By Garrett Fisch
It is that time of year again where the best softball players in the San Gabriel Valley will get to display their skills in front of their family, friends, and fans. Tonight’s San Gabriel Valley Softball All-Star Games will be held at Citrus College and will include an Underclassmen Game at 5:00 p.m. and a Senior Game at 7:00 p.m.. Access to the field will be open to all players starting at 3:30 PM. All players will be able to use the batting cages for pre-game warmups. There will not be any restrictions regarding batting practice.
Players on the North team will be wearing white jerseys while players on the South will be wearing their colored jerseys (purple, blue, red, yellow etc). Players from each high school should match no matter what game that they are playing in. Players will get commemorative 2016 San Gabriel Valley All-Star Game t-shirts as a thank-you for participating in the festivities.
A first pitch will be thrown out before the Underclassmen Game at 5:00 PM by Diamond Bar High School alum and current University of Hawaii at Hilo pitcher Danielle Wilson. An additional first pitch will be thrown out before the Senior Game at 7:00 PM by Diamond Bar High School and University of California, Berkeley alum Brittany LaRosa.
There will be a $5 entrance fee to help offset facility fees.
By Fred J. Robledo South Hills has been in many championships and won its fair share, but there was nothing more nerve-racking and thrilling than what unfolded in Saturday’s CIF Southern Section Division 2 championship game at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino.
“This is why Hollywood keeps making movies,” South Hills coach Darren Murphy said. South Hills scored two runs in the seventh, then got an inning ending double play in the bottom of the seventh with the tying runner on third to escape with a 4-3 victory over Redlands East Valley to win the school’s sixth championship.
It was the top-seed Huskies’ (26-7) first title since 2009, finishing the season on a 14-game winning streak and giving Murphy his first title at South Hills in his third season since moving over from Northview, where he won a title in 2008.
“It was sweet,” Murphy said. “It’s hard to find the words to describe it.”
South Hills’ starting sophomore Brandon Dieter was cruising with a 2-0 lead and only allowed two hits through five innings, but after giving up a leadoff triple to Paul Rojas in the sixth, South Hills turned to lefty Ryan Mauch, who returned following an ACL injury just before the playoffs and had been clutch in a closing role, having thrown nine scoreless innings in the postseason.
But Mauch struggled.
After REV’s Christian Kirtley hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored Rojas to cut the Huskies’ lead to 2-1, things continued to fall apart.
Isaiah Gonzalez singled and Brent Vansant walked, with Gonzalez later stealing third.
Joseph Ortega Rodriguez’s squeeze attempt looked like an easy play at home for Mauch, but he fumbled the ball, allowing Gonzalez to score to to make it 2-2 with Vansant taking third.
Justin Wear squeezed home Vansant for the 3-2 lead and suddenly the Huskies were down to their last three outs.
“It was scary,” South Hills’ Chris Moya said. “When they got those three runs, it went through our minds, ‘what just happened?’ But as a team we’re so close we knew we could come back and we played for each other until the end.”
South Hills’ Quinn Cotter led off the seventh with a single and Jacob Dominguez legged out a single. After Dieter’s grounder moved the runners over, Robert De La Cruz singled home Cotter to tie the score, then Moya’s flyout scored Dominguez for the go-ahead run and 4-3 lead.
And just when it looked like South Hills might blow it again allowing runners on first and third with one out in the bottom of the seventh, it got an inning-ending double play and the celebration began.
“The stories will get better as we get older and how we were down ten runs and came back,” Murphy joked. “It adds to the drama, no doubt about it. But you’re excited beyond belief. I have so much respect for our kids.
“The range of emotions from A-Z is incredible. One thing I believed in and I did say to the kids in the seventh is think about how good it’s going to be when we comeback. You say that to try and keep them positive, but I think our schedule, the things we do, playing who we play and the fact we really have some studs that show up in big games is what we’re about.”
After wasting a one-out double in the first, South Hills took a 2-0 lead in the third inning.
Dieter singled and later scored on a passed ball, then Nick Lugo ripped a shot that REV pitcher Andrew Miner couldn’t handle for an infield single, scoring Moya from third.
It stayed that way until things unravelled in the sixth, but the way it ended, with the Huskies having to pick-up Mauch, who went from what appeared to be a tough loss to an improbable win, one more storyline to a terrific finish.
“The offense picked him (Mauch) up tonight,“ Murphy said. “Ryan wasn’t as sharp and that was bound to happen. That’s what I was worried about, would we be in shock because we hadn’t seen anyone score on him in a long time. When you only have one inning to play off what happened, that’s what made me nervous.
“Hey, If we won 2-0 that’s fantastic, but that’s why Hollywood keeps making movies. This was a Hollywood ending.”
By Fred J. Robledo
The 21st annual San Gabriel Valley all-star baseball game for seniors will be played on Sunday, June 5, at Ben Hines Field at the University of La Verne at 3:30 p.m.
The annual San Gabriel Valley underclassmen all-star game will precede the senior game at La Verne at 11 a.m., creating a dynamic doubleheader for area fans.
Last year’s all-star games were played at East Los Angeles College following several years in which it was played at Mt. San Antonio College.
The University of La Verne poured $20 million into new baseball and softball fields, and last year La Verne hosted the San Gabriel Valley all-star softball game to rave reviews.
The SGV all-star baseball games pits the East Red Team, coached by Northview’s Danny Roddy, against the West Blue Team, coached by Rosemead’s Danny Meza and Keppel’s Andrew Macedo.
Each year the SGV nominates former coaches to the SGV Hall of Fame, and this season will nominate former Azusa Pacific and Azusa High coach Tony Barbone along with former La Salle coach Brian Miller.
HERE ARE THE ROSTERS FOR ALL THE GAMES
SGV BASEBALL UNDERCLASSMEN GAME
How athletes placed at Saturday night’s CIF State track and field championships at Buchanan High in Clovis: 400: Alex Perez Damien 5th, 47.95 1,600: Samantha Huerta 9th 4:55.23 3200: Katie Scoville La Canada 17th 10:51.41 110HH: Alan Tantiwassadakran, Walnut 3rd 14.03
Jasher Foster, St. Francis 7th 14.46. 300LH: Jasher Foster, St. Francis 9th 39.74 3200: Katie Scoville La Canada 17th 10:51.41 3200: Jack Van Scoter, Flintridge Prep 5th 8:55.60
Salvador Capetillo, Baldwin Park 19th 9:15.07 HJ: Hannah Nance, San Dimas, 8th 5-5 PV: Esteban Suarez, South Pasadena 2nd, 16-2 TJ: B.J. McLaurin, Bonita 7th 47-9 ½ TJ Sela Pastrana, Charter Oak 10th 37-2 ¼
400 Damien’s Alex Perez 48.05 (Q6) 1,600 La Mirada’s Samantha Huerta 4:54.36 (Q12) 3,200 La Canada’s Katie Scoville
Flintridge Prep’s Jack Van Scoter
Baldwin Park’s Salvador Capetillo 110HH St. Francis Jasher Foster 4.03 (Q3)
Walnut’s Alan Tantiwassadakran 14.05 (Q5) 300LH St. Francis Jasher Foster 37.62 (Q6) HJ San Dimas’ Hannah Nance 5-5 (Q6) PV South Pasadena’s Esteban Suarez 15-2 (Q1) TJ Bonita’s B.J. McLaurin 47-10 ¼ (Q3)
Charter Oak’s Sela Pastrana 38-4 ½ (Q8)
200 Walnut’s Kayla Richardson 24.32 (10th) 300LH Walnut’s Malia Avila 43.52 (10th) DT California’s Lauren Anderson 132-11 (13th)