Area Softball Rankings and Leaders: Charter Oak takes over top spot

bulldogs

AREA TOP TEN
1. Charter Oak (16-6) — The Chargers have crept past South Hills and into a tie for second with Ayala in the Sierra, but it still has games left against Chino Hills, Ayala and South Hills.
2. South Hills (17-6) — Losing to Chino Hills is one thing, but following with a loss to Ayala has dropped the Huskies to fourth and in danger of missing the playoffs.
3. Bishop Amat (14-8) — Coming on strong and a game back of St. Paul with a chance to tie for a league title when it plays at St. Paul Monday.
4. Los Altos (12-5) — Has continued to improve throughout the season and after a big win over Bonita it finds itself leading the Hacienda with two weeks to go.
5. Bonita (13-6) — Had the Swag knocked out of it with back-to-back losses to West Covina and Los Altos. What once looked like a sure league title is anything but now.
6. San Dimas (17-7) — The Saints are still undefeated in the Valle Vista and have one more big test against Covina next week to close it out.
7. West Covina (13-10) — The Bulldogs beat Bonita and are now tied for second with the Bearcats in the Hacienda and both are only a game back of Los Altos.
8. Glendora (10-11) – The way the Tartans handled area teams before starting the Baseline is all the proof I need to leave it in the top ten.
9. Covina (14-6-1) — The Colts continue to do their part in the Valle Vista with only one loss and can avenge it Monday against San Dimas.
10. Sierra Vista (12-4-2) — The Dons are 10-0 in the Montview but only a game back of Duarte, who is 9-1.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
HITTING

1. Janell Wheaton, San Dimas, 45-for-77, .584
2. Ciara Granadao, Edgewood, 33-for-57, .579
3. Ashley Diaz, South El Monte, 30-for-54, .556
4. Alex Rodriguez, West Covina, 35-for-64, .547
5. Jocelyn Marquez, Northview, 32-for-59, .542
6. Celeste Wood, Los Altos, 21-for-39, .538
7. Jackie Negrete, Workman, 22-for-41, .537
8. Evelyn Sandoval, Arroyo, 35-for-47, .532
9. Evelyn Ronquillo, Baldwin Park, 23-for-44, .533
10. Jenna Rodelo, Rowland, 26-for-50, 520

HOME RUNS
9 – Jenna Rodelo, Rowland
8 – Chloe Melanson, Bonita; Ciara Granado, Edgewood
7 – Alicia Brown, Glendora; Adriana Fernandez, Workman
6 – Ashley Huber, Walnut; Alicia Brown, Glendora; Ashley Diaz, South El Monte
RBIS
35 – Janell Wheaton, San Dimas
34 – Ciara Granado, Edgewood
33 – Idalis Jimenez, Edgewood
32 – Isabella Sierra, Covina
29 – Princess Nava, Covina
ERA
1. Natalie Lugo, South Hills, 1.08
2. Princess Nava, Covina, 1.14
3. Brooke Clemetson, Charter Oak, 1.17
4. Kaelyn McFadden, Bonita, 1.39
5. Lindsey Hughes, San Dimas, 1.62
WINS
1T. Princess Nava, Covina, 12-4
1T. Natalie Lugo, South Hills, 12-4
3. Brooke Clemetson, Charter Oak, 10-2
4. Mia Luques, South El Monte, 10-3
5. Lindsey Hughes, San Dimas, 10-5

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League finals week for track & swimming

There are a lot league premlims on Tuesday but Thursday and Friday are the big day for swim and track league finals. Here is a look at the local schedule:

HACIENDA FINALS
Track: Walnut, Thursday, 3 p.m.
Swim: Diamond Bar, Friday, 3 p.m.
SIERRA FINALS
Track: Claremont, Thursday, 3 p.m.
Swim: Mt. SAC, Thursday, 3 p.m.
VALLE VISTA FINALS
Track: San Dimas, Thursday, 3:15 p.m.
Swim: Wilson, Thursday, 3 p.m.
MISSION VALLEY LEAGUE
Track: Rosemead, Thursday, 3 p.m.
MONTVIEW LEAGUE
Track: Duarte, Wednesday, 3:45 p.m.
Swim: Sierra Vista, Friday, 2 p.m.

