About Steve Ramirez

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

SGV Tribune All-Star Game ends in 4-4 tie

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
The talent gap in the Valley was razor thin this season, so it made sense the inaugural SGV Tribune Senior All-Star baseball game ended in a tie.
Chino Hills’ Justin Bardwell had a RBI single in the ninth as the SGV MVPs tied the SGV Stars at 4 at Mt. San Antonio College.
Bonita’s Danny Gelalich had two hits and West Covina’s Alex Carrillo had two RBIs for the Stars.
Pasadena’s Frank Garriola led off the ninth with a single. He advanced to second on a wild-pitch before Bardwell singled with two outs to tie the score.
Both teams where held scoreless in the 10th.
Garriola and Bardwell had two hits each for the MVPs.
The Stars, who had just one hit through the first four innings, led 4-2 after six innings. They rallied for a 3-2 lead in the fifth.
The Stars strung together four consecutive hits in the inning. South Hills’ Gabe Chavez and Gelalich, who will attend Brigham Young, had singles before a two-run double by Carrillo tied it at 2.
Bonita’s Justin Gomez followed with a RBI single to make it 3-2.
Charter Oak’s Oscar Osorio had a sacrifice fly in the sixth to make it 4-2.
The MVPs cut it to 4-3 in the seventh on singles by Arcadia’s Matt Jung and Damien’s Andrew Garcia and a sacrifice fly by San Dimas’ Logan Muratala.
The MVPs took a 2-0 lead in the first. Garriola had a lead-off single before Chino Hills’ Chris Ceballos and Damien’s Grant Woodward had RBI doubles.
Northview’s Manny Armendariz was solid on the mound, striking out four in two innings.
The Stars had a shot to extend their lead in the seventh. Carrillo walked and Bishop Amat’s Aaron McCann doubled with one out. But Armendariz finished the inning with back-to-back strike outs.
In the underclassmen game, the SGV Elites beat the SGV Bests, 8-1.
West Covina’s Andrew Sanchez had a two-run double to lead the Elites.
Bassett’s Frankie Villanueva had a triple and Bishop Amat’s Jayson Gonzalez had a RBI single for the Bests’ only run.

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Redondo routs Walnut for Division 3 title, 10-0

By Stephen Ramirez
For two months, the Walnut High School baseball team was living a dream.
Saturday was a nightmare.
Marco Valenzuela had three RBIs and Gallion Copper tossed a two-hit shutout as Redondo Union ended the Mustangs’ 18-game winning streak and dream of a CIF-Southern Section title with a 10-0 victory over Walnut in the Division 3 title game at San Manuel Stadium.
Duncan McKinnon also had two RBIs for the Sea Hawks, who finished 29-7 and won the school’s first baseball division title.
Andy Rodriguez and Maxwell Masana had singles for the Mustangs, who finished 21-8-2. Walnut was seeking its second baseball title and in its first championship game since 1982. It was also their first title game appearance since winning in 1982.

“I give credit to (Redondo),” said Walnut coach Paul Acosta, whose team upset USA Today No. 1 San Dimas in the semifinals. “We prepared well. We were ready to play today; Cody Dye was ready to pitch today. I’ll take him any day. I’ll take him tomorrow and the next day, I’ll take him too.
“It’s just credit to those guys. Their reputation was that they hit the ball, and we saw with our own eyes that they hit the ball well. “
Redondo Union all but put it way before Walnut had a chance to bat, scoring five runs on four hits in the first.
Dye, who brought a 9-0 record and 0.83 earned run average into Saturday, got behind early, giving up a walk on four pitches and a single by Jacob Springman to start the game.
Brady Dorn followed with an RBI single for a 1-0 lead before Dye walked in run and Jason Clebowicz followed with a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 advantage. Valenzuela then hit a two-run double to left-center field to make it 5-0.
Dye needed 33 pitches.

“I got behind a lot,” Dye said. “They are a good hitting team and when you get behind hitters, it’ll happen.”
Walnut never really recovered.
Cooper retired the first 10 batters before a walk to Andre Alvarez in the fourth. He finished with the two-hitter and struck out four.
The Mustangs, trailing 5-0, did have a shot to get back in it in the fourth. Quinn Cooper followed Alvarez’s free pass with a walk and then Rodriguez singled to load the bases.
But Michael Mora lined out to right field, ending the threat and Walnut’s chances.
“That would have been a break,” Acosta said. “Michael Mora hit it hard, hit it on the button. He just hit it right at someone. Unfortunately, that was our only threat throughout the game.”
Redondo put it away in the fifth. Valenzuela had a RBI single and McKinnon a two-run triple for a 10-0 lead.
“We were anticipating more base runners, so we could apply more pressure,” Acosta said. “But you have to tip your hat to Gallion. He threw the ball well, kept us off-balance. That’s all you can do. Redondo was the better team today.”

