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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW : Area teams beginning to make their moves for postseason berths, league championships


By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter

 

With the spring season ending in less than a month and the CIF-Southern Section baseball and softball playoffs set to begin 32 days from today, the area teams are jockeying for positions that will lead them to either a league championship or a playoff berth. Here’s a look at where everyone is now and key dates in the final month.

ARTESIA

The baseball team is mired in yet another rough losing campaign, the program’s 12thconsecutive. Last season, the Pioneers won just once in 26 games and entering today’s home encounter with Cerritos High, are 1-12. Oxford Academy and Pioneer High have losing records and Artesia High will face those two in the final four games of the season. In addition, Artesia is slated to play Godinez High to complete the Newport Elks Tournament. That game was rained out on Feb. 22.

It’s a different story for the softball team, which lost to Cerritos 7-6 on Mar. 19 in the 605 League opener. The Lady Pioneers hope to avenge that loss on Apr. 9 at home. Meanwhile, the team blanked Whitney High 13-0 this past Tuesday and is 9-3 overall, 1-1 in league as it hosts John Glenn High today and Oxford Academy on Tuesday. The Lady Pioneers are in great shape to go back to the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Before that, the program had not been to the postseason since 1992.

CERRITOS

The school has among the best shots to win league titles in both baseball and softball. The former knocked off Artesia 19-0 this past Tuesday in the 605 League opener for its sixth win in the past seven games. The baseball team stands at 10-6 overall but faces Glenn on Tuesday in the front end of a home and home series that could be for the league title with three weeks remaining. On Apr. 20, the Dons will play in a semifinal game of the St. Paul Tournament. They also host Long Beach Poly High on Apr. 13 in the final game of the Newport Elks Tournament.

The Lady Dons softball team has struggled through the first 13 games, but with a win over Pioneer today, can even their mark for the first time all season. Cerritos will visit Whitney on Tuesday in a critical game for both as those two, plus Artesia are expected to be the top three teams in the 605 League. Cerritos also faces JSerra on Apr. 13 in the first of two games to wrap up the Savanna Showcase and will travel to Downey High on Apr. 20 for a doubleheader.

GAHR

It’s been a very long time since anyone who follows the Gahr High baseball program can remember the Gladiators going through a season like the one they are going through. Gahr knocked off St. John Bosco 3-1 this past Tuesday in the first game of a doubleheader, snapping an eight-game losing streak. The Gladiators then tied the Braves 2-2 and will take a 2-12-1 record into its meeting with Birmingham High on Monday in the opener of the National Classic. The program has won at least 13 games for at least 21 seasons and last missed the playoffs in 1998. The Gladiators have at least 14 games left in the regular season and are in jeopardy of having a losing campaign for the first time since 2008.

The softball team lost the last two games of the Torrance National Tournament after winning the first six games of the season. The Lady Gladiators are still favored to win the San Gabriel Valley League and will visit longtime nemesis Warren High on Tuesday before playing in the prestigious Michelle Carew Classic from Wednesday-Saturday. Gahr will also visit Chino Hills on Apr. 12 in a doubleheader. It will be a rematch of last season’s semifinal game.

JOHN GLENN

The baseball team dropped a 10-1 decision to Oxford Academy this past Tuesday and saw its four-game winning streak halted. At 7-6 overall, the Eagles are still in a good position to not only clinch a postseason berth with a top 3 finish in the 605 League but win the league. The next three games-today against Oxford Academy, Tuesday at Cerritos and Apr. 5 against Cerritos will be crucial if the Eagles want that league crown. The Eagles do not have any more non-league games remaining.

The softball team is standing at 1-6 after its 19-3 loss to Cerritos and are looking at its 29thstraight season of missing the playoffs. The Lady Eagles visit playoff-favorite Artesia today and Pioneer on Tuesday.

VALLEY CHRISTIAN

A day after the baseball team got one hit in an 11-0 loss to Village Christian High, the two teams met again this past Wednesday to wrap up their season series. The Defenders (8-5 overall, 1-4 in the Olympic League), will visit Whittier Christian High on Tuesday in the first of three games next week. Valley Christian has seven league remaining and non-league home contests against Dominguez High on Apr. 12 and Arrowhead Christian High on Apr. 16.

The Lady Defenders softball team last played on Mar. 19, an 8-3 loss to Village Christian, but have seven games remaining in the regular season, beginning with Tuesday’s road encounter with Maranatha High. The team is 6-5 overall and 0-1 in league.

WHITNEY

The baseball team fell to Pioneer 4-2 this past Tuesday in its 605 League opener and will face the Titans on the road today before entertaining Artesia on Tuesday. The Wildcats are 4-3 overall but have the three toughest teams in the league-Oxford Academy, Cerritos and Glenn-to round out the regular season. Meanwhile, the softball team was no-hit by Artesia 13-0 this past Tuesday and are 8-5 overall, 1-1 in the circuit. The Lady Wildcats, trying to stay in the top three in league, visit Oxford Academy today before hosing league favorite Cerritos on Tuesday.

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