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Highlanders wear down Warriors in Freeway League opener

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Highlanders wear down Warriors in Freeway League opener

Posted on 07 October 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

 

FULLERTON— Behind a efficient ground attack, La Habra began Freeway League play with a 24-10 victory over Troy on Friday night at Fullerton stadium.

Photo by Miguel Pola  La Habra quarterback Zack Fogel sprints toward the sidelines in the third quarter to gain a first down.

Photo by Miguel Pola
La Habra quarterback Zack Fogel sprints toward the sidelines in the third quarter to gain a first down.

The Highlanders opened the game just with a picture perfect 70-yard drive, capped by a Zach Fogel touchdown run from the 6-yard-line.

“I noticed that they were really chasing our athletes, so I told coach that I could find a lane and he gave me some chances.”

Eli Anderson had three runs of over 9 yards on the drive. Fogel connected with Prince Ross for 28 yards on the lone pass he attempted to set up the score.

“It’s a big confidence booster when you are getting eight or nine yards on first down carries,” Fogel said. “The coaches put together a great scheme, I give all the credit to the coaches and the offensive line tonight.”

The Warriors ground game appeared to be working on all cylinders as well the first couple offensive series against the stout Highlander defense, but both drives stalled out after costly penalties.

Troy managed to salvage a 28-yard field goal though, to make it 7-3 heading into the second quarter.

The Highlanders ran into similar fate on both second quarter possessions, taking it all the way down inside the 1-yard-line, before a false start on third-down forced a chip shot field goal.

Photo by Miguel Pola  La Habra Senior Eli Anderson scoots around the outside for a 12-yard gain.

Photo by Miguel Pola
La Habra Senior Eli Anderson scoots around the outside for a 12-yard gain. Anderson finished the night with 82 yards.

The Highlanders would get the ball right back after Derick Corso intercepted Josiah Norwood’s pass and returned it 33 yards to the Highlander 49-yard-line.

A couple penalties late in the ensuing drive caused La Habra to turn the ball over on downs and put up another score before the end of the half.

The Highlanders began second half with Madison Wheeler helming the pistol, but went nowhere and wound up giving Warriors great field position at the Highlander 49.

The Warriors capitalized a few plays later with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Norwood to Mikale Hill to bring them even 10-10.

La Habra responded on next series and pulled away for good.

Wheeler and Jakobah Fuamatu took turns carrying the ball inside, moving the drive all the way down inside the 10. Fogel finished the drive by connecting with Ross on a slant for a 9-yard touchdown.

The Highlanders added another score on a 2-yard run by Wheeler in the fourth quarter. Wheeler set up his touchdown when he took a fake punt 11 yards for a first down to keep the drive alive.

The Highlander defense locked down Troy’s offense the rest of the way to secure the two-score victory.

Corso had a standout defensive performance for the second consecutive game. He finished with an interception and batted down four more passes.

“[Corso] is one of the best at playing the ball in the air, he has a knack for it,” Head Coach Frank Mazzotta said.

Photo by Miguel Pola

Photo by Miguel Pola

“Preparation during the week really gives you confidence when you come out here, so you just have to be confident and know what you are doing, that’s really what it is,” Corso said.

La Habra pounded the ball inside with four different ball carriers, totaling 230 yards on the ground. Anderson dominated the first half carries and finished with 82 yards.

Mazzotta turned to Fuamatu and Wheeler to close out the game. Fuamatu didn’t have a carry in the first half, but finished with 54 yards. Most of which came in the final quarter. Wheeler finished with 51 yards and a touchdown.

The Warriors ran the ball well in stretches, but were unable to finish several drives due to penalties and a sporadic passing game. Norwood led the rushing attack for Troy with 54 yards. Skyler Taylor had 41 yards on the ground.

“We are inching our way into being a good football team, but we are not there yet,” Mazzotta said.

The Highlanders will look to make it three straight against cross town rival Sonora (0-6) at home next Friday.

