Baseball: Ouellette, Burke lead Glendora past Rancho Cucamonga, 7-2

By Steve Ramirez
twitter.com/SteveRRamirez
GLENDORA –
There are very few must-win situations this early in the league season.
Friday might have been the exception for Glendora High School, which showed that sense of urgency, rolling to a 7-2 victory over visiting Rancho Cucamonga in a Baseline League game.
The Tartans, who got a home run and two RBIs from catcher Garrett Ouellette and a steady six innings from pitcher Scott Burke, snapped a two-game losing streak with the win and improved to 8-4 overall and 3-2 in league play.
The Cougars, getting RBIs from Jared Gagnon and Joseph Hamilton, slipped to 7-7 and 1-2.
Burke, who has signed with UCLA gave up six hits in six innings and struck out six to improve to 4-1. Nick Kaye and Martin Gallegos also had two RBIs for the Tartans.
Glendora coach Dan Henley: “I think early on it’s one of those games that’s a must-win for confidence. After losing the last two — one to Los Osos, the other to Upland — you don’t want to fall behind. Worst-case scenario, we’re one game behind Los Osos through five games. Yeah, it’s a very important win heading into the Arcadia Tournament next week.”
Glendora’s Garrett Ouellette: “It was a good home run. I honestly didn’t think it was going to go out. I was getting ready to beat it to third, and then when I saw (it go out), I slowed up a bit.”

Baseline League
Glendora 7, Rancho Cucamonga 2
Hacienda League
Bonita at Diamond Ranch, 3:30 p.m.
Los Altos at Walnut, 3:30 p.m.
Mission Valley League
Rosemead at Mountain View, 3:15 p.m.
Nonleague
Chaffey vs. Rowland, Don Lugo Tournament, 3:15 p.m.

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VIDEO: Baldwin Park gets big 5-2 win over San Dimas

STORY: It wasn’t the 1951 New York Giants, but Baldwin Park senior Bernard Flores was yelling, “I feel like Bobby Thomson,” after he hit a game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning to beat Valle Vista League leader San Dimas 5-2 on Thursday.

Video Highlights and interviews from Baldwin Park’s 5-2 10-inning victory over San Dimas on Thursday. The Guru spoke with Baldwin Park players and assistant coach Joe Laski. San Dimas coach Mike Regan chose not to speak with us.

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Baseball: Hockin pitches Damien past Charter Oak, 4-0

Damien’s Grant Hockin tossed a four-hit shutout to lead the Spartans to a 4-0 victory over visiting Charter Oak on Thursday.
Staff photo by Keith Birmingham

By Steve Ramirez
twitter.com/SteveRRamirez

LAVERNE – Damien High School’s Grant Hockin began the season rated one of the top pitchers in the area.
He lived up to that billing Thursday.
Hockin tossed a four-hit shut out and struck out 11 to lead the host Spartans to a 4-0 victory over Charter Oak in a Sierra League game at Tom Carroll Field.
Damien, getting RBIs from David Cordova, Grant Woodward and Jordan Lofy, improved too 5-5 overall and 2-3 in league play. Charter Oak which beat preseason favorite South Hills last week, slipped to 3-5 and 2-3.
Damien took a 1-0 lead in the third after Kevin Macedo was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt before scoring on a throwing error.
Damien took advantage of two more Charter Oak miscues to push the lead to 4-0 in the fourth.
Jordan Abernathy and Jonathan Olsen each reached on errors to begin the inning. They advanced to second and third on a sacrifice bunt before a Grant Woodward RBI single made it 2-0 lead.
Jordan Lofy followed with a sacrifice fly and Cordova was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make it 4-0.
Hockin then finished it off, retiring 10 of the final 12 batters to win it.
Damien coach Al Leyva: “There’s a reason why he is so highly touted. It’s because he’s a good pitcher, and he’s starting to show it. He’s starting to really dial it in. It seems he gets better as the game gets going. If he stays healthy, a lot of good things are going to go his way.”
Damien’s Grant Hockin: “I just tried to stay focused. I gave up that double (in the first), and I got a little frustrated, But I tried to stay within myself. There was a lot of game left and it worked out.”
Charter Oak coach Tom Quinley: “We gave them the game. That’s a good team over there. I thought Nick, for his first game this year, was outstanding. He should have gone all seven probably, but not with the errors.”

Today’s Baseball schedule/scores
Sierra League

Damien 4, Charter Oak 0
South Hills 5, Chino Hills 2
Claremont 6, Ayala 4
Valle Vista League
Baldwin Park 5, San Dimas 2
Covina 7, Wilson 4
Pomona at Northview, 3:15 p.m.
Montview League
Duarte at Azusa, 3:15 p.m.
Bassett 19, Workman 2
La Puente 4, Ganesha 1
Nonleague
Bishop Amat vs. St. Francis at Brookside Park, 3:15 p.m.

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Bishop Amat softball gets huge 5-3 win over nationally ranked Corona Santiago

Bishop Amat softball (11-2), winners of 10 straight and ranked 17th in the state and 37th nationally by Maxpreps, knocked off Corona Santiago (13-2) 5-3 on Wednesday. Santiago is ranked third in the state and fourth nationally by Maxpreps. Watch highlights and interviews with Lexi Gonzalez, Amanda Sanchez, Sabrina Anguiano and coach Jesse Mendez.

