About Steve Ramirez

Steve Ramirez has covered prep sports for San Gabriel Valley Newspapers since 1989.

Girls Volleyball: Chino Hills takes first round from St. Lucy’s, 3-1

Chino Hills' Meghan Buzzerio (C) (10) reacts after scoring against St. Lucy's in the second game of a prep volleyball match at St. Lucy's High School in Glendora, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Chino Hills won 23-25, 25-12, 25-15, 29-27 (Photo by Keith Birmingham/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Chino Hills’ Meghan Buzzerio (C) (10) reacts after scoring against St. Lucy’s in the second game of a prep volleyball match at St. Lucy’s High School in Glendora, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Chino Hills won 23-25, 25-12, 25-15, 29-27 (Photo by Keith Birmingham/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter


GLENDORA >> The goals for the Chino High School girls volleyball team are pretty simple this season: Win league and CIF-Southern Section championships and taste victory at rival St. Lucy’s.
The Huskies crossed the latter off their list Tuesday.
Meghan Buzzerio had 19 kills and eight aces and Chino Hills took control of the Baseline League race with a 23-25, 25-12, 25-15, 29-27 victory over the host Regents.
Cherise Hennigan had 11 kills and Alexis Cardoza 10 for the Huskies, who improved to 14-5 overall and 3-0 in league. Loryn Carter had 21 kills for St. Lucy’s, which slipped to 9-6 and 2-1.
St. Lucy’s, which split the season series with Chino Hills last season, looked like it might force a fifth set after scoring 14 of the first 23 points in the fourth. But the Huskies, ranked No. 7 in Division 1A, put together an 8-3 surge to tie it at 17. Chino Hills, after falling behind, 24-21, got consecutive kills from Buzzerio, Hannigan and Cardoza to tie a second time.
Buzzerio followed with back-to-back spikes to win it, 29-27.
Meghan Buzzerio: “It feels great. We’ve never beaten them at their place, so this is our first. We started a little rough, but we finished strong. We all played great. Yeah, it feels really good.”
St. Lucy’s coach Sean Douglas: “They have weapons at all places and obviously had us on a size advantage, so I’m really proud of where we’re at. But we play to win. We’re disappointed, but we did a lot of things we can grow on, too.”

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South Hills High School to hold benefit for alum, former Covina wrestling coach Randy Aguirre

South Hills High School will hold a benefit dinner Saturday for alum and former Covina wrestling coach Randy Aguirre, who is battling brain cancer.
Fellowship of Christian Athletes is sponsoring the dinner, which is scheduled for Saturday at the South Hills gym from 6-9 p.m.
Aguirre was a 4-year letterman at South Hills and was captain his senior season. He also wrestled at Mt. San Antonio College and San Francisco State University. He was an assistant at South Hills before becoming the head coach at Covina and later Palisades.
The dinner will include door prizes and a silent auction. The cost is $20 for adults and $10 for kids ages 5-12. All proceeds are for for coach Aguirre and his family.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at the South Hills ASB office.

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Girls Volleyball: Walnut sweeps Nogales

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

Walnut's Pauline Mendoza (3) reacts after scoring against Nogales in the first game of a prep volleyball match at Walnut High School in Walnut, Calif., on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

Walnut’s Pauline Mendoza (3) reacts after scoring against Nogales in the first game of a prep volleyball match at Walnut High School in Walnut, Calif., on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)


WALNUT – Walnut High School is getting hot at the right time.
The Mustangs, after going through a five-match losing streak a few weeks ago, won for the fourth time in five matches Tuesday, sweeping Nogales, 25-14, 25-14, 25-21, in a nonleague match at home.
Kuuipo Vaimaona had eight kills and Pauline Mendoza seven to lead the Mustangs, who improved to 7-7. They face Wilson next week before opening up Hacienda League play vs. West Covina on Oct. 7.
Julianna Purcell and Annjoree Calvero-Sunga had five kills each for Nogales, which slipped to 4-2. The Nobles open Valle Vista League play next week at rival Rowland.
Walnut’s Pauline Mendoza: “We started out kind of rough. But finally we got our rhythm and were able to succeed and get the lead. One main thing for us to work together is that we have to talk to each other. We continue talking, who is going to get the ball, calling for the ball, then we are able to overcome our (mistakes).”

Nogales’ Julianna Purcell: “I’m happy with the way my team played. We had a good match against Walnut, but they had good solid hits, but so did we. I think if we would have fought a little harder, we might have won.”

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Jesse Garcia helps South Hills run by Covina, 38-29

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
SAN DIMAS >>
The gap may have closed a bit, but the South Hills High School football team is still king of the Covina Valley Unified School District.
Jesse Garcia rushed for 233 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Huskies to a 38-29 victory over intra-district rival Covina Saturday at San Dimas High School.
Garrett Fonseca threw for 60 yards and two touchdowns for the Huskies, who beat the Colts for the second consecutive season. Joe Benavidez threw for 178 yards and a score and Pearnell Smalley rushed for 120 and touchdown to lead Covina.

South Hills’ Jesse Garcia: “It’s a pretty big game. We’re cross-town rivals. We were prepared for them and they prepared for us. They took it to us early, but we pulled it out. It’s a good win for us.”

