The stage is set, Bonita and Justin Garza’s 19-game winning streak on the line in Saturday’s championship against South Hills at Jay Littleton Field in Ontario, 7 p.m.

DICKS SPORTING GOODS SEMIFINALS
Today’s games
Bonita 7, La Puente 2
South Hills 5, West Covina 0
Final: Bonita vs. South Hills at Jay Littleton Field, Ontario, Saturday at 7 p.m.


By Fred J. Robledo
The stage is set for Saturday night.

With Bonita High School’s 7-2 victory over La Puente in the semifinals of the Dicks Sporting Goods preseason tournament, the Bearcats advance to Saturday’s championship where Cal State Fullerton-bound pitcher Justin Garza will go for his 19th straight win dating back to his sophomore year.

Bonita will face South Hills, a 5-0 winner over crosstown rival West Covina in the Dicks Sporting Goods championship at Jay Littleton Field in Ontario at 7 p.m.

Littleton Field is where they filmed the movie, “A League of Their Own.”

“We’re hoping to get a good crowd,” Bonita coach John Knott said. “Any time you can get people to show up and get excited about a game, that’s what you want. We figure there will be a playoff atmosphere and that’s something you can draw back on later in the season.”

South Hills pitcher Kevin McKelvey pitched his second straight complete-game shutout in the win over West Covina.

South Hills coach Kevin Smith says his team is looking forward to the challenge of facing Garza.
“It’s always good when you get to go against a quality pitcher,” Smith said. “He’s one of the elite pitchers of the Valley, it’s a great test.”

Knott and Northview coach Darren Murphy, who are co-directors of the tournament, moved the championship from Bonita to Littleton Field because of the bleachers and fan-friendly setting.

“It shows that those two (Murphy and Knott) have a lot of class,” Smith said. “(John) could have easily had another home game but they did what they thought was right for the fans who will have a chance to sit down in nice seats and enjoy the game. Hopefully we get a good turnout.”

Bonita punched its ticket to the final by jumping all over La Puente in the first inning.

After Garza singled home Thomas Castro from third, Anthony Gonzalez belted a double with the bases loaded to drive in two more runs. After Tyler Heslop’s fly out scored Jacob Blunt, the Bearcats led 4-0.

“That’s the goal, to score early,” Knott said. “Any time you wait your first-round through the order (to score runs) which is easy to do, it’s already the fourth inning and the pressure mounts.
“We talk about that all the time, to come out, try to score first and set the tone and dictate the tempo.”

La Puente didn’t do itself any favors by squandering the lead runner in the first four innings.
After the Warriors’ Michael Patini led off the first with a double, he was picked off by Bearcats starter Parker Merritt, who got the win and pitched four scoreless innings.

La Puente’s lead runner was doubled-up in the second inning, caught stealing in the third and a double play ended any threat in the fourth.

“We made a lot of mental mistakes today,” Warriors coach John Hermosillo said. “The first couple innings we ran ourselves out of the game. We fought hard and made it 4-2, but we let some big opportunities get away from us early.”

Ethan Etchebarren’s single scored Ryan Franco from third and Patini’s fielder’s choice grounder scored Cody Hrey from third to cut Bonita’s lead to 4-2 in the fifth. La Puente kept plugging away and loaded the bases, but Luis Jacobo’s ground out ended the inning.

After Garza drove home his second run in the fifth to extend the Bearcats’ lead to 5-2, Justin Row hit a two-run homer in the sixth to put the game out of reach.

Below: Bonita and South Hills will play at Jay Littleton Field where they filmed “A League of Their Own.”

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  • shfan

    Haha! Baseball is South Hills’ best sport on campus! NOPE!

  • Fred Robledo

    It is in terms of “major” sports, football, basketball, baseball…

  • SGV

    Where are both of these games going to be played?

  • Fred Robledo

    AT BONITA

  • Word on cameon

    If baseball isn’t south hills best sport what is then?

  • shfan

    In terms of boys sports, it’s definitely baseball. In terms of girls sports, it’s softball. Overall, it’s probably softball as of right now with the way they have played the last two years.

  • Word on Cameron

    South hills baseball has won 11 straight league championships. No contest between the 2

  • sgv baller

    going to be a great game.this is going to be garzas toughest opponent until maybe the finals of the playoffs.thats if they can make it to the final without garza.

  • MLBDP

    If Kevin McKelvey pitch for South Hill, it’s going to be a very tough battle for Bonita. But now it seems like Kevin won’t pitch with 3 day rest(maybe,I guess), thus Bonita has the pitching advantage in Garza, so if you want bet, bet on Bonita wins the Championship.

  • sgvfan

    even without mckelvey shills will be fine. Dehorta from shills is far better than mckelvey anyways. gonna be a good pitchers duel

  • LFrance

    No contest, South Hills has too much fire power in the line up for the boys at Bonita. The Bonita kids just cant hit Garza is a bit overrated! He will be stopped on Saturday with the best hitting line up in the valley!! Were stronger defensively and have a faster outfield.
    Final score
    South Hills..5
    Bonita 2

  • really??