By Steve Ramirez
twitter.com/teveRRAmirez
LA PUENTE –
Bishop Amat High School, after outscoring its previous three opponents, 26-0, was in need of a challenge.
The Lancers got it Wednesday and showed it belongs with the top teams in the CIF-Southern Section.
Alexis Gonzalez and Amanda Sanchez each had RBIs during a three-run sixth inning to lead host Amat to a 5-3 victory over nationally-ranked Corona Santiago in a nonleague game.
Sabrina Anguiano was steady in the circle, giving up seven hits with five strikeouts for the Lancers, who improved to 11-2 overall.
The Sharks, ranked No. 3 in the state and No. 12 nationally by MaxPreps.com, slipped to 14-2.
Bishop Amat, after Santiago took a 3-2 lead on a RBI double by Marissa Varrati in the top of the sixth, countered with three runs in its half of the inning. Alyssa Barerra started the winning rally with a bunt single and advanced on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Eryn Sustayta. Gonzalez, after falling behind in the count, tied it at 3 with a single to right field. Sanchez, who had an RBI single in the fourth, then grounded a single past the drawn-in infield to score Sustayta for a 4-3 lead. Victoria Saucedo’s hit an RBI single to push it to 5-3.
Bishop Amat coach Jesse Mendez: This was a major challenge by a great team. There’s a couple of teams in our league that push us. St. Joseph and St. Paul are no walkovers, and Santiago is a powerhouse team. Their coach told me they put in five hours of practice preparing for us, and we put in some time, too. It paid off.”
Alexis Gonzalez: “This just proves that we can hang and we have it. We give it our best, no matter what. We’re solid one through nine and know we can get a hit when we need it.”
Amanda Sanchez: “Honestly, we just had to find our pitch. We had to lay off the rise ball. That’s what we did and came back. BaseballWe showed a lot of heart, one through nine. Everyone stepped up.”
Today’s Baseball schedule/scores
Hacienda League

Diamond Ranch at Bonita, 3:15 p.m.
Walnut at Los Altos, 3:15 p.m.
Baseline League
Upland 3, Glendora 1
Mission Valley League
Arroyo at Rosemead, 3:15 p.m.
South El Monte at Gabrielino, 3:15 p.m.
Mountain View at El Monte, 3:15 p.m.

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Baseball Rankings: Nogales takes its turn atop the leaderboard; Bonita, South Hills, Northview and Diamond Bar also in top five

LOOK WHO’S NO. 1: Nogales, off to its best start in recent memory, takes its spot atop the area baseball rankings.
Staff photo by Keith Birmingham

Here’s this week’s area baseball top 10 rankings:
1. Nogales (11-0) – Romano’s clan just keeps on winning. The Nobles one-two pitching tandem gives them the best chance in the home-and-home Valle Vista League format.
2. Bonita (9-1) – The Bearcats showed some of their muscle, rallying for a 6-5 victory over Cypress, which is one of the top teams in Orange County and ranked No. 5 in CIF-SS Division 2. Bonita still looks like the favorite in the Hacienda League.
3. South Hills (7-2) – It was a hit and miss week for the Huskies, who hit a bump in the road with an 8-7 loss to un-ranked Charter Oak, but responded with a 1-0 victory over Damien. You still have to put them as the Sierra favorite
4. Northview (8-2) – The Vikings tumbled a bit after losing to rival Covina at home, then returned the favor to beat the Colts. Expect Northview to be in the thick of the Valle Vista League race.
5. Diamond Bar (8-1) – The Brahmas looked like the real deal, sweeping Los Altos in dominating fashion after outscoring the Conquerors, 15-2. Are they ready to challenge Bonita? We find out later.
6. San Dimas (9-2) – The Saints took care of business with a sweep of Wilson. Now comes the real tests in coming weeks with home-and-homes against Baldwin Park, Covina, Northview and Nogales.
7. Glendora (7-3) – The Tartans drop a spot after losing on the road at Los Osos. But I still like Glendora to take the Baseline.
8. Bishop Amat (4-5) – The Lancers are finding their second win, riding a three-game win streak into this week, including an impressive win over Alemany, which was undefeated in the Mission League.
9. Baldwin Park (6-2) – It took a two-run seventh for Nogales to beat the Braves. This is a team that will make some waves in the Valle Vista title chase.
10. West Covina (9-2-1) – The Bulldogs are showing they are for real, holding their own in the Hacienda so far in the Hacienda, spliting their first two series.
OTHERS: Damien (4-4), Los Altos (5-4), Charter Oak (3-3), Covina (5-5), Ayala (7-3)

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Softball Rankings: Bishop Amat is a cut above, again atop the rankings

HAMMERING THE COMPETITION: Bishop Amat, helped by Alexis Gonzalez (above), has felt very little resistance while racing to the top of the area rankings.
Staff photo by Keith Birmingham

