St. Francis of Mountain View wins in both D1 NorCal semifinals at home on Thursday and will take No. 1 state ranking in both sports into Saturday championships. Go inside for scores, quick breakdowns and some highlights from all of the regional semifinals played on Thursday (with one on Wednesday but not including one on Friday).
FOR THIS WEEK’S STATE TOP 35 BASEBALL RANKINGS (DONE BEFORE REGIONALS BEGAN), CLICK HERE.
FOR THIS WEEK’S STATE TOP 25 SOFTBALL RANKINGS (DONE BEFORE REGIONALS BEGAN), CLICK HERE.
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CIF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
BASEBALL REGIONAL SEMIFINALS
D1 – JSerra (San Juan Capistrano) 5, Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 4
D1 – Huntington Beach 9, Villa Park 3
D2 – Etiwanda 12, Birmingham (Lake Balboa) 1
D2 – Torrey Pines (San Diego) 1, Rancho Bernardo (San Diego) 0
D3 – Newport Harbor (Newport Beach) 8, Eastlake (Chula Vista) 2
D3 – Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 4, Grossmont (El Cajon) 2
D4 – Fullerton 10, Burroughs (Burbank) 6
D4 – Tesoro (Mission Viejo) 7, Moreno Valley 2 (Friday)
D5 – Estancia (Costa Mesa) 4, Kennedy (Delano) 3
D5 – Baldwin Park 3, Anaheim 2 (Friday)
JSerra won a rematch of the CIF Southern Section D1 final that also was captured by the Lions. JSerra (25-10) is looking to repeat as champion of this division, but last year CIFSS D1 champ Harvard-Westlake opted out. The Lions enter their final game at No. 2 in the state rankings and to move up to No. 1 will need St. Francis of Mountain View to lose in its final game to De La Salle (Concord). Notre Dame finished 25-9-1. Sophomore catcher Charlie Caruso drove in a go-ahead run to make the score 3-2 on a sacrifice fly and then in the top of the sixth he flipped the ball to pitcher Ben Reimers for a tag at home plate on a runner from Notre Dame looking to score the tying run. Reimers then finished up the game with a perfect top of the seventh.
Villa Park had moved up to No. 3 in the state prior to its game on Tuesday at CIF Central Section D1 champion Stockdale, but couldn’t get past its Orange County rivals from Huntington Beach. The Spartans ended 28-6. Jack Smith struck out 12 for the Oilers (24-9), who also got a 3-for-3 with three RBI game from Tony Martinez.
Etiwanda (27-8) was No. 1 in the state in D2 in 2017 and will be again this year with a win on Saturday vs Torrey Pines (which we have as D1 in our divisional rankings). The Eagles were actually behind 1-0 to Birmingham entering the bottom of the fifth inning, but then scored six times and won it by mercy rule with six more in the bottom of the sixth. Freshman Brady Ebel went 3-for-3 with two doubles and a triple to lead the offense. Dylan Goff went all six on the mound for Etiwanda and pushed his record to 12-0.
CIF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
BASEBALL REGIONAL SEMIFINALS
D1 – St. Francis (Mountain View) 3, Valley Christian (San Jose) 2
D1 – De La Salle (Concord) 5, Foothill (Pleasanton) 1
D2 – Granite Bay 4, Bellarmine (San Jose) 2 (10)
D2 – Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 2, McClatchy (Sacramento) 0
D3 – St. Bernard’s (Eureka) 8, Central (Fresno) 0
D3 – Alpha Charter (Sacramento) 11, Rio Americano (Sacramento) 1
D4 – Colusa 2, Christopher (Gilroy) 1
D4 – Bradshaw Christian (Sacramento) 8, St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 2
D5 – Monte Vista Christian (Watsonville) 8, Durham 3 (Friday)
D5 – Berean Christian (Walnut Creek) 7, Turlock Christian 2
Senior catcher Ryan Lee was the hero for state No. 1 St. Francis in its 3-2 win over West Catholic Athletic League rival Valley Christian. He threw out a runner attempting to steal at second base for the final out in the top of the sixth inning and then in the bottom of the sixth he mashed the only home run of the game. The Lancers (31-4) will now have to avenge one of their losses with a win Saturday at De La Salle to gain the program’s first-ever State Team of the Year selection. VC, which has a number of top underclass players and should be highly-ranked to start next season, ended 25-8-1.