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Bishop Amat pitcher Andrew Eppenbach getting better after recent car accident

eppenbach

Bishop Amat senior pitcher Andrew Eppenbach had just finished one of his best games of the season, earning a complete-game 7-3 victory over Bishop Montgomery on April 11, allowing just two hits while not allowing an earned run.

About an hour later, his father Jim Eppenbach pulled into their home driveway and immediately knew something was wrong.

caraccidentNormally, Jim or his wife Marlene would drive Andrew home after a game, but it was a busy day, so they drove their own cars to the school, as did Andrew.

When Jim arrived home, one car was missing.

“It was so frightening,” Jim Eppenbach said. “I get home and my wife’s standing on the porch with the phone in her hand and a look on her face. I said ‘oh my God.’ You get that total sinking feeling that something’s gone horribly wrong.”

According to Jim, Andrew was driving home on Cameron Ave., in West Covina when a driver on a cell phone turned in front of Andrew and the crashed nearly head on, steering Andrew’s Ford Explorer into a lightpost.

Fortunately, Andrew walked away with only a stiff neck, sore back and a concussion.

Eppenbach, who signed a national letter of intent to attend San Diego State, has been forced to miss a few games since. But that’s the good news.

“It could have been a lot worse, the car was totalled,” Jim said. “You’re just so thankful he’s OK and that he will fully recover from this but it was scary. For any parent, these are your worst types of fears.”

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Hacienda Baseball: West Covina knocks off league-leading Bonita, 4-3; Walnut finishes sweep of Los Altos, 10-8

It was upset Thursday in the Hacienda League with West Covina knocking off league-leading Bonita, 4-3. Despite the loss, the Bearcats remain in first at 17-7 and 6-2 in league while the Bulldogs stayed in playoff contention improving to 13-9 and 5-5. Los Altos couldn’t take advantage, getting swept by Walnut 10-8 and dropping to 12-12 and 4-4. Walnut is now 13-10-2 and 4-4. Diamond Bar is the big winner without playing, remaining 14-8 and 5-3 and only a game back of Bonita.

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Baseball: St. Paul sweeps Bishop Amat, wins 5-4 Thursday putting Lancers playoff hopes in serious jeopardy

What’s happening to Bishop Amat? St. Paul finished off a sweep of the Lancers, winning 5-4 on Thursday after clobbering the Lancers 9-1 earlier in the week. The loss drops Amat to 11-11 and 3-3 in the Del Rey, leaving them tied for third with St. Paul, who is 12-14 and 3-3. It’s one thing to get swept by one of the league contenders like Serra or La Salle, but St. Paul? What’s going on in Lancerland?

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Los Altos softball takes over first in the Hacienda with 8-3 win over Bonita

Los Altos scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth to take control and take over first in the Hacienda with an 8-3 victory. Bonita was in firm control earlier in the week, but also lost to West Covina 2-1 to drop Bonita to 6-2 in league along with West Covina, also 6-2. Los Altos is now 8-1 and a full game ahead of both in the loss column. Los Altos still has another game with West Covina.

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Walnut track enjoying historical season

By Keith Lair
It’s been a record run for the Walnut High School track and field team.
The Mustangs can take the Hacienda League dual meet title with a win over visiting Diamond Bar today. But what has been most impressive has been the school records. Five varsity marks and a soph-frosh record have fallen this season.
“At the beginning of the season we set performance goals for everyone for about five percent and they have blown them out of the water,” Walnut coach Keith Thompson said. “It seems like everything has worked perfectly with the kids. It’s been a perfect season.
“We knew we would be a good team, but were not just sure.”
Continue reading

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Cathedral wins appeal, forcing Catholic League into a seven-team league and six-team Mission

STORY: The Catholic Athletic Association left the fate of two of its most important leagues in the hands of the CIF-Southern Section Council and when all the votes were in, several representatives from some of the Southland’s top parochial football powers were disappointed.
The CAA saw its football-only league proposals voted in at Wednesday’s council meeting, then successfully appealed by Cathedral High School, which left one of the major goals of the association unmet. That goal was to create two, four-team leagues that will likely compete in the Pac-5 Division.

