Baseball: Cal holds on to beat La Serna to remained tied for first in Del Rio with El Rancho, Whittier, who also won

STAYING IN THE HUNT: California players celebrate after scoring a 4-2 victory over rival La Serna to remain in a three-way tie for
first in the Del Rio League.
(Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger)

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
It looked all too familiar.
But this time the California High School baseball team was ready.
The Condors, after letting a lead slip away from them the last time they hosted rival La Serna, wasn’t about to let it happen again.
They didn’t.
Relievers Robert Barraza and Ruben Pinedo saved the day and host California remained in a tie for first in the Del Rio League Friday with a 4-2 victory over the Lancers.
The Condors, also getting two RBIs from Jesse Oropeza, improved to 15-6 overall and 8-3 in league play. California remained tied for first with El Rancho and Whittier, who beat Pioneer (10-1) and Santa Fe (6-3), respectively.
La Serna, which was denied after loading the bases with two outs in the seventh, slipped to 12-9-1 and 6-5. Ryan Cordova had two RBIs for the Lancers.
La Serna also had chances in the final two innings.
The Lancers, getting a lead-off double by Goethe in the sixth, had runners on first and second with one out when Calander drew a walk on a check swing.
But Goethe was running on the play and when California catcher Daniel Marquez threw low to third, the ball ticked off third baseman Michael Davis’ glove and Goethe tried to advance. But Davis’ throw easily beat him home for the second out.
Barraza then struck out Kyle Dow to end the threat.
La Serna loaded the bases in the seventh with two outs. Garcia hit a double to left to advantage pinch-hitter Austin Johnson, who had singled with one out, to third. Goethe was walked intentionally before Pinedo induced Mark Abbate to hit a pop up to right that second baseman Anthony Von Slomski was able to track down to end it.
California coach Tony Nieto: “We lost to them (here) the last time and felt we gave it away. It was pretty much the same situation. We got the lead and they came back. I’m incredibly proud of my players. We didn’t crack today. We knew they were going to challenge us and come back. But we stood strong and we got a big win.”
La Serna coach Anthony Gonzalez Jr.: “We had a lot of chances. We’re always going to battle. It just didn’t happen today.”

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ALL-AREA WRESTLING: Surprise! Santa Fe senior Davis is Wrestler of the Year

TOP CHIEF: Joey Davis from Santa Fe High School was selected
as the Whittier Daily News All-Area Wrestler of the Year. The senior
has won two state titles in the past two years and also won two
national titles.
(Keith Durflinger / Staff Photographer)

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
Santa Fe High School senior Joey Davis, who won back-to-back national championships, might be the best wrestler in area history.
But while some look to his athleticism as the main key to his success, his best trait is one that can’t be measured – his heart and determination.
For his efforts, Davis Whittier is Daily News Wrestler of the Year. Davis, who won the award for the second consecutive season, is joined on the All-Area team by Santa Fe teammates Nico Sanchez (103 pounds), Kioni Villalobos (113), Loucian Ponce (132), Daniel Contreras (136) and Dillon Crouch (152); La Habra’s Elder Cruz (195) and Jacob Rosales (120); Montebello’s Nelson Lucha (160) and Mark Green (heavyweight); California’s Adrian Chavez (126); La Mirada’s Stephen Hart (145); Schurr’s Nicholas Lucero (182) and La Serna’s Travis Graham (220).
Santa Fe’s Sal Garcia is Area Coach of the Year.
“I think of myself, my season like the movie `Troy,’ because Achilles (Brad Pitt) was the best at what he did and everyone knew he was the best,” Davis said. “That was my theory to the season to be like (Achilles). It sounds kind of funny, but that’s how I went into my season.
“I just wanted to be unstoppable, and doing what I had to do to be the best.”

WOY – Joey Davis, Santa Fe, Senior
COY – Sal Garcia, Santa Fe

106-Nico Sanchez, Santa Fe, Sophomore
113-Kioni Villalobos, Santa Fe, Senior
120-Jacob Rosales, La Habra, Junior
126-Adrian Chavez, California, Sophomore
132- Loucian Ponce, Santa Fe, Senior
136-Daniel Contreras, Santa Fe, Senior
145-Stephen Hart, La Mirada, Junior
152-Dillon Crouch, Santa Fe, Senior
160-Nelson Lucha, Montebello, Senior
170-Grant Escobar, Whittier Chr., Senior
182-Nicholas Lucero, Schurr, Senior
195-Elder Cruz, La Habra, Senior
220-Travis Graham, La Serna, Senior
Hwt-Mark Green, Montebello, Senior
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Softball: La Habra takes over first in Freeway League with 7-2 victory over Sunny Hills

TIME TO CELEBRATE: La Habra players mob Amanda Akles (#99) after hitting a home run in
the Highlanders’ 7-2 victory over Sunny Hills Thursday.
(Staff photo by Keith Durflinger)

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
La Habra High School didn’t win the Freeway League softball championship Thursday.
But the Highlanders took a major step toward a four-peat.
Maleena Esparza and Amanda Akles each hit two-run home runs in the sixth inning and Vanessa Ciocatto was steady in the circle and La Habra took over first place with a 7-2 victory over Sunny Hills.
The Highlanders, also getting a two-run single from Racquel Manzo in the third, improved to 16-8 overall and 5-1 in the Freeway League.
Sunny Hills, which handed La Habra its only league loss on April 3, slipped to 10-9 and 4-2.
“I’d rather have a one game lead than be behind by one game with two weeks left,” La Habra coach Frank McCarroll said. “This is the third time we played them. We beat them in the Brea Tournament and they beat us, 6-2, at their place, so you can look at the two scores and decide who is the big dog.
“I thought today we pitched well, we were strong, defensively, and we got some timely hits. Maleena showed why she’s been Area Player of the Year (with the home run). But our freshmen — (Manzo) and (Akles) — had some key hits. They’ve been doing it all year long.”
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Baseball: Cal, Whittier stay in first with wins over La Serna, Santa Fe…No word on El Rancho

Here is today’s scoreboard from the Del Rio League, which began the day with a four-way logjam for first place:

California 4, La Serna 1,
Whittier 6, Santa Fe 0
El Rancho vs. Pioneer — no word as of yet.

So, That would put Cal and Whittier tied for first at 7-3…El Rancho would join them with a win over Pioneer. La Serna is a game back at 6-4.

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