There wasn’t nearly as much drama for De La Salle in its win in the NorCal semifinals over East Bay Athletic League rival Foothill of Pleasanton as there was when the Spartans (26-6) beat the Falcons, 9-6, in nine innings to win the CIF North Coast Section D1 title. Pitcher Donovan Chriss went all seven innings and held down Foothill (26-6) on just three hits. Catcher Anthony Martinez, who should get Bay Area player of the year consideration, also hit his 10th homer of the season.
As the Lancers were playing Valley Christian, there was a lot of phones hooked into seeing whether WCAL schools Bellarmine and Mitty also would win and play each other in the NorCal D2 final. Granite Bay, however, won at home, 4-2, in nine innings over the Bells. Mitty (23-10) knocked off McClatchy, 3-0. Antonio Cabrera (two innings) and Kyle Scritzky (five innings) hurled the shutout for the Monarchs. Granite Bay will be playing at home on Saturday and looking to end at 22-13.
St. Bernard’s and Alpha Charter meeting in D3 is amazing when looking at it from a school size standpoint. St. Bernard’s is only about 200 enrollment and just beat a school with more than 4,000. Nick Dugan of the Crusaders (going to Stanford) is one of their guys, though, and completely stymied Central on a one-hitter in 6 2/3 innings and nine strikeouts. Alpha Charter is a school of only 50 and is closing after this school year. It was begun by former MLB manager Jerry Manuel and does have some good baseball players. The team it beat on Thursday, Rio Americano, isn’t gigantic like Central but is around 1,500 and has a strong baseball program.
Colusa improved to 33-0 with its win over Christopher of Gilroy. The RedHawks can obviously end at 34-0 with a win on Saturday, which would be second on the all-time list of unbeaten teams in state history behind only the 35-0 mark from mythical 2004 national champion Chatsworth. Colusa head coach Eric Lay, believe it or not, has had an unbeaten team before as he was previously at Maxwell (also CIF Northern Section) where his team there in 2011 finished 30-0 and was the top-ranked team in our final D5 state rankings. That team is No. 4 on the all-time state list with Pacific Grove (31-0 in 2011) sitting at No. 3.
CIF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
SOFTBALL REGIONAL SEMIFINALS
D1 – Roosevelt (Eastvale) 7, Camarillo 4
D1 – Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 2, Mission Viejo 1 (Friday)
D2 – Torrance 3, Bonita (La Verne) 2
D2 – Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista) 2, Tesoro (Las Flores) 0
D3 – St. Anthony (Long Beach) 7, Granite Hills (El Cajon) 4
D3 – Temple City 7, Temescal Canyon (Lake Elsinore) 1 (played Wed.)
D4 – Monache (Porterville) 11, Elsinore (Lake Elsinore) 3 (played Wed.)
D4 – Orange Cove 3, Hillcrest (Riverside) 2
D5 – Nipomo 5, Capistrano Valley Christian (SJ Cap.) 3
D5 – Caruthers 18, Garfield (Los Angeles) 6
CIF Southern Section D1 champ Roosevelt trailed 4-3 after the top of the fifth inning to Camarillo, but tied it up a 4-4 in the bottom of the inning and then in the bottom of the sixth Kayla Lyon smacked a three-run homer that held up for the final score. Ashlee Annett drove in the game-tying run on a squeeze bunt and had a two-run single earlier. Eric-Paul Johnson of the Riverside Press-Enterprise tweeted after the game that the Mustangs (28-3) “likely will be missing some key players” for Saturday’s final due to travel ball commitments. The same could be true for whichever team Roosevelt is playing. For the Mustangs to move up to No. 1 for the final state rankings, they will need to win regardless of who is playing and then need St. Francis of Mountain View to lose in its regional final. The Scorpions capped their season at 25-5 and will place in the top 10 of the final state rankings.
The Oaks Christian-Mission Viejo contest had to be moved to Friday due to Oaks Christian’s graduation on Thursday. We know the Lions (32-1) also have players who are under pressure from their travel ball coaches that they “must” play for their travel teams and not in their high school’s regional championship game.
