About Fred Robledo

Fred J. Robledo is the local sports editor for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group

Baseball: South Hills and Damien win and will meet in Tuesday’s mammoth semifinals; Bishop Amat falls to Woodbridge, 8-1


CIF-Southern Section Playoff Results
Division 2

South Hills 8, Foothill 1
Damien 7, Mission Viejo 3
Division 3
Woodbridge 8, Bishop Amat 1
Tuesday’s semifinals
Division 2

Damien at South Hills, 3:15 p.m.

shills6Dieter 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.

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Softball Playoffs: Bishop Amat wins on walkoff in 7th; South Hills, San Dimas, Nogales lose

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
Division 2

Valley View 1, South Hills 0, 9 innings
Division 3
Bishop Amat 1, Laguna Hills 0
Division 5
St. Bonaventure 14, San Dimas 3
Louisville 7, Nogales 0
Tuesday’s Semifinals
Division 3

Bishop Amat at Redondo Union, 3:15 p.m.

lugo10South 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.

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Boys Hoops: Bishop Amat’s Harrison Kay headed to Central Connecticut

kayBishop 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.”

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CIF PLAYOFFS: Bishop Amat, Damien, South Hills baseball advance; San Dimas, Amat, South Hills, Nogales softball win


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
Division 2

South Hills 3, Paramount 1, 11 innings
Damien 7, Oxnard 4
Division 3
Bishop Amat 3, Walnut 2
Beckman 8, Charter Oak 7
Woodbridge 6, San Dimas 2
Division 5
Woodcrest Christian 10, South El Monte 0
Tahquitz 9, Sierra Vista 8, 10 innings
Friday’s Quarterfinals
Division 2

Foothill at South Hills, 3:15 p.m.
Mission Viejo at Damien, 3:15 p.m.
Division 3
Woodbridge at Bishop Amat, 3:15 p.m.

Softball Second Round results
Division 2

South Hills 11, Dana Hills 0
Division 3
Bishop Amat 9, Chaffey 4
Division 5
San Dimas 15, Edgewood 0
Nogales 6, Fillmore 3
Thursday’s Quarterfinals
Division 2

Valley View at South Hills, 3:15 p.m.
Division 3
Laguna Hills at Bishop Amat, 3:15 p.m.
Division 5
St. Bonaventure at San Dimas, 3:15 p.m.
Nogales at Louisville, 3:15 p.m.

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Everything you want to know from Saturday’s CIF-SS track finals


Boys CIF Finals: Jasher Foster is ready for a run at a CIF State track and field title.
The St. Francis High School senior had to wonder at some point if it would happen. After reaching the state finals last year, he tore the meniscus in his left leg this past football season.
“It took a lot of hard work and therapy to get back here,” he said. “I’m back.”
Foster, who did not make his season debut until the midseason San Gabriel Valley Championships, won the CIF Southern Section track and field Division 3 110- and 300-meter hurdle races to earn berths in next week’s CIF-SS Masters Meet. He had personal-best times in both.

Girls CIF Finals: Micah Fulton found the right time to step up.The Monrovia High School sophomore has been battling a pulled hamstring all season. The injury disappeared at the biggest meet of the year at the all-division CIF Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College on Saturday.
Fulton won the Division 3 long and triple jumps with her best leaps of her career.“I was really irritated and frustrated all season for not doing well,” she said. “By the time league came, I got my head together and we all put it together.”
Fulton tied for first in the long jump (18 feet, 6 1/2 inches) with Micheletta Forbes of Indian Springs. Fulton hit her mark on her first attempt; Forbes on her final jump.

