Walnut wins first CIF-SS baseball title since 1982; Mustangs rout Righetti, 13-2

Walnut’s Dylan Zavala (#2) jumps onto the pile and celebrates with his team after defeating Righetti during Saturday’s CIF Southern Section Division 3 baseball championship game at UC Riverside Baseball Complex in Riverside, Ca., Saturday, June 3, 2017. (Photo by John Valenzuela/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

By Stephen Ramirez
What a difference two years can make.
For the Walnut High School baseball team, it was everything.
In 2015, the Mustangs’ quest for a CIF Southern Section baseball title ended almost before it started, giving up five runs in the first inning before losing big to Redondo.
Saturday, it was Walnut’s turn to smother a team, jumping out to a four-run early lead en route to a 13-2 victory over Righetti to take the Division 3 crown at UC Riverside.
It was Walnut’s second baseball championship and first since the Mustangs defeated Mira Costa for the 4-A title in 1982.
James Arakawa had three hits and four RBIs and pitcher Jacob Garcia gave up two runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings for Walnut (25-9). Mitchell Bagby and Joseph Bolvin each had an RBI for Righetti (28-7).

“I’m ecstatic,” Walnut coach Paul Acosta said. “I’m a Walnut pure-bred. I was born in Walnut, I went to school in Walnut. I’m blessed to coach at Walnut and even more blessed to bring this trophy back, not just for the team and the program, but for the school and the community. I’m just very proud to be a Mustang.”
Walnut blitzed Righetti for 15 hits and scored in five of the seven innings to win easily. It was similar to what Redondo did to the Mustangs in 2015, scoring five runs in the first inning before Walnut came to bat en route to a 10-0 victory,
“We did that a little bit,” Acosta said of the early-inning barrage. “It made things a little bit more comfortable for us.
“The reason behind it was we put together so many good disciplined at-bats that resulted in some runs, giving our pitchers some room and comfort. It was really nice to play all three parts of the game well from the first pitch to the 21st (out).”
Walnut jumped on the Warriors quickly, getting its first two batters on in the first before Dylan Zavala’s RBI single. Arakawa made it 4-0 in the second with a two-run single. He also had RBI singles in the fourth and fifth innings.
Walnut sealed it in the fifth, scoring six runs for an 11-0 lead after getting five consecutive singles, including consecutive RBI singles from Brandon Godoy, Adam Rodriguez and Frankie Zamarripi.
“I felt really good,” Arakawa said. “I really wasn’t paying much attention to my at-bats. I was paying attention to going middle to the right side. I’ve been practicing hard all season and that hard work paid off.”
Garcia took care of the rest. He didn’t give up a hit until the third and allowed just one through five innings. He tired in the sixth and finished with four hits allowed in 5 1/3 inning and six strikeouts.
“The first five innings, I was feeling great,” Garcia said. “I was doing what I needed to do. I wasn’t trying to strike anyone out, just allow them to hit it to my guys. I knew I had them behind me.
“When the sixth inning came, I knew I had (Dylan Needham) coming behind me who could do the job.”
Walnut, after RBIs by Bagby and Bolvin made it 11-2, scored two in the seventh to go up 13-2 before Needham induced Alex Castellanos to ground out to finish off the Warriors and begin the celebration.
“Bringing this back home to Walnut is very special,” Arakawa said. “It was our turn to win it this year.
“Two years ago, we came up short, but this time we got to the finish line. We won it.”

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Rosters set for June 4 San Gabriel Valley all-star softball game at Citrus College

The 2017 San Gabriel Valley Softball All-Star Game rosters are set. It’s a unique game this year in that it is not just a senior game, it’s a true all-star game that features the best of the best, regardless of year. The game will be played on Sunday, June 4 at Citrus College at 6 p.m.

On Twitter, follow @SGVSBAllStars for any and all information regarding this season’s game.

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Walnut’s Brandon Godoy and Andre Alvarez big reason why Mustang’s in Saturday’s championship

Walnut combo making a difference: The Walnut High School baseball team is living proof that if you want to have a good team, you’ve got to have a good battery.The Mustangs have just that in pitcher Brandon Godoy and catcher Andre Alvarez. Therefore, it’s no surprise they will be playing for the CIF Southern Section Division 3 championship on Saturday against Righetti. First pitch is 3:30 p.m. at UC Riverside.
“We kind of go as they go, so I guess you could say they’re the backbone of the team,” Walnut coach Paul Acosta said of Godoy and Alvarez. “With defense being our backbone, obviously the catalyst of that is Brandon and Andre.
“When Brandon throws strikes and he’s dominant on the mound and we’re playing good defense behind him, we’re tough to beat. And Andre behind the dish is just an absolute student of the game.”