Here is this week’s top 10 rankings:
1. Bishop Amat (9-2) –
The Lancers are showing they have no peer in the Valley and beyond, outscoring rivals St. Paul and La Salle, 22-0 last week.
2. Chino Hills (10-4) – The Huskies were idle last week, but should be refreshed for their Sierra League title run.
3. Ayala (8-2) – The Bulldogs also took a respite. They resume with tournament play before opening up the Sierra League in two weeks.
4. South Hills (11-3) – The Huskies showed their prowess with an impressive sweep over Bonita. Next up: The Sierra League.
5. Bonita (8-5) – Another hit and miss week for the Bearcats, who dominated Rowland before losing two to South Hills.
6. Charter Oak (10-2) – The Chargers are having a solid season, and continued it with a sweep of Fullerton and beating Schurr on Monday.
7. San Dimas (7-5) – The Saints are the favorite in the Valle Vista and showed it with an easy win at Wilson.
8. Northview (5-4) – The Vikings won another slugfest, beating rival Covina. Eventually, they’ll have to pitch.
9. Duarte (7-2) – The Falcons are the team to beat in the Montview and showed it against Azusa.
10. St. Lucy’s (3-6) – The Regents are a lot better than their record, which includes an impressive schedule.

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Baseball: San Dimas rolls a six to beat Baldwin Park, 8-2

By Steve Ramirez
twitter.com/SteveRRamirez
SAN DIMAS –
It would have been easy for the San Dimas High School baseball team to fold after giving up the lead Tuesday afternoon.
But there’s a reason why the Saints are regarded as one of the top teams in the area, and they showed by scoring six runs in the sixth to score an 8-2 victory over visiting Baldwin Park in a Valle Vista League game.
San Dimas, getting three hits from Elias Orona and two RBIs from Andrew Espinoza, improved to 8-2 overall and 3-0 in league play. The Saints’ also received a solid effort from pitcher Jimmy Lambert, who gave up six hits and struck out six for the complete-game victory.
Baldwin Park, which nearly beat preseason league favorite Nogales last week, slipped to 6-3 and 0-2. Justin Tellez led the Braves with two hits and an RBI.
San Dimas sent 11 guys to the plate and had four consecutive hits with two outs in the sixth, including a RBI double by Logan Murratalla and a RBI single by Josh Avila for the six-run lead. Avila started the barrage with a single. It was followed by a walk to Rick Ramirez. Ryan Cruz then relieved Bernardo Flores and Lambert followed with a RBI single for a 3-2 advantage. Peter Lambert then had a bunt single on a safety squeeze to make it 4-2 before Aaron Torres had a single and Espinoza an RBI groundout to make it 5-2.
San Dimas coach Mike Regan: “I think our guys did in (the sixth) everything we constantly work on. Our guys were pretty resilient today. The team effort was great all the way around. We had some big hits early. Our guys stayed with the approach and hit really, really well.”
Baldwin Park coach Jake Barendregt: “It looked like (Flores) wasn’t being very aggressive with those pitches (in the sixth). It was like he was trying to get them over the strike zone instead of pounding the strike zone. I don’t think he was tired. But there was definitely a difference in his velocity that inning. But San Dimas is a good team. They have some guys who can swing the bats and if you make some mistakes, they’re going to get you.”

Tuesday’s schedule/scores
Sierra League

South Hills 6, Ayala 5
Claremont 8, Charter Oak 6
Damien at Chino Hills, 3:30 p.m.
Valle Vista League
Wilson at Covina, 3:15 p.m.
San Dimas 8, Baldwin Park 2
Northview 6, Pomona 0
Montview League
Azusa at Duarte, 3:15 p.m.
Ganesha at La Puente, 3:15 p.m.
Gladstone at Sierra Vista, 3:15 p.m.
Workman at Bassett, 3:15 p.m.

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La Salle’s Kandyce Smith transfers to Bonita to create dynamic duo with Nikki Wheatley

Kandyce Smith, who averaged 17 points for the La Salle girls basketball team, has transferred to Bonita, where she will team up with Nikki Wheatley, one of the best points guards in the Southland. Smith and Wheatley play on the same travel ball team and both will be seniors in the fall. Smith competed in the Del Rey League against giants Serra, St. Bernard, Bishop Amat and Bishop Montgomery. Amat coach Richard Wiard said Smith is the real deal. There is also speculation that another talented area player — a freshman — will transfer to Bonita by next season.

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Valle Vista All-League: MVPs Mike Peters, Kelli Calton, Dayker Villalobos, Daisy Duran, Ciara Balderamma

Valle Vista All-League
Boys Basketball
MVP:
Mike Peters, Covina
First Team: Jordan Stokes, San Dimas., Alexis Baron, Baldwin Park., Matt Hicks, Covina., Alex Delgado., Baldwin Park., James Santiago, Nogales., Elias Hernandez, Covina., Daniel Johnson, Northview., Justin Diaz, Wilson., Brandon Miramontes, Wilson., James Cunnigan, Northview.

Girls Basketball
MVP:
Kelli Calton, Wilson
First Team: Kaelyn Kawamoto, Wilson., Dominique Theus, Covina., Marisol Chavez, Balwin Park., Ashley Rendon, Nogales., Dy’mond Mitchell, San Dimas., Megan Ward, Northview., Kelli Iwamoto, Wilson., Jenae Erickson, San Dimas., Tiffany Rojas, Baldwin Park., Janae Yip, Wilson.