Covina coach Joe Brown: “We were able to punch back a little bit this year. We have some great kids, just came up on the wrong end of it. I give South Hills credit. (Garcia) just ran his tail off. We really had no answer for him. Every time we would make a play, they’d come back. They just made a few more plays than we did.”

South Hills coach Albert Rodriguez: “We gave them a few plays (in the first half). We were able to get off the field after kicking off (to begin the second half), and then we went down and scored, which was huge. We wanted to chew clock tonight, and get out of here with a win, and we did that.”

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Steve Ramirez, Northview coach Marcel Perez answer the #IceBucketChallenge for ALS; St. Francis’ Jim Bonds and Wilson’s Greg Gano receive the challenge

The #IceBucketChallenge for ALS started on Monday at San Dimas High School and Wednesday the tour took us to Northview, where sports writer went to his alma mater to take the the challenge and he was joined by Vikings’ coach Marcel Perez, who both took the bath.
After Ramirez called showed “some love” to the Westside, calling out St. Francis coach Jim Bonds to take the challenge. Perez did the same to his former coach Greg Gano, who is now the head guy at Wilson. You guys have 24 hours to take the ice bucket or dig in to your pocket, all for a good cause.

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Fundraiser for former South Hills wrestler Randy Aguirre set for Friday

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

As a wrestler, Randy Aguirre was one of the area’s best.
Now the South Hills High School graduate is in the toughest match of his life. He was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioblastoma, which effects the brain, and his family and friends have come to his aid.
Fans of Los Angeles City Wrestling are hosting a fund-raiser for Aguirre this week. The event is scheduled for Friday at 8 p.m. at the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club.
The night for Aguirre will include comedians Adam Hunter, Aldo Juliano and John Diresta.
The Jon Lovitz Comedy Club is located at 1000 Universal Studios Blvd, Suite 222, in Universal City.
Aguirre wrestled at South Hills before competing at the collegiate level at San Francisco State. He is now the coach at Palisades High School in Los Angeles.
More information on the event can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/816534431700486/

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What’s in a league name?

TRESIDNEY

OK, I’m confused…Bishop Amat is now in the Mission League, and St. Francis is in the Serra League…No Amat is still in the Pac-5, but because Serra moved up to the league Amat and Alemany and the rest called home, officials thought it wasn’t right, so they gave the league the Mission name, and transferred the “old Mission” to the Serra. We heard it might be the Angelus League, but have not heard any official word.
From a historical perspective, I don’t see any reason why they just couldn’t call the “old Serra” the Angelus League, which has the tradition of being a D-1 league, and then keep the Mission League, which has tradition as a D-3/4 league.
What do you think?

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All-Area Boys Tennis: Damien’s David Washington, Angelo Mollo are co-players of the year

Damien High's Angelo Mollo, left, and David Washington have been selected as the SGV Tribune's Boys Tennis Players of the Year. (Staff photo by Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Damien High’s Angelo Mollo, left, and David Washington have been selected as the SGV Tribune’s Boys Tennis Players of the Year.
(Staff photo by Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)


CO-PLAYERS OF THE YEAR:
DAVID WASHINGTON/ANGELO MOLLO, Damien

Damien High School boys tennis coach Bill Urquhart had an idea of putting his two best players — seniors David Washington and Angelo Mollo — together on doubles.
It turned out to be a magical pairing. Washington and Mollo enjoyed a monster season, going 40-1, winning the Sierra League title and becoming the only area representatives to advance to the round of 32 at the CIF-Southern Section individual tournament.
For their efforts, Washington and Mollo are Tribune co-Tennis Players of the Year.
“Coach came up with the idea of having us play doubles this year and it worked out really well,” said Washington, who also plays basketball at Damien. “Angelo and myself are not just good tennis players, but we’re also really good friends.
“We get along really well, and I think that showed in a lot of the matches. They didn’t work as well together as he and I did. It worked really well. It took us to CIF and we had a really good season.”
The duo was dominant in the Sierra League. They not only went 30-0 in league play, but only lost three games in any one match once. They went on to win the league tournament before advancing to the round of 32 at the CIF-SS tourney by upsetting top seed Jona Malkin and Emilio Yera, of Beverly Hills.
Their season ended with a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Parker Braverman and Darren Nguyen, of Fountain Valley.
“Doubles is all about coming together,” Mollo said. “We were really good friends off court, so there were no personality clashes. We were able to come together better, and it worked better as a team.”

hamel
COACH OF THE YEAR:
DAVE HAMEL, DIAMOND BAR

Hamel, who took Diamond Bar to the Division 2 finals in 2007, has been one of the area’s top coaches. This season was one of his best. It included the Brahmas advancing to the Division 2 semifinals and playing the CIF State Southern California Regionals for the first time. Diamond Bar also upset No. 3 seed Beverly Hills in the quarterfinals and pushed Palisades before losing in the first round of the regional tournament.
“The team did a great job,” said Hamel, who is in his 15th season at Diamond Bar. “They worked hard and it paid off in the end. We got a big win over Beverly Hills, which was unexpected. It was a lot of fun, the boys had a great time and we’re looking forward to next year.”
FIRST TEAM
SINGLES
KEVIN VUONG, Rowland

