Can Bishop Amat continue the magic? Lancers host Redondo on Tuesday for spot in Division 3 title game

By Stephen Ramirez
@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.


By Stephen Ramirez
@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
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
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.

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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Rio Hondo league loses football appeal to avoid Central, will now face East San Gabriel Valley’s best

The Rio Hondo and Monrovia, who won three Mid-Valley championships over the past five years, will join the best public schools in the San Gabriel Valley after losing its appeal today to avoid the Central Division in football, which includes the likes of Charter Oak, Glendora, West Covina, Bonita and South Hills, who hail from the Palomares and Sierra Leagues, and will be part of the division starting in the fall. There was a time while winning their Mid-Valley titles that Monrovia fans thought they were better than them all, including Bishop Amat in the Pac-5. Well, now they get their chance to prove it on the field.

IS MONROVIA’S FOOTBALL DYNASTY OVER?: Some of the luster was already off the Monrovia High School football program when the CIF-Southern Section proposed that the Wildcats, along with the Rio Hondo League, be moved to the Central Division.

Monrovia had just come off a season in which it was walloped by St. Francis in the area’s biggest nonleague game of the season and later lost in the semifinals of the Mid-Valley Division playoffs despite a being prohibitive favorite to win its fourth consecutive division title.

Then came word that head coach Ryan Maddox, who had guided the program to one of the most successful runs in area history, resigned to focus on other career goals. Maddox’s departure led to a longer-than-expected job search that saw some very high-profile local coaches say “thanks but no thanks” to being the next head coach.

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Eric Gutierrez and Andrew Luna have led Sierra Vista baseball to CIF quarterfinals for the first time since 1993 with help from longtime coach Brett Stevens and pitching legend Pedro Flores

By Fred Robledo
BALDWIN PARK — Talk about paying it forward.
The last time Sierra Vista High School’s baseball team reached the CIF-Southern Section divisional quarterfinals was in 1993 led by pitcher Pedro Flores, who went on to play at East L.A. College and was later drafted in the 18th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1996, where he spent over 10 years in the minors with several different organizations, reaching Triple-A on many occasions.
Dons head coach Brett Stevens has been in charge 26 years and coached Flores, who he still considers the Dons’ all-time best and who holds most of the Dons’ pitching records.
Fittingly, Stevens and Flores are back at it together, leading Sierra Vista back to the quarterfinals for the first time in 21 years.
Sierra Vista (21-3), which set a school record for wins in a season, will take on top-seed Santa Ynez (26-1) on the road in Saturday’s Division 5 quarterfinals at 2 p.m., with a chance to earn its first semifinal berth in history.
Flores, who threw four consecutive shutouts when he was dominating in the 90s for the Dons, has been the pitching coach at Sierra Vista for nearly a decade, and has done a remarkable job grooming senior pitchers Eric Gutierrez (9-1, 1.22 ERA) and Andrew Luna (7-0, 1.79 ERA).
“Pedro was my number one pitcher three years in a row when he was here and most of the credit goes to him when you talk about our pitchers, and what we’ve done with our pitchers over the last few years,” said Stevens, who started at Sierra Vista in 1989. “He’s an incredible coach and the players respect him.”

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Damien High junior Jeremy Hemsley has given a verbal commitment to attend San Diego State


Damien High School junior basketball standout Jeremy Hemsley had his choice of a lot of good colleges, but he has decided to stay relatively close to home and will play at San Diego State.

The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 22 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals for the Spartans (22-7), the Sierra League runners-up to Chino Hills.

He stepped up when it mattered most with a season high of 37 points against Mayfair and Temecula Great Oak, both teams that made extended playoff runs. He also had 33 points against Chino Hills.

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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
@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.

Division 3

Bishop Amat at Quartz Hill
Division 4
California at Northview
Torrance at San Dimas
Division 5

Sierra Vista at Santa Ynez, 2 p.m.

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San Gabriel Valley all-star softball game is Monday at Diamond Bar with home run derby, rosters posted Thursday

The San Gabriel Valley senior all-star softball game was a huge success last year at Diamond Bar High School and event coordinator and West Covina coach Jesse Mendez, along with help from other area coaches, are finalizing plans for Monday’s game at Diamond Bar HS at 5 p.m. This years game will also feature the first-ever HOME RUN DERBY, so it should be an exciting event. We will post rosters and a story tomorrow and publish it in the paper on Friday.


