Los Angeles Preps: Brian Mundell

The L.A. North baseball nine

March, 18, 2012
3/18/12
6:13
PM PT
The high school baseball season started a couple weeks ago with a few area teams beginning league play last week. The L.A. North region has some talented teams, including the reigning City Section champions at San Fernando High School. Harvard-Westlake has one of the most dangerous pitching staffs in Southern California. Valencia has one of the most potent offenses. Here is a look at the L.A. North nine, in alphabetical order, the teams to watch in the 2012 season:
  1. Alemany (7-1-1), ranked No. 1 in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 poll, has an ace in Cody Thompson and will challenge Harvard-Westlake for the Mission League championship. Thompson threw five shut-out innings against Dos Pueblos in a 3-0 win on Tuesday. He has given up one run in his first 22 innings.
  2. Buena (8-1), ranked No. 10 in the Southern Section Division 2 poll, is coming off a 6-5 win over Santa Barbara. Senior shortstop Corey Dodge is hitting .680 with five doubles and seven RBIs in the first nine games of the season.
  3. Harvard-Westlake (7-2-1), the fourth-ranked team in the Southern Section Division 2 poll, swept Crespi in Mission League play last week. Starter Max Fried, who had 10 strikeouts in his team’s 3-1 win over Crespi on Friday, will be expected to carry the load for Harvard-Westlake after fellow starter and equally touted Lucas Giolito will have to sit out the season with an injured elbow.
  4. Malibu (7-1), the No. 7 team in the Southern Section Division 4 poll, won its first seven games of the season, including a doubleheader sweep of Channel Islands on March 10. The team is batting .388 and five players are hitting .444 or better. Senior infielder Jordan Simons leads the team with a .567 batting average.
  5. Newbury Park (6-1), the No. 9 team in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 poll, has won four games in a row including its first two in Marmonte League play against Moorpark. Starter Luke Eubank is 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 21 innings.
  6. San Fernando (6-2), the reigning City Section champion, has found an ace in sophomore Alonzo Garcia. He threw a one-hitter against Banning and improved to 3-0 last week. Garcia has a 0.73 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 24 innings.
  7. Simi Valley (6-1), the No. 8 team in the Southern Section Division 1 poll, has possibly the best player in the Marmonte League in senior shortstop Cody Ramer. He hit .470 with five home runs and 25 RBIs in 30 games as a junior.
  8. Valencia (5-1), ranked No. 4 in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 poll, has won four Foothill League championships in a row. The Vikings started league with a dominating, 13-5, win over Golden Valley, but lost to West Ranch, 2-1, on Friday. Valencia has three of the top hitters in Southern California in Trey Williams, AJ Balta and Brian Mundell. Balta, a junior, hit .425 with 11 home runs and 25 RBIs in his sophomore season.
  9. West Ranch (5-1-1) already has a few signature wins early in the season. The Wildcats drew first blood against Foothill League rival Valencia, 2-1, on Friday. Starter JC Cloney shut down the potent Valencia offense, giving up only three hits and striking out 11. West Ranch also beat Alemany, 4-3, in the Easton Tournament, and Chatsworth, 7-6.

LA North: Five things from the weekend

May, 9, 2011
5/09/11
3:23
PM PT
  1. The Camarillo baseball team clinched the Pacific View League championship, 3-2 in extra innings, over Oxnard. Michael Martinez knocked in the winning run with a bases-loaded single in the eighth inning. Hunter Virant had quite a game for Camarillo. He started and went six innings, giving up two runs and four hits. He had three hits at the plate, two doubles and a single, and stole a base. The junior who’s committed to UCLA finished the game in center field and made a running catch. Jayson Balades started for Oxnard and gave up two runs in six innings.
  2. The Valencia baseball team has a one-game lead over Hart with two games left to play in the Foothill League season. Valencia is coming off a 16-13 win over Saugus. It was only the second time this season Valencia has given up 10 runs or more. Both times were against Saugus and both times Valencia won. Brian Mundell hit for the cycle and drove in five runs for Valencia. Hart shut out West Ranch, 12-0, behind six scoreless innings from Garrett Gooding. Steve Rosso had another good game at the plate, going 4-for-4. Valencia finishes the Foothill League season with a pair of games against Canyon (5-8 in league). Hart gets two games against Golden Valley (4-9 in league).

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