Boys Soccer
MVP
: Dayker Villalobos, Baldwin Park
First Team: Ezequiel Pena, Nogales., Juan Gutierrez, Pomona., Kevin Sandoval, Baldwin Park., Josue Flores, Baldwin Park., Thomas Samayao, San Dimas., Adrian Vera, Northview., Antonio Hernandez, Wilson., Eddie Hurtado, Pomona., Brian Sanchez, Pomona., Omar Hermosillo, Nogales., Jeffrey Hwang, Wilson., Christian Cruz, Northview., Alex Godina, Baldwin Park.

Girls Soccer
MVPs:
Daisy Duran, San Dimas; Ciara Balderamma, Covina
First Team: Morgan Quaternik, San Dimas., Alisson Kung, Wilson., Abi Celaya, San Dimas., Edith Zuniga, Baldwin Park., Alondra Bibian, Nogales., Hannah Huskey, Covina, Christie Cornejo, Covina., Heidi Gomez, Nogales., Carol Garcia, Northview., Taylor Sunga, San Dimas., Danielle Aparicio, Covina., Leticia Bustamante, Baldwin Park., Hanna Isidoro, Pomona.

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Hacienda All-League: MVPs, Nnadi Udengwu, Dane Hollar, Nikki Wheatley, Matthew Lares, Tatum Lockett and Stephanie Contreras

HACIENDA ALL-LEAGUE
Boys Basketball

MVPs: Nnadi Udengwu, Diamond Ranch, Sr., Dane Hollar, Bonita, Jr.
First Team: Joseph Dionisio, Rowland, Sr., Christian Manalo, Diamond Bar, Jr., Rob Harrelson, Walnut, Jr., Ryan Ramirez, Bonita, Sr., Chris Arzadon, Rowland, Sr., Christian Espinoza, Los Altos, So., Anthony Macklin Jr., Diamond Ranch, Sr., Lawrence Besong, Walnut, Jr..

Girls Basketball
MVP
: Nikki Wheatley, Bonita, Jr.
First Team: Amanda Britt, West Covina, Sr., Yewan De Alabi, Diamond Bar, Sr., Nonah Wu, Dimaond Bar, Jr., Ariana Abo, Bonita, Jr., Kim Mayekawa, Walnut, So, Jasmine Hamori, Los Altos, Sr., Taj Lark, Diamond Ranch, Sr., Farrah Castillo, Diamond Ranch, Fr.

Boys Soccer
MVP:
Matthew Lares, Rowland, Sr.
First Team: Oscar Briseno, Rowland, Sr., Wyatt Deane, Bonita, Sr., Fernando Martinez, Diamond Ranch, Sr., Alex Henry, Los Altos, Sr., Tanis Leal, Los Altos, Sr., Adam Fox, Los Altos, Jr., Mario Interiano, Walnut, Sr., Danny Hernandez, Walnut, Jr., Cameron Siete, Walnut, Sr., Salvador Oliva, West Covina, Jr., Gabe Brown, Diamond Bar, Sr., Kase Vollebregt, Diamond Bar, Sr., Guy Horcasitas, Diamond Bar, So.

Girls Soccer
MVP
: Tatum Lockett, Diamond Bar, Sr.
First Team: Rachel Curley, Bonita., Camille Trotter, Bonita., Amanda Castellanos, West Covina., Samantha Verduzco, Los Altos., Daisy Macias, Diamond Ranch., Daysia Avery, Los Altos., Cassie Duran, Walnut., Catrina Gonzalez, Walnut., Erin Harris, Walnut., Raquel Herrera, Rowland., Marissa Favela, Diamond Bar., Helena Kisor, Diamond Bar., Iris Yam, Diamond Bar., Angela Schmidt, Diamond Bar.

Girls Water Polo
MVP:
Stephanie Contreras, Los Altos, Sr.
First Team: Natalie Rivas, Bonita, Jr., Samantha Snow, Bonita, Jr., Angela Gomez, Bonita, Sr., Erin Gonzalez, Bonita, So., Erica Venegas, Los Altos, Sr., Rose Takeuchi, Los Altos, Sr., Mia Rycraw, Walnut, Sr., Ardele Aquino, Walnut, Sr., Ashley Hernandez, Rowland, Sr., Hannah Rueter, West Covina, Sr.

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Softball: San Dimas makes a statement; routs Wilson, 14-3

By Steve Ramirez
twitter.com/SteveRRamirez
HACIENDA HEIGHTS –
San Dimas High School has been the dominant softball program in the Valle Vista League for more than a decade, and they Saints showed Friday that the trend might continue.
Jennifer Aguinaga scored three runs and led a trio of Saints with two RBIs each and San Dimas opened league play with a 14-3 victory over Wilson in a game that was halted after six innings due to the 10-run rule.
Deenah San Luis, Kennedy Anderson and Carlie Salm all had three hits and two RBIs to lead an 18-hit attack for the Saints, who improved to 7-5 overall. Bethie Celaya was steady in the circle after a slow start, giving up four hits with three strikeouts.
Yecenia Cardenas had a homerun and two RBIs for Wilson, which slipped to 5-3.
San Dimas, after falling behind 2-1 after the first inning, put it away with three runs in the third, four in the fourth and five in the sixth.
San Dimas coach Don Pollard: “The league opener you never know. (Wilson) had been playing well, so you never know. You just have to take it, play hard and see what happens. It came our way this time.”
Wilson coach Lindsay Schatzman: “Obviously, San Dimas has some big hitters. They had good approach at the plate and went after it. They attacked every pitch we threw at them. They got a lot of base hits and came back.”