 

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Raiders battle Warriors to win on the road

Posted on 18 January 2015 by La Habra Journal

By Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

In a physical battle between the Raiders and Warriors, Christian Rhodes’ 23 points pushes the Raiders to a 72-69 victory.

Sonora's Christian Rhodes' 23 points helped lead the Raiders past Troy Friday.

Sonora’s Christian Rhodes’ 23 points helped lead the Raiders past Troy Friday.

“I am so beat up. I’m so beat up, I was taking shots all game long, Rhodes said, “but it feels good, that we came out with a victory.”

The Warriors (11-8, 1-1) were led by Jason Choi, who scored 29 points, leading all scorers on the night.

While the Raiders (15-3, 2-0) maintained a narrow lead the entire game, it was their lackluster defense which allowed Choi and the Warriors to hang around.

“I found out tonight we can’t play defense, not even a little bit. Not even a little bit, they’re barely interested in guarding, all we try to do is score. Worst defense I’ve seen in 25 years,” head coach Mike Murphy said.

Choi scored 10 points in the first quarter but was scoreless in the second and had 15 points after three quarters.

But after Sonora stretched their lead to 10 points, heading into the fourth, Troy began to surge.

“We not only couldn’t guard them, they scored in four seconds. We didn’t even resist a little bit. There was no resistance there tonight. We were awful, we were horrible,” Murphy said.

Choi went to work, en route to 12 fourth quarter points from the foul line and inside the paint.Sonora basketball vs Troy January 16, 2015

But Christian Rhodes also was in the midst of a fine night.

“Christian Rhodes was fantastic, he was fantastic, he played really well,” Murphy said.

Rhodes however was taking a beating in the process.

“I’m gonna go home and nap,” Rhodes said about his postgame plans.

After Rhodes drew contact on a fastbreak, Troy was called for a technical foul.

Rhodes was three for four from the foul line before the fourth quarter, but knocked down seven of eight in the fourth alone.

Murphy added four points in the paint, but the rest of the Raiders 14 fourth quarter points came on free throws.

During the third quarter, with just a four point lead coming out of halftime, coach Murphy let Kevin Marlow and Jason McClung start the quarter, instead of Ashaad Womack and Josh Rodriguez.

Rodriguez struggled with foul trouble the entire game, and Murphy preferred Marlow’s defensive effort.Sonora basketball vs Troy January 16, 2015

“Marlow played really big, those are the only two guys, we just can’t guard,” Murphy said about Marlow and Rhodes, “that’s all we’re gonna talk about for the next couple weeks.”

“We have such a deep team, one player goes down, the next one will step up and that’s what happened today,” Rhodes said.

When Murphy put his starters back, it seemed like a different team.

“If you don’t play with effort you don’t have  a chance,” Murphy said.

Womack looked inspired, hedging on screens, providing good help defense and looking for rebounds.

“He played a lot harder in the second half,” Murphy said about Womack.

With the change in intensity, the Raiders were able to get out on the break, creating open shots for their guards.

In addition to his defense, Marlow knocked down two three-pointers for six of his nine points.Sonora basketball vs Troy January 16, 2015

“It was amazing, if he doesn’t have those threes, we don’t win this game,” Rhodes said. “he’s got a lot of promise in the future, and we’re really lucky to have him,”

Christian Rhodes added two threes as well, and Steven Murphy continued his activity down low with 19 points in the game.

“Steven Murphy has been playing better every game, he’s getting better and better,” Murphy said.

Matt Mickle scored 14 points but only three came in the second half.

The Raiders and Warriors were separated by 2 points after the first quarter.

Josh Rodriguez scored his only five points in the first quarter.

Ben Rico had nine of his 10 points in the first half.

The Raiders will head to Fullerton on Wednesday January 21 for their next game.

