About Steve Ramirez

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

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.
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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.”
finalsked
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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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Area softball season ends as Jurupa Hills beats San Dimas, 2-1 in CIF-Southern Section Division 5 quarterfinals

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
FONTANA –
San Dimas High School softball coach Don Pollard took a gamble Saturday.
Jurupa Hills’ Brittany Vicary made him pay for it.
The freshman outfielder lined a single to left field to score Vanessa Salas in the bottom of the seventh inning and the host Spartans scored a 2-1 victory in a CIF-Southern Section Division 5 quarterfinal game.
Natalie Calderas tossed a three-hitter and struck out 13 for No. 1 seed Jurupa Hills, which improved to 24-5 and will face either Ontario Christian or Paraclete in Tuesday’s semifinals. San Dimas, which got a home run from catcher Janell Wheaton, finished 22-8.
Jurupa Hills started its winning rally with two outs in the seventh when Salas drew a walk. San Dimas starter Lindsey Hughes, who gave up three hits and struck out five, then walked Marci Arevalo. Pollard then made the decision to bring in sophomore Alondra Reynoso, who was wild on her first pitch, advancing to runners to second and third.
Vicary then lined a single that just fell in front of left fielder Davina Doran, scoring Salas for the game-winner.
Jurupa Hills’ Brittany Vicary: “It was real nerve-racking, because my hitting hasn’t been my best. But I made sure I stayed focused and did what I have to do. Everything being so close, we all have to make sure we stay focused, so we can do what we have to do and win. It feels really good, because we’re on our way to winning CIF.”

San Dimas coach Don Pollard: “I thought if we could give Lindsey a break — I wanted to put her back in the next inning — and get her relaxed a bit. It was a mistake on my part. It was a tough situation for (Reynoso) and they just hit her.”

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Former Bonita star Justin Garza tosses no hitter for CS Fullerton

garza

From Fullertontitans.com
FULLERTON, Calif. – The night began with a tribute to the past as Cal State Fullerton honored members of the 1984 and 2004 national championship teams prior to Friday night’s game, but it was the future that stole the show by the end of the night, making a little history along the way.
Sophomore Justin Garza tossed the fourth no-hitter in Titans history as the Titans defeated Cal State Northridge 3-0 in a Big West Conference contest at Goodwin Field.
Garza’s masterful performance added his name alongside Kirk Saarloos, Ted Silva and Longo Garcia as the only other Titans to toss a no-hitter in the program’s 40-year history in NCAA Division I baseball. Saarloos was the last Titans pitcher to accomplish the feat, no-hitting Pacific on Apr. 9, 2001 in a 28-0 win over Pacific.
“With all the alumni and all the great players that have come through here and to have my name on that board is just a big honor,” Garza said. “I still can’t believe it; right now it just feels like I’m floating and everything is not really real.”

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Softball playoffs: Monet Manning’s walk-off homer sends Northview past Barstow, 5-4

Northview High players swarm over Monet Manning after her game winning home run in the bottom of the seventh inning vs Barstow High at their Covina campus field May 19, 2014. (Staff photo by Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Northview High players swarm over Monet Manning after her game winning home run in the bottom of the seventh inning vs Barstow High at their Covina campus field May 19, 2014. (Staff photo by Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

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


COVINA – Northview High School combined good play with some playoff magic to score the best season in its history last year.
The Vikings’ mojo appears to be back.
Monet Manning led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a home run to center field to give Northview a 5-4 victory over visiting Barstow in a CIF-Southern Section Division 5 wild-card game on Monday.
The Vikings improved to 14-13 and will travel to Ontario Christian for a first-round game at 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday. Barstow, which twice rallied from two-run deficits, finished 13-13.
Manning, who lined a single off the center field fence in the fifth, lived up to the billing, launching a shot a little higher in the seventh. It glanced off the glove of Jordan Neal and over for the 5-4 win.
Northview, after Barstow’s Gabby Rodriguez tied it at 2 with a two-run home run in the fourth, took a 4-2 lead in the bottom on the inning. Darlene Jaramillo tripled to left before Mia Lopez and Marissa Chacon had RBIs.
Barstow rallied to tie it at 4 in the sixth. Alexus Fermenic doubled to make it 4-3. Ann-Marie Hernandez, who had singled, over ran third, but scored on a botched run-down play to tie it at 4.
“They didn’t give up,” Barstow coach Richard Johannsen said of his team. “They kept trying and trying. It was a tough game.”
Northview coach Jeff Butler: “We talked before the game, that it was a new season (now). Last year, we got hot in the playoffs and I like our matchups. I’m glad for Mo. I knew she was going to hit a home run in that situation.”

