Baseball: Duarte stays alive, beats Sierra Vista, 3-1

By Steve Ramirez
steve.ramirez@sgvn.com
DUARTE —
It was put up or shut up for the Duarte High School baseball team.
The Falcons had to win, or say goodbye to their Montview League title hopes.
Catcher Sergio Garcia and pitcher Joel Ortega kept those aspirations alive Tuesday.
Garcia and Ortega each had RBIs in the sixth to break a score-less tie and Ortega pitched a solid six innings to lead Duarte to a 3-1 victory over Sierra Vista in a key Montview League game at Montgomery Field.
The Falcons improved to 11-11 overall and 8-3 in league play. Drew Valdez, who relieved Ortega, got out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh to earn the save.
Oscar Huerta had an RBI for Sierra Vista, which slipped to 14-5 and 8-3.
“This was big,” Duarte coach Brian Grimm said. “If we lose, we go down two games with three to play. It’s a big win.”
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Northview roughs up Nogales 7-0 while San Dimas’ Jimmy Lambert throws a perfect game in 5-0 win over Pomona

Northview coach Darren Murphy: “The goal is to be on the busride home Thursday with a shot to win this thing rather than needing help or hoping somebody loses. But you know Nogales is going to be ready. They’re going to rally them up and he (Nogales coach John Romano) will use every rally tactic he can.”

Nogales coach John Romano: “We’re in fourth, we’re 19-5 and we’re going to play Thursday. We’ve got the same team that won 22 games in a row last year and was the league champs. There is no magic here. We were beaten, we lost and they outplayed us. That’s the bottom line, there’s no sugar-coating it.”

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Northview all but ended what little chance Nogales had of defending its Valle Vista League title with a 7-0 shutout over the Nobles on Tuesday at Northview.
Vikings pitcher Niko Castaneda deserves most of the credit for out-dueling Nogales’ reigning league MVP pitcher Erik Gonzales, pitching a complete game and scattering five hits.
Castadena didn’t do it alone, Northview turned three double plays to improve to 19-6 and 7-2.
The Vikings, ranked fourth in Division 4, remain a game back of sixth-ranked San Dimas (19-6, 8-1), which defeated Pomona 5-0 behind a perfect game from Jimmy Lambert, who also had nine strikeouts.
Northview finishes league next week with two games against San Dimas that could decide the league title if the Vikings can defeat Nogales again on Thursday.
The Nobles are 19-5 overall, but a disappointing 5-4 in league to fall to fourth in the VVL behind Baldwin Park (18-5, 7-3).
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Baseball Rankings: Bishop Amat on a roll with seven straight Ws, Bonita still No. 1, Valle Vista heats up this week

CIF RANKINGS
Division 2:
1. Cypress, 2. Redlands East Valley, 3. Temecula Valley, 4. San Clemente, 5. Los Osos, 6. South Hills, 7. Redlands, 8. Oxnard, 9. Dos Pueblos, 10. Aliso Niguel, 11. Glendora, 12. La Mirada.
Division 3: 1. Bonita, 2. Serra, 3. Gahr, 4. Palm Desert, 5. Quartz Hill, 6. Loara, 7. Paloma Valley, 8. Warren, 9. Diamond Bar, 10. Bishop Amat.
Division 4: 1. Oaks Christian, 2. Kaiser, 3. Laguna Beach, 4. Northview, 5. Sonora, 6. San Dimas, 7. Baldwin Park, 8. Montclair, 9. Nogales, 10. Don Lugo.

