Staff photo by Keith Durflinger
California 8, Whittier 6, 8 innings
By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
WHITTIER – It was beginning to look like the race for the Del Rio League baseball title was Whittier High School’s to lose.
California had other ideas.
Alec Ojeda went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and Robert Barraza and Daniel Marquez scored on an infield error in the eighth and the Condors moved into a tie for first in Del Rio League with the host Cardinals after rallying for an 8-6 victory on Friday.
California, also getting a key two-run single by Nathan Blount in the fifth, improved to 7-4 overall and 4-1 in league play. Whittier, getting three hits and three RBIs from first baseman Michael Vaca, slipped to 10-2 and 4-1.
“I don’t think there was a lot of importance (of where it put us in the league standings),” California coach Tony Nieto said. “It was important for us to not give in and keep battling.
“We are really proud of our team because we found a way to gut it out.”
The Condors, who had six hits during the final four innings, rallied from deficits in the fifth and seventh innings before winning in the eighth.
Marquez, who scored three runs, followed a hit-batter with a one-out double before Michael Esparza hit a ground ball to first that Vaca was unable to handle, scoring Barraza and Marquez for the 8-6 lead.
Whittier, which won in extra innings in two of its four league victories, had its chance in its half of the inning, getting its first two batters on base on walks.
But Damian Salcedo, who led off with a walk, was thrown out at third trying to advance on a pitch in the dirt, and Barraza, who relieved Jimmy Olguin, induced Brandon Fortenberry to pop out. Johnny Salgado, after Jose Romero walked, then flied out to center field to end the game.
“Like I told the guys, it was our turn to lose one,” Whittier coach Eric Ramirez said. “We’ve had some really tough, close games, and we pulled them out.
“Today just didn’t go our way. But you play the averages and if we battle like this the rest of the way, we’ll win some more, and we’ll be fine.”
El Rancho 3, Santa Fe 2, 8 innings - El Rancho Luis Plascencia’s single in the top of the eighth inning broke a 2-2 tie and the Dons were able to survive a late rally by Santa Fe. El Rancho improves to 7-3 overall and 3-2 in league play, while Santa Fe drops to 2-8 and 1-4.
IT’S OVER: La Habra’s A.J. Oviedo celebrates scoring a run during Wednesday’s Freeway League victory over Sonora. (Keith Durflinger / Staff Photographer)
By John Sherrard, Correspondent
LA HABRA – It’s been almost three years since La Habra has beaten Sonora in a baseball game. The Highlanders ended that dubious streak ended Wednesday, and it took them eight innings to do it.
After six consecutive Freeway League losses over the past two seasons, the visiting Highlanders finally defeated Sonora, 8-6, to create a three-way tie atop the standings with Sunny Hills.
With the score tied at 6-6 entering the eighth inning, La Habra (5-5, 3-1) senior centerfielder Aaron Porter led off with a single and came all the way home on an RBI single by first baseman Anthony Oviedo (2 RBIs, two runs). Porter just avoided a tag by Sonora (5-6, 3-1) catcher Andrew Piraino to give La Habra a 7-6 lead while Oviedo advanced to second.
After Oviedo moved over to third on a passed ball and right fielder Omar Villicana (1 for 3, 3 RBIs) hit a sacrifice fly to score Villicana for an 8-6 lead.
La Habra coach and former Sonora assistant Paul Caffrey was elated about his first victory over Sonora after two years.
“Finally, it’s been a while. I have a lot of respect for coach (Pat) Tellers and he taught me a lot,” Caffrey said.
“It feels great, but it definitely wasn’t the way I wanted it, leading 6-3 in the seventh and you expect to get the win.”
Heading North: Cal High running back Justin Dankert, with his parents Joe and Marian Dankert, will be playing college football at Jamestown College in North Dakota.
(Keith Durflinger / Staff Photographer)
WHITTIER – As a football player, California High School’s Justin Dankert is blue-collar.
He did the dirty work in the Condors’ running game, and that type of work ethic, off and on the field, now will take him elsewhere.
Dankert, an honorable-mention All-Del Rio League running back this past fall, recently accepted a scholarship offer to Jamestown College, a NAIA school in North Dakota.
He is the second member of his family and the third position player from California in recent years to receive a football scholarship.
Older brother Joe, who played at La Mirada High School and Fullerton College, is at Quincy University in Illinois.
“In my family, it’s about hard work, not just on the field but in the classroom,” Dankert said. “My dad and mom are teachers, and that’s what they (instilled) in us. It’s good to (see it come to fruition).
“I’m glad to get it done.”
d going away to college. Now I get to do that. I’m excited.”
By Red Williams, Correspondent
LA MIRADA – The mental and emotional impact of high school softball may be buoyant or depressing, a rush or a bummer.
La Mirada’s Matadores were buoyant, almost to the point of giddy, when they rushed past visiting Norwalk, 11-0, in Suburban League play Wednesday. The game was shortened to the fifth inning because of the eight-run mercy rule.
On the other hand, the Lancers are trying to find their way this season and hoping to stave off deeper depression.
“We have a very young team,” Norwalk coach Jason Reyes said, “and one of the main things we’re trying to accomplish is to keep their minds in the game. You could just see them losing their mental edge when we got behind so early.”