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Baseball playoffs: Northview’s Jake Amaya belts walk off homer in eighth to lead Vikings to 2-1 win over No. 1 Kaiser; Bishop Amat rallies for 4-3 win; Bonita, Glendora both lose

CLUTCH: Northview’s Jake Amaya’s belts a walk-off homer in the eighth inning to lead Northview to a 2-1 victory in eight innings over No. 1 Kaiser in the second round of the Division 4 playofs. Northview rallied to tied the score, 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh.

STORY: It might not be the Northview High School baseball team’s biggest win its history, which includes two CIF-Southern Section championships, but it’s certainly high on the list.
Jose Urbina hit a run-scoring double with two outs in the seventh inning tied it and Jake Amaya hit home run in the bottom of the eighth as the host Vikings ousted top-seeded Kaiser 2-1 in a Southern Section Division 4 second-round game Tuesday.
“I’m feeling great,” Amaya said. “I got that high pitch and did what I had to do, and that was the outcome. I’m just speechless right now.”

Second round
Division 2

La Mirada 4, Glendora 2
Temecula Valley 4, South Hills 1
Division 3
Warren 4, Diamond Bar 1
Bishop Amat 4, Orange 3
Redondo 6, Bonita 4
Division 4
Northview 2, Kaiser 1
San Dimas 9, Granite Hills 1
Division 5
Sierra Vista 9, Hemet 3
Tahquitz 10, Arroyo 0

Friday’s Quarterfinals
Division 3

Bishop Amat at Quartz Hill, 3:15 p.m.
Division 4
California at Northview, 3:15 p.m.
Torrance at San Dimas, 3:15 p.m
Saturday’s game
Division 5
Sierra Vista at Santa Ynez, 2 p.m.

By Fred J. Robledo
After assistant coach Jimmy Zurn finished his post-game speech following La Mirada’s come-from-behind 4-2 victory over Glendora in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 baseball playoffs, the Matadores players turned toward left field, pointing and waving.
They were saluting head coach Kim Brooks, who waved back, then turned and walked away.
Brooks was placed on administrative leave last week prior to the playoffs after a profanity-laced audio of him screaming at his team following a spring break tournament game surfaced and made national headlines.

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Columnist apologizes for writing, “Seriously, who grows up wanting to be a high school baseball coach?”

Columnist Frank Girardot apologized to high school coaches in today’s column, titled “No excuses for throwing all coaches under the bus.” Girardot took a lot of heat for last week’s column when he addressed the profanity-laced tirade that made La Mirada baseball coach Kim Brooks famous for all the wrong reasons. But what seemed to touch the wrong nerve for most, especially high school coaches, was a sentence in the column that read, “Seriously, who grows up wanting to be a high school baseball coach.”

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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
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
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


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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Baseball playoffs continue: Bonita, Bishop Amat, Diamond Bar, Sierra Vista, Arroyo advance to round two

Bonita celebrates after Noah Williams (20) brought in Brandon Bradshaw (2) in the ninth as they defeated Cathedral City 3-2 after tying up in the seventh on the last out Friday, May 23, 2014 at the La Verne High School. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

Bonita celebrates after Noah Williams (20) brought in Brandon Bradshaw (2) in the ninth as they defeated Cathedral City 3-2 after tying up in the seventh on the last out Friday, May 23, 2014 at the La Verne High School. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

LA VERNE — There are times when the Bonita High School baseball team looks dominated, but the Bearcats always seem to recover when it’s least expected.
Bonita, which had late come-back wins against Walnut and Diamond Ranch during Hacienda League play, did it again Friday, pulling out victory from the defeat by rallying for a 3-2 win over visiting Cathedral City in a Division 3 first-round game.
Sophomore Anthony Cascarano hit a two-out, two-run triple to tie it in the seventh and sophomore Noah Williams singled in the winning run in the ninth as No. 2 seed Bonita improved to 23-7 and will face Redondo, a 1-0 winner over La Salle, in Tuesday’s second round. The site will be determined by coin flip.
Sabino Ramirez gave up six hits and struck out seven for the Lions, who finished 12-13.
Bonita’s Anthony Cascarano: “This team has a lot of heart. We don’t stop from bleeding. I really wanted to do it for my team, for the seniors. I didn’t want this to be their last game. When I got down 0 and 2, I got scared. I just tried to put the bat on the ball. When I saw the ball fall and saw coach (John) Knott’s face, I was really happy. Nothing can feel better than that. It was great.”

Bonita’s Noah Williams: “I was just trying to get a base hit and bring it back to our team I didn’t want to see our seniors go down like that. It was just a great feeling.”

