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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