Sonora basketball vs Troy January 16, 2015

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Sonny, Raiders’ defense shut down Patriot to advance to second round

Posted on 22 May 2014 by La Habra Journal

Sonora starting pitcher Evan Sonny winds up to pitch against Patriot in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs, Thursday afternoon at Sonora High. Photos courtesy of Kurt Blodgett

Sonora starting pitcher Evan Sonny winds up to pitch against Patriot in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs, Thursday afternoon at Sonora High. Photos courtesy of Kurt Blodgett

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

Last year, Sonora pitcher Evan Sonny missed the playoffs after a four-day hospital visit forced an early end to his junior season.

The now senior pitcher admitted he was a little anxious heading into his first varsity playoff start on Thursday afternoon, but settled midway through the game and delivered a complete game shutout as the Raiders topped Patriot 2-0 at home in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs.

Sonny allowed two hits, the second coming with two outs in the third inning. With help from his defense, he retired the last 12 Warriors he faced.

“I think I tried to overthrow a little bit early, but once I got my off-speed stuff working, everything came into play,” Sonny said. “I was anxious, I was ready to get out there. Our coach always says good teams find a way to win even when they’re off and I feel that’s what we did today, we found a way to win.”

In all, Sonny allowed three baserunners, two of which were thrown out at second base. Sonny faced 22 total batters, one more than the minimum for a seven-inning game.

Patriot (12-15) had only one runner in scoring position as Justin Thomas was allowed second base after a throwing error during a double-play attempt in the first inning.

Sonora’s defense was key, the infield recorded 17 outs and Sonny struck out four batters. Aside from one hit in the first inning, a chopper over third-baseman JP Sarro, none of Patriot’s swings reached the outfield.

“We tell the guys if you get to this point of the year that you have to make plays,” said Pat Tellers, Sonora head coach. “We made some plays today, Gavin [Blodgett] made some big plays at shortstop. We also challenged them and we were able to take advantage of a couple mistakes.”

However, as great as Sonora’s pitching and defense were on the afternoon, the bats struggled. Sonora recorded just two base hits, both in the fourth inning.

Sonora shortstop Gavin Blodgett prepares to throw to first after fielding a tough chopper up the middle during the seventh inning of Sonora's first-round 2-0 win over Patriot, Thursday afternoon at home.

Sonora shortstop Gavin Blodgett prepares to throw to first after fielding a tough chopper up the middle during the seventh inning of Sonora’s first-round 2-0 win over Patriot, Thursday afternoon at home.

Despite an erratic performance by Warriors’ starting pitcher Andrew Martinez, Sonora’s willingness to chase pitches helped his cause early on.

Sonora (21-6-1) was held without a hit until Gavin Blodgett singled to lead off the fourth inning. Two batters later, Jake Rosander doubled to deep left-center field to put runners on second and third base.

Justin Mellano plated the Raiders’ first run with a sacrifice fly to right field in the fourth inning. Blodgett scored from third base as the throw sailed wide right of the plate.

“We didn’t execute well offensively, we didn’t get bunts down well today,” Tellers said. “I liked the way we drove the ball, but they must have had something on us because their outfield was playing deep. They tracked them down and made them fly-ball outs.”

Patriot shortstop Luis Perez bobbled a ground ball by Blodgett in the fifth inning, allowing Sonny to score and give the Raiders a 2-0 lead.

Sonny and the defense took care of the rest as Sonora cruised into the second round and extended their current win streak to 16 games.

The Raiders will face Century in the second round. Century, the champion of the Orange League, defeated Monrovia 2-0 on Thursday afternoon. A coin flip will determine the site of the game.

“It’s about making plays and we did, that’s why we’re continuing,” Tellers said. “It doesn’t matter who you play at this time, they’re all good, you never know what you’re going to run into. We just have to prepare for our next opponent and we get to do that, starting tomorrow or tonight.”

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Highlanders swept by Troy as offensive woes continue

Posted on 05 May 2014 by La Habra Journal

La Habra's Chris Nuanes pitched three shutout innings before Troy scored three runs on him in the fourth inning, leading to a 3-1 loss on the road, Monday afternoon.

