CIF-SS Playoffs: El Rancho’s advances to baseball quarters and is joined by five others; La Habra softball advances; Montebello softball ousted

El Rancho pitcher Vince Fuentes is congratulated by teammates after getting the win over Apple Valley in their CIF playoff game at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera onTuesday May 24, 2016. El Rancho defeated Apple Valley 6-4. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/Whittier Daily News)

El Rancho pitcher Vince Fuentes is congratulated by teammates after getting the win over Apple Valley in their CIF playoff game at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera onTuesday May 24, 2016. El Rancho defeated Apple Valley 6-4. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/Whittier Daily News)

If last Thursday was a Thursday massacre when all but two area softball teams advanced to the second round of the CIF-SS playoffs, then Tuesday was payback for the area, which had all six of its remaining baseball team advance to quarterfinals, led by El Rancho beating Apple Valley, 6-4, in Division 4. La Mirada in Division 2; D4 entries Cal, Santa Fe and Montebello and Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary in Division 5 all won to advance La Habra, ranked No. 4 in the state this week, routed Redlands East Valley, 8-4, to advance to the softball quarterfinals in Division 2. The only area team ousted was Montebello, which lost to Silverado in Division 5.


PICO RIVERA — Vince Fuentes set a El Rancho High School school record for career wins Tuesday, but he was more excited about the team accomplishment – a win to earn a trip to the CIF Southern Section quarterfinals.Fuentes scattered nine hits to score his 21st career victory and the host Dons advanced to the Division 4 final eight with a 6-4 win over Apple Valley in a second-round game.
Fuentes, who moved past Chris Villalobos (2008) on the school’s all-time list, also had two hits to lead El Rancho, which won its fourth consecutive game to improve to 17-14. The Dons will visit Montebello, an 8-1 winner over Century, in Friday’s quarterfinals. Apple Valley finished 13-11.
El Rancho, which upset No. 3 seed West Torrance in the first round, continued to show its confidence by overcoming an early deficit to score four runs in the second to lead 4-2 before getting two in the third for a 6-2 advantage.
The Dons, after the Sun Devils went up 2-0 in the top of the second on consecutive doubles by Tanner Fuller and Joseph Vera, loaded the bases on consecutive singles by Fuentes, Rick Rizo and Johnny Banuelos before Matt Arellano tied it at 2 with a two-run double.
Jason Vela followed with a RBI ground out for a 3-2 lead before Andrew Alvarez singled for the 4-2 advantage.
El Rancho took advantage of two Apple Valley errors to push it to 6-2 in the third, which was highlighted by a RBI single by Banuelos (2 for 3).
The Sun Devils cut it to 6-4, scoring a run on two errors in the fourth and a home run by Ryan Stephens in the seventh. Fuentes, who is 10-4 this season, then sent El Rancho to the quarterfinals by getting the next three batters.
El Rancho’s Vince Fuentes: “Better feeling for me is getting to the quarterfinals. I didn’t win this game on my own. There were some big plays made out there. My third baseman (Andrew Alvarez) made a big play; my second baseman (Jose Guerrero) made a big play. My whole team was hitting and they had my back the whole game. I’d say getting to the quarterfinals is the better feeling.”
El Rancho coach Frank Llanes: “We are a team that doesn’t know how to quit. When someone puts two on us, we’re not going to let them have a shut-down inning. It’s important for us to keep on believing. Our philosophy was to grind out at-bats and work hard. The result was we got a few base hits.”
— Stephen Ramirez
Rancho Cucamonga senior pitcher Logan Rinehart is a fastball pitcher and La Mirada is a fastball-hitting team. So something had to give when the teams squared off in a CIF Southern Section Division 2 second-round contest.
It was visiting La Mirada getting the best of the battle and prevailing 7-1 on Tuesday. The Matadors (23-7) advanced to the quarterfinal on Friday against Redlands East Valley, a 1-0 upset winner over second-seeded Gahr.
The Suburban League champion Matadores racked up 14 hits while the Cougars (17-11-1), Baseline League runners-up, managed just three.
The visitors struck early and never looked back, plating three runs in the second on the strength of five hits and a walk. The big blows in the inning were a two-run single by Omar Myzel and a run-scoring single by Matt Hickman.
Hickman had another in the third to put La Mirada up 4-0.
La Mirada coach Jimmy Zurn: “We were able to get in some good hitting counts and we made some good contact. It’s important against a quality pitcher to put yourself in that position and we were able to do that early.”
— Michelle Gardner

REDLANDS >> Even a back flare-up was not going to hold back La Habra junior Janelle Rodriguez on Tuesday.Rodriguez hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the second inning and later drove in two more on a single in the fifth to help top-seeded La Habra advance past Redlands East Valley 8-4 in a CIF Southern Section Division 2 second-round game.
La Habra (28-1), ranked 17th in the latest Maxpreps Xcelllent 25 National Softball Rankings, will host Rio Mesa in the quarterfinals on Thursday, a day after five of its seniors graduate.
La Habra coach Steve Harrington: “Janelle is going to find a way to contribute and be successful no matter what she plays.”
— CJ Daft

Montebello 8, Century 1
Cal 4, Fullerton 1
Santa Fe 3, Rialto 0
Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary 6, Garey 0

La Mirada at Redlands East Valley
El Rancho at Montebello
Laguna Beach vs. Cal at TBA
Kaiser at Santa Fe
Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary at Paraclete
Silverado 11, Montebello 6

Rio Mesa at La Habra

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