All four of the winners in the SoCal regionals in D4 and D5 are from the CIF Central Section. Capistrano Valley Christian’s loss in D5 also will cause that team to drop from No. 1 in our final D5 state rankings. CVC entered its game with Nipomo at 28-1. Nipomo was just 12-11-1, but does play in a much stronger league and is D4 in our system. Natalie Gleason of CVC did homer in defeat and set a reported Orange County record with her 20th of the season. Key-annah Pu’a pitched a complete game and had three hits for Nipomo.
CIF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
SOFTBALL REGIONAL SEMIFINALS
D1 – St. Francis (Mountain View) 4, Sheldon (Sacramento) 0
D1 – Clovis 6, Del Oro (Loomis) 2
D2 – Benicia 5, Notre Dame (Salinas) 2
D2 – Lincoln (Stockton) 1, Central Catholic (Modesto) 0
D3 – Sutter 8, Bullard (Fresno) 6
D3 – Central (Fresno) 4, East Nicolaus (Nicolaus) 3
D4 – Dixon 6, Carlmont (Belmont) 1
D4 – Monterey 9, Eureka 8
D5 – Big Valley Christian (Modesto) 15, Lowell (SF) 1
D5 – Los Altos 4, St. Helena 2
The lineup at Sacramento Sheldon is loaded with D1-bound players, including Dakota Kennedy (Arizona) at the top, but in the Huskies’ game on Thursday at state No. 1 St. Francis it was the Lancers’ Kate Munnerlyn that had their number. She repeatedly got Sheldon hitters to hit the ball on the ground and ended with a four-hitter. Munnerlyn said her teammate with the Sorcerors’ travel ball team, Carolyn Grimes, who pitches for Del Oro (Loomis), told her that keeping the ball low and throwing drop balls was the key to pitching to Sheldon. It worked. Jaylee Ojo got through the first inning for Sheldon despite the first two Lancer batters of the game getting on base by striking out sluggers Jessica Oakland and Sydney Stewart, but wasn’t as fortunate when she did the same thing in the third. Oakland was struck out again, but Stewart (headed to Washington) hit a three-run homer. Oakland later added a home run of her own for her second in two NorCal regional games and her 21st of the season (one more than Capo Valley Christian’s Natalie Gleason for the state lead). Sheldon finished up an outstanding season at 28-6.
Standing in the way of St. Francis finishing 31-2 and being State Team of the Year will be Clovis. The Cougars (26-6) traveled to Del Oro on Thursday and dispatched the Golden Eagles (who ended 27-5). Lauryn Carranco struck out 10 as she has continued to shine in the postseason. Home runs by Sveva Sweeney and Maddy Henson helped the Clovis offense break through. Lancers’ head coach Mike Oakland didn’t know much about Clovis, but was told how well-coached the Cougars are under Mike Noel. St. Francis just got past a coach with 800 career wins (Sheldon’s Mary Jo Truesdale) and Noel is a coach with more than 700.
Lincoln of Stockton (which we have as D1 in the state rankings) avenged two earlier losses with its 1-0 win over Central Catholic. The Trojans (26-5-1) also won in their NorCal final vs Benicia (24-6) on Friday, 7-1, which was not included in the scoreboard above. Benicia loss creates a tough choice since there were several teams that qualified as D2 in our rankings that opted out of the SoCal regional playoffs, including CIF San Diego Section Open Division winner Otay Ranch (23-8).
A lot of folks in the Northern Section were hoping it would be a Sutter-East Nicolaus matchups of legit small schools in D3. While Sutter got through in its win over Bullard, the Spartans did not facing 4,200 enrollment school Central of Fresno. Sutter will take a 30-1 record into its matchup with the Grizzlies (21-10), who were dropped down to D3 for the NorCal despite reaching the Central Section D1 final. Sutter’s only loss has been to Elk Grove (CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D2 semifinals) and the Huskies also have a win over CIF North Coast Section D1 champion Heritage. It may be an upset from an enrollment standpoint if Sutter wins, but in any other metric it’s not.
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