Bishop Amat rallies and stuns Palm Desert, 4-3, to claim CIF-SS Division 3 title

Photo gallery of Bishop Amat’s 4-3 victory over Palm Desert

Bishop Amat rallied to beat Palm Desert, 4-3, to give Amat its fourth championship under coach Andy Nieto in eight years, and ninth title all-time. Steve Ramirez’s story is below.

amatchamps

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
LOS ANGELES >>
A little more than a month ago, the Bishop Amat High School baseball team looked all but dead, losing three consecutive games and was in danger of missing the CIF-Southern Section playoffs.
Today, the Lancers are champions.
Michael Palos had a RBI double to tie it and Bryan Menendez followed with an RBI single for the lead and the Lancers rallied late for the fourth consecutive game to win the school’s ninth CIF-SS championship with a 4-3 victory over top seed Palm Desert in the Division 3 title game Friday at Dodger Stadium.

Christian Moya and Palos had two hits each for the Lancers, who finished 21-11, closing the season with a 10-game winning streak and its fourth CIF-SS title since 2007.
Andrew Clark, Gil Sauceda and Kyle Kabeary had two hits each for Palm Desert, which finished 27-7. It was also the Aztecs second loss to Amat in a championship game, losing 7-0 here in 2011.
“Winning a CIF championship is sweet, but winning it this way is even better,” Palos said. “It speaks volumes of the character of our team. We had our backs against the wall the whole time (during the playoffs), but we never gave up on ourselves.
“We always believed we could come back. We just picked each other up, rallied around each other. It just makes the victory that much more sweeter.”

Bishop Amat used the same formula that worked for the Lancers the three previous games, this time falling behind, 3-0, after four innings. But Bishop Amat, which put together winning rallied late in wins over Quartz Hill and Redondo in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, didn’t waiver.
The Lancers cut it to 3-1 in the fifth on a lead-off double by Sergio Robles and a RBI ground out by Jayson Gonzalez before scoring three runs in the sixth for the 4-3 lead.
Moya led off with an infield single before Anthony Walters was hit by a pitch. Both were sacrificed to second and third before Moya scored on a RBI ground out by Scott Hurst to cut it to 3-2.
Palos tied it with a RBI double on a line drive to left field that Kabeary was unable to handle, scoring Walters to tie it at 3. Menendez, who was 0 for 6 in the previous two playoff wins, then popped a single to short left, scoring pinch-runner Bijor Decena for the 4-3 lead.
“It was crazy,” Menendez said. “Going up there, I didn’t know what I was thinking. I can’t even remember. I just brought my team home. We were never down. We were just struggling a bit. But we pulled ourselves together.”

Hurst, who saved the previous three games, retired Palm Desert in order in the seventh, striking out Isaias Torres and Cody Finley for his sixth save of the year and the championship.

“They took it to us early,” Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto said. “But in the end, we were able to do what we had done, which was try to keep it at a reasonable distance and try to put us in a position to strike back.
“Our guys are extremely resilient. They never quit. We had a lot of doubters (in recent weeks). But those doubters learned an important life lesson — never doubt the spirit of the team. I’m proud of our guys. They deserved everything they’ve received and they deserve to be (champions).”

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  • http://sgvtribune.com/ Galileo

    Scott Hurst, mono-tone fish wraps “player of the year”
    !

  • FredJ

    No more talk about schedule. Bishop Amat beat one of the best teams and pitchers in the section today, a team that already beat Foothill, a team playing in the D-1 title game tonight. Enough said.

    • Not Since 1995

      Thank you! Way to go AMAT!

    • Robert

      Front runner Fred ask Nieto if hes leaving now???

      • FredJ

        I asked, he said no, and I know what is being said behind the scenes in terms of the administration at Amat.

  • Valley Athletics

    Good win .. That’s 4 in a row against palm desert . Congrats to players and coaching staff.

  • http://sgvtribune.com/ Galileo

    will the uber talented and sage,seer,savant Mr. Libero have an end of the year SGV top ten teams?