Vuong went 57-2 and won the Hacienda League for the third consecutive season. He also advanced to rounds at the CIF-SS Individual tournament, losing in the third round by tiebreaker. Vuong was Hacienda League Singles MVP after helping Rowland to a 17-1 record and the Hacienda League title.
NEIL TENGBUMROONG, Diamond Bar
Tengbumroong went 52-9 and was runner-up in the Hacienda League tournament. He also advanced two rounds in the CIF-SS tournament and helped Diamond Bar to the CIF-State Southern California Regional tournament for the first time.
QUONG TRAN, Rosemead
Tran was a key piece in Rosemead winning the Mission Valley League and advancing to the CIF-SS Division 5 quarterfinals. Tran was Mission Valley League MVP. He also advanced two rounds at the CIF-SS tournament.
DOUBLES
MINSONG HSU/KENNY SAKATA, Diamond Bar

Hsu and Sakata went 52-16 and won the Hacienda League title. They also advanced two rounds at the CIF-SS tournament. The duo were a key piece in Diamond Bar advancing to the Division 2 semifinals and the state tournament.
HANS YU/JEFF ALIDINA, Rowland
The duo went 54-3 and were runner-up in the Hacienda League tournament. They also advanced three rounds at the CIF-SS individual tournament. Yu and Alidina helped Rowland to its second consecutive league title for the first time in school history. The Raiders were 17-1 before losing in the CIF-SS quarterfinals.
SECOND TEAM
SINGLES

Victor Paitimasa, Covina
Noah Brink, Duarte
Adrian Chau, Rowland
DOUBLES
Andy Phan/Billy Wen, Wilson
Ryan Chao/Henry Zhou, Arroyo
HONORABLE MENTION
SINGLES

Kimlong Pham, San Dimas
Ray Donato, Sierra Vista
Tommy Tin, Rosemead
DOUBLES
Peter Marquez/Alex Reyes, San Dimas
Daniel Pichardo/Nathan Jaimes, Gladstone
Calvin Ha/Eric Thai, Rosemead

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Looking ahead: Monrovia at San Dimas, Covina-South Hills highlight openers

It’s never too early to look ahead, so what a better time during the summer downtime than to look at the opening week of the prep football season. And while most colleges rarely go the marquee route on week one, some area coaches have taken the opposite approach as we will have some intriguing matchups during the first week.
saintscrowd

The highlight is likely Monrovia visiting San Dimas, which has been sort of a rivalry in recent years. Some of the luster is likely off now that the two are in different divisions, but it should be a great one. Both lost some talent, but these two simply reload.
Other key games will be Arroyo at San Marino; Steve Bogan’s debut at Maranatha at home vs. Bassett; Bishop Amat vs. Santa Margarita and South Hills renewing its long-time rivalry with South Hills, which is scheduled for Saturday.
The season kicks off on Aug. 28 when Northview hosts Rosemead at San Dimas High School.

Thursday, August 28
Rosemead (CA) vs. Northview (Covina, CA) at San Dimas HS, 7:00pm
Friday, August 29
Alta Loma (CA) at Rowland (Rowland Heights, CA), 7:00pm
Arroyo (El Monte, CA) at San Marino (CA), 7:00pm
Baldwin Park (CA) at El Monte (CA), 7:00pm
Bassett (La Puente, CA) at Maranatha (Pasadena, CA), 7:00pm
Bonita (La Verne, CA) at Schurr (Montebello, CA), 7:00pm
Diamond Bar (CA) at Montebello (CA), 7:00pm
Diamond Ranch (Pomona, CA) at Nogales (La Puente, CA), 7:00pm
Duarte (CA) at Valley Christian (Cerritos, CA), 7:00pm
Gladstone (Covina, CA) at Jurupa Hills (Fontana, CA), 7:00pm
Monrovia (CA) at San Dimas (CA), 7:00pm
Pasadena (CA) at South El Monte (CA), 7:00pm
Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) vs. Bishop Amat (La Puente, CA) at Saddleback College (Mission Viejo, CA), 7:00pm
Santa Monica (CA) at Los Altos (Hacienda Heights, CA), 7:00pm
Sierra Vista (Baldwin Park, CA) at La Puente (CA), 7:00pm
Walnut (CA) at Don Lugo (Chino, CA), 7:00pm
West Covina (CA) at Colony (Ontario, CA), 7:00pm
Wilson (Hacienda Heights, CA) at Workman (City of Industry, CA), 7:00pm
Green Valley (Henderson, NV) at Charter Oak (Covina, CA), 7:00pm
Saturday, August 30
Covina (CA) vs. South Hills (West Covina, CA) at San Dimas HS, 7:00pm

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Justin Garza earns Team USA invite

garza

Cal State Fullerton’s Justin Garza, who was 2012 area Baseball Player of the Year from Bonita, was one of 29 college underclassmen invited to the Team USA Training Camp in Cary, N.C.
The final roster will feature 24 players who will part of the team’s summer season, which features the Friendship Series against Chinese Taipei and Japan, as well as trips to Honkbal Week in Haarlem, The Netherlands and a five-game series in Cuba.
Garza, who led Bonita to the 2012 CIF-Southern Section Division 3 title, became the fourth Cal State Fullerton pitcher to throw a no-hitter, tossing a no-no against Cal State Northridge on May 23. He finished the season with a 5-4 record and a 3.22 ERA. He also had 60 strikeouts in 72 innings.