WHAT HAPPENED: With Cathedral winning its appeal at CIF this morning, this is how the new football leagues will shape up for the Catholic and Mission League. The Catholic was hoping for a North and South league made up of four teams each to maximize four playoff berths. In a seven-team league, it only gets three guaranteed spots. The Mission is now a six-team league instead of five, guaranteeing three playoff spots.

Catholic League
Bishop Amat, Serra, Loyola, Notre Dame, Alemany, Chaminade and Crespi
Mission League
St. Paul, St. Francis, Cathedral, Salesian, Harvard-Westlake and La Salle

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SGV All-Star Football game survives despite losing National Football Foundation as sponsor: “The game has been going on for 35 years and its tradition,” explained WC coach Mike Maggiore

The National Football Foundation, which has been the event coordinator and sponsor of the San Gabriel Valley Hall of Fame senior all-star football game for several years through its San Gabriel Valley chapter, officially pulled its affiliation from the game Wednesday just weeks before the annual East vs. West game, scheduled for May 16 at West Covina High School at 7 p.m.

West Covina football coach Mike Maggiore said the game will continue, however, because coaches and teams already have been selected. The game will simply be called the San Gabriel Valley Hall of Fame game.

“The most important thing is that the kids that were selected have the opportunity to play,” Maggiore said. “There are nearly 100 kids excited to play. This game has been going on for 35 years and its tradition in the San Gabriel Valley. We couldn’t just let it die.”

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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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Area Baseball rankings and leaders: South Hills edges Glendora for top spot

velasquez
AREA TOP TEN
1. South Hills (16-3-1) — A full game ahead of Chino Hills after posting two impressive victories last week. Still, finishing first wont be easy.
2. Glendora (15-5) — The only sport at Glendora that has no probelm with the Baseline. The Tartans are in first and in firm control.
3. San Dimas (15-6-1) — Saints sweep Nogales and rest of the schedule friendly. They shouldn’t lose another game before the playoffs.
4. Bonita (16-6) — Had nine-game win streak snapped in 3-2 loss to Gahr, but has two big games this week against West Covina Tuesday and Friday.
5. Bishop Amat (11-9) — Lancers split last week, but still only game back of La Salle in the Del Rey, who it faces two more times.
6. Damien (13-6) – Went 0-2 in a make-or-break week for the Sierra title. Now the Spartans are battling just to make the playoffs in a tie for third.
7. Diamond Bar (14-8) — Brahmas seem like they can beat anyone, but they still could have problems making the playoffs in Hacienda.
8. Sierra Vista (14-2) — A perfect 8-0 in the Montview, the Dons have the fewest losses of any Tribune teams.
9. Los Altos (12-10) — Despite its barely above .500 record, the Conqs still only a game back of Bonita in the Hacienda.
10. West Covina (12-8) — If West Covina were in the Mission Valley or Montview, they would be undefeated in league. That’s how balanced the Hacienda is.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
HITTING

