By Fred J. Robledo
The 21st annual San Gabriel Valley all-star baseball game for seniors will be played on Sunday, June 5, at Ben Hines Field at the University of La Verne at 3:30 p.m.
The annual San Gabriel Valley underclassmen all-star game will precede the senior game at La Verne at 11 a.m., creating a dynamic doubleheader for area fans.
Last year’s all-star games were played at East Los Angeles College following several years in which it was played at Mt. San Antonio College.
The University of La Verne poured $20 million into new baseball and softball fields, and last year La Verne hosted the San Gabriel Valley all-star softball game to rave reviews.
The SGV all-star baseball games pits the East Red Team, coached by Northview’s Danny Roddy, against the West Blue Team, coached by Rosemead’s Danny Meza and Keppel’s Andrew Macedo.
Each year the SGV nominates former coaches to the SGV Hall of Fame, and this season will nominate former Azusa Pacific and Azusa High coach Tony Barbone along with former La Salle coach Brian Miller.
CIF-SS Division 2 championship
South Hills (25-7) vs. Redlands East Valley (23-7) at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, 4 p.m.
South Hills-Redlands East Valley Preview: South Hills baseball coach Darren Murphy knew the Huskies had a loaded roster and the expectations were championship or bust.
When the Huskies weren’t living up to those expectations with a poor showing in the prestigious Boras Classic and some head-scratching non-league losses, Murphy promised there would be better days ahead.
He was right.
South Hills (25-7) rebounded the second half of the Palomares League to win the title going away to earn the CIF Southern Section Division 2 top seed and it hasn’t looked back, winning 13 straight to advance to Saturday’s championship at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, where it will face Redlands East Valley (23-7) at 4 p.m.
Ryan Mauch’s comeback story: Ryan Mauch, who will attend Long Beach State on an athletic scholarship, could have decided he had played his last high school baseball game and those close to him wouldn’t have given it another thought.
But the South Hills senior, who tore his ACL in August, wasn’t ready to walk away. He knew the Huskies could be something special this season and worked to be part of it.
HUSKIES TO PLAY FOR FIRST TITLE SINCE 2009: South Hills High School’s big 6-foot-4 left-hander, Ryan Mauch, could have called it a season in the fall when he tore his ACL in the opening game playing for the Huskies’ football team.
Mauch missed nearly all of the baseball season while rehabbing in hopes of having an impact in the playoffs. The Long Beach State commit did just that, throwing big innings down the stretch to lead South Hills to a 4-1 victory over Damien in Tuesday’s CIF Southern Section Division 2 semifinal.The victory sends the top-seeded Huskies (25-7) to Saturday’s championship against Redlands East Valley, a 2-1 winner over Dos Pueblos, at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino. The starting time will be announced Wednesday.
“One of the awesome things about Ryan Mauch is that he wanted to play for his high school when most kids want to play for their college,” South Hills coach Darren Murphy said. “Ryan continuously rehabbed, fought and a lot of people told him not to come back; that your future is Long Beach State. But he wanted to come back and play with his high school teammates. He came back a month ahead of time and he’s a big reason we’re playing on Saturday.”
Bishop Amat falls 1-0 in semis: Kat Ung was shaking. Her emotions indescribable.
Ung was moments removed from throwing a two-hit shutout, helping to send the Redondo High School softball team to the CIF Southern Section Division 3 championship game with a 1-0 victory over Bishop Amat in Tuesday’s semifinal meeting at Redondo High.
Redondo (23-9) will play Grand Terrace, a 7-0 winner over Burroughs, in the championship game either Friday or Saturday.
— James Escarcega (@James_Escarcega) June 1, 2016
South Hills beats Damien 4-1 to advance to D-3 title game pic.twitter.com/Wlb946VR59
— Fred J. Robledo (@SGVNSports) June 1, 2016
CIF-Southern Section finals schedule
At San Manuel Stadium, Riverside
Harvard Westlake vs. Murrieta Mesa, 7:30 p.m.
South Hills vs. Redlands East Valley, 4 p.m.
Redondo Union vs. Woodbridge, 1 p.m.
Laguna Beach vs. Kaiser, 10 a.m.
At Riverside Community College
Woodcrest Christian vs. Cantwell Sacred Heart, 7 p.m.
Sage Hill vs. Crean Lutheran, 3:30 p.m.
Excelsior Charter vs. Academy of Academic Excellence, Noon
At Bill Barber Park, Irvine
Rolling Hills Prep vs. Faith Baptist, 2 p.m.
Grand Terrace vs. Redondo Union, 4:30 p.m.
Valley View vs. Mission Viejo, 7 p.m.
At Bill Barber Park, Irvine
North Torrance vs. Torrance, 10 a.m.
Paraclete vs. Savanna, 12:30 p.m.
Lompoc vs. Louisville, 3:30 p.m.
