Baseball Rankings: South Hills back on top, but can they stay there? Bonita on way back

Tribune Top Ten Baseball Poll

1. South Hills (7-2) –– The nightmare of being swept by Charter Oak is yesterday’s news after beating Damien and crushing Ayala to get back in the Sierra title picture. We’ll try this again, South Hills is No. 1, let’s see if they act like it.

2. Bonita (9-1) — The Bearcats took one on the chin against South Hills with their Golden Boy Garza taking the defeat and everyone talking (including me) that they couldn’t hit. All they’ve done since is keep on winning. It’s weird writing this, but they’re undefeated without Garza and we know how great they’re with him. Maybe we overreacted on one defeat.

3. Damien (5-3) –– They dismantled Chino Hills like it was a football game, 21-7. My concern with the Spartans is they have given up five runs or more in four of eight games. Pitching needs to be more consistent to win consistently.

4. Charter Oak (6-3) — How do you go from sweeping South Hills to not even being competitive in 6-1 losses to Ayala and Claremont? It’s one thing to sneak up on teams, but it’s different with the bulls-eye on your chest. Let’s see how the Chargers bounce back after this.

5. Diamond Bar (7-1) — You have to give the Brahmas their respect. They’re pitching well, hitting well and have just one loss. They have surprisingly climbed to No. 1 in Division 3. But I’ve seen this song and dance before. When they beat Bonita and Los Altos I’ll believe they’re the real deal.

6. Northview (6-1-1) — What impressed me about watching Northview’s sweep over Baldwin Park last week is there was not one senior in the starting lineup. They have solid pitching and good enough hitting to make a run at the Valle Vista.

7. San Dimas (7-3) — The Saints are 2-0 in league after sweeping Wilson, who they won’t play again. The Valle Vista league schedule is whack. Instead of playing each team once then playing them again in the second half of the season (which almost every league has done for decades) you play the same team twice in the same week and are finished with them the rest of the year. Coaches set this up because they’re soooooo afraid of pitching match-ups. Weak. Takes the drama out of the league races unless the two best teams meet in the final week.

8. Bishop Amat (5-5) — After a 1-5 start they’re back to .500 after beating Loyola in the RJ Foundation game on Saturday. They will miss Rio Ruiz’s services the next few weeks, but they’re still No. 2 in Division 4.

9. Los Altos (6-4) –– Winners of five straight and only have allowed six runs during that stretch. And they have allowed just two runs in their last three wins. This is the Los Altos I expected at the beginning of the season. But can they do it at Bonita and Garza on Thursday?

10. Covina (4-3)— The Colts will play Wilson, Nogales and Baldwin Park twice each before finally finishing with San Dimas and Northview. If they want to win the league title, they better take care of business early.

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Softball Rankings: Chino Hills looks like dominant No. 1, but the Sierra is about to start

Tribune Top Ten Softball Rankings

1. Chino Hills (13-3) –– The Huskies have not only won seven straight, they’re working on five straight shutouts. I don’t care what sport it is, Chino Hills is a sports factory.

2. Bishop Amat (11-3) — The Lancers impressed local coaches with their dominant showing in the Charter Oak tournament at Big League Dreams, beating La Serna 7-1 in the title game. They finish with league teams the rest of the way and might not lose another game. By the end of league, I’ll bet they’re ranked No. 1 in D-3.

3. St. Lucy’s (11-3) — I was ready to write some big compliments for the Regents, then they go and lose 4-1 to Pomona Catholic. Comparing scores, I don’t know if they’re good enough to beat Chino Hills, but I certainly think they’re good enough to beat South Hills, who they will host on Friday.

4. South Hills (11-3) – – So far losing pitcher Sydney La Follette has not affected their bottom line, but it might catch up with them eventually. Fortunately for the Huskies, they have the type of lineup that scores runs and will make a lot of pitchers look good, but it’s hard to win a league title that way.

5. Ayala (7-3 ) — Ayala’s is no. 8 in Division 3, giving the Sierra four teams ranked in the top ten. I’m as curious as everyone on how they will fare in the Sierra, but their most recent win, a 4-0 victory over Rowland, isn’t real convincing.

6. Duarte (9-2) — The Falcons are 4-0 in the Montview and No. 7 in Division 5. They took on Long Beach Wilson, No. 10 in Division 2 and lost 10-3 in the Whittier tournament. It’s was a huge step-up, but not an embarrassing result by any stretch. It’s too bad that Duarte doesn’t compete in any area tournaments in our parts, would love to see how they stack up.