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BLOG exclusive: Charter Oak, South Hills, Glendora, Baldwin Park, Pomona, Garey, and Alta Loma ask for relief at Mt. SAC area meeting

Mt. SAC area league representatives met today to discuss league placement/realignment for the 2014-16 cycle, which begins in the 2014-15 season. Before new leagues can be created or reconfigured, schools were given a chance to ask for relief, with seven area schools in the Mt. SAC area asking for relief in advance of May 13, which is the day the Mt. SAC area must finalize league configurations for the 2014-15 season. According to multiple sources at the meeting today, Charter Oak and South Hills asked for relief from the Sierra League. Pomona and Baldwin Park asked for relief from the Valle Vista League. Glendora and Alta Loma asked for relief from the Baseline League and Garey asked for relief from the Mt. Baldy League. Damien and St. Lucy’s are no longer part of the Mt. SAC area after losing an appeal with the CIF-SS on Tuesday to remain in the Sierra League. Damien and St. Lucy’s will be placed in Parochial leagues for the 2014-15 season and beyond. Also, one of the big decisions decided today is that beginning in the 2014-15 season, the Mt. SAC area will re-league every two years instead of the current structure, which is every four years.

Fred’s thoughts: Now that schools have asked for relief, the big question is, will they get it, and where will they go? Charter Oak, South Hills and Glendora almost certainly will get relief, but where? Could a super 10-team, north-south Hacienda League be created? Possible. Pomona and Baldwin Park would like to drop to the Montview League. Edgewood High School, back in business since closing its doors in 1988 is back in the mix and will likely be placed in the Montview League. Could the Montview become a 10-team league of the north-south variety as well? Possible. And who joins the Valle Vista if Baldwin Park and Pomona leave? These are all things that have to be decided by May 13. Your thoughts?

Here is my proposal
Hacienda League North or Sierra League

Bonita, Glendora, South Hills, Charter Oak, West Covina
Hacienda league South
Los Altos, Rowland, Diamond Ranch, Diamond Bar, Walnut
Montview League North
Sierra Vista, Azusa, Pomona, Duarte, Ganesha
Montview League South
Workman, La Puente, Edgewood, Bassett, Gladstone
Valle Vista League
Covina, Northview, Wilson, Baldwin Park, San Dimas, Garey
Baseline League
Etiwanda, Los Osos, Rancho Cucamonga, Etiwanda, Chino Hills, Ayala
Mt. Baldy League:
Chaffey, Chino, Colony, Don Lugo, Claremont, Montclair, Ontario, Alta Loma

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Friday’s Baseball/Softball Schedule

Below: Diamond Bar crushed Los Altos 9-1 on Wednesday. They meet again at Los Altos this afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

Today’s Baseball Games
Hacienda League
Bonita at Rowland, 3:30 p.m.
Diamond Bar at Los Altos, 3:30 p.m.
Mission Valley League
South El Monte at Arroyo, 3:15 p.m.
El Monte at Rosemead, 3:15 p.m.
Mountain View at Gabrielino, 3:15 p.m.

Today’s Softball Games
Hacienda League

Bonita at Rowland, 3:30 p.m.
Mission Valley League
South El Monte at Arroyo, 3:15 p.m.
El Monte at Rosemead, 3:15 p.m.
Mountain View at Gabrielino, 3:15 p.m.
Valle Vista League
Wilson at San Dimas, 3:15 p.m.
Nogales at Baldwin Park, 3:15 p.m.
Nonleague
Glendora at Don Lugo, 3:15 p.m.

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Bishop Amat softball looks unbeatable, beats La Salle 12-0

Bishop Amat’s Eryn Sustayta led the way with a homer and four RBIs in the Lancers’ easy 12-0 win at La Salle. Lexi Gonzalez had a home run and Amanda Sanchez joined the home run derby with one of her own to go with two RBIs. After starting the season 0-2, the Lancers have reeled off ten straight to improve to 10-2 and 2-0 in the Del Rey. During the win streak the Lancers have outscored their opponents 87-7 with five shutouts.

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Baseball: Northview gets split with Covina, wins 2-1; South Hills hangs on for 1-0 win over Damien

After falling at home to Covina 4-3 earlier in the week, Northview (7-2, 1-1) returned the favor at Covina (5-4, 1-1), winning 2-1. We’ve got video interviews with Northview coach Darren Murphy, Covina coach Terence DeWan and Northview closer Kollby Oriti.

