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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW Baseball, softball seasons to conclude while boys volleyball playoffs begin

By Loren Kopff@LorenKopff on Twitter

April 27, 2022~Today marks the final day of the regular season for baseball and softball as the CIF-Southern Section playoffs get under way on Tuesday with wild card action. Anywhere from four to six of the area’s seven baseball teams will advance to the playoffs while as many as seven of the eight area softball teams will compete for a divisional championship.

BASEBALL

In 605 League action, Cerritos High had already wrapped up another league title and began the week by getting past John Glenn High 6-2 this past Tuesday, then defeated Mayfair High 7-2 this past Wednesday to improve to 21-5 overall, 7-0 in league play. The Dons hosted Glenn on Apr. 28 as they get set to host a Division 3 first round game next week. Cerritos, ranked eighth in the division, has matched the number of wins from 2019 and need one more to have the most in school history in at least 25 years.

Artesia High, which seemed to be in good shale for a second place finish, has gone into a slump and following a 12-8 loss to Pioneer High this past Tuesday, dropped to 12-11, 3-4. The two teams met at Artesia on Apr. 28 with the winner tying Oxford Academy for second place. The Pioneers have won twice in their last six games.

In San Gabriel Valley League action, Gahr High is on a roll, having won seven of its last eight games including a 17-1 thrashing of Paramount High this past Monday and a 5-1 home win against Martin Luther King High the next day. The Gladiators (12-14, 6-1) were tied with Warren High for the league lead as Gahr hosted Paramount on Apr. 28 while Warren faced third place Downey High on the same day. Today, Gahr hosts La Mirada High in a preview of soon to be league rivals.

The Matadores are Suburban League champions and had a 19-6-1 overall mark after its 11-0 win against Firebaugh High this past Tuesday. The SGVL and Suburban League will merge into one league beginning next school year.

Norwalk High, ranked fourth in Division 6, defeated Bellflower High 7-3 on the road this past Tuesday to improve to 14-11 overall and 4-3 in the Suburban League. The win officially clinched the program’s first playoff trip since 2013 and the winner of rematch on Apr. 28 will take second place while the loser gets third place.

Valley Christian High was clinging to its slim playoff hopes as it hosted Whittier Christian High last Friday. But the Defenders struggled in the six-inning game, falling to the Heralds 13-0. The loss sent V.C. to 11-13 overall, 3-7 in the Olympic League and in the process, clinched fourth place. Head coach Matt Dahlenburg was at a loss for words after the contest, knowing that the Defenders needed to win its final three games to have a chance of the postseason.

Whittier Christian scored three in the top of the first inning, four in the second, one in the third and five in the sixth and pounded out 15 hits. The big blows were a pair of two-run home runs from Connor Green. He also pitched a two-hitter, did not allow a runner to get to third and struck out five. He also retired the final 10 batters he faced.

The Defenders defeated last place Heritage Christian High 12-3 this past Tuesday and hosted the Warriors on Apr. 28. A win against Heritage Christian would make the Defenders, who would move to 13-13, eligible for an at-large spot if there is one to be had in Division 5. Following the game with Whittier Christian, the school honored the 1992 CIF Division 1A championship team, which went 20-4-1 and the 2001 Division V championship team. Coaches and players from both teams were on hand to partake in the festivities.

SOFTBALL

Cerritos crushed Oxford Academy 21-0 this past Tuesday to move to 14-2, 10-0 as the Dons visited Mayfair on Apr. 28 while Gahr edged Warren 6-4 this past Tuesday in a battle for first place. The Gladiators (18-8, 7-1) split the season series with the Bears, having outscored them 10-9. Gahr ended the regular season at Paramount on Apr. 28.

La Mirada, champions of the Suburban League, had no problems with Mayfair this past Tuesday in a 9-1 victory. The Matadores (20-6, 7-0) visited Firebaugh High on Apr. 28 while league rival Norwalk can tie Mayfair for second place with a win against Bellflower on Apr. 28. The Lancers, ranked 10th in Division 5, improved to 17-7, 4-3 after a 16-0 win against Firebaugh this past Tuesday.

V.C. has five wins on the entire season but will finish in third place in the Olympic League because three of those wins came in league play. The Defenders, who were blanked by league champion Whittier Christian this past Tuesday, visited Village Christian High, who was at 1-5 in league action and Heritage Christian to conclude the season. The worst the Defenders can do is tie Village Christian for third place.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

The CIF-SS brackets were released this past Monday morning and four area schools will be vying for a divisional championship. In Division 2 action, 605 League co-champion Cerritos, which went 20-9 overall, hosted Tesoro High on Apr. 28 while Olympic League champion V.C. (20-2) entertained South Torrance High on Apr. 28. The Defenders were swept by Marina High last season in the Division 4 finals and have won 20 straight league matches while going 61-8 over the past three full seasons. The two unranked teams could meet in the quarterfinals.

In Division 4 action, Whitney High, the third place representative from the 605 League, hosted Katella High this past Tuesday in a wild card match and was swept by the Knights. Whitney ends its season at 11-12.

In Division 5 action, Norwalk, which finished in second place in the Suburban League, welcomed Paramount this past Tuesday in a wild card match and defeated the Pirates 23-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-18. Norwalk improved to 10-9 and visited Hawthorne High on Apr. 28. 

The boys tennis brackets will be released on Monday with Cerritos, Gahr, La Mirada, Norwalk, V.C. and Whitney advancing while in track and field, the 605 League and Olympic League finals took place on Apr. 28 while the San Gabriel Valley League and Suburban League finals are today. 

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