, so the only way to beat him is to hope for errors and be patient. Of Bishop Amat, he wrote: There’s no way Palm Desert and Bishop Amat won’t get to the final, right? Palm Desert has pitcher Brooks Kriske and top hitters, led by Ryan Garvey. Bishop Amat has an abundance of effective no-name pitchers, plus future first-round draft pick Rio Ruiz. But Torrance owns a win over Bishop Amat and has talented infielder Trent Gilbert. … Go check it out, Eric handicaps all the divisions.

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