La Habra’s Chris Nuanes pitched three shutout innings before Troy scored three runs on him in the fourth inning, leading to a 3-1 loss on the road, Monday afternoon.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

From an offensive standpoint, the La Habra baseball team has nearly executed its gameplan to completion over the past week with the exception of one aspect: scoring runs.

In a make-up game due to poor air quality last Wednesday, the Highlanders took advantage of an erratic performance by Troy starting pitcher Evan Frobisher in order to get on base and used sacrifice bunts to move runners into scoring position.

However, La Habra couldn’t come up with key base hits to bring runs home, stranding 10 runners in a 3-1 loss to Troy, Monday afternoon at Troy High.

“We did a very good job at getting them on and getting them over, we just failed at getting them in,” said John Sothern, La Habra head coach. “Sometimes you have a guy that squares a ball up and just hits it to somebody, I can live with that. We had guys in full counts reaching for balls out of the zone and putting it in play with a pop up or weak ground ball when it could have been ball four.”

La Habra’s lone run in the first inning was the product of a sacrifice fly ball off the bat of Michael Borg with the bases loaded, scoring Andrew Gallegos from third base.

The Highlanders (11-12, 5-6) loaded the bases with one out in the second inning and again with no outs in the fourth inning. On both occasions, La Habra came up empty-handed.

“The last two games were must-win games for us, so getting the execution was huge,” Sothern said. “We did a great job of making [Frobisher] labor, we did a lot to force him to rush to the plate and get him out of his rhythm, but if we don’t jump on a guy who is in that situation, we give them the momentum.”

For three innings, starting pitcher Chris Nuanes controlled Troy’s bats, limiting the Warriors to just two hits.

However, in the fourth inning, after La Habra’s failed attempt with the bases loaded, Troy (10-11, 7-4) rode the momentum to the tune of three runs on five singles.

Singles by Jonathan Banuelos and Michael Lozano, along with a walk to Kris Amparo, loaded the bases for the Warriors with no outs.

Pinch-hitter Brett Boller and catcher Ryan Park collected RBI-singles, while another came home when Matthieu Bouchard grounded into a double play.

“In the top half of the inning, [La Habra] kept getting guys on base and it’s a momentum changer when you have situations like that and you can’t score,” said Dave Shirota, Troy head coach. “In the dugout, we felt like we were going to score a couple runs and pull this one out. It was another good game, both teams played defense and pitched well, we just got some timely hits and that was the difference.”

La Habra stranded four base runners in two innings against Troy reliever Kevin Deming, including two runners at third base.

Lozano pitched a perfect seventh inning to secure the season sweep for the Warriors. Frobisher earned the win, pitching four innings and allowing one run on four hits while striking out two batters and walking three.

The win also puts Troy two games ahead of La Habra and Fullerton for second place and keeps the Warriors alive for a share of the league title with Sonora.

“We know Fullerton is looming and we know they’re a good team, like La Habra,” Shirota said. “Every team poses a problem for us and I believe we pose a problem for everyone. It’s great to see our guys pulling out close games. We’re a young team and La Habra’s a young team, so we look at this and think there will be plenty of close games in the next couple years. We didn’t think we’d sweep this year, so our guys are excited.”

The Highlanders were aided by two sharp relief innings by Carlos Lomeli, who allowed just two base runners, one of which was picked off in a double play.

Kyle Schuh led the way offensively with two of the Highlanders’ three bunt singles on the afternoon. Jake Tourville reached third base twice after a walk and a hit-by-pitch.

Nuanes took the loss, pitching three-and-two-thirds innings and giving up three runs on seven hits while striking out four batters.

The Highlanders, in the midst of a three-game week, will now set their sights on Sonora, starting with a home game, Wednesday afternoon.

