Rowland’s Devin Thompson a feel-good comeback story; He will compete in long and triple jump at state finals

thompsonBy Keith Lair, staff writer
The surprise of the high school track and field season has been the late-season surge of Devin Thompson.
The Rowland High School senior is only one of two San Gabriel Valley athletes competing in two individual events in this weekend’s CIF State meet in Clovis.
Thompson did not compete for 1 1/2 years because of academic issues. He will try to qualify for the finals in both the long and triple jumps on Friday.
“It’s been a wake-up call,” Thompson said. “I’m treating this as more of a comeback season. I really have to thank coach (Dan) Luna and the staff for pushing me through all these obstacles and making me eligible for track.
“I went in as an underdog and I’ve come out out in the middle of the pack. I’m pretty confident at this point.”

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CIF-SS Baseball/Softball finals schedule

For those interested in attending CIF-SS baseball or softball finals this weekend, here’s your schedule.

Division 1

Mira Costa vs. Harvard-Westlake, Friday, Dodger Stadium, 8 p.m.
Division 2
Temecula Valley vs. Cypress, Friday, Dodger Stadium, 5 p.m.
Division 3
Mira Costa vs. Serra, Friday, Dodger Stadium, 2 p.m.
Division 4
El Rancho vs., Oaks Christian, Saturday, UC Riverside, 7:30 pm.
Division 5
Ontario Christian/Oaks Hills winner vs. Citrus Valley, Saturday, UC Riverside, 1 p.m.
Division 6
Desert Christian Academy vs. Capistrano Valley Christian, Saturday, UC Riverside, 4 p.m.
Division 7
Firebaugh vs. Temecula Prep, Saturday, UC Riverside, 10 a.m.

Division 1

Corona Santiago vs. Norco, Saturday, Deanna Manning, 7 p.m.
Division 2
Lakewood vs. Chino, Saturday, Deanna Manning, 3 p.m.
Division 3
Sunny Hills vs. Righetti, Friday, Deanna Manning, 7:30 p.m.
Division 4
Santa Monica vs. Hemet, Saturday, Deanna Manning, 12:30 p.m.
Division 5
Montebello vs. Aquinas, Friday, Deanna Manning, 5:15 p.m.
Division 6
Mary Star vs. Bell-Jeff, Saturday, Deanna Manning, 10 a.m.
Division 7
Southlands Christian vs. Mesa Grande, Friday, Deanna Manning, 3 p.m.

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Softball: Aquinas ends Northview’s dream run, 9-1

By Steve Ramirez
Staff Writer
Northview and Aquinas high schools began Tuesday dreaming of winning their program’s first CIF-Southern Section title.
For the visiting Falcons, that quest is still alive.
Jessica Valenzuela hit a three-run home run in the third inning and Allie Hotetz was solid in the circle and Aquinas advanced to its first CIF-SS championship game with a 9-1 victgory over the Vikings in a Division 5 semifinal.
Hotetz tossed a four-hitter and struck out three and Maritsa Cardona had four hits and two RBIs for the Falcons, who improved to 25-2 and will face either Silverado or Montebello in the title game, either Friday or Saturday at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine. The CIF-SS will release the championship game schedule today.
Northview, which was in the semifinals for the first time, finished 21-8.
“A lot of girls who have gone on to college have built this program when we got to the quarters and the semifinals and we couldn’t get over the hump and get to the finals,” Aquinas coach Chris Ybarra said. “These girls are proving to everyone that it doesn’t always mean how big your school is, as long as you can come together.
“I said it last week, they play for each other. They don’t play for individual stats. They want to play for their team, because they want to win it as group. And they are playing for their seniors. It’s exciting, and I’m very proud of my girls and I hope it can continue (in the championship game).”
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IT’S OVER: Baldwin Park, Diamond Bar, San Dimas finished, and so is the SGV

Photo gallery of El Rancho, Baldwin Park

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
El Rancho’s history-making march in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 baseball playoffs took another giant step.
El Rancho rallied for a 5-4 victory over Baldwin Park in the semifinals on Tuesday, sending the Dons to their first title game ever.
Baldwin Park was hoping to play for its first title since 1982, but El Rancho’s Joe Sanchez broke a 4-4 tie in the top of seventh with a single up that middle that drove in Nick Vasquez for the go-ahead run.
“I know I had two strikes on me, but there’s no time to press the panic button,” Sanchez said. “I knew I had to get the job done and got it done. I stuck with the basics and went up the middle. That’s what I was thinking the whole way.”
Baldwin Park had a chance to tie in the bottom of the seventh. With runners on first and third and two outs, Dons reliever Julian Vizcarra struck out Braves clean-up hitter Dominic Hilo to end the game.
“Every day we say believe, believe, believe,” Sanchez said. “We never gave up and never put our heads down. We’re 24 strong and we got it done.”
After finishing third in the Del Rio League, El Rancho (20-10) will face top seed Oaks Christian, a 3-0 winner over San Dimas, in the championship on Saturday at UC Riverside at 7:30 p.m.
Baldwin Park finishes 23-4. (To continue, click link).