7. Los Altos (8-4) –Conqs are already 2-0 in the Hacienda with a showdown at Bonita on Thursday. The winner of that game has the inside track toward the league title.

8. Charter Oak (8-4) –– Charter Oak has won three straight, but its problems have been the same problems over the last four or five years. They can swing the bat but give up too many runs to be consistent. Sure, they can beat anyone, but nothing’s changed really.

9. Glendora (5-4) — The Tartans didn’t play last week and are 1-2 in the Baseline. I miss the Tartans not competing in the Sierra where they should be.

10. Bonita (6-5) –Say this about Bonita, it has lost to solid teams like St. Lucy’s, Glendora, Charter Oak and South Hills, all teams ranked in our top ten. The Bearcats are what they’re, about the ninth or tenth best team in the area. But on paper, they should probably be better.

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Who has the best shot at winnnig a CIF-SS Baseball title? If you believe the polls, it’s Diamond Bar

Diamond Bar is 7-1 and already 2-0 in the Hacienda to take over the top spot in Division 3. Coach Eric Shibley’s team is batting .350 and senior pitcher Henry Omana is having one of the best years statistically in the Valley. He’s 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 18 innings. As a staff, Diamond Bar sports an eye-catching 2.16 ERA.

CIF-SOUTHERN SECTION BASEBALL POLLS

Division 2: 1. Redlands, 2. Alemany, 3. Harvard-Westlake, 4. Cypress, 5. Dos Pueblos, 6. Buena, 7. Mayfair, 8. Palos Verdes, 9. South Hills, 10. Garden Grove Pacifica.

Division 3: 1. Diamond Bar, 2. Bonita, 3. Beckman, 4. San Gorgonio, 5. Corona del Mar, 6. Rancho Alamitos, 7. Elsinore, 8. Culver City, 9. Alhambra, 10. Warren.

Division 4: 1. Palm Desert, 2. Bishop Amat, 3. Savanna, 4. Indio, 5. Sonora, 6. Chino, 7. Colony, 8. Malibu, 9. Temple City, 10. Oaks Christian.

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Is St. Lucy’s the area’s top softball team? The Regents are looking the part after winning the Diamond Bar tournament on Saturday; Chino Hills and Bishop Amat, however, top CIF polls

St. Lucy’s defeated host Diamond Bar 4-1 in the championship game of the Diamond Bar Springfeast Tournament on Saturday, which followed dominant tournament victories over Sonora (4-0), Ontario (10-3) and Fresno Clovis West (3-0). The Regents are on fire behind super senior pitcher Danielle O’Toole (six shutouts) and hot-swinging Danielle Mavridis (batting .615 with 11 runs scored). The Regents have a team batting average of .341, a huge improvement over last year’s squad that struggled at the plate. The Regents have won eight straight and are 11-2 overall. However, one of those losses was a forfeit due to a father-daughter dance, and the other loss was a doubleheader split against Upland early in the season. O’Toole is 5-1 with a 1.26 ERA. The Regets have home tests against Pomona Catholic (Today) and Downey (Thursday) before opening the Sierra League against powerful South Hills on Friday at home at 3:15 p.m. Also, kudos to St. Lucy’s for finally posting a roster and stats on Maxpreps, make it much easier to follow one of the area’s best teams.

Check out Danielle Mavridis’ third homer of the season in the Regents’ 10-3 win over Ontario.

CIF-SOUTHERN SECTION SOFTBALL POLLS

Division 3: 1. Chino Hills, 2. Bishop Amat, 3. South Hills, 4. Burroughs, 5. St. Lucy’s, 6. South Torrance, 7. Torrance, 8. Ayala, 9. Atascadero, 10t. Harvard-Westlake, 10T, Oaks Christian.

Division 4: 1. Aquinas, 2. La Quinta, 3. Dos Pueblos, 4. Garden Grove, 5. La Habra, 6. Buena, 7. Segerstrom, 8. Loara, 9. Kaiser, 10.T San Dimas, 10T. Troy.

Division 5: 1. La Canada, 2. Beaumont, 3. Keppel, 4. Marlborough, 5. Immaculate Heart, 6. Nipomo, 7. Duarte, 8. Victor Valley, 9. Montebello, 10. Santa Ana Calvary Chapel.

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Charter Oak football will take on Los Alamitos and Bishop Amat in back-to-back weeks

The Charter Oak High School football team has agreed to play a home-and-home with Orange County power Los Alamitos, starting with a road game against Los Alamitos at Long Beach’s Veteran Stadium this fall.