By Steve Ramirez
twitter.com/SteveRRamirez
WEST COVINA –
Neither the South Hills or Damien high school baseball teams could afford to suffer their second Sierra League loss in a weekThursday.
That problem is now the Spartans.
Adrian De Horta tossed a three-hit shutout and the host Huskies squeaked out a 1-0 victory over Damien in a key early-season league game.
South Hills, also getting a RBI from Adam Goss, improved to 7-2 overall and 2-1 in league play. The Huskies, who began the week ranked No. 1 in the area, dropped an 8-7 setback at Charter Oak on Tuesday.
Damien, who opened league play with a 7-3 loss to Ayala last week, slipped to 4-4 and 1-2. The Spartans were led by pitcher Grant Hockin, who gave up three hits and struck out six in six innings.
De Horta gave up three hits and struck out four. He also yielded just five base runners.

South Hills coach Kevin Smith: “It’s a critical win for us, especially in this league. You don’t want to fall 1-2 this early. Damien is such a good team. Hockin can really pitch. After losing to Charter Oak, we felt we really needed this one.”
Damien coach Al Leyva: “There’s a reason why (De Horta is) what he is. He’s a very good pitcher, just like (Hockin) is. It came down to the same situation. They got a lead-off double and they moved him over and got the run in. We led off with a double in the fifth. We moved him over and didn’t get him in.”
Thursday’s Baseball results
Valle Vista League
Baldwin Park at Nogales, postponed until Friday (lockdown at school)
Northview 2, Covina 1
San Dimas 7, Wilson 1
Sierra League
Claremont 7, Chino Hills 6
South Hills 1, Damien 0
Ayala 9, Charter Oak 3
Montview Leauge
Bassett 5, Azusa 3
La Puente 6, Gladstone 3
Sierra Vista 18, Workman 1
Hacienda League
Diamond Ranch 6, West Covina 2

Check out the Tribune MaxPreps made easy standings, schedules and individual leaderboard. And a big thanks to coaches and teams who update regularly so the area can follow its favorites players and schools. Why so many coaches and teams continue to not update rosters, game scores or statistics is ridiculous.



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What can be done to fix the CIF-SS basketball playoffs? Overall record and league play means nothing and where you compete in the playoffs is still a mystery

“I’d like to see league play have more of an impact in division make-up, seeding and home game assignments. I think the system now devalues league play quite a bit.”Damien boys basketball coach Matt Dunn

By Bob Keisser, Staff Writer
Bracketology in CIF-Southern Section basketball requires an advanced degree in demographics. Or at least some knowledge of the game Twister.
The CIF State playoffs convene Friday and Saturday in Sacramento with state titles at stake in six divisions each for boys and girls. But for the Southern California schools that reached this pinnacle, they had to succeed in their league – or not – and then sort out exactly where they belonged in the 12 divisions the CIF-Southern Section apportioned in basketball. There also were all of the factors, and non-factors, involved.
Oddly, the leagues they competed in during the regular season were not factors.
Even more strange is the record they had during the regular season was less of a factor than one would expect.
And there was nothing remotely orderly about the placement of teams based on what we’ve come to expect in the playoffs. Continue reading

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Breaking News: Damien and St. Lucy’s lose appeal, will join Parochial league in 2014-15 season

Damien and St. Lucy’s lost appeals with the CIF-Southern Section on Wednesday in hopes of remaining in the Sierra League. Damien lost by a vote of 14-6 and St. Lucy’s lost 13-7. Damien and St. Lucy’s are expected to be placed in Parochial Leagues (beginning 2014-15) barring the outcome of a legal fight in the courts, which is expected next. CIF sent a memo to athletic directors in November with recommendations for Area Placement for the 2014-18 cycle. One of those recommendations included moving Damien and St. Lucy’s, part of the Sierra League and Mt. SAC area, under the Parochial umbrella. That could pair Damien/St. Lucy’s with Bishop Amat, St. Paul, St. Francis or a number of different scenarios when new leagues are configurated.

STORY: Damien High and St. Lucy’s lost their final appeal cases Wednesday concerning area placement in a session before the CIF executive committee Wednesday. That means instead of the private schools staying in the Mt. SAC area, they are forced to switch to the parochial area for the four-year cycle beginning in 2014-15.
Damien, an all-boys school, and St. Lucy’s, an all-girls school, no longer will be part of the Sierra League after next spring. Where they will wind up will not be decided until a future re-leaguing meeting.

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Baseball: Bishop Amat rallies in seventh for 5-4 victory over Alemany; Diamond Bar pounds Los Altos 9-1; South El Monte, Mountain View and El Monte win

Video of Bishop Amat’s seventh-inning rally to pull out a 5-4 win over Alemany and interviews with Amat coach Andy Nieto and Adam Alcantara….