Orange Lutheran vs. Mater Dei, 6 p.m.
CIF-Southern Section Playoff Results
South Hills 8, Foothill 1
Damien 7, Mission Viejo 3
Woodbridge 8, Bishop Amat 1
Damien at South Hills, 3:15 p.m.
Dieter leads the way for South Hills: Going into the fall, South Hills High School pitcher Brandon Dieter was being looked at as a possible closer for the Huskies.
However, things changed when two of the three top Huskies pitchers — Ryan Mauch and Andres Alvarez — were lost due to injury for the regular season.Dieter, a sophomore, won his second playoff game Friday afternoon, as top-ranked South Hills defeated visiting Foothill 8-1 in a CIF-SS Division 2 quarterfinal game.
South Hills (24-7) will be making its third appearance in the last eight years in the semifinals. The Huskies will host Damien (17-10), a 7-3 winner over Mission Viejo, on Tuesday.
“We’re playing our best baseball at the right time,” South Hills coach Darren Murphy said. “We had contributions from everybody and it was a great team win. Brandon gave us another outstanding effort.”
Damien in first semifinal since 1997: Damien came from behind to knock off defending CIF Southern Section Division 2 champion Mission Viejo 7-3 in a quarterfinal baseball game on Friday.
The Spartans, seeded fifth, will travel to top-seeded South Hills on Tuesday for their first semifinal appearance since 1997.
Damien started its winning rally with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning when Andy Garriola was hit by a pitch and went to second on a wild pickoff throw.
Bishop Amat falls 8-1: If there was an exclamation point moment in Bishop Amat’s 8-1 loss to visiting Woodbridge in the CIF Southern Section Division 3 baseball quarterfinals on Friday, it was Aharon Modlin’s at bat in the sixth inning.
He was brushed back on a pitch that he thought hit him, but instead was ruled a foul ball off the tip of his bat.He followed a couple pitches later with a blooper in foul territory along first that should have been caught for a out, but was dropped while two Amat players fought for it.On the next pitch, he put any Amat hopes to rest, belting his second two-run homer of the game to deep left for a 7-1 lead and the celebration began.
— amatsports (@amatsports) May 27, 2016
Alyssa Barrera delivers: Typically, the job of the leadoff hitter is to just get on base and let others make things happen.
Bishop Amat High School senior Alyssa Barrera was on the other side of that equation in the CIF Southern Section Division 3 softball quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon.The leadoff hitter needed to make it happen for once. And she did, delivering a game-winning single with one out in the seventh inning to carry the Lancers to a 1-0 victory over Laguna Hills.
“I was just trying go up there and hit the ball hard,” Barrera said. “All I was trying to get was on base. When I saw it go through, it was, ‘Yes, yes, keep going, keep going.’ It was big relief off my shoulders. We did it. We did it.”
San Dimas can’t score enough: Facing the top-seeded team in the playoffs is never an easy task, and it was too much for the San Dimas High softball team on Thursday.
The Saints gave it their best shot against St. Bonaventure in the CIF-SS Division 5 quarterfinals, but fell 14-3.Several defensives miscues allowed St. Bonaventure (21-6) to jump out to a 2-0 lead.
Thursday’s Softball Quarterfinal Results
Valley View 1, South Hills 0, 9 innings
Bishop Amat 1, Laguna Hills 0
St. Bonaventure 14, San Dimas 3
Louisville 7, Nogales 0
Bishop Amat at Redondo Union, 3:15 p.m.
South Hills falls in 9 innings: Valley View pitcher Eileen Perez wasn’t trying to out perform or out pitch South Hills’ Florida-bound junior Natalie Lugo, she was trying to give her team a chance and that meant being nearly flawless, and she was.
Perez threw a two-hit shutout and Valley View scored in the ninth inning for the only run in a 1-0 victory at South Hills in Thursday’s CIF Southern Section Division 2 quarterfinal.Fourth-seed Valley View improved to 26-1 with its 24th straight win to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2012, where it will host La Habra, a 4-2 winner over Rio Mesa on Tuesday.
Lugo allowed three hits and struck out 17 and the run she allowed in the ninth was unearned.But Perez was solid as well, retiring nine straight to end the game.
Bishop Amat’s Harrison Kay headed to Central Connecticut: The Central Connecticut men’s basketball team and head coach Donyell Marshall announced Harrison Kay has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend CCSU in the Fall of 2016. Kay, a talented frontcourt player, becomes the fifth commitment for Marshall and the Blue Devils for the upcoming 2016-17 season.
“Harrison is a player we felt that we had to get with this class,” Marshall said. “He’s a multi-dimensional big man as far as the things he can do going inside and posting up, as well as on the perimeter shooting three’s. I just thought that the way we were going with the class, we needed size and we needed someone of his caliber. Coach Witcoskie did a wonderful job of getting his game film and getting to him right away and getting it done. We felt like with the players we got before him that he was the key piece to this recruiting class.”