Since moving to the difficult Sierra League and Inland Division, the Chargers have increased their quality of opponents in nonleague, and this might be their most difficult non-league schedule ever.

The Chargers will face Los Osos, Corona Roosevelt, Glendora and Los Alamitos and Bishop Amat in back-to-back weeks (Week 2 and 3). The Chargers will take on Bishop Amat at home following its road trip against Los Alamitos.

“I know what’s going on in the heads of our kids,” Chargers coach Lou Farrar said. “It’s a (daunting) schedule, but if we want to get past the Upland’s and better teams in our division, we don’t want the stage to be too big for our kids, both from an emotion and physical standpoint. I don’t know if there is any other way to be prepared for our league and division without playing teams of that caliber in the preseason.”

Los Alamitos is from the Sunset League and was 6-4 last year. The Sunset League is moving from the powerful Pac-5 to the Southwest Division. The Sunset League includes Newport Harbor, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley and Edison.

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Bishop Amat’s Rio Ruiz recovering and in good spirits; expected to miss two to three weeks

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN
twitter.com/sgvtribpreps

Bishop Amat standout infielder Rio Ruiz rested comfortably over the weekend at USC Medical Center after undergoing a procedure on Friday to break up a blood clot in a vein near his clavicle in his right shoulder, his father Rudy Ruiz explained on Monday.

Several friends, teammates and family stopped to visit Ruiz since having the procedure, including South Hills standouts and longtime friends C.J. Saylor and Ty France.

Ruiz, a senior, could be released from the hospital as soon as today and his father said it could be two to three weeks before he is able to rejoin the Lancers’ baseball team, who defeated Loyola 3-2 on Saturday in the RJs Foundation game at Bishop Amat.

Ruiz was ESPN’s California junior of the year and also is the reigning Tribune and CIF-Southern Section Division 4 most valuable player after leading the Lancers to a divisional title last season.

“He might be back sooner, it might be longer, it depends on the comfort level of his arm,” Rudy Ruiz said. (To continue click thread).

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Bishop Amat’s Rio Ruiz in stable condition after surgery to remove a blood clot, Bishop Amat beats La Salle 6-2 to improve to 3-0 in Del Rey League.

Bishop Amat’s standout baseball player Rio Ruiz, who complained of a bicep strain earlier in the week, is in stable condition after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot in his vein on Friday, Amat coach Andy Nieto explained to our Miguel Melendez following Amat’s 6-2 win over La Salle. A blood clot was discovered during an examination on Wednesday and he is out indefinitely while he awaits to see a specialist who will determine his future status.

By Miguel A. Melendez, SGVN
twitter.com/StarNewsPreps

LA PUENTE — There’s a sign in the Bishop Amat High School baseball team’s dugout that reads “Two-out rallies win championships.”

La Salle fell victim to Bishop Amat’s battle cry as Adam Alcantara drove in the first run on an RBI single andEvan Claproth connected for a three-run home run to give Bishop Amat all the runs it would need in a 6-2 Del Rey League victory Friday afternoon.

The victory was bittersweet for Bishop Amat (4-5, 3-0) which again played without standout pitcher/third baseman Rio Ruiz, who that morning underwent surgery on his neck to remove a blood clot on a nerve that stopped blood flow to his right bicep. He is in stable condition and will seek a specialist for further evaluation.

Ruiz, who is commited to USC, had complained of a bicep strain earlier in the week. The blood clot was discovered during a doctor’s exam Wednesday. Ruiz is considered a potential first-round draft pick, according to ESPN baseball analyst Keith Law.

“We just heard that he’s resting and recovering fine and in stable condition,” said Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto after the game. “I know talking to the La Salle family they all have their thoughts and prayer on Rio.”

Ruiz will remain in the hospital for at least two more days.

“He needs to get his health in order,” Nieto said. “It wasn’t an emergency surgery. It was more of a, ‘Hey, we found it, let’s fix it.'”

When asked if Ruiz is out for the season, Nieto was noncommital.

“That’s still hard to say,” he said. “You know what he means to us, but the priority is to get his health in order.”

La Salle coach Harry Agajanian wanted to see a Ruiz-Bowdien Derby battle on the mound, but was more concerned about his health when he found out about Ruiz’s surgery.

“Our prayers are with Rio Ruiz,” La Salle coach Harry Agajanian said. “We miss him out there. I miss talking to him over at third base.”

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