1. Mark Gonzalez, Pomona, 19-for-34, .559
2. Ryan Viramontes, West Covina, 33-for-60, .550
3. Matt Arguello, La Puente, 17-for-32, .531
4. Derek Zavalla, South El Monte, 17-for-35, .486
5. Erik Gutierrez, Sierra Vista, 20-for-42, .476
6. Brandon Bradshaw, Bonita, 16-for-34, .471
7. Kory Brown, Charter Oak, 22-for-47, .468
8. Derian Torres, Sierra Vista, 21-for-46, .457
9. Erick Morales, La Puente, 16-for-35, .457
10. Anthony Cuevas, Los Altos, 28-for-63, .444
HOME RUNS
4 – David Banuelos, Damien; Francisco Ramirez, South Hills
3 – Jordan Abernathy, Damien; Nicholas Hernandez, Charter Oak
RBIS
23 – Alex Gonzalez, Bonita
19 – David Banuelos, Damien
17 – Brennan McKenzie, Walnut; Jon Ayala, South Hills; Jordan Abernathy, Damien
ERA
1. Isaac Archer, Bishop Amat, 0.42
2. Gavin Velasquez, South Hills, 0.53
3. Eric Flores, Glendora, 0.90
4. Peter Lambert, San Dimas, 0.91
5. Erik Gutierrez, Sierra Vista, 0.94
WIN-LOSS PERCENTAGE
1. Kale Morton, Glendora, 7-0
2. Gerardo Ramirez, Diamond Bar, 7-1
3t. Eric Flores, Glendora, 6-1
3t. Anthony Deeter, West Covina, 6-1
5. Grant Hockin, Damien, 7-2



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Area Softball Rankings and Leaders: No. 1 South Hills gets mighty Chino Hills on Friday

shillschills
Above: Will South Hills get tough when it faces Chino Hills on Friday?

AREA TOP TEN
1. South Hills (17-4) — Big win over Charter Oak to keep pace with Sierra League frontrunner Chino Hills, who South Hills will host in Friday’s mammoth game. I’m taking the Huskies, lol.
2. Bonita (13-4) — With games at West Covina and Los Altos this week, the Bearcats can all but wrap up the Hacienda with a pair of wins.
3. Charter Oak (14-6) — Considering Charters’ only two league losses are to Chino Hills and South Hills, there’s no reason to drop it from top three.
4. Bishop Amat (12-8) — Only a game back of St. Paul in Del Rey standings, but time is running out. They host La Salle Tuesday and get St. Paul one more time.
5. San Dimas (15-7) — The Saints are already focusing on the playoffs because the Valle Vista is just to easy for them.
6. Los Altos (10-5) — The Conquerors have done their part since losing only Hacienda game to Bonita by winning every game since. They get their rematch at home against Bonita on Thursday.
7. Glendora (9-10) – Tartans can’t wait to get of the Baseline. Sadly, they’re closer to last than first.
8. Covina (12-6-1) — The Colts’ only loss in the Valle Vista is against San Dimas, who they will play in the league finale in a couple weeks. They need to keep winning to make the final game mean something.
9. West Covina (11-10) — The Bulldogs are coming on late and can show how far they’ve come by hosting Bonita on Tuesday. If they win, it could set up a wild finish in the Hacienda.
10. Sierra Vista (8-4-2) — A perfect 7-0 in the Montview and one-game lead over Duarte, who it plays on May 8.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
HITTING

1. Evelyn Sandoval, Arroyo, 21-for-36, .583
2. Celeste Wood, Los Altos, 19-for-33, .576
3. Janell Wheaton, San Dimas, 39-for-68, .574
4. Jackie Negrete, Workman, 20-for-35, .571
5. Ashley Diaz, South El Monte, 26-for-47, .553
6. Idalis Jimenez, Edgewood, 27-for-49, .551
7. Jada Richards, Duarte, 18-for-33, .545
8. Alex Rodriguez, West Covina, 31-for-57, .544
9. Jocelyn Marquez, Northview, 32-for-59, .542
10. Jenna Rodelo, Rowland, 25-for-47, .532
HOME RUNS
8 – Jenna Rodelo, Rowland
7 – Chloe Melanson, Bonita; Ciara Granado, Edgewood
6 – Ashley Huber, Walnut; Alicia Brown, Glendora; Ashley Diaz, South El Monte; Adriana Fernandez, Workman
RBIS
31 – Idalis Jimenez, Edgewood; Ciara Granado, Edgewood
30 – Janell Wheaton, San Dimas
26 – Isabella Sierra, Covina; Jenna Rodelo, Rowland
25 – Princess Nava, Covina
24 – Ashley Diaz, South El Monte; Anette Mena, Edgewood
ERA
1. Natalie Lugo, South Hills, 0.43
2. Brooke Clemetson, Charter Oak, 1.48
3. Princess Nava, Covina, 1.32
4. Kaelyn McFadden, Bonita, 1.45
5. Lindsey Hughes, San Dimas, 1.73
WIN/LOSS PERCENTAGE
1. Natalie Lugo, South Hills, 12-2
2. Brooke Clemetson, Charter Oak, 9-2
3. Adriana Fernandez, Workman, 8-2
4. Princess Nava, Covina, 10-4
5. Lindsey Hughes, San Dimas, 9-5