“In terms of us playing, I felt we played fairly well from a defensive perspective,” Sothern said. “From an offensive perspective, I don’t care how many hits we get, because it doesn’t always equate to runs. We need to be able to score and we’ve hit a rough patch with that. Ultimately, it comes down to our guys doing whatever it takes and if they don’t, this is the result we’ll see the vast majority of the time.”

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La Habra can’t overcome early trouble, falls to Troy

Posted on 05 May 2014 by La Habra Journal

La Habra's Robert Leffler (shown against Los Altos) escaped early trouble and threw a complete game, but the Highlanders were shutout by Troy's Brett Boller in a 3-0 loss, Friday afternoon at home.

La Habra’s Robert Leffler (shown against Los Altos) escaped early trouble and threw a complete game, but the Highlanders were shutout by Troy’s Brett Boller in a 3-0 loss, Friday afternoon at home.

by Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

La Habra baseball’s starting pitcher Robert Leffler pitched a complete game, but was outdueled by Troy pitcher Brett Boller in a 3-0 loss to the Warriors, Friday afternoon at La Habra High.

What separated the two starting pitchers was a strong start. Leffler fell into an early jam, which led to two runs in the first inning.

From there, Troy’s Boller kept the La Habra offense at bay, scattering five base hits in a complete game shutout.

A single, walk and a catcher’s interference had the Warriors in business early. They pushed across two runs before Leffler settled in.

“I thought he settled down after the first three hitters and did a good job putting the ball in play,” said John Sothern, La Habra head coach.

Leffler appeared to be a completely different pitcher from then on with a one-two-three second inning and finished his day with six innings of one run baseball.

“He was competitive, 80 pitches in seven innings, for the most part he pitched like our No. 1 pitcher today,” Sothern said.

With the loss, the Highlanders fall to 5-5 in league play and 0-2 against Troy.

The Highlanders will visit Troy on Monday in a make-up game after Wednesday’s game was cancelled due to poor air quality.

The Highlanders struggled to string together hits off of Boller who utilized a curveball and good location of his pitches.

“It’s a matter of not making adjustments,” Sothern said. “Their pitcher’s not throwing hard, and instead of us just letting the ball travel and using the entire field, we’re seeing these pitches that are hittable, or maybe just out of the zone, and trying to do too much with it. When you try and do that, you’re not going to get the results you want.”

The Highlanders did begin to find success in the fifth inning. Kyle Schuh laid down a bunt-single with one out in the inning.

Chris Nuanes followed Schuh with a double to the gap on a liner over the second baseman’s head.

The Warriors huddled at the mound before setting down the next two batters on a lineout and a flyout to escape without any further damage.

With two outs in the sixth inning, Brad Hoffrichter reached third base on a fly ball, which the Troy right fielder lost in the sunlight.

Jake Tourville came in to pinch hit but lined out to end the inning.

Again with one out, Schuh came up in the seventh inning and singled up the middle. Schuh showed great plate discipline reaching first base with two strikes.

“He’s had good at bats, he’s done good things he just doesn’t have the average to show for it but it was nice to see him today,” Sothern said. “He lays down that bunt, beats it out, then he ends up with the two strike single up the middle, something we preach all the time, so I was very happy to see that from him today.”

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Key runs vault Heritage Christian past Heralds at home

Posted on 25 April 2014 by La Habra Journal

Whittier Christian's Jimmy West hits around a block attempt by Heritage Christian's Caleb Walden and Mike Otazu during the fourth set of the Heralds' 3-1 loss at home, Thursday night.

Whittier Christian’s Jimmy West hits around a block attempt by Heritage Christian’s Caleb Walden and Mike Otazu during the fourth set of the Heralds’ 3-1 loss at home, Thursday night.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

With an opportunity to force a tie atop the Olympic League standings, the Whittier Christian boys’ volleyball team stumbled in the third and fourth sets, falling to Heritage Christian 3-1 at home, Thursday night.

After falling in a close first set, the Heralds battled back to tie up the match with a convincing second set. However, the Warriors came up with key runs toward the end of the final two sets, leading to a 21-25, 25-17, 20-25, 18-25 final for Whittier Christian.