Northview’s Monet Manning: “That line drive off the fence (in the fourth inning), I thought I just needed a little more power to get it over. I feel pretty amazed that I did do that. I’m happy it was the game-winning hit.”

OTHER CIF-SS SOFTBALL SCORES
DIVISION 2

South Hills 7, Tesoro 4
Redlands 10, West Covina 1
Diamond Bar vs. Ontario
DIVISION 3
Bishop Amat 17, Lancaster 0
DIVISION 5
Katella 20, Workman 0
Edgewood 7, Immaculate Heart 3
Azusa 3, Nipomo 1
Notre Dame/Riverside 4, Wilson 3

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Glendora wins D2 girls swim title; Tartans’ Alexis Margett, Rowland’s Michael Wang, Walnut’s Derek Kao win individual titles

Glendora is all smiles after winning the team event during the Division 2 CIF Southern Section Swimming Championships in the Riverside Aquatics Complex at Riverside City College in Riverside, Calif., on Saturday, May 17, 2014. (Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News)

Glendora is all smiles after winning the team event during the Division 2 CIF Southern Section Swimming Championships in the Riverside Aquatics Complex at Riverside City College in Riverside, Calif., on Saturday, May 17, 2014. (Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News)

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
RIVERSIDE —
It’s likely too early to call the Glendora High School girls swimming team, with its recent accomplishments, a dynasty, but the Tartans took another step toward that type of dominance.
Freshman Alexis Margett breezed to the 100-yard butterfly title and Glendora scored wins in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays to lead the Tartans to their second Division 2 title in three seasons during Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section divisional swimming championships at the Riverside Aquatics Complex.
Rowland’s Michael Wang and Walnut’s Derek Kao also scored individual titles, winning in the 100 freestyle and 100 breaststroke, respectively.
“It is (a mini dynasty),” Glendora coach Janet Pollard said. “It’s big for our school and our program, because swimming is the only (girls) sport to win a CIF championship. No other sport has done that, so it means a lot for the (team). I’m really excited for them.”

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Softball playoffs: No top four seeds for area teams as Charter Oak, Los Altos and San Dimas earn first-round home games

losaltos

It’s been a funny season for the area softball teams in 2014.
The best team — Glendora — in the area during the pre-league tournament season didn’t make the playoffs and now no Valley team received a top four seed when the CIF-Southern Section released divisional playoff pairings
The area’s hotest teams — Charter Oak, Los Altos and San Dimas have their work cut out for them.
Charter Oak, which finished second to Chino Hills in the Sierra League hosts Capistrano Valley in a Division 2 first-round game on Tuesday. But the Chargers could meet top seed Mission Viejo in the quarterfinals. Los Altos, which stormed its way to a share of the Hacienda League title, hosts the winner of Monday’s wild-card game between South Hills and Tesoro, on Tuesday, also in Division 2, while San Dimas, which won another Valle Vista League title, hosts the Brentwood-Morro Bay in Division 5 on Tuesday.
Nine area teams will play wild-card games on Monday, with the first and second round scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday respectively. The finals are slated for May 30-31 at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine.

AREA PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
SOFTBALL
DIVISION 2
Wild Card
Monday

Ontario at Diamond Bar-A
Tesoro at South Hills-D
West Covina at Redlands-F
First Round
Tuesday

Diamond Bar-Ontario at No. 1 Mission Viejo
Capistrano Valley at Charter Oak
Tesoro-South Hills at Los Altos
West Covina-Redlands at No. 3 Chino Hills
Bonita at Yucaipa
DIVISION 3
Wild Card
Monday

Lancaster at Bishop Amat-G
First Round
Tuesday

Bishop Amat-Lancaster at Burroughs/Burbank
DIVISION 4
First Round
Tuesday

South El Monte at Patriot
Heritage at Arroyo
DIVISION 5
Wild Card
Monday

Workman at Katella-B
Barstow at Northview-D
Edgewood at Immaculate Heart-E
Nipomo at Azusa-I
Wilson at Notre Dame/Riverside-J
First Round
Tuesday

Workman-Katella at Calvary Chapel/Santa Ana
Brentwood-Morro Bay at San Dimas
Barstow-Northview at Ontario Christian
Duarte at Anaheim
Edgewood-Immaculate Heart at No. 4 Paraclete
Alhambra-Victor Valley at Sierra Vista
Covina at Cabrillo/Lompoc
Azusa-Nipomo at Marlborough
Wilson-Notre Dame/Riverside at No. 2 Savanna
All games are scheduled for 3:15 p.m.

