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Cerritos, Gahr baseball squads off to hot starts

By Loren Kopff

Gahr’s baseball team has dominated the area for a long time but early on in the 2014 season, Cerritos is trying to erase the bad memories of futility for the past five seasons. The Dons, who at one point trailed visiting Downey Calvary Chapel 6-2, erupted for 13 runs in the bottom of the sixth and blasted the Grizzlies 21-8 in a Newport Elks Tournament contest this past Wednesday.

Cerritos improved to 3-1, its best start to a season since opening the 2003 season with five straight wins. The Dons had begun each of the last five seasons losing a combined 24 straight games and had not won a season opener since 2008. In addition, the 21 runs are the most since last season when Cerritos scored 17 at Rancho Alamitos and the 13 runs in one inning are the most since putting together a dozen runs in a 16-6 victory at Rancho Alamitos back on Apr. 21, 1998.

Cerritos took a 7-6 lead backed by a five-run third inning as senior left fielder Juan Rodriguez, junior first baseman Justin Fujii and senior designated hitter Eugene Chang had consecutive run scoring hits. Then with the Grizzlies holding an 8-7 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth, the hosts batted around nearly twice, picking up 10 hits in the process. Fujii smacked a three-run home run while sophomore pinch hitter Jeffrey Liang went two for two and scored twice in the inning.

Chang and Rodriguez each collected three hits as part of an 18-hit attack as the Dons will end the tournament today before visiting Southlands Christian on Tuesday.

Also participating in the tournament is Gahr and the Gladiators advanced to today’s championship game of the Frank Lerner Division after edging Mater Dei 2-1 in eight innings this past Wednesday. Gahr improved to 4-0 and is hitting .302 thus far with three players hitting at least .385 with another four over .300. Gahr will visit Esperanza today and travel to St. Paul on Wednesday.

In other baseball action, Artesia has dropped its first four games of the Loara Tournament, getting outscored 43-10 in the process. The Pioneers will wrap up the tournament on Saturday, before going to Lynwood on Monday.

Norwalk will play make-up games against San Clemente and Capistrano Valley on Saturday as part of the Edison Tournament before hosting Dominguez on Monday while Valley Christian, which split a doubleheader against Sage Hill last Saturday, will host Ontario Christian on Tuesday.


The explosive Gahr offense put a hurting on Norwalk this past Tuesday in an 11-0 victory on a dozen hits. The Gladiators (3-2) got a four for five performance from junior shortstop Deja Portillo and while junior second baseman Brianna Besenty went three for four. Both also drove in a pair of runs. Gahr will play a pair of games in the Northwood Tournament on Saturday before visiting Los Alamitos on Thursday. Junior Deidra Genera and freshman Naomi Dickerson combined on a three-hitter and each struck out five batters as Norwalk made six errors.

Norwalk dropped to 0-3 and has scored three runs thus far as it will play Diamond Ranch on Saturday in the first game of the Whittier Tournament. The Lady Lancers will also travel to El Rancho on Wednesday.

Artesia (4-1) split a doubleheader with Long Beach Jordan this past Tuesday, falling 6-3 in the first game before coming back for a 9-3 win in the second game. In its first game of the season, Cerritos was no-hit by Mater Dei 2-0 this past Tuesday. The Lady Dons, who travelled to Sunny Hills on Mar. 13, will host Paramount on Tuesday.

Valley Christian dropped to 1-4 after falling to Mayfair 5-0 this past Monday at home. The Lady Crusaders will travel to Ontario Christian on Tuesday and go to Paramount on Thursday.


Despite falling to St. Margaret’s 3-0 in a California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section Division VI semifinal game on Mar. 4, the Crusaders were still awarded a berth in the Division III Southern California Regional state playoffs for the first time in school history. V.C., seeded sixth, upset third seeded and San Diego-based Gompers Prep 2-0 this past Monday as freshman Clay D’Amico scored twice. The win set up a rematch with second seeded St. Margaret’s this past Wednesday where the Crusaders lost 3-1. V.C.’s lone tally was from senior Jeremy Stanley. The Crusaders end their season at 16-10-1.



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