The loss also marks the Heralds’ first at home this season.

“This win is huge, they’re a quality team and we know we’re going to get everyone’s best shot in league,” said Sheldon Sheehy, Heritage Christian head coach. “You have to come prepared each and every night in order to take that and come out on top.”

The difference was in the swings, as the Heralds second set victory produced 15 kills and no service errors, while the other three sets were hindered by hitting errors.

Whittier Christian (17-7, 4-2) had its offense running smoothly in the second set, as Jimmy West tallied five kills, while Ron Bellamy added four more from the middle blocker position.

Setter Austin Tafoya tallied 14 assists in the set and added a serving ace as the Heralds’ lone deficit was at 1-0.

Whittier Chrisitan's Austin Tafoya blocks an attack by Heritage Christian during the fourth set of the Heralds' 3-1 loss at home to Heritage Christian, Thursday night.

Whittier Chrisitan’s Austin Tafoya blocks an attack by Heritage Christian during the fourth set of the Heralds’ 3-1 loss at home to Heritage Christian, Thursday night.

“In the first game, we had only five kills and 10 hitting errors and we’re a team that needs to find a rhythm early,” said Chris Duran, Heralds head coach. “In the second set, we executed at a higher level and maintained the momentum throughout that entire game. It’s something that we can’t lose, we just couldn’t get over the hill in the later games, but we’re more than capable of doing that.”

But as quickly as the Heralds gained momentum, the Warriors took it back late in the third set. After battling back to a one-point deficit at 16-15, four consecutive errors by the Heralds gave Heritage Christian the separation it needed to close out the set.

The fourth set remained tight, as both teams battled to a 16-16 tie midway through.

However, the front-line presence by Heritage Christian made it difficult for Whittier Christian’s hitters to get solid shots.

“We just couldn’t hit around the block, which led to a lot of errors, they’re a great defensive team,” Duran said. “They’re a great serving team too, they put the ball where it needs to go, which takes us out of rhythm offensively. There were plays that seemed too good to be true for us not to put the ball down. We missed those moments tonight.”

The Warriors (19-0-1, 5-0) ended the match on a 9-2 run, with the final three points coming by way of consecutive serving aces by junior Caleb Walden.

Whittier Christian's Danny Mueller records a kill through the block by Heritage Christian's Luke Irving during the third set of the Heralds' 3-1 loss, Thursday night at home.

Whittier Christian’s Danny Mueller records a kill through the block by Heritage Christian’s Luke Irving during the third set of the Heralds’ 3-1 loss, Thursday night at home.

“Our front line presence was big, we scouted and kind of knew what they were going to try to do at the net,” Sheehy said. “We wanted to take away their primary option and make them try to hit their secondary shot and put diggers there. It didn’t really pay dividends until the third and fourth sets, but we finally got there.”

Jimmy West and Shawn Stolt led the team offensively, while senior libero Kevin Hoskins kept plays alive with some spectacular work on the back line.

Outside hitters Stephen Doerbecker and Walden led the way for Heritage Christian, with Mike Otazu providing the assists.

Whittier Christian will attempt to bounce back with a tough road match against rival Valley Christian, Tuesday night at Valley Christian High.

“We’re hoping to finish out with a second place finish, which will set us in a good spot for playoffs,” Duran said. “We’re hoping for 20-7, which would be a great season for us, but we’re taking it one game at a time. Valley is going to be tough, they took us to five games the first time around and it’s always tough playing in their place.”

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Heralds squeeze out a league win over Heritage Christian

Posted on 22 April 2014 by La Habra Journal

Whittier Christian's Mike Rafter (shown against Crean Lutheran) scored the Heralds' first run in the first inning during Whittier Christian's 3-2 walk-off win over Heritage Christian, Tuesday afternoon.