    Here we go again–whoever you are using LFrance’s name please stop–anyone who knows him KNOWS that Justin is the last person he’d call overrated–he coached him for 5 years and along with his other Bandits coaches, take pride and even a little credit for him being the stud he’s become. Talk your crap in someone’s else’s name. Ty, CJ & Justin are all good friends looking forward to a great game…

  • Don

    Probably ought to go ahead and get the trophy engraved today . . . save time and make a nicer presentation.

  • Cong ’76

    Is Ethan Etchabarren the grandson of Andy Etchaberren?

  • fb102

    Ethan Etchabarren IS related to Andy Etchabarren, but is NOT Andy Etchabarren’s grandson.

  • Cong ’76

    Thanks for the info, sounds a little like I may have insulted you with my query. If so, sorry, meant no harm. Andy Etchebarren was one of my earliest “Baseball heroes” having been from Hacienda Heights and we both share the same first name.

  • oldguy1

    Bishop Amat in tough tourney, lost again to Jserra. But besides the1-3 start should be a front runner for D-4, don’t under estimate the lancers.

  • fb102

    Conq 76, NO worries at all. It’s just how I write for emphasis.

  • Cong ’76

    Fb102

    Thanks, appreciate that…

  • MLBDP

    To sgv baller: Kevin as a LHP, will give Bonita more trouble than Dehorta since his ball cross the plate outside in, straight at the batter. Sometimes it can intimidate the batter. Dehorta is a good pitcher, his change and slurve are pretty good, but fastball at 90 is hitable, it comes inside out, If Bonita kids sit on his fastball, cover the outside corner, they will be fine.
    On the other hand, Garza has the 94 mph fastball which has a sinking action, it’s very tough to hit, he can use it all day. Even if you make a contact with it, it will comes out as a ground ball, if anyone somehow on base, 70% of time it will be a double play. That’s why Garza is so effective.

    For the South Hill kids, if you want hit Garza, keep your stands low and level your bat, cover the loewer half of strike zoon, you may have a chance.

    JMHO

  • klv

    How is it being said that Garza is going for his 19th straight win,when he lost to South Hills in the Corey Lidle Tourney in 2010.That was a real tournament game just like Saturday nights game will be?

  • listen

    hey klv that was 2010 we are in 2012. in 2011 he was 13-0 so thats 13 and 2-0 this year =15 and then to finish out his sophomore year he won 3 in a row which would = 18. the corey lidle tournament was before that am i right or no?

  • no

    listen,
    no–the Cory Lidle tournament that Justin lost against SH was Nov 2010 his Junior year so his winning streak didn’t start until after that

  • Aaron

    Last I checked the win or loss doesn’t go on the spring record…so we only count games that matter.

  • L France

    Aaron, so you can now pick and choose what wins and losses count for Garza? I guess his streak will still be alive after we beat Bonita on Saturday; you have to admit were a much better hitting team, position by position Bonita is no match!
    Knowing the Bonita folks, youll have your excuses ready after yet another loss to us on Saturday!
    Yes Don, good idea, to go ahead and get the trophy engraved today . . . save time and make a nicer presentation.
    When you think of it; how appropriate for us to be playing for the championship where they filmed “A League of Their Own.” Because we are in A League of Our Own

  • Just sayin’

    Frenchy – REGULAR season wins. Off season does not count in CiF record books

  • Brandon Cartright

    Don,
    Always knew you were a South Hills Guy!

  • L France

    Wont Coach Knott be presenting the trophy? Wow, Knott presenting the Championship trophy to Smith!
    Priceless!!!!

  • Bonita

    Hey L France, first show some class and stop using the name of one of the SH players since we all know you are not Ty’s parents. Second, by your logic, Justin’s streak is probably into the 30s given his ABD games and other events he has participated in.

  • Dale Hopkins

    Should be a great game! I give the edge to Bonita, They hit better top to bottom.

  • skinner

    r u kidding? the bonita boys swing the bat like vachinas. so hills is going to kick their butts and send em back to their mommys!
    coach knott presenting the trophy, funny!

  • sgv baby

    Fred, Looking forward to the game Saturday night. Awesome to see the attention the boys are getting. Garza is the man right now and is going for Win #19.
    Who has the edge? I don’t know.
    Reading what people are posting and the heavy bats South Hills have. SH should have the edge. Again, Garza is the MAN hungry to get his revenge on SH. It’s going to be a good one. Even with heavy bats there will be lots of pop up and ground balls. Great baseball park. This will go down as a classic.
    Lots of local talent and great baseball. Charter Oak, La Puente, Covina, West Covina. Loaded with talent Amat came up short this past week but will bounce back strong with one of the top baseball players in the country Rio Ruiz. Los Altos pre season ranked in the top 10 also came up short. Diamond Bar also in the pre season top 10 win the Don Lugo tournament today.
    Fred, will there be a story on Diamond Bar/Don Lugo game?

  • MLBDP

    Forget to mention since the use of wood bat, home runs dropped dramaticlly for every school, it’s an advantage for pitcher too. I doubt “heavy bats” can do anything for SH, Bonita’s defense with Garza can get it done. It should be a low score game.