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Derick Martin comes up big as Arroyo earns back to back Mission Valley League titles with 3-2 win over rival Rosemead


By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
EL MONTE –
The Mission Valley League baseball title will stay at Arroyo High School.
Senior Derick Martin singled home pinch-runner Anthony Barcelo in the bottom of the seventh inning as the host Knights rallied for a 3-2 victory over rival Rosemead on Thursday to secure the league title for the second consecutive season.
Martin and Damian Gutierrez had two hits each and Lorenzo Perez tossed a four-hitter for Arroyo, which improved to 14-7 overall and 13-2 in league play
Matthew Campos had two hits for Rosemead, which slipped to 13-19 and 12-3.
Perez started the winning rally with a lead-off walk. Barcelo then advanced to second on a sacrifice before taking third on a single by Gutierrez. Martin followed with his second RBI single to win it.
Arroyo’s Derick Martin: “It feels great. I knew all I needed was a little base hit. It feels so great to get it back-to-back. Our team hasn’t done this in a long time. I feel so honored to be just a part of this team. This is not really a team, it’s a family, and we’re just so proud of everything.”

Rosemead coach Daniel Meza: “They out hit us today and got it on a walk-off. Sometimes, it moments like this when everything is on the line, it takes just one key hit. They prevailed, so we have to tip our hat to them and give them credit for it.”

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Softball: Arroyo beats South El Monte to pull even in Mission Valley League race


By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
SOUTH EL MONTE –
The race for the Mission Valley League softball title is fit to be tied.
Shynia Torrez had two hits and scored a run and Danielle Dominguez and Dominica Mendoza were steady in the circle as Arroyo High School moved into a share of first place with a 4-2 victory over host South El Monte on Tuesday.
The Knights, also getting RBIs from Briana Mata and Rebecca Barber, improved to 18-4 overall and 12-2 in league play.
Ashley Diaz hit two home runs for South El Monte, which slipped to 14-6 and 12-2.
The teams will likely share the league title, with Arroyo being the league’s top representative for the CIF-Southern Section playoffs by virtue of winning the season series. Both are expected to win their season finale on Thursday. Arroyo hosts last-place Rosemead, with South El Monte at home against third-place Gabrielino.
Arroyo took advantage of four South El Monte errors to build a 4-1 lead by the fourth inning.
The Knights, after Diaz hit the first of her home runs in the first to tie it at 1, took a 2-1 lead in the second on a walk to Kassy Avila, a sacrifice, a single by Torrez and a hit-batter to Evelyn Sandoval.
Arroyo pushed it to 4-1 in the fourth, scoring two runs on three South El Monte errors, including an errant pick-off throw that allowed Torrez to score from second to make it 3-1. Cynthia McKeehan, who reached on an error, scored on fielding error to make it 4-1.
Arroyo’s Shynia Torrez: “I’m really happy that we won. We really battled it out really well. I don’t think we made any errors. We put the ball in play and made them make the mistake. We were a little nervous in the first inning, but once we started hitting, we stayed focused.”

South El Monte coach Dean Bunting: “It was pretty even. But the difference in the game was we made mistakes and allowed their runners to score. Defensively, they were tight, they made some great plays.”

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Kale Morton pitches Glendora to Baseline League title


By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
RANCHO CUCAMONGA —
The Baseline League baseball title belongs to Glendora High School.
Kale Morton tossed a four-hitter and struck out 11 and the Tartans clinched their third league title in four seasons with a 3-1 victory over host Los Osos on Tuesday.
DJ Peters and Justin Cage each had RBIs for Glendora, which improved to 18-5 overall and 11-1 in league play. The Tartans, ranked No. 4 in CIF-Southern Section Division 2 this week, holds a four-game advantage with three to play. Los Osos, which got an RBI single from D.J. Porter, slipped to 9-12 and 4-7.
Glendora, after being held hitless during the first three innings took a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Griffen Herrera led off with a single and scored on a triple to right-center field by Peters. Cage followed with a single for a 2-0 advantage.
Glendora’s Kale Morton: “It feels good, because last year (Los Osos) beat us on our home field to win the league. It feels good to come here and get the win.”