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Los Altos baseball coach Andrew Formano resigns

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

You can add Los Altos High School to list of area schools looking for a baseball coach.
Andrew Formano, the Conquerors coach since 2007, resigned Wednesday, citing burn out from the year-long grind of coaching.
He’s the third area coach to leave his position in the past few weeks. Andy Nieto resigned at Bishop Amat last week, and Damien’s Al Leyva was fired earlier this week.
“It’s a little of a burnout, so I felt it was time to take some time off from coaching,” Formano said. “I’d like to focus on my family and some other things. That’s the major reason why.”
Formano built Los Altos into an area top 10 team. He was 121-93-1 in his eight seasons at the Hacienda Heights school. The Conquerors made the CIF-Southern Section playoffs in six out of his eight seasons. They advanced to the quarterfinals in 2009 and 2012.
Los Altos was 13-15 this season.
During his tenure, several Los Altos players advanced to the next level. They include Joe Munoz, who is now playing Single-A for the Arizona Diamondbacks; James Mendez (Cal State Los Angeles); Steven Camberos (Hawaii Pacific); Ronnie Blagg (Valley City State, North Dakota) and Evelio Ahumada (William Penn, Iowa).
“I’m proud of what we accomplished,” Formano said. “We competed every year in our league, and unfortunately we had Bonita ahead of us. But most of those years we had some really good teams during my time.
“We always competed. That’s the legacy I wanted to leave behind. We made a couple of nice runs. We had kids make it to the next level. Munoz is doing well, so I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish.”

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CIF-SS chief Rob Wigod says a new playoff format is in the works that could change the playoffs as we know it

CIF-SS chief Rob Wigod sent out his year-end message to all schools, basically congratulating the teams on a great year, but there was also this interesting tidbit:
“Playoff Groupings – With the completion of this most recent Playoff Groupings process, we would like to begin exploring a new format for divisional placement for all of our sports. This potential new format would emphasize placing individual schools into playoff divisions based on their performance in each particular sport, not placing entire leagues into specific divisions, as we are doing now. Our staff is committed to examining this concept this year, so stay tuned for updates as we get more information on the possibilities of changes for the 2016-2018 Playoff Groupings Cycle.”

Steve Ramirez’s take: This is good news to here. I’ve never really understood why playoff groupings, for the most part, were based on league competitiveness. If this plan does go into effect, we could see where on those occasions were say Bishop Amat has a really good baseball team, the Lancers could be placed in Division 1, where second-place St. Paul, for sake of argument, is in Division 3, or even Division 4. In football, Monrovia could be placed in say the Southeast, while the other Rio Hondo League members, like San Marino or Temple City, could stay in the Mid-Valley. Yes, it would be confusing and make CIF-SS’ task much for difficult, but it would be more fair to the member schools.

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Blue beats the streak, ends seven-year losing skid to Red in San Gabriel Valley All-Star baseball game

Diamond Ranch's John Picazo (#13) tries for a fly ball as they play in the annual San Gabriel Valley All-Star Game at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut on Monday June 9, 2014. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Diamond Ranch’s John Picazo (#13) tries for a fly ball as they play in the annual San Gabriel Valley All-Star Game at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut on Monday June 9, 2014. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
WALNUT —
The Red team has held the advantage over its Blue counterparts in the annual San Gabriel Valley All-Star baseball game.
Until now.
The Blue team, which hadn’t won since 2006, broke the streak Monday at Mt. San Antonio College.
Diamond Bar’s Alek Jimenez beat out a ground ball for an RBI single in the second inning and Charter OaK’s Kory Brown and Monrovia’s Nick Esparza had RBIs in a three-run sixth to lead the Blue to a 4-3 victory before an over-flow crowd at Mazmanian Field.
“We definitely were thinking (of the streak),” said Esparza, who was game MVP. “I came out here wanting to win, have fun.”

The Red team tied it at 1-1 in the sixth, but Blue scored three runs in the bottom of the inning for a 4-1 advantage. Los Altos’ James Mendez led off with a single and the Blue then loaded the bases on back-to-back fielding errors. Charter Oak’s Kory Brown hit a sacrifice fly to right for a 2-1 lead. Esparza singled with two outs for a 3-1 advantage and a wild pitch made it 4-1.
“I was just trying to get an RBI there and break the game open,” Esparza said. “I got it done.”
La Canada’s Johnny Selsor doubled in two runs with two outs in the top of the eighth to cut the lead to 4-3. Diamond Bar’s Chris Sanchez struck out Baldwin Park’s Christian Barraza to end the threat.
The Blue earlier took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Pasadena’s Alex Baer singled with one out, stole second and scored on an infield hit by Diamond Bar’s Alek Jimenez. Baer was running on the play and scored easily as Jimenez beat the throw to first.
The Red tied it in the sixth. La Canada’s Justin Lewis led off with a single and Shun Tsunoda followed with an infield single, but a three-base throwing error allowed Lewis to score, with Tsunoda taking third.
La Salle’s Jordan Rodgers got the next three batters to keep the game tied at 1-1.
Former area coaches Kevin Smith of South Hills and John Romano of Nogales were inducted into the San Gabriel Valley Coaches Hall of Honor before the game.
Smith, now head coach at Mt. SAC, won almost 500 games and two CIF-Southern Section titles in a 35-year career.
Romano, who retired at Nogales this season after 37 years in coaching, won 635 games, including 621 with the Nobles.
Game awards were received by Diamond Ranch’s John Picazo (Defensive MVP), La Verne Lutheran’s Layne Henderson (Pitching MVP), La Canada’s Selsor (Most valuable hitter) and Esparza (MVP).

