Locals off board early in Day 2 of draft

June, 5, 2012
6/05/12
6:29
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Right-handed pitcher Chase DeJong of Long Beach Wilson was selected 81st overall by the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday in the second round of the MLB Draft.

DeJong, a USC signee, has some family history with the Blue Jays. His older cousin, Jordan DeJong, played briefly with Toronto in 2007. DeJong was 4-3 with a 0.82 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 76 2/3 innings in his senior season at Wilson.

Joe Muņoz, a shortstop from Los Altos who has signed with San Diego State, went 90th overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Tyrone Taylor of Torrance was picked 92nd overall by the Milwaukee Brewers. Taylor, an outfielder who also starred on the gridiron, is a Cal State Fullerton signee.

Bishop Amat infielder Rio Ruiz, a two-sport star who was projected as a possible first-round selection before a blood clot sidelined him for most of his senior season, was taken by the Houston Astros with the first pick of the fourth round, 129th overall. Ruiz, a USC signee, was an AFLAC All-American selection and played on the U.S. youth national team last summer.

Kieran Lovegrove, a right-handed pitcher from Mission Viejo, was picked in the third round by the Cleveland Indians. He was the 110th overall selection.

In the sixth round, the Seattle Mariners selected Huntington Beach Edison shortstop Timmy Lopes, the 191st overall pick.

Ron Miller, a third baseman who left Gardena Serra after his junior season, was selected in the 10th round by the Miami Marlins.

Hunter Virant, a left-handed pitcher from Camarillo, was selected in the 11th round by the Houston Astros. He is committed to UCLA.

Trey Williams from Valencia High, a power-hitting shortstop, was picked in the 11th round by the St. Louis Cardinals. He hit .378 with five home runs and 24 RBIs in his senior season. Williams is committed to Pepperdine.

Jordan Guerrero, a left-handed pitcher from Moorpark High School, was selected in the 15th round by the Chicago White Sox.

Reds select Rahier from Palm Desert

June, 5, 2012
6/05/12
10:58
AM PT
The Cincinnati Reds picked Tanner Rahier from Palm Desert in the second round of the Major League Baseball draft. The shortstop did not play for the Palm Desert High School baseball team, opting for a wood-bat league with his spring travel team.

Palm Desert (26-8) won the CIF Southern Section Division 4 baseball championship with a 4-0 shutout over Temple City.

Rahier has a good arm and decent power, according to MLB.com, and will probably switch to third base in his pro career

Lakewood's Watson picked by Phillies

June, 4, 2012
6/04/12
7:53
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Pitcher Shane Watson of Lakewood was selected 40th overall by the Philadelphia Phillies in Monday's MLB Draft.

Watson posted a 1.19 ERA this season, striking out 79 batters in 53 innings to lead the Lakewood to a 25-7 record. The right-hander has signed to play at USC.

Harvard-Westlake's dynamic pitching duo of Max Fried and Lucas Giolito were other Southland pitchers selected Monday -- Fried going seventh overall to the San Diego Padres and Giolito 16th to the Washington Nationals. Fried and Giolito are UCLA signees.

Upland infielder Daniel Robertson, also a UCLA signee, was chosen 34th overall by the Oakland Athletics.

Washington Nationals pick Lucas Giolito

June, 4, 2012
6/04/12
7:52
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The Washington Nationals selected Harvard-Westlake pitcher Lucas Giolito in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft with the 16th pick overall.

Giolito slipped in the draft, but not out of the first round. He was projected as possibly the first pick in the draft before he sprained his ulnar collateral ligament and made only three starts in his senior season.

The right-hander was 2-1 with a 0.84 ERA in his senior season at Harvard-Westlake. Giolito was 9-1 with 78 strikeouts and a 1.00 ERA in 70 1/3 innings pitched in his junior season. He had three shutouts and tossed four complete games.

Giolito is committed to play at UCLA.

Rob Dibble to coach Calabasas baseball team

June, 4, 2012
6/04/12
6:16
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Rob Dibble, a two-time National League All-Star and relief pitcher on the 1990 World Series champion Cincinnati Reds, is the new baseball coach at Calabasas High, sources close to the school said.

Dibble, one of the Nasty Boys in the Reds bullpen in the 1990s, was the MVP of the 1990 National League Championship Series with teammate Randy Myers.