By Steve Ramirez
twitter.com/SteveRRamirez
LA PUENTE –
Bishop Amat High School, despite its slow start, has held the belief that it’s still a very good baseball team.
The Lancers are beginning to live up to that billing.
Adam Alcantara had the game-tying RBI and Daryl Daniels scored the winning run in the seventh on a throwing error and host Bishop Amat rallied for a 5-4 victory over Alemany in a nonleague game on Wednesday.
The Lancers, who lost four of their first five, scored their second-consecutive win to improve to 3-5. Ruben Cardenas had three hits for Alemany, which slipped to 7-3.
Bishop Amat, after scoring three runs in the sixth to make it 4-3, then tied it at 4 on a single by Christian Moya, a walk to Anthony Walters and a two-out, RBI single by Alcantara. Daniels, who reached on a fielder’s choice, then scored the winning run on a throwing error by shortstop Ryan Alvarez.
Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto: “When you play the teams we’ve played, the margin for error lessens. You have to play a baseball game as clean as possible and that’s what we were suffering. We weren’t able to finish the fight, finish the game. But these guys rally around each other. They were up, they weren’t going to be front runners. Win or lose, they were going to take their best swings. That’s an Amat trademark.”
Bishop Amat’s Adam Alcantara: “We knew we didn’t want to lose another (close game). You can’t give up. You can’t put your head down when you’re down 4-0. You just have to keep going.”
Alemany coach Randy Thompson: “(Bishop Amat) did a good of battling. (Rene DeLeon) has been our closer. He hadn’t given up a run all year. Yes, their hitters battled to put the ball in play, but we could have prevented those by taking care of the first batter each inning. That’s baseball.”
Wednesday’s Baseball Results
Hacienda League

West Covina 3, Diamond Ranch 2, 10 innings (Tuesday’s result)
Diamond Bar 9, Los Altos 1
Bonita 6, Rowland 0
Mission Valley League
South El Monte 10, Rosemead 7
Mountain View 3, Arroyo 2
El Monte 9, Gabrielino 7
Nonleague
Bishop Amat 5, Alemany 4


Diamond Bar jumps on Los Altos: In the new Hacienda League format teams face each other twice in the same week.
Winning on Wednesday doesn’t count more, but it sure makes things a lot easier for Friday’s rematch.
Diamond Bar (7-1,2-1) totaled 10 hits, got a complete-game performance from senior Zeph Walters and took advantage of three Los Altos errors while cruising to a 9-1 win.
“Anytime you can win the opener it’s important,” Brahmas coach Eric Shibley said. “With the change in the league format this year, getting the first win is huge. You don’t want to be guessing and chasing that second game.”

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Softball Rankings: No change at the top; Bishop Amat still No. 1, followed closing by Chino Hills and Ayala

Bishop Amat, winners of seven consecutive games, continues to look like the best team in the area.
Staff photo by Keith Birmingham

Here’s this week’s area softball top 10
1. Bishop Amat (7-2) –
The Lancers, after losing two early, are rolling with seven consecutive wins. They’ll test rival their streak vs. St. Paul today.
2. Chino Hills (10-4) – The Huskies have a deceiving record that’s been hampered by a tough schedule. They are still the favorite going into Sierra League play.
3. Ayala (8-2) – The Bulldogs look like Chino Hills’ chief challenger in the Sierra League. They enjoyed another solid week, with the only loss to a strong Los Osos squad.
4. South Hills (9-3) – The Huskies of West Covina are rounding into form, advancing to the finals of the Charter Oak tournament before losing to Corona Centennial.
5. Bonita (6-3) – The Bearcats look like the team to beat in the Hacienda League after reaching the Charter Oak Tournament semifinals.
6. Charter Oak (8-2) – The Chargers show how tough the Sierra League is, going 3-1 at their tournament, including a win over one of the top teams from Whittier in 2012 semifinalist La Habra.
7. Northview (4-4) – The Vikings have a solid start, advancing to the San Dimas Tournament semifinals and splitting four games at the Charter Oak tourney.
8. St. Lucy’s (3-5) – The Regents, who went 1-2 for the week, should make some noise in the Sierra League. But this still looks like a team finding its way.
9. San Dimas (6-6) – The Saints have been even keel until now, but their strength will be shown in Valle Vista League play.
10. Duarte (5-2) – The Falcons, the favorite in the Montview League have looked impressive in their last two games, outscoring the opposition, 37-0.

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Covina rallies to knock off Northview 4-3 in VVL opener; Charter Oak upsets South Hills 8-7; San Dimas, Nogales win, Glendora loses

Covina-Northview photo gallery

By Steve Ramirez
twitter.com/SteveRRamirez

COVINA – All the talk about the chase for the Valle Vista League baseball title this season has centered on Northview, Nogales and San Dimas.
Covina showed Tuesday it’s ready to enter the fray.
Brian Maag, Adam Valdez and Jesus Perez had RBIs and pitcher Joseph Wills got the last four outs in relief as the visiting Colts rallied for a 4-3 victory over rival Northview in the league opener.
The Vikings (6-2) had the tying and winning runs in scoring position in the sixth and seventh innings before Wills closed to the door for Covina, which improved to 5-3.
Covina, trailing 3-1, rallied for a 4-3 lead after an error, a bunt single by Daziel Rodriguez, two walks and two hit-batters.
Northview, following a lead-off double by Anthony Amaya, had runners on second and third in the seventh. But Wills closed the door with back-to-back strikeouts.
Covina coach Terence DeWan: “We know this league is tough from top to bottom. We just try to focus on pitching and playing one inning at a time. We’ve played some good teams, both in the fall and in preseason, so we felt good coming into today. The kids stepped up and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Northview coach Darren Murphy: “We had plenty of opportunities. It’s frustrating, but their pitchers stepped up and got outs.”
Covina’s Joseph Wills: “You just have to have faith in your defense. You have to have confidence they are going to make the plays. This was a big game. All of our guys were excited. As a team, we just rallied.”
Tuesday’s results
Sierra League Baseball
Charter Oak 8, South Hills 7
Damien 10, Claremont 4
Chino Hils 4, Ayala 3
Valle Vista League Baseball
Covina 4, Northview 3
Nogales 2, Baldwin Park 1
San Dimas 9, Wilson 3
Baseline Leauge Baseball
Los Osos 6, Glendora 2