By John Honell
Every coach, in every sport, wants his team to get hot heading into the playoffs.
The Bishop Amat baseball team appears to be hot at the right time, winning its sixth consecutive game, an easy 11-0 victory over Elsinore in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs.
The Lancers (17-11) will play the winner of the La Quinta/Orange contest next Tuesday at a site to be determined.
Jayson Gonzalez had two hits and three RBIs and Alex Garcia pitched a four-hit shutout for the Lancers.
Bishop Amat’s Alex Garcia: “The first (playoff) game is always the toughest. Once you get it under your belt I’m sure it’ll be fine. We had a good scouting report on these guys and I was able to throw pitches where the coach called them. Our defense was great and we’re playing championship ball right now and that’s what we need to be doing.”
Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto: “Our Achilles heel has been getting on a team early then losing focus. We let teams get back in the game but today we got them on the ropes and applied the knockout punch, that’s the difference.”

Today first-round
Division 3

Diamond Bar 4, West Torrance 3
Santa Monica 5, West Covina 0
Bishop Amat 11, Elsinore 0
Bonita 3, Cathedral City 2
Division 5
Sierra Vista 3, Linfield Christian 2
Citrus Hill 6, Rosemead 0
Templeton 3, La Puente 0
Arroyo 12, St. Bernard 4
Tuesday’s second round
Division 2

La Mirada at Glendora, 3:15 p.m.
South Hills at Temecula Valley, 3:15 p.m.
Division 3
Warren at Diamond Bar, 3:15 p.m.
Bishop Amat at Orange, 3:15 p.m.
Bonita at Redondo, 3:15 p.m.
Division 4
Kaiser at Northview, 3:15 p.m.
San Dimas at Granite Hills 3:15 p.m.
Division 5
Sierra Vista at Hemet, 3:15 p.m.
Tahquitz at Arroyo, 3:15 p.m.

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Baseball Playoffs: Glendora, South Hills, San Dimas, Northview all win; Damien loses

By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

SAN DIMAS – If the San Dimas High School baseball team is to have a lengthy stay in the CIF-Southern Section playoffs, the Saints are going to need solid efforts from pitcher Peter Lambert.
The junior showed why Thursday.
Lambert took a perfect game into the seventh inning before finishing with a 1-hit shutout to lead host San Dimas to a 6-0 victory over Grand Terrace in a Division 4 first-round game.
San Dimas, also getting two RBIs from Elias Orona and two hits each from Jonathan Longtin and Michael Starns, improved to 22-6-1 and advanced to face either Granite Hills in Tuesday’s second roun. The site will be determined by coin flip on Friday.
Josh McPherson had the only hit for the Titans, who finished 14-12-1.
San Dimas’ Peter Lambert: “It’s a great win. Obviously, it’s the first round, but it’s a great win and we’re on to the next one. This was really on the defense. They made great plays. I only struck out six, so I put this one on the defense.”

San Dimas coach Mike Regan: “That was a tough one (to give up in the seventh). We always think our guy should have made the play. We did very, very well.”

Grand Terrace coach Mike Reh: “Lambert was excellent today. Obviously, when you’re getting perfect-gamed, it’s extremely difficult to get anything going. His tempo was phenomenal. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap to an outstanding performance.”

CIF-SS Baseball Playoffs
Today’s first-round
Division 2

Glendora 8, Rio Mesa 0
Crescenta Valley 6, Damien 1
South Hills 1, Oxnard 0, 8 innings
Division 4
Northview 5, Fullerton 3
San Dimas 6, Grand Terrace 0
Friday’s first-round
Diamond Bar at West Torrance, 3:15 p.m.
West Covina at Santa Monica, 3:15 p.m.
Elsinore at Bishop Amat, 2:30 p.m.
Cathedral City at Bonita, 3:15 p.m.
Division 5
Linfield Christian at Sierra Vista, 3:15 p.m.
La Puente at Templeton, 3:15 p.m.
St. Bernard at Arroyo, 3:15 p.m.

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Former assistant goes on record with strong accusations against former Diamond Ranch coach Roddy Layton

By Aram Tolegian, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Former Diamond Ranch High School assistant football coach Matt Johnson says that he, along with former Panthers head coach Roddy Layton and other members of the coaching staff, accessed rival Diamond Bar’s account in order to gain an advantage before last fall’s rivalry game.

Johnson, a 2008 graduate of Diamond Ranch and a team captain on the Panthers’ ‘07 team, said Layton and his staff obtained Diamond Bar’s Hudl log-in information from a former Brahmas player who transferred to Diamond Ranch last fall and used it to scout the week leading up to a 34-20 win on Oct. 18, 2013.