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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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The Big River, Rio Ruiz takes on Clayton Kershaw and Rancho Cucamonga tonight

Clayton Kershaw will make the first rehabilitation start of his career Friday for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.
No timetable has been set for his return to a major-league mound, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly confirmed that Kershaw will need at least two rehab starts total. He’s expected to throw approximately 55 pitches Friday against the Lancaster Jethawks, who feature former Bishop Amat star and Tribune player of the year Rio Ruiz.
Kershaw threw a three-inning simulated game Sunday at Dodger Stadium.
“He came out of the bullpen good yesterday and we feel like we’re ready,” Mattingly said. “I don’t think anyone’s going to let him go out, even throw that sim game, if we weren’t allowing him just to go pitch.”
Kershaw hasn’t any setbacks in his recovery from a strained teres major muscle in his upper left back since he first threw off a mound 10 days ago.

forsale

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Longtime boys basketball coach and former Star-News coach of the year Hung Duong accused of “intimidation” tactics

By Zen Vuong, Pasadena Star-News
A Mark Keppel basketball coach allegedly used intimidation tactics recently to get a high school student to not “step out of line” by talking to the media, Anthony Acosta said.
Varsity Coach Hung Duong allegedly confronted Acosta, 17, less than 24 hours after a Star-News article quoted Acosta voicing his disappointment over Alhambra Unified School District’s decision to cut Horizons, a college preparatory program.
“He was like, ‘Why are you talking about this class? I don’t want you misrepresenting basketball,’” Acosta said. “It was just really intimidating. Like you would expect my coach to like encourage me to use my First Amendment right but, from what I got from him, he was basically saying don’t step out of line.”

dong

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Is St. Francis football worried that it could win up in the Catholic South and Pac-5 Division?

By Aram Tolegian, staff writer
There’s a vibe out there among those who closely follow the Catholic Athletic Association’s high school football re-leaguing process that one more twist or turn is coming.
It’s the same vibe that one might get while watching a cinematic thriller that fools you into thinking the ending is obvious before one final act shatters all preconceived notions and leaves the audience with its mouth open.
In theory, the final act to this saga should have already been played out when the CAA met on Tuesday and in a close vote put forth its latest and final proposal for league alignments that would span the next four years.

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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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Alemany proposal passes 12-11 to send Cathedral to PAC-5 while dropping Salesian to the Mission

After the CIF-Southern Section Executive Committee voted 13-3-3 to approve Salesian’s appeal to the 2014-18 Parochial Area Catholic League South football placement, which would have put Salesian in a Pac-5 football league with Loyola, Serra and Bishop Amat; Bishop Alemany submitted a new proposal on Tuesday that barely passed 12-11. The new proposal basically swaps Salesian with Cathedral, moving Cathedral into the powerful Catholic South and PAC-5 while dropping Salesian to the Mission League. Salesian appealed to CIF because it balked at the idea of essentially moving from Division 10 to Division I and prefered to play in the Mission League, though rumors persist that it does not want to be in the same league as rival Cathedral. Well, Salesian got its wish with Carthedral publicly stating at Tuesday’s meeting that it will appeal the decision to CIF, just like Salesian did. The CAA has until April 30 to submit Alemany’s proposal at which time Cathedral can appeal, leaving the next move up to CIF.