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Walnut baseball advances to D3 title game with 3-2 win; all others fall short

Walnut baseball returns to title game: Walnut High School senior Jacob Garcia had a plan when he stepped into the batter’s box in the bottom of the sixth inning of the Mustangs’ CIF Southern Section Division 3 semifinal game with visiting Paso Robles.
The game was tied 2-2 with two outs. It was a plan formulated in the dugout with Mustangs head coach Paul Acosta.
“The discussion finished with (Acosta) telling me to go away with the pitch, because everything (Paso Robles pitcher Nolan Binkele) was throwing was outside,” Garcia said. “I wanted move the runner more than anything. He gave me that perfect pitch to go away with it. It was in the perfect spot.”
Garcia proceeded to hit a line drive double to right field that scored Andy Rodriguez with the eventual game-winning run as the Mustangs defeated the Bearcats 3-2 on Tuesday. Walnut (24-9) will play Righetti, who defeated Paraclete 1-0, either Friday or Saturday at UC Riverside. The CIF-SS office will release the schedule on Wednesday.

Nogales’ finals bid falls short: Tahquitz junior pitcher Jahred Butler, a Cal State Fullerton commit, had come out of the bullpen most of the season. But Titans pitching coach Jeff Prickett talked coach Ron Savage into starting Butler against Nogales in Tuesday’s CIF Southern Section Division 4 semifinal, and the rest is history.
Butler battled five innings, and Brendon Dixon closed out the final two to lead Tahquitz to a 5-3 victory and trip to Friday or Saturday’s championship at UC Riverside against Grace Brethren, a 7-1 winner over Victor Valley.
For Tahquitz (24-5), it’s the school’s first trip to the championship after reaching the semifinals four times, and losing in the semifinals last year.

St. Lucy’s suffers tough 1-0 loss: There has been a reason pitchers have been very careful throwing to Camarillo High School’s Savanna Salyer-Kovacs. When the senior finds a pitch she likes, it more than often ends up as a base hit.
It took three at-bats and nearly a dozen pitches for her to find the right pitch on Tuesday afternoon. St. Lucy’s Dakota Casper finally threw the ball inside and Salyer-Kovacs sent a 3-1 pitch over Glendora High’s left-field fence to send the Scorpions to the CIF Southern Section Division 2 final with a 1-0 victory.

Wilson softball’s Cinderella season ends: The long, improbable run through the CIF-Southern Section Division 6 softball playoffs came to an end for the Wilson Wildcats on Tuesday afternoon.
The Wildcats (17-11-2) dropped a 9-2 decision to top-seeded Sierra Canyon in a game played at Los Altos High School because of a swarm of bees at the Wildcats home field.
The Wildcats, who finished third in the Valle Vista League had to win a wild-card game then three consecutive playoff games to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since their lone CIF championship in 2000.

CIF Southern Section Playoffs
Tuesday’s semifinals
Division 3

Walnut 3, Paso Robles 2
Division 4
Tahquitz 5, Nogales 3
Division 6
Santa Maria 10, Southlands Christian 11
Tuesday’s semifinals
Division 2

Camarillo 1, St. Lucy’s 0
Division 6
Sierra Canyon 9, Wilson 2

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Baseball playoffs: Nogales, Walnut, punch tickets to semifinals

Nogales advances to semifinals for the first time since 1978: LA PUENTE >> Nogales High School was always tabbed as the gutty and gritty Nobles, who despite fielding a solid program couldn’t quite catch a break in the postseason.But no more.
Jonathan Guardado tossed a two-hitter and his brother Juan drove in the go-ahead run to lead host Nogales to a 3-1 victory over Capistrano Valley Christian in a CIF Southern Section Division 4 quarterfinal on Friday.
The Nobles (27-2), who also got six strikeouts from Jonathan Guardado and two hits each from Joe Robles, Mike Quijano and Chris Guardado, advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 1978. They will host Tahquitz, a 3-2 winner over Wilson, on Tuesday.