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Baseball Rankings: South Hills moves on up; Northview a close second

South Hills moves on up.
Staff photo by Keith Birmingham

Here’s this week’s area baseball top 10
1. South Hills (6-1) – The Huskies take over the top spot after evening its series with Northview with an 8-3 victory. South Hills, which beat Claremont, 6-2, to open Sierra League play, also has a victory over Bonita on its resume.
2. Northview (6-1) – The Vikings are the real deal. Their resume includes winning the Dick’s Sporting Goods Invitational, which included area heavyweights South Hills, Bonita and Los Altos, and beating traditional power Millikan last week.
3. Nogales (8-0) – Longtime Nobles coach John Romano earned his 600th win last week, but lost in the hoopla is Nogales is off to its best start in recent memory.
4. Bonita (6-1) – Don’t sleepwalk on the Bearcats, who look as solid as ever. Bonita’s only loss is to South Hills. They rebounded from it with a 7-5 win over San Dimas last week.
5. Diamond Bar (6-1) – How good are the Brahmas? We might find out this week when they play a home-and-home against Los Altos. Diamond opened Hacienda League play by splitting a pair with West Covina, which has also lost just once.
6. Glendora (7-2) – The Tartans, the lone area entry in the Baseline League, get lost on the radar, but Dan Henley has another strong group. Glendora went 2-1 last week, beating Etiwanda and Upland.
7. San Dimas (6-2) – The Saints came down to early, losing to Bonita in extra innings. But they will make noise in the Valle Vista League title chase, which they begin this week with a home and home vs. Wilson.
8. Baldwin Park (6-1) – How good the Braves are should be answered this week when they play Nogales twice.
9. West Covina (8-1-1) – The Bulldogs earned a respectful split against Diamond Bar. Diamond Ranch (4-4) is up next.
10. Los Altos (5-2) – The Conquerors split two games last week to hold on to the No. 10 slot. They’ll have the opportunity to move up with games vs. Diamond Bar on the docket.
OTHERS
11. Damien (3-3) – The Spartans could be in trouble. They opened Sierra League play with a loss to an improved Ayala squad, and now end the week with a trip to favorite and No. 1 South Hills.
12. Bishop Amat (2-5) – The Lancers, who won on Monday, are still bogged down by a tough nonleague slate. But the league season is fast approaching, which should see them get on a roll.

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Baseball Notebook: Diamond Bar off to hot start, faces Los Altos this week

Staff photo by Keith Birmingham

By Steve Ramirez
twitter.com/SteveRRamirez

Diamond Bar High School started strong last baseball season, only to see it come apart in Hacienda League play.
The Brahmas, who won their first five nonleague games this season, are determined to not let it happen again, and they’ve already received some early answers after splitting a league series with West Covina last week.
Diamond Bar improved to 6-1 after rebounding from a 4-1 loss to the Bulldogs at home with a 14-3 shellacking on the road.
“It meant a lot (to beat West Covina),” Diamond Bar coach Eric Shibley said. “I think the guys showed the type of character they have. We made some adjustments after the first game.
“But the kids didn’t drop their heads and were ready to play.”
Diamond Bar’s strength this season has been in a the return of 10 players who had significant playing time in 2012. They’ve showed that experience early on.
The keys have been senior Zeph Walters, who is hitting .500 with 10 RBIs, and sophomore infielder/pitcher Jacob Cooke, who is hitting .500 with seven RBIs. Senior pitcher Sean Patton, who got the win against West Covina, is 3-0 with a 1.24 ERA.
“We have so many returners from last year and they’ve all contributed,” Shibley said. “They are just playing very well right now.
“Our strength of schedule is not the toughest, but I like how the guys have come out. We’ll find out more about ourselves this week.”
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Charter Oak softball tournament: South Hills and Centennial square off in today’s championship at 3

Bonita’s run ends in semis: Centennial High School of Corona took advantage of every opportunity and got another outstanding pitching performance by junior Alyssa Valinches to knock off Bonita 5-1 in Friday’s semifinals of the Charter Oak softball tournament.

South Hills advances to championship: For about two hours each day, the South Hills High School softball team can forget about its internal issues.
The Huskies have been able to put aside the turmoil surrounding longtime coach Scott Fisch when they step between the lines.

Charter Oak Softball Tournament at Big League Dreams in West Covina
Wednesday’s quarterfinal results
South Hills 7, La Serna 6
Monrovia 4, La Habra 0
Centennial 7, Schurr 0
Bonita 3, Charter Oak 1
Semifinals
South Hills 4, Monrovia 1
Centennial 5, Bonita 1
Championship, Saturday, 3 p.m.
South Hills vs. Corona Centennial

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