Here’s this week’s area baseball rankings
1. Bonita (21-2-1) – It’s going so good for the Bearcats that Sam Stavang threw a no-hitter and struck out 10 in a 9-0 shutout over Los Altos to improve the ‘Cats to 8-0 in the Hacienda. However, over the weekend Bonita suffered a 4-1 loss to Oaks Christian, ranked 11th in the state by Maxpreps.
2. South Hills (17-5) – The Huskies turned what was thought to be a close Sierra League title race into a three-game lead with four to play. The Huskies finish with two games against Ayala and Chino Hills, but it would take a mammoth collapse for the Huskies not to take the Sierra again.
3. Glendora (16-6) – The Tartans are still a game back of Los Osos, who it will face twice next week. That means it can’t afford to stumble with a pair against Etiwanda (11-10-1) this week.
4. San Dimas (18-6) – The Saints are in the Valle Vista drivers seat with a game lead over Northview and two easy games this week against Pomona while the Vikings play twice against Nogales. But the Saints have to finish the job next week with two against Northview, so all is not locked up yet.
5. Northview (18-6) – The Vikings’ 3-0 loss to Baldwin Park leaves them in a tough spot with two weeks to go and two games apiece against Nogales and San Dimas. But even if they totally screw up and somehow fall to fourth, it appears four teams from the VVL will make the playoffs. But nobody wants to go the wild card route.
6. Baldwin Park (18-5) – The Braves are in a great spot with only two games left in the VVL against Wilson, both games they should win to finish 9-3 in league, which is good for at least third and maybe better depending on how Northview, Nogales and San Dimas fare against each other over the final two weeks.
7. Nogales (19-4) – Nogales has the beautiful overall record on paper, but the Nobles are fourth in league and need to show they’re the real deal in the home stretch.
8. Diamond Bar (17-4) – The Brahmas suffered an unexplainable 2-0 loss to Walnut that dropped it to 6-2 in league, two games back of Bonita. That means the Brahmas likely have to win out, including beating Bonita twice next week to have a shot at sharing the title. Good luck with that.
9. Bishop Amat (13-10) – The Lancers have quietly won seven straight, including a nice non-league 4-2 win over La Mirada over the weekend. Amat, 4-2 in league, faces Cathedraol, 5-1, and in second, twice this week. If the Lancers sweep, then maybe they will be someone to reckon with in the playoffs.
10. Chino Hills (14-8) – The Huskies are tied with Claremont for second in the Sierra with 6-5 records, three games back of 9-2 South Hills.

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Softball Rankings: Ayala, Chino Hills battle for first in the Sierra; No. 1 Amat closes in on Del Rey

CIF RANKINGS
Division 2
: 1. Mission Viejo, 2. Moorpark, 3. Chino, 4. Lakewood, 5. Millikan, 6. Chino Hills, 7. Mayfair, 8. Royal, 9. Ayala, 10. Beckman.
Division 3: 1. Highland, 2. Burbank, 3. Bishop Amat, 4. Righetti, 5. Alemany, 6. La Serna, 7. California, 8. Torrance, 9. Colton, 10. North Torrance.
Division 5: 1. Citrus Valley, 2. Downey Calvary Chapel, 3. Nipomo, 4. Lakewood, 5. Millikan, 6. San Dimas, 7. Ridgecrest Burroughs, 8. Aquinas, 9. Santa Ana Calvary Chapel, 10. Silverado.


This week’s softball rankings:
1. Bishop Amat (18-4)
– Amat can shut the door on the Del Rey League title with a win over St. Paul at home Thursday. They’ve been the areas best team from start to finish, but the CIF playoffs is where they need to show their stuff.
2. Ayala (15-4) – The Bulldogs are tied for first with Chino Hills and host the Huskies today in what should ultimately decide the league title. Who knew Ayala would be this good?
3. South Hills (15-5) – When you think of what the Huskies went through early in the season in losing coach Scott Fisch, who still hasn’t returned from administrative leave, this is one of the best stories in softball. The Huskies are 4-2 in league and control their own destiny finishing next week with Ayala and Chino Hills.
4. Chino Hills (19-7) – With Patricia Parks in the circle, everyone thought this would be the areas best team, but it hasn’t worked out the way. They suffered a shocking loss to South Hills and are now tied for first in the Sierra with Ayala, both 5-1 in league.
5. Bonita (18-6) – After Bonita finishes whipping on Walnut this week, the Hacienda League title will come down to two games in the final week against Diamond Bar, 7-1. Diamond Bar should beat up on Rowland too, so everything is set up for what should be championship week next week.
6. Charter Oak (17-6) – The Chargers are fourth and need a win over South Hills today for a chance at finishing third. Not sure if they’re a wild-card candidate if they finish fourth, but a big game regardless.
7. San Dimas (16-8) – The Saints are 9-0 in the Valle Vista and can clinch it outright next week against Northview. The Saints and Vikings are far-and-away the two best teams.
8. Northview (15-5) – The Vikings are 7-1 in the Valle Vista and have been solid most of the season. As long as they take care of all the games in between, they should face the Saints in the league finale for a piece of the title.
9. Duarte (15-3) – Duarte is dominating the Montview, 10-0 in league with nobody to challenge them. What the Falcons should do is challenge themselves next, and enter stronger tournaments next season.
10. South El Monte (13-4) – The Eagles are 11-0 in the Mission Valley and have done so easily. It must get tiring blowing away the competition like this. Then again, maybe not.

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