Ed Edsall, the baseball coach at Calabasas for eight years, resigned at the end of the season. Edsall and two-time American League Cy Young Award winner Brett Saberhagen coached the team before Edsall took over the program solely in 2007.

Calabasas was 8-19, 5-9 in Marmonte League play and finished in seventh place in 2012.

San Diego Padres select Max Fried

June, 4, 2012
6/04/12
5:12
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Max Fried, a left-handed pitcher from Harvard-Westlake, was selected by the San Diego Padres in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft. He was taken with the seventh overall pick.

Fried (8-2) had 105 strikeouts and 33 walks in 66 innings pitched in his senior season. He had four complete games and two shutouts with a 2.02 ERA.

He is verbally committed to UCLA, along with Harvard-Westlake teammate Lucas Giolito.

Giolito was a projected first-round pick as well, by he had arm surgery and was limited to three starts in his senior season.

Baseball D4: Palm Desert 4, Temple City 0

June, 2, 2012
6/02/12
9:56
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RIVERSIDE -- The glove was the first thing to go. After that, Brooks Kriske didn't remember much.

The USC-bound pitcher tossed a complete game four-hit shutout, leading Palm Desert to the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 baseball championship with a 4-0 victory against Temple City at UC Riverside on Saturday night.

Kriske struck out the final batter, his 10th of the night, and everything that followed was a blur.

"It's what I was dreaming of, it's how I wanted to end it," Kriske said. "That was the big bang."

Top-seeded Palm Desert scored all of its runs in the first inning, providing the cushion that allowed Kriske to attack hitters. He peppered the strike zone with his fastball. No need to get fancy.

"My off-speed wasn't really there," said Kriske, who improved to 10-3 on the season. "In the first inning, to score four runs, you go in there and pump strikes."

Palm Desert, making its third consecutive title-game appearance, avenged last year's heartbreak. The Aztecs fell to Bishop Amat, 7-0, in the championship last season at Dodger Stadium. In 2010 they beat Torrance, 9-0. Palm Desert (26-8) closed the season on a 13-game win streak.

"This means a lot to the guys that have been here," Palm Desert head coach Darol Salazar said.

Temple City (24-4-1) rallied in the sixth by getting its first two batters on base but couldn't muster any runs. Senior pitcher Calvin Copping suffered his first loss of the season.

Kriske got the final out on a heater, high and away. He turned around, viciously swung his fist and hurled his glove into the air before being tackled by his teammates.

"We had a little practice two years ago," Kriske said. "We're used to it."
NorcoMartin Henderson/For ESPNLA.comNorco, ranked No. 1 in the nation by ESPN HS, won the CIF-SS Division 1 title Saturday.

IRVINE -- Every champion deserves a worthy rival, and Norco has Corona Santiago. The two powers from the Big VIII League have engaged in countless battles over the years, and have combined for six Southern Section championships since 1998.

The seventh championship belonged to Norco, which made plays, got key hits and clutch pitching to score a 6-4 victory Saturday to win the Division 1 championship at Barber Park.

The championship is Norco's third, to go with season-ending victories in 2003 and 2009, in which it beat Santiago. It also capped a season in which the Cougars will finish as the No. 1 team in the nation.

Santiago (23-10), which upset Garden Grove Pacifica -- while it was No. 2 in the nation at the time -- was trying to win its second championship in a row. It also won titles in 1998, 2004 and 2006.

Santiago appeared to be out of the game, but scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to pull to 6-4.

"They're a great opponent," said Norco coach Rick Robinson. "We had a 6-0 lead and I told them to play like it was 0-0.

"I was concerned the entire time."

The tying run was at the plate when the game ended, on Yvon Minogue's line drive back at pitcher Emily Lockman. The Nebraska recruit speared the ball and history.

"It's just really awesome to know I helped my team, I gave 100 percent and in the end we won."

(Read full post)



RIVERSIDE -- Kiel Alcaraz had been away from baseball for close to seven years. He had strayed from the sport, gravitating instead toward football and track at Desert Christian of Lancaster.

Classmates begged Alcaraz to return to the diamond for one last hurrah. After all, he already had the skill set -- the power of football, the speed of track -- and he'd just need some fine tuning. Alcaraz eventually took head coach Dennis Shyrock up on his offer and, as it turned out, the decision paid off.

