By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
SANTA FE SPRINGS — 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.”
BY STEPHEN RAMIREZ
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.
BISHOP AMAT’S ISAAC ESQUEDA
BISHOP AMAT COACH JOE HOGGATT
ST. PAUL’S CASEY MORALES
Cantwell’s Alyssa Del Campo (24) is called out at first base, but appears to beat the throw as Bishop Amat’s Julia Menrad waits for the ball in the first inning of a prep softball game at Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High School in Montebello, Calif., Thursday, April 30, 2015. Bishop Amat won 17-0. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)
By Stephen Ramirez
MONTEBELLO — Cantwell High School began the week with an outside shot for a Del Rio League title.Bishop Amat put an end to those hopes early Thursday.Alyssa Barrera and Madeline Ramirez each had four RBIs to lead the Lancers to a 17-0 victory over the host Cardinals in a Del Rey League game that was halted after five innings due to the 10-run rule. Ramirez and Barrera had three and two hits, respectively, for Amat, which improved to 15-6 overall and 8-1 in league play. The win keeps the Lancers tied for first with St. Paul, who they face on May 11. Britney Huerta and Julia Guzman had singles for the third-place Cardinals, who slipped to 12-10 and 4-5.Cantwell lost to Amat, 3-0, on April 14, and the Lancers made sure early this one would be different. They scored three runs in the first and seven in both the third and fourth to put it away.
Amat’s Alyssa Barrera: “The last game (against Cantwell) we didn’t come out 100 percent, while the first game (a 14-0 Amat win) we came out 100 percent. This was more like the first game. We had great at-bats during the game, taking pitches, going deep in counts. We did a good job throughout the whole lineup.”
Cantwell coach Ralph Martin Del Campo: “It was just one of those games where the girls weren’t on and they were on. (Amat) hit the ball real well. There’s not much you can do about that when they hit the ball like that. We had a few errors, but they hit the ball real well.”
St. Paul teammates wait for Taylor Fogle (20) to touch home p[late after hitting a grand slam in the fifth inning of a prep softball game against Bishop Amat at Bishop Amat Memorial High School in La Puente, Calif., Thursday, April 23, 2015. St. Paul won 6-4. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)
By Stephen Ramirez
LA PUENTE — St. Paul High School felt a little embarrassed after losing to rival Bishop Amat in late March.
Thursday the Swordsmen did something about it.
Taylor Fogle hit a fifth-inning grand slam and Niko Walker had three hits as St. Paul enacted some revenge with a 6-4 victory over the host Lancers in a key Del Rey League softball game.
Myranda Bueno and Alexis Bermudez also had two hits each for the Swordsmen, who improved 14-6 overall and 6-1 in league play. Sabrina Gonzalez had three hits and Julia Valenzuela hit a home run for Bishop Amat, which slipped to 13-6 and 6-1.
The two teams are tied for first and will likely settle the league title on May 11.
The big inning for St. Paul came in the fifth when it countered Valenzuela’s homer with a four-run inning. The Swordsmen loaded the bases on singles by Bermudez and Walker and a walk to Sydney Kriemann. Fogle then followed with her slam to right-center field for a 6-2 advantage.
St. Paul’s Taylor Fogle: “We wanted this win so bad. We knew we had to win to at least compete with them for (the league championship). We came out today with so much energy, like this was ours. It was an amazing feeling to hit my home run. Everyone did great. It was amazing.”
Bishop Amat’s Julia Valenzuela: “We just tried to put the ball in play. (Both teams) put up a good fight. But we’ll be ready next time and we’ll get them.”
By Stephen Ramirez
WEST COVINA — La Serna High School followed a tournament win last week with an unexpected loss. The Lancers made sure they wouldn’t repeat the trend Thursday.
La Serna’s Reanne Martinez scores against South Hills in the first inning of a prep softball game at South Hills High School in West Covina, Calif., on Friday, April 09, 2015. La Serna won 3-1. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)
Jamie Wren tossed a four-hitter and Jelli Lopez hit a two-run home run to lead La Serna to a 3-1 victory over host South Hills in a battle of the two of the top softball teams in the CIF-Southern Section.
La Serna, ranked No. 1 in Division 3, improved to 12-3. They have followed a 3-0 loss to Sonora with three consecutive wins, including decisions over Division 1 No. 7 Mater Dei (6-0) on Monday and Division 2 No. 6 South Hills on Thursday.
Natalie Lugo gave up five hits and struck out 10 for South Hills, which slipped to 11-4. Quinn DeAvila had a RBI triple for the Huskies.
La Serna’s Jamie Wren:
“We all have our games. It was a difficult loss (to Sonora last week), but it motivated us. We knew what we did wrong and what we have to work on. We picked it up (Thursday).”
La Serna co-coach Mike Orona:
“We didn’t do what we wanted to offensively. (Lugo) is a quality pitcher and she pretty much dominated the game. We put enough together offensively to get the victory and Jamie did a great job pitching.”
South Hills coach Brandon Gonzalez:
We just didn’t hit. She’s a quality pitcher, but we didn’t hit. We’ve been in a couple of these type of games. We didn’t adjust.”
The South Hills baseball team during the IMG National Classic tournament dinner on Monday. The Huskies are 3-0 in the tourney and advanced to Thursday’s championship game with a 6-1 win in the semifinals on Wednesday.
South Hills High School is enjoying a fun spring break.
The Huskies are on the verge of winning an out-of-state baseball tournament for the second consecutive season.
South Hills, which on a tourney in South Carolina last season, advanced to the IMG National Classic championship game in Bradenton, Fla., with a 6-1 victory over George Jenkins (Fla.) on Wednesday.
Gavin Velasquez gave up three hits in 5 1/3 innings and freshman Brandon Dieter went 2 for 2 with three RBIs to lead the Huskies, who improved to 9-3. South Hills faces host IMG Academy in the title game on Thursday at 4 p.m. IMG is 17-4.
By Stephen Ramirez
LA HABRA —
Bonita High teammates congratulate each other after a 3-1 win vs Sonora High at Sonora’s La Habra, Calif. campus field March 31, 2015. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/Whittier Daily News)
Bonita High School usually doesn’t beat itself, and the Bearcats lived up to their reputation Tuesday.
A.J. Woodall tossed a four-hitter and Bonita took advantage of two Sonora miscues to score a 3-1 victory over the host Raiders in an Anaheim Lions Tournament game at Anderson Field.
Jarret Lindsay also had a RBI single for the Bearcats, who improved to 11-3. Gabe Armstrong had a home run for Sonora, which slipped to 8-6-1. The Raiders were denied a chance at possibly tying the game in the seventh when Bonita center fielder Danny Gelalich threw out the Raiders’ JonPaul Sarro at third to end the game.
Bonita coach John Knott:
“That was awesome right there. It was kind of risky. When they get a hit and the guy goes first to third, if he’s safe that puts the tying run in scoring position. But we have a lot of confidence in (Gelalich) and he has a lot of confidence in himself and he made a heck of a throw. It was awesome.”
Bonita’s A.J. Woodall:
“I have to give it my team. I just tried to throw strikes and my teammates made the plays behind me. I just try to give us the best chance to win, while they make plays behind me.”