Capistrano Valley Christian, getting a RBI from Andre Antone, finished 22-9.
In a quirk of fate, Nogales’ last appearance in the semifinals also followed the Nobles winning a Montview League title, like this season after moving over from the Valle Vista League.
— Stephen Ramirez

CIF-Southern Section Baseball Playoffs
Friday’s results
Division 2

St. John Bosco 3, Glendora 2
Division 3
Walnut 3, El Segundo 1
Division 4
Tahquitz 2, Wilson 1
Nogales 3, Capistrano Valley Christian 1
Division 7
No. 3 Arrowhead Chrstian 11, Gladstone 5

Tuesday’s Semifinals
Division 3

Paso Robles at Walnut, 3:15 p.m.
Division 4
Tahquitz at Nogales, 3:15 p.m.

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Dakota Casper helps deliver St. Lucy’s to semifinals, 4-0; Wilson knocks out Harvard-Westlake

Dakota Casper delivers for St. Lucy’s Dakota Casper has had her fair share of big games for St. Lucy’s, but this might have been her best, and it moved the Regents within one game of playing for a championship.Casper threw a shutout and went 3-for-3 with two doubles and three RBIs in a 4-0 victory over Villa Park in Thursday’s CIF Southern Section Division 2 quarterfinals.The win sends St. Lucy’s (19-6) to Tuesday’s semifinals where it will be at home against Camarillo, a 9-1 winner over Santa Monica.If you thought there would be complacency a game after St. Lucy’s knocked off previously undefeated and top seed Gahr, 10-4, in the second round, think again.“Not with this team,” St. Lucy’s coach David Gaither said. “They’re a close group that’s playing their best during the best part of the season. They’ve played in the Baseline league, the best league in the San Gabriel Valley and that’s prepared us for this. We’re enjoying it.”

Wilson in semifinals for first time since 2000: Wilson’s softball team continued its late-season surge with a 6-0 win over fifth-seeded Harvard-Westlake in a CIF-Southern Section Division 6 quarterfinal playoff game Thursday afternoon.
The Wildcats will host top-seeded Sierra Canyon in a semifinal game Tuesday at 3:15 p.m. It will be their first semifinal since they won a CIF-SS championship in 2000.
Wilson (17-10-2) broke open what had been an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel in the bottom of the sixth when it sent 11 batters to the plate and scored all of its runs.

Errors cost Charter Oak: First-year Charter Oak softball coach Brittany Saucedo’s mantra to her squad all season was simple; to execute the little things for a complete game.
The Chargers learned the hard way on Thursday what happens when they don’t execute the little things.Visiting Dana Hills defeated Charter Oak 12-5 in a CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoff game. In the first three innings, Charter Oak committed two errors that led to nine Dolphins runs.
“If we make some of the plays at the beginning of the ballgame, it’s a totally different game,” Saucedo said. “We fought for the entire game. We had runners on base almost every inning. It just didn’t go our way today.”

Los Altos loses close one: Ayala High School softball coach John Ameluxen has enjoyed his 2017 season, but with five freshmen and two sophomores starting for a team that finished in third place in the Palomares League, what could he expect for the CIF Southern Section playoffs?
As it turns out, a lot.
For the first time since winning the CIF-SS title in 2010, Ayala advanced to the semifinals with a 1-0 victory over visiting Los Altos in a Division 3 quarterfinal Thursday. Ayala (24-10) will play at Hart on Tuesday.

South El Monte’s big season comes to an end: The South El Monte High School softball team’s dream postseason ran into Lilly Robles on Thursday afternoon and the senior ace was all too happy to give the Eagles a rude wake-up call.
Robles piled up 13 strikeouts and gave up only three hits to lead Heritage Christian to a 11-1 win over host South El Monte in the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoffs. The Warriors will play Godinez in next week’s semifinals.

High School Softball Playoffs
Thursday’s Quarterfinal Results
Division 2

St. Lucy’s 4, Villa Park 0
Dana Hills 12, Charter Oak 5
Division 3
Ayala 1, Los Altos 0
Division 5
Heritage Christian 11, South El Monte 1
Division 6
Wilson 6, Harvard-Westlake 0
Division 7
Century 4, Mountain View 3

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