The Big River, Rio Ruiz takes on Clayton Kershaw and Rancho Cucamonga tonight

Clayton Kershaw will make the first rehabilitation start of his career Friday for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.
No timetable has been set for his return to a major-league mound, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly confirmed that Kershaw will need at least two rehab starts total. He’s expected to throw approximately 55 pitches Friday against the Lancaster Jethawks, who feature former Bishop Amat star and Tribune player of the year Rio Ruiz.
Kershaw threw a three-inning simulated game Sunday at Dodger Stadium.
“He came out of the bullpen good yesterday and we feel like we’re ready,” Mattingly said. “I don’t think anyone’s going to let him go out, even throw that sim game, if we weren’t allowing him just to go pitch.”
Kershaw hasn’t any setbacks in his recovery from a strained teres major muscle in his upper left back since he first threw off a mound 10 days ago.


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Longtime boys basketball coach and former Star-News coach of the year Hung Duong accused of “intimidation” tactics

By Zen Vuong, Pasadena Star-News
A Mark Keppel basketball coach allegedly used intimidation tactics recently to get a high school student to not “step out of line” by talking to the media, Anthony Acosta said.
Varsity Coach Hung Duong allegedly confronted Acosta, 17, less than 24 hours after a Star-News article quoted Acosta voicing his disappointment over Alhambra Unified School District’s decision to cut Horizons, a college preparatory program.
“He was like, ‘Why are you talking about this class? I don’t want you misrepresenting basketball,’” Acosta said. “It was just really intimidating. Like you would expect my coach to like encourage me to use my First Amendment right but, from what I got from him, he was basically saying don’t step out of line.”


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Is St. Francis football worried that it could win up in the Catholic South and Pac-5 Division?

By Aram Tolegian, staff writer
There’s a vibe out there among those who closely follow the Catholic Athletic Association’s high school football re-leaguing process that one more twist or turn is coming.
It’s the same vibe that one might get while watching a cinematic thriller that fools you into thinking the ending is obvious before one final act shatters all preconceived notions and leaves the audience with its mouth open.
In theory, the final act to this saga should have already been played out when the CAA met on Tuesday and in a close vote put forth its latest and final proposal for league alignments that would span the next four years.

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Softball: Carlie Salm, Lindsey Hughes lead San Dimas over Northview

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
San Dimas High School has been the dominant softball team in the Valle Vista League this season.
The Saints lived up to the billing Thursday.
Carlie Salm had two RBIs and scored two runs and Lindsey Hughes was solid in circle to lead host San Dimas to an 8-0 victory over Northview in a league game.
Hughes tossed a 3-hit shutout and struck out seven for the Saints, who improved to 15-7 overall and 7-0. San Dimas, which had 13 hits, also got two hits each from Jennifer Aguinaga, Janell Wheaton, Briana Quintana, Davina Doran and Kennedy Anderson.
Northview, getting a double from Ariela Burns, slipped to 9-10 and 4-3.
San Dimas led 6-0 after the first two innings. Salm hit a two-run triple in the first before Doran and Anderson followed with RBI hits for a 4-0 advantage. The Saints pushed it to 6-0 in the second on a RBI triple by Brooke Jackson and RBI single by Wheaton.
San Dimas’ Carlie Salm: “We knew they were going to come out harder this time, so we played our heart out. We didn’t want them to think they had a chance with us, so we came out hard.”

San Dimas’ Lindsey Hughes: “I felt really proud the way I pitched today. I know a shutout is a great thing, but I couldn’t have done it without my defense and offense helping me.”

Northview coach Jeff Butler: “They are a good hitting team all the way through. We tried to keep Janell from hurting us too bad. We played good, and the kids fought the whole time.”

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Feature: Gavin Velasquez steps up for South Hills

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
South Hills High School’s Gavin Velasquez was an after thought coming into the baseball season.
The junior pitcher had a limited role for the Huskies last season, and not many outside the program figured much more from him this season.
Everyone, but Velasquez, who has become one of the dominant players in the Valley, ranking among area leaders in wins, earned run average and strikeouts. He has filled in nicely replacing the gap left by 2013 Area Player of the Year Adrian De Horta, now playing minor league baseball for the San Diego Padres’ affiliate in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Velasquez’s transformation was even a surprise to new coach Darren Murphy, who has been pleasantly impressed with his new ace.

South Hills starter Gavin Velasquez has become one of the area's best pitchers this season, helping the Huskies to a 15-3-1 record. (Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News)

South Hills starter Gavin Velasquez has become one of the area’s best pitchers this season, helping the Huskies to a 15-3-1 record.
(Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News)

“Yes, it was (a surprise), but mainly because he was unknown,” Murphy said. “He had a great summer and a great fall and I had heard that coming in that he had really improved. But sometimes in a program like this, there are stars waiting to happen. They are kind of under wraps until they get their shot and he probably was in Adrian’s shadow a bit last year. But talking about a guy taking off when he’s given the opportunity, that’s Gavin.
“What makes Gavin special is the tougher the situation, the better he gets.”
Velasquez, who will be on the hill when South Hills visits Claremont at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, has flourished. He’s 5-1 with a 0.61 ERA while striking out 41 in 46 innings. The junior credits his effort to the preseason work he put in, knowing someone had to fill in on the mound for De Horta, His take was why not him?
“I didn’t get to pitch that much last year. I think I threw three innings the whole year,” Velasquez said. “But I got to learn a lot; the mental (aspect) was very big. When Adrian left that’s when everyone started doubting whether we would have (good) pitching this year.
“I took it among myself. (Teammate and starting pitcher Erik Martinez) and I talked a lot this year about how we needed to step it up this year. The big thing for us is not to panic, but to stay calm and play South Hills baseball.”
Velasquez has been the rock the Huskies have needed on the mound and a key to South Hills going 15-3-1 and sharing the first place with Damien and Chino Hills. The Huskies also won the Mingo Bay Classic in South Carolina in March and have been ranked in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 Top 10 all season.
The junior has lived up his role, including throwing two shut outs, while limiting the opposition to a .199 batting average in his seven starts. He’s has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 41-6 and has giving up just four earned runs. In two outings against Sierra League preseason favorite Chino Hills, Velasquez has yielded just one earned run, including a 5-hit shutout in a 1-0 victory over Chino Hills last week.
“I just try to handle it mentally,” said Velasquez, who committed to Cal State Fullerton in December. “I just try to keep throwing strikes; (a) first-pitch strike for me is big. If I don’t get a first-pitch strike, I just try to keep throwing strikes, because I try to limit my walks. Walks can turn into runs, so if you don’t throw strikes, you can’t win ball games.”
And with Velasquez on the mound, the Huskies are good position to continue their winning ways.