“We were actually watching their practices (on Hudl),” Johnson said. “We were watching what they were planning on doing to us. Roddy said we can’t tell anybody. He said let’s just watch it and see what happens. I was there. I’m not trying to spare myself. I was in there.”

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Softball Playoffs: San Dimas wins; La Serna ends Bishop Amat’s season again

CIF-Softball Playoffs
Today’s second round
Division 2
Moorpark 13, Los Altos 0
Division 3
La Serna 6, Bishop Amat 0
Division 5
San Dimas 11, Santa Ana Calvary Chapel 2
Citrus Valley 8, Sierra Vista 0

La Serna ends Bishop Amat’s season again: There was no payback for the Bishop Amat Lancers softball team against third-seed La Serna in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 softball playoffs on Thursday.
La Serna Pitcher Jamie Wren and clutch hitting made sure of that with a 6-0 victory to advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals against North Torrance, an 8-1 winner over Chaminade.
Bishop Amat was a big favorite to win the divisional crown a year ago, but La Serna knocked them out 3-2 in the second round.
La Serna also beat Amat 11-1 earlier in the year, and kept its foot on the gas.

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Columnist thinks La Mirada baseball coach Kim Brooks should be fired

By Frank C. Girardot, Pasadena Star-News
La Mirada High School baseball coach Kim Brooks needs his mouth washed out with soap.
A tongue lashing he gave his ballplayers following an Easter week loss is so foul, that an audio tape of the tirade led to his suspension while the La Mirada-Norwalk Unified School District investigates.

Of course, not everyone agrees …

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Area coaches react to La Mirada baseball coach Kim Brooks’ profanity-laced tirade

BROOKSAREA COACHES REACT TO KIM BROOKS PROFANITY-LACED TIRADE: It’s not only the court of public opinion where opinions are running rampant on the actions of suspended La Mirada High School baseball coach and athletic director Kim Brooks, who was placed on administrative leave earlier this week after his profanity-laden locker room speech went viral. Local baseball coaches also have something to say about it and they weren’t holding back Wednesday while their colleague awaits the results of a Norwalk-La Mirada School District investigation into the matter that could cost the veteran baseball coach his job.

“First, I don’t condone what Coach Brooks said at all. Coach Brooks has never lacked for trying to bring out the best in kids. He’s a true baseball educator. He’s an athletic director, history teacher and when you get involved in teaching that long you have to have a passion for teaching and mentoring kids. He’s a legend there and his big fault is that he used inappropriate language and that’s not acceptable. There are a lot of words in the English language you can use and that he should have used differently.”Bishop Amat baseball coach Andy Niteo.

“It sounded to me like a good, hard-nosed, old-school coach laying into his team. I think we all would like to hope that we didn’t use the language that sometimes comes out, but I’ve stood on a football sideline, too. Things happen in the heat of the moment. I took it as nothing more than a good coach being disappointed in his kids’ effort that day. I don’t think he was asking them to do anymore than wear the jersey with pride. The way he went about it obviously wasn’t perfect.” Monrovia co-head coach Brad Blackmore.

“I played in an environment when I went to Azusa Pacific University where nobody swore over there, so I know coaches can be effective and not use that language. In today’s generation, I tell myself, If they were to play it back, would you be OK with it?’ And that’s just the reality of it, like it or not.”Bonita baseball coach John Knott

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Baseball: West Covina advances with 6-1 vitory over St. Paul; Glendora’s Kale Morton keeps pitching tradition going

mortonMeet undefeated Kale Morton: Glendora High School, since Dan Henley has been head baseball coach, has been a pitching haven.
The Tartans have featured a who’s who of the Valley’s best in recent years, from Brandon Villalobos, to Wes Roemer to Adam Plutko.
Kale Morton is Henley’s latest to carry on the tradition. And like the others, the senior has gone from a limited role to greatness, setting a school record by going 10-0 during the regular season.
Even Henley didn’t really see his latest ace coming, at least not at the rate he’s progressed to this season.
“I knew he was capable of pitching like this,” said Henley, who is likely to turn to his latest protege when the No. 4 seed Tartans host Rio Mesa in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 playoffs Thursday at 3:15 p.m. “He had been very consistent for us. I’d be lying if I said he would be (10-0), and this dominant. He’s been extremely dominant. I knew that he had a quality arm. He didn’t pitch a whole lot last year, but the innings he did pitch where key moments and at times, he was electrifying.”
Morton has gone from that limited role to arguably the best pitcher in the area. He’s been a key for the Tartans’ run to their third Baseline League title in four seasons after going 10-0 with two saves during the regular season. He also has a 1.72 ERA in 12 appearances.