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SGV All-Star baseball games set: Underclassman game Sunday at Alhambra; Senior game Monday at Mt. SAC

UNDERCLASSMAN GAME
When, Sunday, June 8
Where: Alhambra High School, 2 p.m.
SENIOR GAME
When: Monday, June 9
Where: Mt. SAC, 7 p.m.

BELOW: Scott Hurst, center, will play in Monday’s all-star game after helping the Lancers to the Division 3 title on Friday.
amatcele

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

Rosters for the annual San Gabriel Valley senior and underclassmen all-star games have been released.
The senior game is scheduled for Mt. San Antonio College at 7 p.m. on June 9, with the underclassmen game slated for Alhambra High School at 2 p.m. on June 8.
The Senior Blue Team will be led by pitchers Andrew Eppenbach, of Bishop Amat, and Grant Hockin, of Damien. Eppenbach has been a key for the Lancers reaching Friday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 3 quarterfinals. He’s 4-5 with a 2.92 ERA and has 47 strikeouts in 56 innings. Hockin was 9-3 with a 1.49 ERA for Damien.
Other key players on the Senior Blue team are Amat’s Scott Hurst, Charter Oak’s Kory Brown, Damien’s David Banuelos, Pasadena’s Sergio Rey and La Salle’s Jordan Rodgers.
The Senior Red team, which has won the past seven games, including 5-4 last season, is also pitching deep with Alhambra’s Marco Briones, Glendora’s Kale Morton and Sierra Vista’s Erik Gutierrez. Briones was arguably the top pitcher in the West Valley, with a 9-0 record and 0.40 ERA for the Moors. Morton topped East Valley pitchers with a school-record 12-0 mark, with a 1.58 ERA to help the Tartans win the Baseline League title. Gutierrez is 9-1 with a 1.22 ERA for the Dons, who are in the CIF-SS quarterfinals for the first time in two decades.
Other players for the Red team are Bonita’s Joe Quire, Glendora’s D.J. Peters, Northview’s Alex Labor and San Dimas’ Elias Orona and Daniel Millwee.
The Underclassmen Blue team features Bonita’s Danny Gelaclich, Glendora’s Alex Briggs, Pasadena Poly’s Griffen Carter; Rosemead’s Angel Lopez; San Dimas’ Peter Lambert and South Hills’ Gavin Velasquez.
The Underclassmen Red Team features Arcadia’s Ryan Tuck, Amat’s Christian Moya; La Salle’s Ryan Garcia, Monrovia’s Isaiah Ramos and Nogalez’ Chris Lopez.
The coaches for the games are Alhambra’s Steve Gewicke (Senior Red); West Covina’s Drew Lorenger (Senior Blue); Schurr’s Houston Hernandez (Underclassmen Red) and Walnut’s Paul Acosta (Underclassmen Blue).
Former area head coaches John Romano, of Nogales, and Kevin Smith, of South Hills, will be inducted in the the Coaches Hall of Honor at the Senior game.
Here are the complete rosters:
SENIOR BLUE TEAM: Joey Harmon (Arcadia), Alex Garcia (Bishop Amat), Andrew Eppenbach (Bishop Amat), Scott Hurst (Bishop Amat); Kory Brown (Charter Oak), Ian Evans (Charter Oak), Anthony Moreno (Covina), Grant Hockin (Damien), Davide Banuelos (Damien), Johnny Alvarez (El Monte), Alex Jimenez (Diamond Bar), Chris Sanchez (Diamond Bar), John Picazo (Diamond Ranch), Matt Arguello (La Puente), George Medina (La Salle), Jordan Rodgers (La Salle), Esteban Ortega (Los Altos), James Mendez (Los Altos), Jeffry Oki (Maranatha), Nick Esparza (Monrovia), Nicholas Carino (Monrovia), Calvin Christiansen (Pasadena), Alex Baer (Pasadena), Sergio Rey (Pasadena), Ryan Arias (San Gabriel), Cameron Legrand (Temple City), Ryan Viramontes (West Covina).
SENIOR RED TEAM: Marco Briones (Alhambra), Jordan Palacio (Alhambra), Christian Barraza (Baldwin Park), Jordan Palacio (Baldwin Park), Joe Quire (Bonita), Koty Redielbach (Bonita), Drew Valdez (Duarte), Justin Cage (Glendora), D.J. Peters (Glendora), Kale Morton (Glendora), Johnny Selsor (La Canada), Justin Lewis (La Canada), Layne Henderson (La Verne Lutheran), James Ward (La Verne Lutheran), Alex Labor (Northview), Kyle Beerman (Pasadena Poly), Zach Bern (Pasadena Poly), David Orndorf (Pasadena Poly), Armani Garcia (Rosemead), Elias Orona (San Dimas), Daniel Millwee (San Dimas), Larsen Cobb (San Marino), Eric Gutierrez (Sierra Vista), Erik Hernandez (Sierra Vista), Jon Ayala (South Hills), Shun Tsunoda (Wilson).
UNDERCLASSMEN BLUE TEAM: Danny Gelalich (Bonita), Justin Gomez (Bonita), Alex Gonzlaez (Bonita), Nicholas Hernandez (Charter Oak), Gerardo Ramirez (Diamond Bar), Adrian Rodriguez (Diamond Ranch), Alex Briggs (Glendora), Gavin Coppin (Glendora), Griffen Herrera (Glendora), Zach Scrademeir (Maranatha), Frankie Garriola (Pasadena), Sumner Smith (Pasadena), Griffen Carter (Pasadena Poly), Angel Lopez (Rosemead), Brandon Buna (Rosemead), Jacob Castillo (San Dimas), Jonathan Longtin (San Dimas), Peter Lambert (San Dimas), Ryan Mauch (South Hills), Gavin Velasquez (South Hills), Francisco Ramirez (South Hills), Cody Dye (Walnut), Christian Longoria (Walnut), Alex Carrillo (West Covina), Anthony Deeter (West Covina).
UNDERCLASSMEN RED TEAM: Ryan Tuck (Arcadia), Christian Maciel (Alhambra), Andrew Prieto (Alhambra), Michael Guzman (Baldwin Park), Isaac Archer (Bishop Amat), Christian Moya (Bishop Amat), Sergio Robles (Bishop Amat), Isaiah Carranza (Damien), Ryan Franco (La Puente), Ryan Garcia (La Salle), Jake Gaudet (La Salle), Brandon Jenkins (La Salle), Brandy Lange (La Verne Lutheran), Anthony Cuevas (Los Altos), Isaiah Ramos (Monrovia), Juan Quionez (Monrovia), Adam Rubio (Montebello), Manny Armendariz (Northview), Jacob Amaya (Northview), Anthony Guadardo (Nogales), Chris Lopez (Nogales), Miles Glazier (San Marino), Tyler Spitzer (San Marino).