    • FredJ

      Yes he will, when all-area comes out next week

  • AMAT 73

    Congratulation to the LANCERS on getting it done . You put all the doubters in their proper place .GREAT JOB AND ENJOY THE CHAMPIONSHIP . AMAT DID SHINE TODAY !!!!!!!!!

  • Don

    Way to go Lancers. Never saw this coming. Good job boys.

  • Lance R

    Never say never doubters….this team proved many wrong and as much as head coach Andy Nieto gets thrown under the bus he continues to get the school Champions banners in baseball. Credit to Andy, the staff and of course the players who get the job done on the field. Gentleman feel good about yourselves this morning you brought it home again and are part so Lancer history. Nice ending to a questionable season. Mighty are the Men that wear The Blue and Gold.

    • Robert

      Lets not all forget what went on at Penn State any abuse is abuse!!!

      • Nomoredrama

        So, years of allowing sexual abuse on your campus and within your football program is comparable to what???? What kind of abuse was going on at Amat that compares to Penn State?

        • Robert

          The abuse. No kind of abuse should tolerated. Because thwy win the abuse us sweped under the rug. Not right at all

          • FredJ

            Mental and verbal abuse? The problem is, when some kids get taken over others for positions, some people consider not making the team mental abuse (kids parents), and telling a kid they didn’t make varsity verbal abuse (kids parents). Let’s not trivialize real abuse.

          • Robert

            Calling out kids and calling them zeros and screaming at the top of your lungs 5 inches from there face in front of the whole team has nothing to do with making a team. As well as a kid who was not accepted to the school of his choice for academics was told “hey run like you made it in to said school” The poor kid who was already down cause he just learned he was accepted for someone to say that obviously has no idea!! Last time I checked coach never attended Cal or Stanford. The list goes on and on. The problem here is all you see are the championships and not really takes place. I will never change the minds of obviously such narrow minded people. I believe I have given you all enough of a look inside the the fishbowl that is Amat baseball. Its that beautiful house on the corner thats a wreck inside and the wheels falling off the cart. Believe what you will the ignorance of the administration should stop.

          • FredJ

            Robert, you really didn’t prove anything other than you’re ONE person in these chats rooms who has a problem with Nieto’s coaching style. That’s hardly a red-flag, and I’m still waiting four your dead-on sources that have him leaving for greener pastures. If Nieto leaves, it will likely be for a return to college, not another high school job. And IF he left for another high school job, it would probably be at Damien if Damien ever became available because of his relationship with Hemenway. But Leyva’s the coach there, so that’s not happening anytime soon.

            I’m not going to masquerade these as facts, these are my opinions having covered him as to guesses to what could happen in the future.

          • Robert

            Ok Fred wait till Friday then we will see who eats crow. You talk from your heart not your head. I understand that your one of the people who cant see past his nose.

          • FredJ

            What I can tell you is NIETO has no plans on leaving, it is not his intention to leave Amat, according to him. Would the school actually let him go after winning a championship, that remains to be seen.

          • baseballsgv

            It’s done
            Fred

          • AMAT 73

            Hey Putz,
            Are you ever going to congratulate the team you say you protected so much during the season from the evil Nieto ???? Or do you feel they do not deserve it because it was won in D-3 ?????

          • baseballsgv

            I guess you’ll be wrong tomorrow
            Fred

          • Nomoredrama

            Whoever this kids parents are, should teach him that the best way to shut up a critic is to “prove them wrong” My daughter experienced a similar situation at the JC level. I instilled that moto repeatedly, that became her goal and in the end, she had a full scholarship to a D1 school, was able to come back and pay a visit to her old JC coach with her degree in Physical Education, and 3 NCAA Division 1 Conference Championship rings (2 as a player and 1 as an assistant coach).