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Baseball Playoffs: Sierra Vista, San Dimas, Charter Oak, Bishop Amat all advance


donsBy Fred J. Robledo
Baldwin Park
For a team that allowed just 30 runs, and 16 earned all season, Sierra Vista’s baseball team and its pitching staff that boasts an eye-popping team ERA of 0.83, wondered how it would hold up in the CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoffs.
For a game at least, senior Adrian Cardenas answered that, throwing a three-hitter to lead Sierra Vista to a 5-1 victory over visiting Aquinas to advance to Tuesday’s second round on the road at Tahquitz, a 4-3 winner over Maranatha.
“It was a great win,” Cardenas said. “My defense had my back the whole game, they made the major plays when they had to.”
The Dons’ (21-2) offense did their job too.
Austin Morales singled home Jamyz Celiz for a 1-0 lead in the second and Matthew Aguayo singled in Cardenas for a 2-0 lead in the third. That should have been it, but an Aquinas (16-10) error led to two more runs and a 4-0 lead.
Aquinas had a huge opportunity to claw back in the fourth inning after Nick Ojinaga and Julian Holendor led off with back-to-back singles. Andrew Aguilera’s slow roller to third was mishandled and leaked into left field, allowing Ojinaga to score to make it 4-1 with two runners on and no outs.
But Cardenas, who improved to 8-1, showed why he’s so good by striking out the next three batters to get out of it. He finished with seven strikeouts.
For Falcons coach Robert De La Torre, that was the turning point.
“We had a run in and guys on base and no outs against a team that gave up 30-something runs all year and we couldn’t do it,” De La Torre said. “That was our chance to do something. He’s (Cardenas) been a bulldog all year long and after he struck out the side to get out of it, their was no touching him after that.”
Sierra Vista’s Daniel Lona scored from second on a failed pickoff attempt in the fourth, and that’s typically how the Dons score runs, being aggressive on the bases, and chipping away inning after inning.
“We take a lot of pride in our running and pressuring people,” Stevens said. “If you can keep it up and keep the pressure on for seven innings, a high school baseball team usually breaks. We forced them into a couple of errors and that’s how we play.”

Bishop Amat’s win sets up second rounder at Walnut: The only thing standing in the middle of an all-San Gabriel Valley CIF Southern Section Division 3 second-round matchup between Walnut and Bishop Amat, was Palos Verdes.
Isaac Esqueda pitched a complete game, scattering four hits while striking out five as Bishop Amat (18-12) punched its ticket to Tuesday’s matchup with a 5-0 win over visiting Palos Verdes (20-11-1).
“That was one of the best third-ranked teams in the whole draw,” said Bishop Amat coach Joe Hoggatt of Palos Verdes. “We scored three in the first, which was big for us.”

San Dimas squeezes out 3-2 win: San Dimas used solid defense and got an outstanding pitching performance from junior Alonzo Llorens in knocking off Arroyo Grande 3-2 in a CIF Southern Section Division 3 first-round game on Friday.
The Saints (15-12), who won their eighth consecutive game, will play at Irvine Woodbridge on Tuesday at 3:15 in a second-round matchup.
“This was, by far, our best game of the season,” Saints co-head coach Mike Regan said. “Zo hasn’t gone deep into games this year but he stepped up with his best outing. That was just tremendous.”

CIF-Southern Section Playoff Schedule
Friday’s first-round results
Division 3

Charter Oak 5, Paloma Valley 3
La Quinta 6, Covina 5
San Dimas 3, Arroyo Grande 2
Bishop Amat 5, Palos Verdes 0
Division 5
Sierra Vista 5, Aquinas 1
Ganesha 4, Bishop Montgomery 3
Lompoc Cabrillo 6, Baldwin Park 1
Saddleback Valley Christian at South El Monte, Saturday, 11 a.m.

Tuesday’s Second Round
Division 2

South Hills at Paramount, 3:15 p.m.
Damien at Oxnard, 3:15 p.m.
Division 3
Bishop Amat at Walnut, 3:15 p.m.
San Dimas at Woodbridge, 3:15 p.m.
Beckman at Charter Oak, 3:15 p.m.
Division 5
Sierra Vista at Tahquitz, 3:15 p.m.
Monrovia at Ganesha, 3:15 p.m.

Division 2

South Hills at Dana Hills, 3:15 p.m.
Division 3
Bishop Amat at Chaffey, 3:15 p.m.
Division 5
San Dimas at Edgewood, 3:15 p.m.
Fillmore at Nogales, 3:15 p.m.