Staff photo by Leo Jarzomb
I’m still not back in the office. I’ve been sick the past two days. But here is a story from our own Red Williams on La Serna’s win over Whittier Christian in softball on Tuesday.
WHITTIER – A pitching gem and explosive hitting proved to be the right formula for the La Serna High School softball team.
The Lancers’ Jamie Wren pitched a five-hitter to pace her team to a 6-1 victory Tuesday over visiting Whittier Christian.
Wren (5-2), a left-handed freshman, mixed her pitches well, using mostly her screwball and curve, and kept the potent Whittier Christian bats at bay.
The Heralds were unable to put more than one hit on the board in any inning and were shut out until they scored an unearned tally in the sixth. Wren gave up only one walk.
“Jamie pitched really well, and we had some timely hitting,” La Serna (7-5) coach Ginger Larsin said. “Everything came together pretty well.”
The CIF-Southern Section office released the division playoff groupings proposals for the 2012-14 seasons. For football, not much has changed after tons of speculation that two-time champions West Covina and Monrovia might be moved out. Instead, it appears CIF-SS decided the best approach was to make the divisions stronger by by dumping the Olympic (Whittier Christian) for the Alpha in the Mid-Valley Division and by adding the San Gabriel Valley league, with traditional power Dominguez for the Southeast.
As far as other are teams are concerned: St. Paul and the Mission stay in the Western Division; La Habra and the Freeway stay put in the Southwest. But the Olympic League was moved from the Mid-Valley to the Northwest, which set up a playoff showdown between locals Whittier Christian and Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary. The Southwest, though, gets a bit stronger with Sunset school’s Los Alamitos, Edison and Newport Harbor moved to challenge La Habra.
2012-14 Football Playoff Grouping Proposal
Mid-Valley: Almont, Alpha, Mission Valley, Rio Hondo, Valle Vista
Southeast: Hacienda, Del Rio, Pacific, San Gabriel Valley, Suburban
Northwest: Montview, Del Rey, Olympic,Pioneer, Tri Valley
Southwest: Freeway, Century, Empire, Seaview, Sunset
Western: Mission, Channel, Los Padres, Ocean, Pacific View
Sacramento Bound: La Mirada High football player Andy Gramajo has signed
a letter of intent to attend Sacramento State on a football scholarship. He is
pictured with, from left, mother Diane, La Mirada principal Bill Seals, father Ralph
and La Mirada coach Mike Moschetti.
(Leo Jarzomb / Staff Photographer)
Congrats are in order for La Mirada’s Andy Gramajo, who recently signed a scholarship offer to play at Sacramento State.
The Hornets are a NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (I-AA) team.
Gramajo rushed for nearly 700 yards and ranked among area leaders with eight interceptions last season while helping the Matadores to a share of Suburban League title and advancing to the CIf-Southern Section Southeast Division semifinals.
The senior was first team All-CIF-SS Southeast Division and first team All-Area. He played a big part in La Mirada rebounding from an 0-3 start.
Now, with the Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary boys basketball and the St. Paul girls team out of the playoffs, the winter season is officially over and we can discuss postseason awards.
I have my ideas. But who you bloggers think should be coach and players of the year for for boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, girls water polo and wrestling?
LA JOLLA — Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High School boys basketball coach George Zedan had no visions of grandeur for the Cardinals first trip into the CIF State playoffs.
But he also was hoping for a better showing than what he saw Wednesday night.
Sage Burmeister scored 17 points and Frank Bamford had 16 and host La Jolla Country Day ended the Cardinals’ dream season with a 56-37 victory over Cantwell in a CIF Southern California Regional Division IV first-round game.
The Torreys, also getting 10 points from Nick Schlossberg, improved to 21-9 and advanced to face either Chowchilla or traditional power Price in Saturday’s regional quarterfinals.
The Cardinals, getting 12 points each from Jose Estrada and Jacob Contreras, finished 26-6 in a season that saw them advance to the CIF-Southern Section divisional finals for the first time.
Cantwell Coach George Zedan: “It’s tough to reflect right now. But we’re disppointed for ourselves and our fans. It’s tough to reflect right now. Time will allow for that. Overall, I’m happy with the progress we made this year, and we have something to build off of. It’s just frustrating, because it looked like our group was just satisfied to be here. They made history. They made history for the school, they made history for their team.”
La Jolla The Bishop’s 64, St. Paul 38
Freshman Clarissa Perez scored nine points and Cassidy Carrillo had eight in a losing effort for the Swordsmen in a first-round game.
St. Paul, which last played in the CIF-SS Division 4A semifinals, finished 17-15.
Sorry, for the lateness of this, but Schurr has decided to stay the course and hired from within, choosing defensive coordinator Marco Ramirez as its new football coach. The Spartan alum replaces Ben Negrete, who retired at the end of the 2011 season.
Coach Marco Ramirez: “I’m an alumnus of Schurr. If anything, this is my most desirable job. I’m very excited, happy and nervous to take this job. I’ve also been with the district nine years, so ideally, this is the job I’ve been looking for.
“”I just want to try and maintain the level of play that Schurr has been accustom to,” Ramirez said. “The kids are very familiar with my coaching style. They know how I am and that will be an advantage. We have a challenge ahead of us, because 3-7 is not familiar to us. We want to get this thing back on track. We have a few of our core skill kids back and there’s a lot of energy to turn it around. I’m excited about the opportunity.”