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Bishop Amat faces familar foe in CIF-Southern Section Division 3 baseball title game at Dodger Stadium

You can watch a live stream of the game here and I will be tweeting updates @sgvnsports

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

Bishop Amat High School will likely be the underdog when it faces top seed Palm Desert for the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 baseball title Friday at Dodger Stadium.
But the Lancers, seeking the school’s ninth CIF-SS title, don’t care.
It’s a role they have become accustom to in recent weeks, and will wear with a badge of honor when they face the Aztecs at 2 p.m.

“We know we’re in for a challenge and we know we’re in for a dog fight,” said Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto, who is seeking his fourth CIF-SS title with Amat. “But when it’s all said and done, it’s about us. It’s about playing against the game of baseball.
“We know our opponent is tough, but it’s no different than the schedule we’ve played. Every opponent we’ve played has been a quality opponent. This group is battle-tested and they are hungry. They deserve what’s happened to them, and they’ve earned it.”
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Bishop Amat rallies again, earns trip to Dodger Stadium with win over Redondo

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
LA PUENTE –
Bishop Amat High School’s early-season struggles are a distant memory. Now the Lancers are one of the hottest teams in the CIF-Southern Section and they continued to fit that billing on Tuesday.
Anthony Walters drove in the tying run and Bijor Decena scored on a balk in a three-run fifth inning and the Lancers rallied for a 3-1 victory over visiting Redondo in a Division 3 semifinal game.

Nick Valdez had a key double and Andrew Eppenbach, Isaac Archer and Scott Hurst combined on a five-hitter for Bishop Amat, which improved to 20-11 and will face No. 1 seed Palm Desert at 2 p.m. on Friday at Dodger Stadium. It was the Lancers’ third consecutive come-from-behind win, after rallying for wins over Orange in the second round and Quarter Hill in the quarterfinals last week.
Redondo, which got an RBI from Jason Clebowicz, finished 21-13.
Amat, after falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, came to life in the fifth, and again it relied on the bottom of the lineup. Bryan Menendez led off with a walk before Valdez lined a one-out double to put runners on second and third. It was his second big hit in as many games after getting the tying double in last week’s 5-2 win over Quartz Hill.
Christian Moya walked to load the bases before Walter lined a single to tie it at 1. Reliever Cooper Gallion then was called for a balk, allowing pinch-runner Decena to score for a 2-1 lead. Gallion then walked back-to-back batters to make it 3-1.
Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto: “These guys have the wow factor now. They deserve everything they’ve received over the last few weeks. People had us dead in the water three weeks ago. But I told them that before we can right the ship, you have to be willing to go down with the ship. They all did that. You saw the way the game went. But when you are playing good baseball, and you put yourself in a good position to rally, good things can happen. Right now, we’re in a good place.”

Bishop Amat’s Nick Valdez: “Our seniors just stepped up. There was no moment in time where we though we were out of it. Everyone just happened to come up clutch. I just happened to be the guy who finished it off.”

Bishop Amat’s Scott Hurst: “We really proved ourselves. We’ve been down (the last) three games. We don’t quit. We play until the game’s over. We see (what happens) at Dodger Stadium.”