Glendora coach Dan Henley: “This means its an outright league championship and the last time we’ll be in this league, which is a quality league, so we’re really happy to be in this position. Kale Morton has been great all season and he came through again today.”

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Softball: Maddy Tickey, Alex Rodriguez lead West Covina over Bonita


By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
WEST COVINA –
West Covina High School felt it gave a way a 6-3 loss to Bonita last month.
The Bulldogs made up for it Tuesday.
Maddy Tickey was solid in the circle and had two hits and a RBI to lead West Covina to a 2-1 victory over the Bearcats in a key Hacienda League softball game.
Tickey gave up seven hits and struck out three for West Covina, which improved to 12-10 overall and 5-2 in league play. The Bulldogs also got two hits and a RBI from Alex Rodriguez.
Bonita, which was turned away with a runner on third in the sixth and seventh innings, slipped to 13-6 and 6-1. Chloe Melanson hit a home run in the fifth for the Bearcats’ only run. Bonita faces Los Altos, which is also 6-1 in league play, for first place on Thursday.
West Covina, which had seven hits, took a 2-0 lead in the third following RBI singles by Tickey and Rodriguez.
Tickey then shut the door on the Bearcats in the sixth and seventh.
In the sixth, Bonita put a runner on third with one out following a single by Veronica Ortega, a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch. But Tickey turned the Bearcats away by getting Alyssa Meyer and Lorraine Gatlin on groundouts.
The Bearcats pushed again in the seventh. Leticia Morales walked and Berlyn Benavides beat out a bunt for a single. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch on a strike out by Melanson before Tickey ended it by getting Vienna Benavides and Ortega on ground outs.
West Covina’s Maddy Tickey: “I really wasn’t worried about the runners. I was more worried about the batters who were up. I’m the type of pitcher to worry about anything else but the batter.”

Bonita’s Chloe Melanson: “It was a tough loss, but we kept ourselves in the game. We had a lot of runners on. It was on us that we couldn’t get them in.”

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Baseball: Peter Lambert leads San Dimas over Nogales, 4-0


By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
LA PUENTE –
As dominant as the San Dimas High School baseball team as been in the Valle Vista League this season, there are times when the Saints look beatable.
Friday was one of those days, but senior pitcher Peter Lambert refused to allow it.
Lambert tossed a three-hit shutout and struck out nine to lead San Dimas to a 4-0 victory over host Nogales in a league game.
Jonathan Longtin and Josh Avila had two RBIs each for the Saints, who improved to 15-6-1 overall and 7-1 in league play.
Anthony Guardado gave up seven hits and struck out eight for the Nobles, who slipped to 13-7-1 and 1-5.
Lambert, who improved to 7-1, got his nine strikeouts between the second and fifth innings, including turning away a Nogales’ scoring chance in the fourth. The Nobles put runners on first and second with no outs following a single by David Barcena and an error on a ground ball by Guardado. Lambert then struck out the next three batters to end the threat.
San Dimas took a 1-0 lead in the first on a triple by Daniel Millwee and a RBI ground out by Jonathan Longtin. Josh Avila made it 3-0 with a two-run single in the sixth before Longtin pushed it to 4-0 in the seventh with a sacrifice fly.
San Dimas’ Peter Lambert: “I felt pretty good. My catcher Daniel (Millwee) caught a great game. He gives me a lot of confidence when I know he’s going to catch and block every ball. It makes it a lot easier. We had a pretty good offensive game on Wednesday. Today wasn’t as good, but it was good enough and we got the win.”

Nogales’ Anthony Guardado: “Every game is tough to lose. But this one hurt the most, because we had some chances.”

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Softball: Carlie Salm, Lindsey Hughes lead San Dimas over Northview


By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
SAN DIMAS –
San Dimas High School has been the dominant softball team in the Valle Vista League this season.
The Saints lived up to the billing Thursday.
Carlie Salm had two RBIs and scored two runs and Lindsey Hughes was solid in circle to lead host San Dimas to an 8-0 victory over Northview in a league game.
Hughes tossed a 3-hit shutout and struck out seven for the Saints, who improved to 15-7 overall and 7-0. San Dimas, which had 13 hits, also got two hits each from Jennifer Aguinaga, Janell Wheaton, Briana Quintana, Davina Doran and Kennedy Anderson.
Northview, getting a double from Ariela Burns, slipped to 9-10 and 4-3.
San Dimas led 6-0 after the first two innings. Salm hit a two-run triple in the first before Doran and Anderson followed with RBI hits for a 4-0 advantage. The Saints pushed it to 6-0 in the second on a RBI triple by Brooke Jackson and RBI single by Wheaton.
San Dimas’ Carlie Salm: “We knew they were going to come out harder this time, so we played our heart out. We didn’t want them to think they had a chance with us, so we came out hard.”