ALEMANY PROPOSAL PASSES 12-11
CATHOLIC NORTH: Alemany, Chaminade, Crespi, Notre Dame
CATHOLIC SOUTH: Bishop Amat, Cathedral, Loyola, Serra
MISSION LEAGUE: Harvard-Westlake, La Salle, Salesian, St. Francis, St. Paul
DEL REY LEAGUE: Bishop Montgomery, Cantwell Sacred Heart, St. Bernard, Verbum Dei
SANTA FE LEAGUE: Bosco Tech, Mary Star, St. Anthony, St. Monica, Bell Jeff, St. Matthias/Pius X

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Bob Ramsey’s weekly track roundup, team & individual leaders, and all-time SGV records list

PHOTO GALLERY FROM MT. SAC INVITATIONAL
Bob Ramsey is a former San Gabriel Valley area coach who created a webpage specifically for our area, ranking the best performers in the Tribune, Star-News and Whittier Daily News area. Here are his top ten boys/girls area track rankings. For individual rankings, click on the thread.

st. francis

walnutgirlRamsey’s latest: We have a new boys team leader, three new event leaders and one change in the All-Time list as we finish the Big Invite portion of the track season.
DThe main action was at the massive Mt.SAC Relays – we are really fortunate to have two of the top high school tracks in the country right here in the SGV! The top performance came from Monrovia junior Sydney Mosey – her 13.88 in the 100m Hurdles placed her third in the Invite race, and she moved from 9th to 5th on the SGV All Time Performers List. Her teammate, senior Cravon Gillespie was 2nd in the Invite 100m with a wind-aided 10.69. In other top finishes at Mt.SAC, SGV record holder Claire Kieffer-Wright (Sr, South Pasadena) as 2nd/5’10″ in the high jump, the Monrovia girls were 3rd/47.42 in the 4×100 Relay, improving their SGV seasonal leading mark, and Eric Knowles (Sr, St. Francis) was 4th in the Invite Triple Jump with a PR and SGV leading 45’1-1/4″
We gained three new SGV seasonal leaders from Mt.SAC – Barrett Weiss (Jr, Flintridge Prep) regained the Pole Vault lead from his brother Gareth with a big PR 15’0″ (4th Seeded), and Michael Dondalski (Sr, Pasadena) continued his massive improvement with a 1:54.35 (2nd Seeded) finish in the 800m. in the Girls 800, where Susie Garza (Sr, Baldwin Park) took over the SGV seasonal lead with a PR 2:16.13 (3rd Seeded).
damien trackSGV 400m leader Ross Niederhaus (Jr, St. Francis) PR’d with a 48.54 (3rd Seeded), and girls 4×400 Relay leaders Arcadia improved to 3:54.85 (6th Invite)
The Cougar Classic, after being rained out on the opening weekend, was contested last weekend with an understandably diminished field. SGV athletes won most of the events, with notable performances coming from Thomas Medina (Sr, Santa Fe) 49.81/400m, Morgan Love (Jr, Charter Oak) 25.75/200m & 57.24/400m, and the Covina boys 4×400 – 3:27.51.
SGV athletes also competed at two small school meets, the Ocean View Invitational and the Russell Cup.
The Arcadia girls are holding steady at the top of the girls SGV Team Rankings. These rankings are based on the number of places in the top ten of the 2014 San Gabriel Valley Performance List. Following an excellent week Walnut moved back to the top of the boys rankings, with Flintridge Prep moving into the first ten for the first time.