Alcaraz scored the winning run in Desert Christian's extra-innings win against Capistrano Valley Christian at UC Riverside on Saturday afternoon, guiding the Knights to their first CIF-Southern Section Division 6 baseball title. Alcaraz led off the eighth inning with a loud liner to the left-center field gap. That was the power of football. Next came the speed of track.

"I turned on the jets," Alcaraz said of his clutch triple.

Chance Gusbeth followed by lining a two-strike pitch to center for the go-ahead run. Fitting, if only because Gusbeth, a fellow running back, had been one of the main advocates in Alcaraz's ears after football season.

"It feels pretty good," Shyrock said. "It's a lot of pain and sweat that comes to even get to this game. It was two years ago that we were sitting outside."

Jared Nunez singled in Gusbeth for the two-run cushion, which reliever Justin Tition preserved in the bottom half of the frame. Capistrano Valley Christian had a chance to win in the seventh inning but stranded the bases loaded to send the game into extras.

Little-used sophomore Chris Bradley earned the victory, tossing 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

(Read full post)

IRVINE -- When they played earlier this season for the Mt. Baldy League title, Chino swept Chino Don Lugo.

When they played Saturday for the Southern Section Division 2 championship, Chino dusted the Conquistadores again, scoring a 10-6 victory at Barber Park.

Chino pounded out 11 hits and took advantage of five errors by Don Lugo. Chino scored two runs in the second, three in the third, four in the fourth, and one in the fifth.

Pitcher Miranda Viramontes, who hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning, allowed three hits and struck out nine, but she also walked six and hit two. The worst of it was in the bottom of the sixth when she walked four and hit two, then gave up Kailey Pazzolo's two-run single to cap a five-run inning. It was the only hit of the inning, but by that time, Viramontes had been staked to a 10-1 lead.

"I lost my focus a little bit," said Viramontes (20-4), a sophomore.

It's the first championship for Chino (25-9), which reached the finals only once before, 1985. It's the third loss in a championship for Don Lugo (23-6), having suffered setbacks in 1978 and 1990.

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City Section D1: El Camino Real 5, Chatsworth 4 (9 innings)

June, 2, 2012
6/02/12
6:07
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El Camino Real HS celebrating its City title.Tim Haddock/For ESPNLA.comEl Camino Real players celebrate their dramatic 5-4, 9-inning win in the Division I City title game.

LOS ANGELES -- Pressure is privilege. That is the slogan for the El Camino Real baseball team.

JJ Crane could not have been in a more pressure-packed situation. With his team down a run in the bottom of the ninth inning, runners on second and third with two outs, full count, he hit a seeing-eye single through the left side of the infield that found the fringe of the outfield.

It scored the tying run and was hit just deep enough to allow the winning run to score. El Camino Real won the CIF City Section Division I championship game, 5-4, in extra innings at Dodger Stadium on Saturday.

It was just another day at the office for Crane. He said after the game he didn’t feel any pressure in his last at-bat.

“I wasn’t really nervous because I was in that situation before,” Crane said. “It couldn’t have been a better game. I’ve dreamed about that since I started baseball when I was 3 years old.”

But this was certainly no ordinary day.

Crane, the No. 9 hitter in the lineup, came up with one of the biggest hits in the history of El Camino Real baseball. He had to prove to his coaches that he was worthy to be in that situation.

Coach Josh Lienhard benched Crane midway through the season because his production was lacking and made him work his way back into the lineup. Crane responded and Lienhard was rewarded by putting him back in the starting lineup.

“He’s been a huge catalyst for us down the stretch,” Lienhard said. “He’s done a great job there.”

El Camino Real (22-12) was rolling early in the game. The Conquistadores took a 3-0 lead in the second inning and starter Owen Perry was putting up zeros. He tossed five shut-out innings before running into trouble in the sixth inning.

(Read full post)

Baseball D5: Woodcrest Christian 6, Paraclete 1

June, 2, 2012
6/02/12
5:22
PM PT


RIVERSIDE -- Chalk up another one for adrenaline.

Despite having nine stitches in the palm of his throwing hand, senior pitcher John Davis tossed a complete game to lead Woodcrest Christian to a 6-1 win against Paraclete in the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 baseball championship Saturday afternoon at UC Riverside. Davis struck out seven in a gutsy effort that he could only attribute to his competitive juices.