San Dimas’ Lindsey Hughes: “I felt really proud the way I pitched today. I know a shutout is a great thing, but I couldn’t have done it without my defense and offense helping me.”

Northview coach Jeff Butler: “They are a good hitting team all the way through. We tried to keep Janell from hurting us too bad. We played good, and the kids fought the whole time.”

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Feature: Gavin Velasquez steps up for South Hills

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
WEST COVINA –
South Hills High School’s Gavin Velasquez was an after thought coming into the baseball season.
The junior pitcher had a limited role for the Huskies last season, and not many outside the program figured much more from him this season.
Everyone, but Velasquez, who has become one of the dominant players in the Valley, ranking among area leaders in wins, earned run average and strikeouts. He has filled in nicely replacing the gap left by 2013 Area Player of the Year Adrian De Horta, now playing minor league baseball for the San Diego Padres’ affiliate in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Velasquez’s transformation was even a surprise to new coach Darren Murphy, who has been pleasantly impressed with his new ace.

South Hills starter Gavin Velasquez has become one of the area's best pitchers this season, helping the Huskies to a 15-3-1 record. (Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News)

South Hills starter Gavin Velasquez has become one of the area’s best pitchers this season, helping the Huskies to a 15-3-1 record.
(Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News)


“Yes, it was (a surprise), but mainly because he was unknown,” Murphy said. “He had a great summer and a great fall and I had heard that coming in that he had really improved. But sometimes in a program like this, there are stars waiting to happen. They are kind of under wraps until they get their shot and he probably was in Adrian’s shadow a bit last year. But talking about a guy taking off when he’s given the opportunity, that’s Gavin.
“What makes Gavin special is the tougher the situation, the better he gets.”
Velasquez, who will be on the hill when South Hills visits Claremont at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, has flourished. He’s 5-1 with a 0.61 ERA while striking out 41 in 46 innings. The junior credits his effort to the preseason work he put in, knowing someone had to fill in on the mound for De Horta, His take was why not him?
“I didn’t get to pitch that much last year. I think I threw three innings the whole year,” Velasquez said. “But I got to learn a lot; the mental (aspect) was very big. When Adrian left that’s when everyone started doubting whether we would have (good) pitching this year.
“I took it among myself. (Teammate and starting pitcher Erik Martinez) and I talked a lot this year about how we needed to step it up this year. The big thing for us is not to panic, but to stay calm and play South Hills baseball.”
Velasquez has been the rock the Huskies have needed on the mound and a key to South Hills going 15-3-1 and sharing the first place with Damien and Chino Hills. The Huskies also won the Mingo Bay Classic in South Carolina in March and have been ranked in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 Top 10 all season.
The junior has lived up his role, including throwing two shut outs, while limiting the opposition to a .199 batting average in his seven starts. He’s has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 41-6 and has giving up just four earned runs. In two outings against Sierra League preseason favorite Chino Hills, Velasquez has yielded just one earned run, including a 5-hit shutout in a 1-0 victory over Chino Hills last week.
“I just try to handle it mentally,” said Velasquez, who committed to Cal State Fullerton in December. “I just try to keep throwing strikes; (a) first-pitch strike for me is big. If I don’t get a first-pitch strike, I just try to keep throwing strikes, because I try to limit my walks. Walks can turn into runs, so if you don’t throw strikes, you can’t win ball games.”
And with Velasquez on the mound, the Huskies are good position to continue their winning ways.