SGV TEAM RANKINGS
GIRLS

1. Arcadia
2. Walnut
3. Monrovia
4. South Pasadena
5. Glendora
6. La Salle
7. Muir
8. Bishop Amat
9. Santa Fe
10. Bonita
BOYS
1. Walnut
2. Damien
3. California
4. Arcadia
5. Santa Fe
6. St. Francis
7. Covina
8. Maranatha
9. Glendora
10. Flintridge Prep

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Baseball Rankings and Leaders: Damien’s David Banuelos making a strong case for player of the year hitting .489 with 4HR and 19 RBIs

AREA TOP TEN
1. South Hills (14-3-1) — Why South Hills No. 1 and not Damien? Even though the Spartans won their only meeting so far, still believe the Huskies’ would be better in a long series.
2. Damien (13-4) – Tied with South Hills for lead in the Sierra. When Grant Hockin’s on the bump, they’re extremely tough to beat.
3. Bonita (15-5) — Hottest team of the moment, winners of nine straight which includes a big non-league victory at Harvard-Westlake.
4. Glendora (13-5) — Split with Upland, but still in first all alone in the Baseline. Coach Dan Henley proving again he’s one of areas best.
5. San Dimas (13-6-1) — Strange 1-0 loss to Wilson is only blemish in the Valle Vista. Looking at remaining VVL games, Saints shouldn’t lose again.
6. Bishop Amat (10-8) — Good teams find ways to win close games. That’s Amat’s problem, seven of its eight losses have been by two runs or less.
7. Diamond Bar (13-7) — Brahmas own a victory over Bonita and only sit a game back of the Bearcats in the standings.
8. Sierra Vista (14-2) — A perfect 8-0 in the Montview and only two losses to Monrovia and rival Baldwin Park.
9. Rosemead (10-6) — A perfect 9-0 in the Mission Valley league and swinging the bat very well. Non-league record isn’t impressive but they do own a win over Monrovia.
10. Charter Oak (9-8) — They beat Damien last week. Even though they’re last in the Sierra, how many area teams that you believe should be No. 10 instead of Charter Oak could do that?

damienbase
Above: David Banuelos (No. 18) celebrates with Grant Hockin. Banuelos is chasing an area triple crown while Hockin is 7-1 on the hill for the Spartans.

BASEBALL LEADERS
HITTING

1. Matt Arguello, La Puente, 17-for-32, .531
2. Ryan Viramontes, West Covina, 23-for-46, .500
3. David Banuelos, Damien, 23-for-47, .489
4. Derek Zavala, South El Monte, 17-for-35, .486
5. Eric Hernandez, Sierra Vista, 16-for-33, .485
6. Derrian Torres, Sierra Vista, 15-for-31, .484
7. Kory Brown, Charter Oak, 22-for-47, .468
8. Erick Morales, La Puente, 16-for-35, .457
9. Anthony Cuevas, Los Altos, 23-for-51, .451
10. Michael Guzman, Baldwin Park, 18-for-40, .450
HOME RUNS
4 – David Banuelos, Damien; Francisco Ramirez, South Hills
3 – Nick Hernandez, Charter Oak; Jordan Abernathy, Damien.
RBIS
22 – Alex Gonzalez, Bonita
19 – David Banuelos, Damien
17 – Jordan Abernathy, Damien
16 – Jon Ayala, South Hills; Jonathan Olsen, Damien
ERA
1. Eric Flores, Glendora (0.24)
2. Gavin Velasquez, South Hills (0.72)
3. Peter Lambert, San Dimas (1.00)
4. Alex Garcia, Bishop Amat (1.26)
5. Anthony Deeter, West Covina (1.34)
Win-Loss record
1. Kale Morton, Glendora, 6-0
2. Grant Hockin, Damien, 7-1
3. Gerardo Ramirez, Diamond Bar, 6-1
4. Peter Lambert, San Dimas, 5-1
5. Ryan Mauch, South Hills, 4-0

Note: All stats provided by Maxpreps. If you’re name isn’t on this list and should be, tell your coach to update stats. It’s as simple as that.

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