Encinas passes first test in bid for berth on 18U National team

(From Cary, N.C.) Gabiriel Encinas pitched solid baseball and today was one of 34 players named to the 2009 18U National Team Trials unit that will begin competition in Cary, N.C.in Sept. 7 early September for spots on the 18U National team that will compete in the in the COPABE “AAA” Pan American Junior Championships scheduled Sept. 25-Oct. 4 in Barquisimetos, Venezuela.
The final 18U National Team roster of 29 players will be announced Sept. 17 following an evaluation period during five days of practices, intrasquad scrimmages and exhibition games.
Encinas, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound right-hander who will be a senior this fall at St. Paul High School and last week was named the Daily News Baseball Player of the year, was impressive over eight innings of work in which he reportedly gave up four hits and one unearned run. Included was a perfect four-inning stint opening day.

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A couple of things … and more stuff

More accolades for La Habra’s Ronnie Hillman. After being named the MVP in the Freeway League track and field finals for winning four individual titles — 100, 200, long jump and triple jump, he is the league’s boy Athlete of the year. Just to refresh your memory, he rushed for 1,137 yards and 16 touchdowns, averaging 12.3 yards per carry, and had 57 receptions for 939 yards (16.4 ypc) a d 14 TDs. He played his best against the best, i.e. in a 28-21 loss to Division I San Clemente, rushed for 116 yards and added 81 yards in receptions. During the season, he had runs of 77, 75 and 70 (twice) yards, and three others of more than 50 yards. …

The report that Highlanders’ defensive back Dominic Sierra has been been offered by Hawaii is correct. Coach Frank Mazzotta confirmed he has accepted the offer. No confirmation the 6-foot-1, 198-pounder will play linebacker for the Rainbows. …

St. Paul pitcher Gabe Encinas texted from a National Showcase camp in North Carolina that he pitched four perfect innings Thursday (” … 12 up, 12 down, with three Ks”). …

The coaching staff for the East squad in Friday night’s Hall of Fame football game at Bassett High School is singing the praises of Pioneer’s Matt Botello. Not surprised here. The mightiest little (5-foo7-7, 185) Titan has long been underrated by everyone but coach Ramon Juarez. Cat quick and more powerful than size would indicate, outstanding receiver out of the backfield and standout return guy for special teams. Coming off an impressive performance in the 605 All-Star Classic.

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All-Area release schedule

The release dates for the 2009 Daily News All-Area selections for spring sports :
Athletes of the Year – June 23
Baseball – June 24
Softball – June 25
Boys tennis – June 26
Boy volleyball – June 27
Boys track – June 30
Girls track – July 1
Boys swimming – July 2
Girls swimming – July 3

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More bits and pieces …

Concerning the reported transfer of Loyola linebacker Bronson Green to
St. Paul, it is not true, at least not right now. A St. Paul school
spokesperson said he is not enrolled and is not working out with the
football program. …

Add St.Paul: The report there is “about 45″ boys out for football is
either misleading or erroneous. As of Saturday, the Swordsmen have
“about twice” that many. …

At this early point in the season (actually, while interest is year
round, the football season doesn’t begin until August), is it really so
important who is the freshman football coach at St. Paul? …

If you’re going to post unfounded rumors that a coach is seeking
numbers for players from another school (the implication being something
illegal is afoot), identify the players, so it can be checked out. Or is
the allegation merely meant to stimulate interest and controversy? …

Anonymous posted the names and specifics of four large bodied
athletes. Nothing else, other than titled “Prospects.” Should it be
assumed there is some type of dubious implication meant there. If it’s
CalHigh of which you speak, say so. If otherwise, say so.