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Can Bishop Amat continue the magic? Lancers host Redondo on Tuesday for spot in Division 3 title game


By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

There was a method to Bishop Amat baseball coach Andy Nieto’s madness when he put his Lancers to the test of arguably the toughest nonleague schedule in the area during the early part of the season
The payoff is coming now.
Bishop Amat has fully recovered from its 0-4 start and is now in position to win its ninth CIF-Southern Section title. But the Lancers first must get by Redondo, which they host in a Division 3 semifinal game Tuesday at 3:15 p.m. The winner advances to the Friday’s championship game, scheduled for 2 p.m. at Dodger Stadium.
“We have a pretty good feel for the things (Redondo) has done,” said Nieto, whose Lancers have gone 19-7 since opening the season with the four losses. “But when it’s all set and done, it’s about us. There’s not a team more battle-tested than us. We put this schedule together for a reason, which is to being playing our best baseball at the end.
“It’s so far, so good. But it’s survive and advance.”
The Lancers have done that recently, rallying for wins in its past two games, including a 5-2 victory at Quartz Hill in the quarterfinals.
Tuesday’s opponent, Redondo, is on a similar hot streak. The Sea Hawks (21-12), after finishing second in the Bay League, knocked off No. 2 seed Bonita (6-4) in the second round before beating Gahr, 3-2, in the quarterfinals. They have won eight consecutive games.
Redondo is led by Cain Castor, who is hitting .397 with 17 RBIs, and Duncan McKinnon, who is hitting .483 with 14 RBIs.
Bishop Amat counters with outfielder Scott Hurst, who is hitting .444 with 24 RBIs, and catcher Michael Palos, who is hitting .309 with 24 RBIs. Infielder Christian Moya had the big hit, a three-run home run in the win over Quartz Hill. The Lancers also feature pitchers Isaac Archer, Alex Garcia and Andrew Eppenbach, who have combined for an 18-8 record.
“We’ve played in a lot of one run games,” Nieto said. “Even though it didn’t always go our way, I think it just proved to our guys that we can compete at this level. It’s about us, about protecting the ball, being a tough out at the plate, playing clean baseball. We’re going to find a way to get back in the game and find a way to win it.”

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San Gabriel Valley All-Star softball game tonight at Diamond Bar, 5:30 p.m.

6-4-13 XVSOFTBALL

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

There will be a new and exciting twist when the area’s top players convene for the Senior San Gabriel Valley All-Star Softball Game, scheduled for Diamond Bar High School at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.
In addition to the final high school performances by the top 41 players, it will feature a home run derby for the first time. The added attraction will be at 4:45 p.m.
“I think it’s going to be fun,” said game organizer and South coach Jesse Mendez, the head coach at West Covina. “It’s going to be fun for them. We have some kids who can hit the ball, so it will be exciting. It’s something we’ve never done. But it will be good.”
The rosters for the game were released on Thursday and they are led by San Dimas catcher Janelle Wheaton, who will be on the North Team.
Wheaton has been one of the area’s best hitters over the past few seasons, hitting .602 with 41 RBIs this season while helping the Saints reach the Division 5 quarterfinals.
The North also features Charter Oak pitcher/infielder Brooke Clemetson, who hit .423; Bonita infielder Vienna Benavides, who hit .429, and Northview pitcher Ana Meija, who hit .465 and was 9-5 with a 2.45 ERA in the circle.
The South will feature the Bishop Amat duo of Amanda and Anissa Sanchez, who hit .442 and .426, respectively; West Covina’s Alex Rodrigues and Nadiya Lozano, who hit .512 and .409, respectively, and Los Altos’ Dana Chavez, who hit .333.
“It’s a good competition,” Mendez said. “We tried to keep it to the first and second team all-league players, which will make it competitive.”
The North coaches will be Bonita’s Art Montano, San Dimas’ Don Pollard, Northview’s Jeff Butler and Charter Oak’s Scott Higuera. The South coaches are Mendez, South Hills’ Brandon Gonzalez, Diamond Bar’s Roberta Garcia-Uyemura and Los Altos’ Nacho Hernandez.
Here are the rosters:
SOUTH TEAM: Aubrey Horita (Diamond Bar), Brittney Amezquita (South Hills), Marissa Thornburg (South Hills), Shannon Skyrzynski (Diamond Ranch), Jaya Alaan (Diamond Ranch), Dana Chavez (Los Altos), Amanda Sanchez (Bishop Amat), Francesca Garcia (Bishop Amat), Anissa Sanchez (Bishop Amat), Lexi Gonzalez (West Covina), Alex Rodrigues (West Covina), Danae Delgado (West Covina), Nadiya Lozano (West Covina), Stephanie Guido (Schurr), Byanka Diosdado (Schurr), Krystal Perez (Nogales), Adriana Lopes (Nogales), Brittney Zepeda (South El Monte), Andea Barcenas (South El Monte).
NORTH TEAM: Brooke Clemetson (Charter Oak), Sierra Hensel (Charter Oak), Anissa Gallegos (Charter Oak), Camille Ochoa (Charter Oak), Vienna Benavides (Bonita), Berlin Benavides (Bonita), Alyssa Myer (Bonita), Janelle Wheaton (San Dimas), Jennifer Aguinaga (San Dimas), Briana Quitana (San Dimas), Makaele Moore (San Dimas), Haley Gomez (Northview), Ana Meija (Northview), Adriene Guerra (Monrovia), Elise McCarthy (Monrovia), Mylene Valencia (Sierra Vista), Marlene Villa (Sierra Vista), Maite Reece (Gabrielino), Alicia Brown (Glendora), Kendall Woken (Glendora), Vanessa Frouissine (Glendora), Kianna Torres (Arroyo).