By Fred J. Robledo
Bishop Amat’s Isaac Esqueda was called upon in the big moments and delivered for the Lancers in a nerve-wracking 3-2 victory over host Walnut to advance to Friday’s CIF Southern Section Division 3 baseball quarterfinals.
Pinch hitting in the seventh inning with the bases loaded, two outs and the score tied 1-1, Esqueda doubled to left scoring Dante Castillo and Torreahno Sweet to go up 3-1.
“Isaac has kind of been that guy later in the season, we went with him, felt like he was our best option and he battled,” Bishop Amat coach Joe Hoggatt said. “He went the other way (to left) and that was huge. It was clutch hitting.”
But Esqueda wasn’t done.
Amat’s sophomore starting lefty Diego Barrera, whose only fault had been giving up a solo homer to Quinn Cooper in the fourth inning that tied the score, 1-1, left the game in the seventh with runners on first and second and one out, handing it over to Esqueda to finish.
Amat threw away a potential game-ending double play that allowed a run to score to make it 3-2, with Walnut’s Jake Rodriguez moving to second, and eventually third on a wild pitch.
But Esqueda struck out Andre Alvarez to end it, and Bishop Amat (19-13) will be home in Friday’s quarterfinals against third-seed Woodbridge, a 6-2 winner over San Dimas.
“I tried to stay relaxed, keep it simple and get the job done,” Esqueda said of his closing role. “Feels great, we know they’re a good team and they’re tough to beat. We did our job and executed and now it’s on to the next game.”
Both starting pitchers were fantastic.
Walnut sophomore Brock Cooper had gotten clutch outs in the first three innings before Adryan Ramirez singled home Nick DiFiori for a 1-0 Lancers’ lead, which Quinn Cooper made short lived with his homer to right in the bottom half of the inning to tie it.
But Barrera was just a tad better, improving to 9-2 and only allowing four hits in 6 1/3 innings.
“The kid walked (into Bishop Amat) with poise, we’re very lucky to have him on our staff,” Hoggatt said. “He’s got poise that college kids have. Nothing flaps him, he gave up a home run and came back and shut them down.”
Walnut, which had advanced to the championship a year ago after knocking off San Dimas, who was undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today at the time, played well enough to win, but couldn’t capitalize when it had too.
“We had chances,” Walnut coach Paul Acosta said. “I respect Bishop Amat, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy, it was going to be this way, one run, and they got us.
“Diego Barrera pitched a great game, he changed his speeds and we had a tough time getting to that. It could have gone either way, buy my boys fought hard to the end. I wish we could play them again.”
South Hills baseball wins in 11 innings: For the fifth time in the last nine years, the South Hills High School baseball team is headed to the CIF Southern Section quarterfinals. And it took 11 innings to accomplish the latest trip.
In a scoreless game for 10 1/3 innings, South Hills senior right fielder Quinn Cotter ended the drought for both teams with a go-ahead, run-scoring double to left-center field, scoring junior first baseman Johnny Dearth and the Huskies defeated Paramount 3-1 in a Division 2 second-round game Tuesday afternoon.
San Dimas softball trounces Edgewood: After losing to San Dimas in the CIF-SS Division 5 softball playoffs last season, Edgewood looked to avenge the loss Tuesday in a second-round rematch. But the well-rounded Saints dashed those hopes in a 15-0, mercy rule-shortened victory on the road.
The Saints (18-8) scored at least once in every inning, led by center fielder Brooke Jackson, who went 3 for 5 with three RBIs, two doubles and a walk.
The Saints used a balanced attack and took advantage of multiple defensive miscues with contributions from Alexandria Rodriguez (2 for 4, 5 RBIs, double) and Clarissa Reynoso (1 for 3, double, 2 RBIs). Pitcher Alondra Reynoso improved her record to 13-4.
CIF-Southern Section playoff results
Baseball Second Round
South Hills 3, Paramount 1, 11 innings
Damien 7, Oxnard 4
Bishop Amat 3, Walnut 2
Beckman 8, Charter Oak 7
Woodbridge 6, San Dimas 2
Woodcrest Christian 10, South El Monte 0
Tahquitz 9, Sierra Vista 8, 10 innings
Foothill at South Hills, 3:15 p.m.
Mission Viejo at Damien, 3:15 p.m.
Woodbridge at Bishop Amat, 3:15 p.m.
Softball Second Round results
South Hills 11, Dana Hills 0
Bishop Amat 9, Chaffey 4
San Dimas 15, Edgewood 0
Nogales 6, Fillmore 3
Valley View at South Hills, 3:15 p.m.
Laguna Hills at Bishop Amat, 3:15 p.m.
St. Bonaventure at San Dimas, 3:15 p.m.
Nogales at Louisville, 3:15 p.m.