West Covina advances: West Covina and St. Paul baseball teams had to win its last regular-season game last week just to qualify for the postseason.
It was back to win or go home on Wednesday.
West Covina will continue its season with a 6-1 victory over visiting St. Paul in a CIF-Southern Section Division 3 wild-card game.

Division 3

West Covina 6, St. Paul 1
Rialto 6, Walnut 0
Division 5
Cerritos Valley Christian 7, El Monte 2
Lompoc Cabrillo 9, Gladstone 0
St. Bernard 4, Azusa 0

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LISTEN TO AUDIO: Legendary La Mirada baseball coach Kim Brooks on leave after explosive audio ripping his team

COMMENTARY: It wasn’t the foul language that made Brooks’ tirade so troubling. Every player who was in that room hears or says many of those same words every day at school, at practice, walking from class to class or at lunch. They hear worse in the music that blares from car stereos. They hear worse on a nightly basis on HBO or Showtime.

Longtime La Mirada High athletic director and baseball coach Kim Brooks has been suspended by the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District after a profanity-laced audio tape of Brooks screaming at his team following a loss was released.

“I’ve been here a long time,” Brooks said calmly at the beginning of the recording, “and I will tell you that was probably the most PATHETIC (EXPLETIVE) BASEBALL GAME I’VE EVER SEEN A GROUP PLAY!”

The 17-minute recording features Brooks repeatedly cursing at his players, questioning their dedication to the program and inviting players to transfer to another school.

Note: Audio excerpt is two-minutes of a 17-minute profanity laced-tirade from coach Kim Brooks to his players following a game.

Brooks has his supporters on twitter, many of whom are using the hashtag, #freetheredman … Here is what a few have to say

The Brooks story is everywhere, including at the Houston Press, which had this commentary from one of its blogs. I don’t know much about Brooks, other than his mustache game is strong, his first name is unfortunate, and his passion for high school boys baseball is disturbingly unchained. Based on the audio below following an 8-4 loss on April 26 to something called a Los Osos, Brooks might also be currently trying to quit smoking because he seems more than a little peeved at his team’s performance in that game:

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Baseball/Softball: Los Altos softball shocks South Hills 1-0; Damien baseball wins wild card, 3-2; Nogales coach John Romano’s 35-year career ends with 16-4 loss to Ramona

Coaches/Fans: Tweet updates to @sgvnscores and @sgvnsports and call in results to 626-544-0992 after the game to get your result in the paper and online.


By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

HACIENDA HEIGHTS – Celeste Wood wasn’t dominant Tuesday. She just got the job done, which is all that’s regarded in the CIF-Southern Section softball playoffs.
Wood tossed a four-hit shutout to lead host Los Altos to a 1-0 victory over South Hills in a Division 2 first-round game.
The Conquerors, who scored the game’s only run on a throwing error in the first inning, improved to 15-6 and advanced to Thursday’s second round against Moorpark at a site to be determined. Freshman sensation Natalie Lugo gave up three hits and struck out 10 for the Huskies, who finished 21-8.
Wood, who improved to 12-1, turned away three scoring chances for the Huskies, who where 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
Los Altos’ Celeste Wood: “I pitched for my team. It was a team win. I was focused on holding (South Hills), not letting them score, and helping my defense out. I just wanted to pitch with my best effort.”

Los Altos coach Nacho Hernandez: “We figured if we could get any type of run, my defense would come through. It did. It was an amazing game to watch.”

South Hills coach Brandon Gonzalez: “We just didn’t execute at the plate. You have to give the pitcher credit. She pitched a good game. Mine did to, but they got the run.”

Wild Card

Damien 3, St. Joseph 2
Wild Card

Wilson at Santa Ana Calvary Chapel, 3:15 p.m.
Ramona 16, Nogales 4
Patriot 4, Baldwin Park 1
First Round

Mission Viejo 13, Diamond Bar 0
Capistrano Valley 7, Charter Oak 1
Los Altos 1, South Hills 0
Yucaipa 3, Bonita 0
First Round
Bishop Amat 6, Burroughs/Burbank 3
First Round
South El Monte at Patriot, 3:15 p.m
Heritage 10, Arroyo 0
First Round
Sierra Vista 8, Alhambra 3
San Dimas 11, Lompoc 0
Marlborough 14, Azusa 6
Paraclete 4, Edgewood 3
Ontario Chr. 4, Northview 0
Anaheim 2, Duarte 1
Cabrillo/Lompoc 6, Covina 5

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