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Quarterfinals: Christian Moya’s 3-run homer lifts Bishop Amat to 5-2 victory; Northview, San Dimas, Sierra Vista lose


By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
QUARTZ HILL >>
Most teams might have folded. But Bishop Amat High School just pushed back, and now the Lancers are closing in another CIF-Southern Section baseball title.
Nicholas Valdez had the tying double and Christian Moya slugged a three-run home run in a five-run sixth inning and Bishop Amat rallied for a 5-2 victory over host Quartz Hill Friday in a Division 3 quarterfinal game.
The Lancers, getting five strong innings on the mound from Alex Garcia, improved to 19-11 and will host either Redondo in Tuesday’s semifinals.
Quartz Hill, which got a two-run double from Josh Van Dorp, finished 21-10.
instead of going quietly, the Lancers first got even, then took the lead in the sixth.
Left fielder Sergio Robles doubled to put runners on second and third with no outs. Valdez then followed with a two-run double on a line drive to center field to tie it at 2, which chased Rebels’ No. 1 pitcher Jonathan Teaney.
Moya then promptly created reliever Jake Keily with a three-run homer to center field for a 5-2 lead.
Bishop Amat’s Christian Moya: “We were bummed out (after Quartz Hill took the lead). But we just kept fighting. We put at-bats together, rallied, got (the lead) back. “I was just waiting for a good pitch to hit. It was a clutch situation, had the right mind-set going in, made sure I got a good swing at the ball and smoked it.”

Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto: “These guys are so resilient. They’ve been through a lot. We knew they (the Amat hitters) would be surprised, we just had to make the adjustments and find a way to will our way back into the game. We’re in a good place right now. But these guys know it’s one step closer, but it’s still just one in a row. It was truly a team effort.”

CIF-SS Baseball Results
Friday’s quarterfinals
Division 3

Bishop Amat 5, Quartz Hill 2
Division 4
California 5, Northview 1
Torrance 1, San Dimas 0
Saturday’s game
Division 5

Santa Ynez 3, Sierra Vista 2
Tuesday’s semifinals
Division 3

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

NORTHVIEW SEASON ENDS
By Fred J. Robledo
Visiting California did what Northview couldn’t in Friday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 4 baseball quarterfinals.
The Condors took advantage of timely hitting and reliever Jerald Johnson got big out after big out to lead the Del Rio league champions to a 5-1 victory.
California (23-5) will be at home in Tuesday’s semifinals against South Torrance, a 3-1 winner over fourth-seed Oaks Christian.
California is hoping to win its first title since 2000.
After Northview came up empty in the first inning wasting first and third with no outs, California answered with four runs in the top of the second.
Eric Sotelo, who was 3-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs, belted home the first run to stake the Condors to a 1-0 lead.
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Baseball playoffs: Northview, San Dimas win coin flips, will be at home; Bishop Amat, Sierra Vista hit the road

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

Northview and South Dimas high schools would love nothing better than to continue their recent rivalry at next week’s CIF-Southern Section Division 4 championship game.
Both took advantages toward that quest by wining coin flips to host quarterfinal games on Friday. Bishop Amat and Sierra Vista weren’t so fortunate and will hit the road in Division 3 and 5 quarterfinal games, respectively.
Northview (18-11), which shocked top seed Kaiser, 2-1 in eight innings, on Tuesday, will host California at 3:15 p.m. The Condors (22-5) rallied for a 7-6 victory over Don Lugo on Tuesday.
San Dimas (23-6-1), which routed Granite Hills, 9-1, in the second round, will host Torrance (24-8), an 11-5 winner over La Sierra. The game is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. The Saints beat the Tartars, 4-2, in the Division 4 title game in 2009.
Bishop Amat (18-11), which rallied for a 4-3 win over Orange on Tuesday, will take a 90-minute trek to Quartz Hill at 3:15 p.m., The Rebels (21-9) upset No. 3 Downey, 2-1, on Tuesday. The Lancers have gone 18-7 since opening the season with four consecutive losses.
Sierra Vista (21-3), which is in the quarterfinals for the first time in two decades, will take a three-hour road trip to Santa Ynez (26-1) on Saturday for its 2 p.m. game. The game was moved to Saturday to accommodate Santa Ynez’s graduation on Friday.
The Dons advanced with a 9-3 win over Hemet. Santa Ynez, the No. 1 seed, beat Sultana, 9-4.
The winners advanced to Tuesday’s semifinals. The finals are slated for June 6-7.

FRIDAY’S QUARTERFINALS
Division 3

Bishop Amat at Quartz Hill
Division 4
California at Northview
Torrance at San Dimas
SATURDAY’S QUARTERFINAL
Division 5

Sierra Vista at Santa Ynez, 2 p.m.
ALL GAMES ARE AT 3:15 P.M., UNLESS NOTED

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