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South Hills baseball, Bishop Amat softball take care of business in first round of the playoffs

By Fred Robledo
Bishop Amat waited longer than it wanted to break the game open against visiting Paramount in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 softball playoffs, but when the second-seed Lancers broke through, they kept their foot on the gas.
amatscoresBishop Amat catcher Julia Valenzuela belted two doubles, scored and drove in two runs. Alyssa Barrera had a pair of doubles and an RBI and pitcher Samaria Diaz threw a complete game two-hit shutout, and doubled home three runs in an 8-0 rout over Paramount to advance to Tuesday’s second round on the road against Chaffey, a 5-4 upset winner over California.
“We wanted to come out with a bang and put a lot of runs on the board,” Barrera said. “We got to get the bats going, so that’s great to see the bats coming together in the first round.”
After wasting the lead runners in the first three innings, Valenzuela doubled to lead off the fourth. Two outs later, Barrera doubled her home for a 1-0 lead.
With runners on second and third and two outs in the fifth, Valenzuela came through again, doubling home Diaz and Karissa Dunn for a 3-0 lead. Aja Martinez singled home Valenzuela to make it 4-0, which was more than enough for Diaz.
“I’m really trying to go up there and get on base and get my team started because I have a great lineup all around me,” Valenzuela said.
Diaz helped herself with a bases-loaded double in the sixth that cleared the bases for a 7-0 lead and she was her dominating self in the circle, allowing just a hit in the first and seventh, retiring 15 straight at one point. She also had six strikeouts.
“It’s a good (start),” Diaz said. “We gotta lot of games to go and we want to win them all. We’ve got to stay efocused.”

South Hills softball routs Pacifica: It was deja vu all over again.
On Thursday, South Hills met Oxnard Pacifica in a first round game of the CIF Southern Section Division 2 softball playoffs for the second consecutive season.
For the second consecutive season, South Hills won the game by the 10-run mercy rule.The Huskies (21-7) sent 13 batters to the plate and scored eight runs in the fourth inning on their way to a 10-0 win over the Tritons.

Bonita loses, coach John Knott tenure over: Villa Park’s Alex Sosnowski went 3 for 4, with a go ahead two-run home run as the visiting Spartans knocked off No. 3 seed Bonita 8-1 in Thursday’s CIF Southern Section Division 2 baseball playoff game.
Cole Wiens pitched six shutout innings for Villa Park allowing six hits.
“We knew, this team (Bonita) was a fantastic team,” Villa Park coach Chris Van Champ said. “We had to be perfect defensively, and come up with some timely hits.”

Brandon Dieter leads South Hills baseball to victory: Pitching has been a big part of the South Hills High School baseball team’s success this season and in the first round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs the Huskies’ Brandon Dieter shut down Mayfair, 4-0, allowing three hits in five innings in a Division 2 game Thursday afternoon.
Top seed South Hills (22-7) will travel to Paramount (20-11), a 3-0 winner over Moorpark, in the second round on Tuesday at 3:15 p.m. Mayfair finished 15-12.

CIF-Southern Section Playoff Results
Thursday’s first-round games
Division 2

South Hills 4, Mayfair 0
Damien 4, Royal 1
Villa Park 8, Bonita 0
Division 3
Walnut 3, La Quinta 1
Division 1

Valencia 3, Diamond Ranch 0
Santa Margarita 10, St. Lucy’s 0
Orange Lutheran 11, Los Altos 1
Division 2
South Hills 10, Oxnard Pacifica 0
Riverside Poly 1, Glendora 0
Division 3
Bishop Amat 8, Paramount 0
Division 4
Heritage Christian 6, El Monte 3
La Quinta 11, Arroyo 0
Jurupa Hills 14, South El Monte 4
Division 5
San Dimas 9, Azusa 0
Edgewood 8, Santa Ana Calvary Chapel 6
Lompoc 6, Northview 2
Nogales 11, Pomona 2
Lompoc Cabrillo 10, Duarte 4

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