    • Robert

      Amat wins these lower division titles because they have more talent competing in D3 and lower is unfair to all the other legitimate teams that are at the correct level period

      • Lance R

        Well Robert the same would be said if they moved the Football team down to division3 but no the football team continues to play D1. You are placed where they place you for a reason. As far as Penn State abuse is abuse, sorry some get left out and do not start and every parent thinks their kid is the next coming of Derek Jeter but the coach makes the top decisions and as you can see it has paid off…. screaming, yelling and getting your players attention is what a good coach does to get in his players heads so they can play at a optimum level. If a yound man cannot take the coaches rants maybe he should be playing in the band.

      • FredJ

        There are no sure things in baseball Robert, I thought you knew the game. The sure bet was that Palm Desert should have beaten Amat. On paper, they had the superior team. It’s baseball buddy. Did you know your D-1 champion Santa Margarita tied Gahr in the National Classic, a team that didn’t make it out of the quarterfinals in D-3, and that Foothill, the other D-1 finalist, lost to Palm Desert and only beat Amat 3-2 during the season. You make to much of D-1 vs. D-3 … Amat and Palm Desert play the best, regardless of division.

  • AMAT 73

    Wow , a few days ago the blog was on fire with a thread on this team to the tune of 107 hits and probably half by robert the putz . AMAT wins it all and now 8 hits . I guess it took the team to finally shut it down . The least all who were involved should do is congratulate the team on their CIF CHAMPIONSHIP ,but then maybe you just have too much crow stuck in your throats to get the words out .

    • Robert

      It was never about bashing the team moron it was about the inhuman treatment of the kids by the coach and his staff. As well as the lack of of a commitment to make the kids better. The team wins in spite of poor preparation it shows when we play D1 teams we struggle and barley get by with teams we should massacre. People pull your heads out!!!

      • AMAT 73

        Putz,
        Go back and read some of your work on the blog . You bashed plenty but you said it was only because you used the players as examples of Nieto’s bad handling of the team but you still put them on the spot . By the way , no congratulations to the team you claim to protect ???????? At least you can do that .

      • FredJ

        What a silly comment, was Palm Desert not a D-1 type team with a D-1 pitcher starting? Seriously, they beat one of the D-1 finalists. Preparation is having your team play best and the most important time of the season.

    • 12th man

      I totally agree with you! Sounds like an angry parent who has no clue about Amat baseball..more will be revealed i guess? Hopefully we wont hear this rant in football…bottom line! If it ain’t broke why fix it? To coach Nieto keep doing what your doing i still remember you from your days at the Monterey Park Sports Club lol..

      • AMAT 73

        12th ,
        If it does continue to football , I pray he wears his I’m robert the putz t-shirt to the game . If I see it there will be more then kettle korn popping at the games .

        • Not the Coach

          Great. Amat fans threatening violence. Take off your colors when you do that. Don’t want people associating my Alma Mater with thugs.

          • AMAT 73

            Where do see violence in that post ????? Maybe it’s you who are the violent one . All I said was more than just kettle korn popping . If I would said I would deck him , different story , but not in this case . Unless giving someone a piece of their mind is now considered a violent act in today’s world .

          • Not the Coach

            I stand corrected if you didn’t mean violence… Telling him off verbally… That’s fine, everyone is entitled to their opinion.. but sometimes words do lead to violence..

          • AMAT 73

            Well if that happens by him, I will follow the good book and turn the other cheek . Religion 101. As an alum I agree with you on the violence issue , no need for that as we catch enough heat as it is just because, WE ARE AMAT !!!!
            This guy is a putz in my book and to date no congratulations to the team he continually knocked and players he threw under the bus , a few by name , some by number in the batting order just to prove his point on Nieto which he admitted to in a post .

  • Nomoredrama

    First thing, congratulations Lancers! I attended all 3 championship games yesterday, and it was great to see a SGV team with the largest crowd in the stands. Amat fans well out numbered any other teams in attendance. It was also fun to watch someone other than an “OC” team (they had 3 teams playing yesterday) winning a championship yesterday, the division 1 crown did go to an OC team, but, then again it was inevitable, the 2 teams vying for it were both OC schools.