Division 3
Serra 9, Diamond Bar 2
Division 4
Oaks Christian 3, San Dimas 0
El Rancho 5, Baldwin Park 4
Tuesday’s semifinals
Division 5

Aquinas 9, Northview 1


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Baseball: The hits just kept on coming as San Dimas rolls Sonora, 19-5, to advance to semifinals

By Steve Ramirez
Staff Writer
The general concept says that the degree of difficulty is supposed to increase the further a team advances in the CIF-Southern Section baseball playoffs.
San Dimas High School might be the exception.
Ricky Ramirez had four hits and three RBIs and Josh Avila had four RBIs to lead a 22-hit attack as the Saints cruised to the semifinals with a 19-5 victory over visiting Sonora in a Division 4 quarterfinal game.
San Dimas, also getting three hits and three RBIs from Logan Murratalla and three hits and two RBIs from Andrew Espinoza, improved to 26-6 and will travel to top seed Oaks Christian, which eliminated Northview, 15-4, in Tuesday’s semifinals.
AJ Oviedo and Brandon Chandler had three hits each for Sonora, which finished 23-7.
“It did shock us,” said Ramirez, who had a double and single to highlight a 12-run third inning which put the game away. “We were expecting a battle. We had the opportunity to score a lot of runs and it made it a lot easier for us. It just made every thing go smooth.”
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Baseball: Baldwin Park, Diamond Bar, San Dimas advance to semis; Bishop Amat, South Hills, Northview finished

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Baldwin Park pitcher Ben Fonseca pitched a complete game, allowing four hits with 11 strikeouts to lead the Braves to a 3-2 victory over Riverside La Sierra, sending the Braves to the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 semifinals on Tuesday.
VNORTHVIEWBaldwin Park (22-6), seeking its first CIF title since 1982, will face El Rancho, a 6-4 winner over El Segundo, in the semifinals at a site to be determined by a coin flip.
“We just want to keep going,” Baldwin Park coach Jake Barendregt said. “Ben was his stellar self again, he’s been like that all year for us.”
La Sierra’s Matt Hardy belted two home runs, his home run in the first giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
Baldwin Park’s Jordan Palacio scored Dominic Hilo on a ground out in the second inning to tie the score, 1-1.
The Braves took a 3-1 lead in the fourth.
Palacio’s ground out scored Hilo again, and Justin Tellez singled home Timothy Wells.
Hardy hit his second homer in the sixth inning to trim the Braves’ lead to 3-2, but they were able to hold on behind behind Fonseca and a clutch throw in the seventh.
Braves outfielder Ryan Cruz threw out the tying run at third to end the game.
“He (Foncseca) grinded it out and threw strikes,” Barendregt said. “He only made two mistakes (on the HRs), that’s it.”

Division 2

Vista Murrieta 2, South Hills 1
Division 3
Mira Costa 4, Bishop Amat 2
Diamond Bar 5, Gahr 3
Division 4
Oaks Christian 14, Northview 4
San Dimas 19, Sonora 5
Baldwin Park 3, La Sierra 2
Tuesday’s semifinals
Division 3

Serra vs. Diamond Bar
Division 4
San Dimas at Oaks Christian
Baldwin Park vs. El Rancho

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Mira Costa took advantage of Bishop Amat’s mistakes and senior lefty Chris Alcala did the rest, going the distance to lift the Mustangs to a 4-2 victory over the Lancers in Friday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 3 quarterfinal.
Mira Costa (23-11) advances to Tuesday semifinals, where it will face the Peninsula-Elsinore winner.
Alcala gave up just five hits and retired the Lancers in order in the seventh to finish it off.
“I just tried to go out there and throw strikes,” Alcala said. “Coming into the game coaches told me we’re going to try and saw them off, throw the fast ball soft and away. It definitely helped.”
Alcala and Amat starter Andrew Eppenbach battled through four scoreless innings when Amat’s defense let Eppenbach down.
VAMATWith a runner on first and two outs, Eppenbach got Mira Costa’s Austin Henning to hit a routine grounder to second, but Evan Claproth’s throw to first was dropped for an error.
After the runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, the Lancers walked clean-up hitter Jack Webber intentionally to load the bases.
Braden Casady made them pay, singling home a pair to go up 2-0.
Mustang’s coach Cassidy Olson hasn’t spoken to the local media this season and said he doesn’t want to jinx it now.
But assistant Rob Duron was more than happy to talk about Casady’s pay-off single.
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Who is the area softball player of the year? Coach of the year? Who should be on first team?

Let’s see how good you’re selecting a Tribune first-team softball team. Fill in the blanks and discuss it amongst yourselves.
Player of the year:
(2) Pitchers:
(4) Infielder:
(3) Outfielders:
(1) Utility:

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