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Glendora girls finish second at CIF-SS D2 swim championships

 The 200 yard medley relay during the CIF division 2 swimming finals in the Riverside Aquatics Complex at Riverside City College in Riverside, Calif., on Saturday, May 16, 2015. Glendora finished in second place. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

The 200 yard medley relay during the CIF division 2 swimming finals in the Riverside Aquatics Complex at Riverside City College in Riverside, Calif., on Saturday, May 16, 2015. Glendora finished in second place. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

RIVERSIDE >> Sonora High School’s Taylor Ault and Arcadia’s Tenny Chong were two of the area’s top swimmers throughout this season and both lived up to the billing on Saturday.
Ault won the 200-yard and 500 freestyles and Chong the 50 free to highlight the area’s efforts at the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 swimming championships at Riverside City College.
La Canada’s Dane Bell and Sonora’s Simon Lamar were the other area winners, sharing the 500 free with a time of 4:29.63.
Ault used a late surge to win the 200 free, finishing in 1 minute, 46.07 seconds. Ayala’s Kenisha Liu (1:47), who led most of the race, was second.
“I’m a back-half swimmer,” Ault said. “It’s usually one of my strengths. I was just hoping I could keep going, and was happy I did.”
Ault was dominant in the 500, easily winning with a time of 4:43.46.
“It’s really good (to win CIF),” Ault said. “I won last year, and I had better times this year, so it feels really good.”
Chong was happy to win the 50 free for another reason.
“It’s like a dream come true,” Chong said. “When I was little, I always wanted to be like my brother, because he always won CIF. He’s like my role model and I’m glad I could match him.”
Chong, the top qualifier in the 50, led from start to finish with a time of 20.87. He was also fourth in the 100 backstroke (51.20).
“When I dove in (for the 50), I had my doubts,” Wong said. “After the turn, when I streamlined, I saw the guy on my right, and he was in front of my, but I’m really good the last 15 yards. It felt good.”
Bell was also fourth in the 200 free (1:41.44)
The Glendora girls team, which finished second to Crean Lutheran of Irvine in the team competition, has solid efforts from Catherine Sanchez, who was second in the 100 fly (0:54.51) and third in the 200 free (1:50.04); Jackie Basham, who was third in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.09), and Alexis Margett (54.73) and Gisel Olvera (56.35), who were third and fourth, respectively, in the 100 fly.
Other top performances by locals were South Pasadena’s Garrett Tse, who was fourth in the 200 individual medley (1:52.21); Damien’s Richie Campbell, who was fourth in the 50 free (21.31) and San Marino’s Javier Lopez, who was second in the 100 fly (49.85).
The Glendora girls also finished second in the 200 medley (1:46.12) and 200 free (1:36.92) relays.

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Baseball: St. Paul shuts out Bishop Amat, 1-0

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
St. Paul High School began the week knowing it was three wins short of winning a Del Rey League baseball title.
The Swordsmen got a big one on Saturday.
Bryan De La Torre and Jacob Guzman combined on a four-hit shutout and host St. Paul took a big step toward the league championship with a 1-0 victory over rival Bishop Amat.
Juan Zuniga had a RBI bunt for the only run of the game for the Swordsmen, who improved to 14-12-1 overall and 7-3 in league play. They trail first-place Cathedral by a half-game going into the final week and can win a share of the league title with a sweep of the Phantoms, who they face at home on Monday and on the road on Wednesday. Cathedral also has a game vs. Serra, scheduled for next Friday.
Bishop Amat is still in the hunt at 14-12 and 8-4. The Lancers, who missed on a big scoring chance in the sixth, have completed their regular-season schedule, but can gain a piece of the league crown if St. Paul were to split with Cathedral.

“This is the position we want to be in,” St. Paul coach Casey Morales said. “You want to control your own destiny, and that’s what we got. Now we control our destiny to take on an opponent and take a league title. The work these guys have put in and progressed. We’re such a different team now than we were at the beginning of the year, I like our chances.”
St. Paul, which also had four hits, scored the only run in the third. The Swordsmen loaded the bases on singles by Fernando Alvidrez and David Castillo and a walk to Isaiah Donahue. Zuniga got down a squeeze bunt to score Alvidrez for a 1-0 lead.
De La Torre and Guzman took care of the rest.
De La Torre gave up four hits and struck out two in five innings before running into trouble in the sixth. Enter Guzman, who after loading the bases with a walk, got a ground out and strike out to keep the lead intact.

“I just had to come in throw strikes and produce,” Guzman said. “I just had to trust my mechanics and just let it go.“
Guzman got Amat in order in the seventh to win it.

“I don’t want to take credit from them, obviously the guy did enough,” Bishop Amat coach Joe Hoggatt said. “I think we chased, got a little excited, didn’t control the moment. But you have to give them credit.”

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Baseball: Bishop Amat stays in Del Rey League race with 3-1 win over St. Paul

LA PUENTE — St. Paul can end rival Bishop Amat’s quest for a Del Rey League title and enhance its own with a victory in of two games this week.
The Swordsmen will carry that aspiration to Friday.
Amat sophomore Isaac Esqueda saw to that Tuesday.
Esqueda tossed a four-hitter and struck out 11 as Amat remained in the race with a 3-1 victory over St. Paul in a Del Rey League game.
The host Lancers improved to 14-11-1 overall and 8-3 in league play. The loss dropped St. Paul into a virtual second-place tie with Amat, falling to 13-12-1 and 7-3. Cathedral, which beat Serra, leads the league at 8-2.
Bishop Amat, scoring two unearned runs in the second, led 3-0 after two innings.



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