  • Not the Coach

    Fred….. You should have homered the game…. Looks like the party has just started and it’ll last all year… How dare you pick Palm Desert over Amat…

    This Victory has to be Nieto’s favorite… Ok so It’s not his favorite Season, for all the bashing going on… But it’s gotta be the sweetest being able to come from behind 4 playoff games in a row…(un heard of)… and a different hero just about every game… Game winners from four different players…. Rally Starters by multiple players… and the 4 man playoff pitching staff that kept them from being blown out… And a young team to boot….

    Great … Great … Great…. Great Job Lancers

  • Risky Business

    Bishop Amat stopped playing Division 1 baseball after the
    2006 season, after the Serra League was disbanded. Mater Dei, Servite, St. John Bosco, and Santa Margarita along with JSerra, and Orange Lutheran formed the Trinity League. Amat was then placed in the Del Rey/Camino Real Association. This was the same time Andy Nieto was hired at Bishop Amat. The Lancers continued to play Division 1 teams in non-league games as well as tournaments. Although Amat did not go undefeated against the Division 1 programs, they did beat quite a few. In fact they have won 42games against CIF Division 1, LA City Section Division 1, and out of sectional Division 1 teams.

    2007

    Arlington

    Agoura

    Orange Lutheran

    2008

    Chatsworth

    West Linn OR

    Christian Brothers TN

    2009

    Servite

    Orange Lutheran

    Santa Margarita

    Lakewood

    2010

    Corona Santiago

    Mater Dei

    Capistrano Valley

    Chatsworth

    Royal

    Notre Dame Prep AZ

    Salpointe Catholic AZ

    Long Beach Wilson

    Lakewood

    2011

    Orange Lutheran

    Corona

    Chatsworth

    Long Beach Wilson

    St. Francis No. Cal.

    El Capitan

    Esperanza

    Camarillo

    2012

    Carlsbad

    Spanish Fork UT

    Concord De La Salle

    2013

    Esperanza

    Tesoro

    Alemany

    El Camino Real

    Chaminade

    Agoura

    2014

    Capistrano Valley

    San Fernando

    Granite Hills

    Palisades

    St. Francis

    Loyola

    • Robert

      Not all true the early 2000′s teams won D5 championships as well not D1 titles

      • Risky Business

        I thought you were going to reveal yourself on Friday.

        • Robert

          I did I walked all over Dodger Stadium with a shirt that said im robert I was 3 rows away from the G’s and they were still talking smack

          • Risky Business

            So then why didn’t you walk up to Big Wallace and tell him and how you really feel about his son. Who was the intimidated one?

          • Robert

            whos Wallace

          • Robert

            A guy who gots everyone buffaloed into hitting lessons !!! Have you seen his kids hit. His daughters the best hitter in that family

          • FredJ

            Robert, you’re showing your true colors, very obvious this is personal and now you’re bashing Amat baseball players.

          • AMAT 73

            Excellent call Fred J . I owe you an In n Out burger the next AMAT football game you take in .

          • Robert

            Plus he might be close to a three striker. Heard he punched a couple people out I dont want to be the final strike on him at least I have a little sympathy

    • Robert

      Amat plays all those teams thats fine and dandy but there but plain and simple they should be in the championship every year.Yet they are still in D3 a far inferior divivision for a power D1 school

    • Steve Ramirez

      Amat was moved after the 2000 season…

      • Risky Business

        Steve,

        According to Max Preps in 2005 and 2006 Amat was in Division 1.

        • Robert

          Wrong dude

  • Ernie

    Best kids were on the field because those kids won the ship. Replace them and who knows they might have lost.

  • FredJ

    He has the best record of verbal abuse? I guess you never heard the audio of the Cal coach who made national headlines a couple weeks ago. Nice try again.

    • Risky Business

      Fred,

      It was La Mirada not Cal High. The Cal High coach is Nieto’s younger brother.