"I felt the pressure of the game," Davis said. "I had to buckle down and make pitches."

And nothing else mattered, not even the gash he suffered earlier in the week while diving back to first base. Davis baffled Paraclete's batters with a mixture of high fastballs and harsh breaking balls. It was more than enough for Woodcrest Christian, which made a short 15-minute drive here to win its second title in three years.

"This was one of the studliest efforts I've had a kid pull off in a long time," Woodcrest Christian coach Glenn Prater said. "He called me this morning and said he could pitch. I didn't know if he'd throw six pitches or six innings."

Davis surrendered only three hits after the first inning, making luxury of the 5-1 lead he was given after two frames. Parker Strebel's two-run double in the second was the backbreaker.

After the final out was recorded, Davis' only concern was that wounded right hand. He wrapped his arms around catcher Mickey Chupek and held on for protection as the Royals piled up near the mound. Some photographs will show Davis raising his right arm in an effort to avoid contact with his teammates' metal spikes.

(Read full post)

La CanadaMartin Henderson/For ESPNLA.comLa Canada won its second consecutive CIF-SS Division 5 softball championship over Beaumont.

IRVINE -- After winning a Southern Section title in 2011 by one run, La Canada's victory Saturday in the rematch was a walk in the park.

Behind pitcher Lauren Cox and an offense that capitalized on its opportunities, top-seeded La Canada scored a 7-3 victory against second-seeded Beaumont on Saturday at Barber Park .

Cox (24-3) struck out 10 and carried a two-hitter into the seventh inning, when she gave up three, including a two-run homer to Khassady Valdivia.

She hit one batter.

It's the third title for La Canada (26-4-1), which won in 1995 as well as 2011. Beaumont, which lost last year's title game to the Spartans, 1-0, finished 26-5.

Beaumont's rally was too little too late, even though there was a stretch in which four out of five batters hit the ball deep into the outfield.

The consistency in the La Canada lineup provided far more offense than it did in last year's 1-0 victory over Beaumont in the title game. The top six batters in the lineup had scored or had at least one run batted in, and the top eight batters either scored or had a hit.

Catherine Horner scored three runs, Kelsey Drange had three hits, three RBIs and scored a run; and Jessica Ogden had two hits, a run and two RBIs.

(Read full post)

RIVERSIDE -- The eight-year-old school with a five-year-old baseball program has its first section title.

Firebaugh of Lynwood upset top-seeded Hillcrest Christian of Granada Hills, 5-4, to capture the CIF-Southern Section Division 7 championship Saturday morning at UC Riverside, bagging a feat many schools take decades to accomplish. The Falcons scored their runs in the first three innings.

It was quite an unlikely playoff run for Firebaugh, which had been ranked sixth in the final coaches' poll. But the Falcons turned on the switch when it mattered, winning its playoff games by scores of 9-1, 23-1 and 8-0 before defeating second-seeded New Roads 4-3 in the semifinals.

Anthony Rios, Armando Murillo and Francisco Miranda each had two hits for Firebaugh, which finished second in the Harbor League this season. Rios closed it out with 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Pitcher Josh Clark went the distance for Hillcrest Christian, allowing 10 hits in six innings. Offensively, he had three of his team's five hits.

City Section DII: North Hollywood 10, South Gate 5

June, 2, 2012
6/02/12
1:41
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North Hollywood Tim Haddock/For ESPNLA.comNorth Hollywood players react during the postgame ceremony after winning the City Division II title.

LOS ANGELES -- North Hollywood found a field of redemption at Dodger Stadium in the City Section Division II championship game against South Gate.

With a seven-run, third inning, North Hollywood beat South Gate, 10-5, and won its first City Section championship since 1957.

North Hollywood (19-5) sent 13 batters to the plate in the third inning. Anthony De La Torre knocked in two runs with a two-out single. Eddie Torres added a sacrifice fly. The Huskies scored two runs on bases-loaded walks and two more when batters were hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

“We were hungry,” Torres said. “This year, we came out hungry. We came out aggressive swinging the bats. It’s unreal. Words can’t explain it.”

North Hollywood reached the championship game of the Division II playoffs last year and lost, 2-0, to Wilson. The Huskies were not about to let their second chance slip away.

(Read full post)

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