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Softball: Caitlyn Van Hemelryck, Natalie Lugo lead South Hills over Charter Oak


By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
WEST COVINA –
South Hills High School has shown the ability to be mentally tough when it matters most in recent years, and the Huskies showed off the trait again Wednesday.
Caitlyn Van Hemelryck singled with the bases loaded in the sixth to drive in the go-ahead run and freshman Natalie Lugo was dominant in the circle to lead the host Huskies to a 2-1 victory over Charter Oak in a key Sierra League game.
Lugo tossed a 3-hitter and struck out 12 for the area No. 1 Huskies, who improved to 17-4 overall and 3-1 in league play. Van Hemelryck also had two hits.
Sierra Hensel hit a home run in the sixth and Kaile Chavez had two hits for the area No. 3 Chargers, who slipped to 13-6 and 1-2.
South Hills, after falling behind 1-0 on Hensel’s home run, put runners on second and third with one out in the sixth following a lead-off walk to Marissa Reyes and a single by Marissa Thornburg. Charter Oak pitcher Brooke Clemetson, who relieved Chavez in the fourth, looked like she might get out of it after striking out Melysia Ortega.
But after Mariah Tovar was walked to load the bases, Ryenne Chavez reached on a fielding error, which scored Reyes and tied it at 1. Van Hemelryck with a line-drive single that hortstop Marissa Chavez was able to knock down before throwing to third late, allowing Thornburg to score for the 2-1 lead.
Lugo, who had 10 strike outs through the first four innings, got Charger Oak in order in the seventh, getting Marissa Chavez on a grounder back to the circle to end it.

South Hills’ Caitlyn Van Hemelryck: “This is a big win for us. Natalie did a great job of keeping them down and pitching great. It was a big win. We hadn’t beat Charter Oak in a while, so to come back the way we did felt good.”

Charter Oak’s Sierra Hensel: “It’s tough,” Hensel said. “All around as a team, we just need to take a few more cuts in the cage and come up with a little more focus. Hopefully, next time we can come out and do better.”

South Hills coach Brandon Gonzalez: “Every league game is like a playoff game. We battled back. We were down 1-0 and we came back and scored those two runs. It wasn’t pretty, but we got the job done. We’ve done this before where we wake up and start scoring runs. It’s not a good thing to do, but for some reason that’s how they’ve been playing.
South Hills coach Scott Higuera: “Bottom line is we weren’t able to finish. (South Hills) did a good job of getting the ball in play in the bottom of the sixth inning. Overall, we could have done a better job of getting the ball in play all game long. Our at-bats weren’t very good. (Natalie) Lugo had a good came; credit to her. But I thought we could have had better at-bats.”

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Baseball: Glendora takes control of Baseline with 1-0 victory over Rancho Cucamonga

Glendora starting pitcher Kale Morton (C) throws to the plate against Rancho Cucamonga in the first inning of a prep baseball game at Glendora High School in Glendora, Calif., on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.  (Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News)

Glendora starting pitcher Kale Morton (C) throws to the plate against Rancho Cucamonga in the first inning of a prep baseball game at Glendora High School in Glendora, Calif., on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.
(Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News)

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


GLENDORA – Glendora High School didn’t clinch the Baseline League baseball title Tuesday, but the host Tartans took a pretty big step.
D.J. Peters scored on an error in the seventh inning and Kale Morton threw a 2-hit shut out as Glendora opened up a two-game lead in league play with a 1-0 victory over second-place Rancho Cucamonga.
Morton also struck out 10 and didn’t allow a base runner to reach third base for the Tartans, who improved to 14-5 overall and 7-1 in the Baseline League.
Michael Lopez tossed a 4-hitter and struck out four for Rancho Cucamonga, which slipped to 10-9 and 5-3. The Tartans, who play at Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday, moved to at last two games ahead of the Cougars and Upland, which was 14-3 and 4-3 coming into Tuesday. The win also gives Glendora the tie-breaking advantage, with two wins each against Rancho Cucamonga and Upland.
Morton and Lopez battled back and forth before Glendora got the break it needed in the seventh.
Peters led off with a single and with one out advanced to second on a wild pitch. He then scored the winning run when Alex Briggs hit a chopper between third and short. Third baseman Logan Rinehart fielded it and while attempting to tag Peters, who had rounded third too wide, he dropped the ball, allowing Peters to score for the 1-0 victory.

Glendora coach Dan Henley: “The win was big. It gives us two games separation on them., which obviously means a lot. We lose the game and we’re tied up with a game on Thursday.”

Glendora’s DJ Peters: “I rounded third a little bit too much. Thankfully, he bobbled it, or I would’ve been out.”

Rancho Cucamonga’s Michael Lopez: “It’s really tough. But we’ll bounce back. We’ll take a lot from this loss.”

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