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Softball: Caitlyn Van Hemelryck, Natalie Lugo lead South Hills over Charter Oak

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
South Hills High School has shown the ability to be mentally tough when it matters most in recent years, and the Huskies showed off the trait again Wednesday.
Caitlyn Van Hemelryck singled with the bases loaded in the sixth to drive in the go-ahead run and freshman Natalie Lugo was dominant in the circle to lead the host Huskies to a 2-1 victory over Charter Oak in a key Sierra League game.
Lugo tossed a 3-hitter and struck out 12 for the area No. 1 Huskies, who improved to 17-4 overall and 3-1 in league play. Van Hemelryck also had two hits.
Sierra Hensel hit a home run in the sixth and Kaile Chavez had two hits for the area No. 3 Chargers, who slipped to 13-6 and 1-2.
South Hills, after falling behind 1-0 on Hensel’s home run, put runners on second and third with one out in the sixth following a lead-off walk to Marissa Reyes and a single by Marissa Thornburg. Charter Oak pitcher Brooke Clemetson, who relieved Chavez in the fourth, looked like she might get out of it after striking out Melysia Ortega.
But after Mariah Tovar was walked to load the bases, Ryenne Chavez reached on a fielding error, which scored Reyes and tied it at 1. Van Hemelryck with a line-drive single that hortstop Marissa Chavez was able to knock down before throwing to third late, allowing Thornburg to score for the 2-1 lead.
Lugo, who had 10 strike outs through the first four innings, got Charger Oak in order in the seventh, getting Marissa Chavez on a grounder back to the circle to end it.

South Hills’ Caitlyn Van Hemelryck: “This is a big win for us. Natalie did a great job of keeping them down and pitching great. It was a big win. We hadn’t beat Charter Oak in a while, so to come back the way we did felt good.”

Charter Oak’s Sierra Hensel: “It’s tough,” Hensel said. “All around as a team, we just need to take a few more cuts in the cage and come up with a little more focus. Hopefully, next time we can come out and do better.”

South Hills coach Brandon Gonzalez: “Every league game is like a playoff game. We battled back. We were down 1-0 and we came back and scored those two runs. It wasn’t pretty, but we got the job done. We’ve done this before where we wake up and start scoring runs. It’s not a good thing to do, but for some reason that’s how they’ve been playing.
South Hills coach Scott Higuera: “Bottom line is we weren’t able to finish. (South Hills) did a good job of getting the ball in play in the bottom of the sixth inning. Overall, we could have done a better job of getting the ball in play all game long. Our at-bats weren’t very good. (Natalie) Lugo had a good came; credit to her. But I thought we could have had better at-bats.”

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Baseball: Glendora takes control of Baseline with 1-0 victory over Rancho Cucamonga

Glendora starting pitcher Kale Morton (C) throws to the plate against Rancho Cucamonga in the first inning of a prep baseball game at Glendora High School in Glendora, Calif., on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.  (Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News)

Glendora starting pitcher Kale Morton (C) throws to the plate against Rancho Cucamonga in the first inning of a prep baseball game at Glendora High School in Glendora, Calif., on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.
(Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News)

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

GLENDORA — Glendora High School didn’t clinch the Baseline League baseball title Tuesday, but the host Tartans took a pretty big step.
D.J. Peters scored on an error in the seventh inning and Kale Morton threw a 2-hit shut out as Glendora opened up a two-game lead in league play with a 1-0 victory over second-place Rancho Cucamonga.
Morton also struck out 10 and didn’t allow a base runner to reach third base for the Tartans, who improved to 14-5 overall and 7-1 in the Baseline League.
Michael Lopez tossed a 4-hitter and struck out four for Rancho Cucamonga, which slipped to 10-9 and 5-3. The Tartans, who play at Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday, moved to at last two games ahead of the Cougars and Upland, which was 14-3 and 4-3 coming into Tuesday. The win also gives Glendora the tie-breaking advantage, with two wins each against Rancho Cucamonga and Upland.
Morton and Lopez battled back and forth before Glendora got the break it needed in the seventh.
Peters led off with a single and with one out advanced to second on a wild pitch. He then scored the winning run when Alex Briggs hit a chopper between third and short. Third baseman Logan Rinehart fielded it and while attempting to tag Peters, who had rounded third too wide, he dropped the ball, allowing Peters to score for the 1-0 victory.

Glendora coach Dan Henley: “The win was big. It gives us two games separation on them., which obviously means a lot. We lose the game and we’re tied up with a game on Thursday.”

Glendora’s DJ Peters: “I rounded third a little bit too much. Thankfully, he bobbled it, or I would’ve been out.”

Rancho Cucamonga’s Michael Lopez: “It’s really tough. But we’ll bounce back. We’ll take a lot from this loss.”

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