Chino Hills baseball clinches Sierra, ending South Hills’ bid for 12th straight league title; Damien finishes fourth

Chino Hills (21-5, 12-3) baseball won the Sierra League title outright with a 16-9 victory over Damien (16-9, 8-7). South Hills, which needed Chino Hills to lose to earn its 12th straight league title, beat Ayala 4-2 behind a strong pitching performance from Gavin Velasquez, giving South Hills (20-5-1, 11-4) sole possession of second. Damien finishes in a tie for third with Ayala (15-12, 8-7), but Ayala won the season-series 2-1 and gets the third playoff spot. Unless Damien gets an at-large berth in the Division 2 playoffs, its season is over.

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  • HSBaseballFan

    What a dismal season for the talented and hard-working Damien players–a team with so much talent. However, the boys have just partaken in another year of incompetent “coaching.” To add insult to injury, the boys have had a miserable time, too. No team cohesiveness–”Thank you very much, Coaches Leyva, Bast, and Claprod!” Nice job . . .

    How many years has Damien been saying, “Oh, wait until next year!” The common denominator: Al Leyva, Steve Bast, and Skip Claprod. Period. The three are ALL TO BLAME . . . all three need to go . . . and the sooner the better.

    • Sports watcher

      I agree! What a on epic failure once again. These coaches are all a joke! They are the laughing stock! So many parents dislike these coaches and probably enjoy seeing this ship sink. I can’t blame them. Al, Skip and Steve need to resign immediately or be fired! I blame the AD too. Grant keeps them around because he is incompetent to fire these horrible coaches and doesn’t know how to run a premier sports program. It starts at the top. I wouldn’t be surprised if this circus makes another appearance next year. Damien administration lacks testicles to fire incompetent coaches and run a premier baseball program. So many great players leave Damien only to have a very successful high school career elsewhere. It’s all politics and unfortunately, it doesn’t win league. This Varsity offense is horrible. They cannot hit the side of a barn if they wanted to. Pitching can only take you so far. It’s unfortunate for these boys and parents to end the season like this, but then again, they shouldn’t be surprised. After all, anyone who baseball knows Al, Skip and Steve aren’t good coaches and saw this coming again.

      • apachejoe

        wasn’t skip a legend at Citrus? He’s gotta know something to have the success he had and to take so many players and develop into top prospects at the next level. Yes he can come off as arrogant, I don’t think it’s arrogance I think it’s confidence in what he’s doing, it’s a fine line.. I truly don’t know what happened at Damien I do know some of those players aren’t as good as the parents think they are..

        • Robert

          Lets all take a step back and see what goes on in today’s baseball arena. All these kids play in the off season and are really not competing to win but to better there game. When it comes time to compete and win games in competition its a whole new thing. We need to get these kids playing to win games for a reason not just have our skills evaluated until we a sick to our stomachs. A lot of these kids are working to better there skills as oppose to being taught to play and win the game All these things add up to not understanding how to win a game. Can someone help me out here???

          • Hopingforbetter

            So, Robert is saying that because these Damien boys play on travel and summer ball teams where they further develop their baseball skills, they come to Damien coaches without a desire or wherewithall to win? Wow. That is the craziest thing i have heard. These boys play on winning summer teams so they DO know how to win! And, many of them play together–so they know how to win together. So, why can’t they win with Al Leyva? Isn’t it the Head Coach’s job to continue to have the boys win in his high school program? Robert, you ask where is the disconnect? It can be argued that the disconnect solely rests with Al Leyva as the Head Coach.

        • HSBaseballFan

          Come on! Think Bobby Valentine, the guy knows baseball from front to back but what he did not know was how to deal with people and he was a loser. A Loser! That is what the Damien coaches have in common with Bobby Valentine they do not know how to deal with people/young men/high school baseball players. Valentine had talent but could not win. New coach and a world championship. Think new HEAD COACH at Damien and you have the start of a championship team.

          • Sports watcher

            I agree!

        • Sports watcher

          Skip a Legend? Far from. He is no John Wooden and it’s a JC with no real ranking. The meaning of legend is relative.

    • Sports watcher

      I agree! What epic failure once again. These coaches are all a joke! They are the laughing stock! So many parents dislike these coaches and probably enjoy seeing this ship sink. I can’t blame them. Al, Skip and Steve need to resign immediately or be fired! I blame the AD too. Grant keeps them around because he is incompetent to fire these horrible coaches and doesn’t know how to run a premier sports program. It starts at the top. I wouldn’t be surprised if this circus makes another appearance next year. Damien administration lacks testicles to fire incompetent coaches and run a premier baseball program. So many great players leave Damien only to have a very successful high school career elsewhere. It’s all politics and unfortunately, it doesn’t win league. This Varsity offense is horrible. They cannot hit the side of a barn if they wanted to. Pitching can only take you so far. It’s unfortunate for these boys and parents to end the season like this, but then again, they shouldn’t be surprised. After all, anyone who knows baseball knows that Al, Skip and Steve aren’t good coaches and saw this coming again. We just waited patiently to prove we are right! :)

    • Sports watcher

      It’s embarrassing every high school within a 3 mile radius Bonita, Glendora and San Dimas won league and Damien didn’t make a playoffs. If that doesn’t speak volumes on the Damien’s coaching staff’s failure. I personally am not surprised.

  • South of covina

    What about Charter Oak, the laughing stock and whipping board of the valley. So much talent, all returners came back and a new coach that can’t coach or motivate talent. What a huge embarrassment to the high school, the alumni, and all the applicants that applied for the coaching position. We end up with AJ 3-9 last year in league and 2-13 this year. Need to fire the coach and hire a quality coach.

    • Valley Athletics

      Charter oak could be the champs next year in the hacienda . After seeing D1 pitchers and players weekly . Playing in the hacienda will be a breeze .

      • South of covina

        WOW. Apparently Charter Oak administration hired AJ, a rec ball coach knowing that he’s way out of his league in high school baseball. They need to cut there loses, move forward and bring pride back to Charter Oak.

  • Robert

    What im saying is all kids at all schools. Travel ball for most kids are like friendly games in softball . There not playing for anything.