Add Anonymous: You posted “Cal Hi report; ….. We’re looking to go 10-0. Don’t
see much competition in our league.” Pioneer and La Serna might have
something to say about that. Don’t know yet about Whittier and El
Rancho. And as for Santa Fe, best to let the big dog sleep. Much is
being said about the Chiefs and their staff, not a lot of it positive.
Come late November, some of the more vocal folks might be seeking spices
to put on their crow. …

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Titans advance

A 5-yard pass from Steven Del Villar to Eddie Aguirre with about 15 seconds left in the game provided the deciding points in Pioneer’s 21-14 victory over Artesia Sunday in the second day of the Watts Summer Games at Los Angeles Southwestern College.
The Titans lost their first game Sunday to Los Angeles Banning, 20-9, but the win over Artesia was their third in four games and most likely moves them into next weekend’s competition for the Games’ football championship.
Pioneer defeated Fairfax, 26-13, and Morningside, 23-15, Saturday.
Del Villar, who passed for three scores against Artesia, made several crucial, on-target throws that were dropped and proved costly against Banning.
“Overall, we didn’t play our best football today,” Pioneer coach Ramon Juarez said, “but I was pleased with the we way fought back.
“It looked like we didn’t have a lot of emotion after losing to Banning. I think the players were a little disappointed after losing that one. We were down 14-6 going into the second half (against Artesia), but we came back to tie the score, and then got the ball left with about three minutes remaining. Aguirre started on a short slant, then released to the outside to grab Del Villar’s accurate pass.
A decision concerning which teams advance to Saturday’s final rounds will be made Monday, but Pioneer defeated all three of its opponents in its bracket, giving Juarez reason to be optimistic about the Titans’ chances to continue.

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Pioneer in Watts Summer Games

Pioneer’s football program begins the Watts Summer Games Saturday with games against
Fairfax at noon and Morningside at 2 p.m. at Los Angeles Southwest College (1600 West imperial Highway, corner of Imperial and Western, right off the 105 Freeeway). The Titans come back Sunday to play LA Banning at noon and Artesia at 2 p.m.
“We like playing in the Watts Games because we feel there is a good chance we wil see some speed and some man-to-man coverage that we don’t see during the regular season,” coach Ramon Juarez said. “We also like it because its more like a real game than some of the other competitions. We play on a field 70 yards by 50 yards, and you move the ball down the field. You have three downs to make 10 yards and a first down until you’re iniside the 40 (yard line) and then you have four downs. Two twenty-minute, running time halves and one time out per half. It’s all very fast paced.”
There are games starting on two fields every hour from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Rotary All-Stars: Good job all around

The Rotary of Whittier’s 13th annual high school all-star baseball and softball Classics were impressive.
TIn softball, the Red team defeated the Blue team, 3-2. The pitching was solid but not dominating (that’s good), there was enough hitting to maintain interest (that’s good) and there were plenty of standout defensive efforts to keep the game close (that’s very good).
Sonora’s Alexa Limon was the Reds’ MVP after delivering a two-run single for the deciding run. She also pitched four innings in relief. La Mirada catcher Dana Garcia was the Blues’ MVP after getting a double and single. She would have had a third single but was robbed on a controversial call at first base. Priscilla Licon (Whittier) got the win, while Kim Lopez (La Mirada) took the loss.
Sparkling Blues defense was displayed by shortstop Lauren Yao (Cantwell), third baseman Jackie Cisneros (Montebello), center-fielder Marilyn Toriz (El Rancho) and a pair of team double plays. The Reds, who also turned a double play, got key defensive gems from first baseman Sarah Calzada (tiwce), third baseman Monica Robles and Sonora catcher Ariel Tsuchiyama, who would have been a front-runner for Player of the Game had there been such an award given.
The Red team also won the baseball game, with La Serna’s Ben Burke slugging a two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning for a 6-4 victory over the Blue team. The homer earned Burke the Reds’ MVP honor. La Habra’s Jake Garvey, who had a double and single, was the Blue MVP.
The defensive play of the game was turned in by Blue center-fielder Ron Palacios (Pioneer), who made a sliding catch of Chris Carrillo’s (St.Paul) sinking line drive, recovered and threw to second to double up a runner in the fourth inning. His effort kept the Red team from scoring a run when the next batter, Santa Fe’s Francisco Fuentes, singled.
Fuentes pitched two no-hit innings and picked up the victory, and Ryan Ball (St. Paul) had two strikeouts in one inning of work and got the save. Ray Aguirre (Pioneer) took
the loss.
The most important aspect in both games: A good time was had by all.

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