Breaking News: Duarte wins batting-practice protest, will play South El Monte on Tuesday

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.
The CIF-SS issued a written statement, which reads in part: “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 playoffs of the Alhambra team.”

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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

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.

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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