Whittier Christian’s Mike Rafter (shown against Crean Lutheran) scored the Heralds’ first run in the first inning during Whittier Christian’s 3-2 walk-off win over Heritage Christian, Tuesday afternoon.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

Despite falling from his job as a starter at first base, Whittier Christian senior Dakota Veltkamp knew that he needed to stay ready in case his number was called for a pinch hit late in a ball game.

The senior’s preparedness paid off for the Heralds as he executed a squeeze bunt to give his team a much-needed 3-2 walk-off win over Heritage Christian, Tuesday afternoon at Whittier Christian High.

“I was waiting for my chance to get a hit, I was in a bit of a slump,” Veltkamp said. “Coach gave me the squeeze play and I couldn’t say no to him, I had to sell out…. I needed a boost, I was back in the bullpen taking dry hacks waiting for an at-bat and Coach told me to be ready. It worked out in our favor.”

Veltkamp’s bunt was pushed back to the pitcher as Cooper Hughes came home from third base to cap a two-run seventh inning for the Heralds.

The Warriors (8-13, 1-4) had no shot at beating Hughes to the plate.

“We had a bunch of opportunities, but couldn’t get it in,” said Brent Lavoie, Whittier Christian head coach. “Offensively we got a little stagnant and left a bunch of runners on base. We needed multiple runs in the first inning, we got one but then we lined into a double play. We left a few opportunities out there.”

Joseph Cobian also played a factor late, plating the game-tying run with a double to right-center field.

The big hit was preceded by two fielding errors by Heritage Christian, which put runners on first and second base with one out.

Cobian earned the win, pitching in relief of Jake Rivera, who gave up two runs on two hits in five-and-two-thirds innings. Rivera struck out three batters, walked three and hit one batter.

“Jake pitched really well for us today,” Lavoie said. “I feel bad that he didn’t get the win, he certainly deserved it.”

Equally as effective was Heritage Christian’s freshman pitcher Benji Foyle, who gave up three runs, only one of which was earned, despite giving up eight hits. The freshman allowed a first-inning run, but held the Heralds in check until the final frame.

“Three weeks ago, we made the decision that we needed to rebuild, so we called up a couple freshmen pitchers,” said Bobby Bell, Heritage Christian head coach. “Benji’s thrown really welly for us, I’m extremely proud of the kid.”

Foyle was given the lead in the sixth inning after the Warriors brought home two runs on a squeeze bunt by Anthony Aragon and a double steal attempt in which Aragon was caught between first and second base.

In the seventh inning, the Warriors threatened for more with runners on second and third base and nobody out.

The Warriors attempted another squeeze play, but Cobian’s pitch went behind the batter, which started a long series of throws that ended with tags of both baserunners.

“We had to go that route, their pitcher was doing a great job of keeping us off balance and we weren’t hitting the ball well,” Bell said of the small-ball approach. “When you’re not doing that you have to somehow apply pressure and we got it done. It didn’t work with the double play they executed in the seventh inning.”

With one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Mike Rubio and Hughes both reached on bad throws, which set the stage for Cobian and Veltkamp’s heroics.

Earlier in the ball game, Cobian popped out to end the fifth inning with the bases loaded.

“In the previous at bat, after popping up, my mentality was that I needed to make an adjustment and get on top of something,” Cobian said. “It was a little nerve-wrecking to see the ball falling and two outfielders closing in on it, but when it fell, it was a big relief.”

Whittier Christian (11-9, 3-4) scored its first run before it recorded an out in the first inning. Mike Rafter and Brian Rafter started the inning with back-to-back doubles.

The Heralds threatened later with runners at first and second base, but Hughes lined into a double play and Cobian struck out to end the threat.

Whittier Christian hit into three double plays on the day, one of which prevented a run from scoring in the fourth inning.

On the other side, the Heralds were good defensively, only allowing one runner to reach via throwing error after making a few switches in recent weeks.

“We’ve had some good pitching, but we’ve had some defensive miscues,” Lavoie said. “Moving Rubio to third and Cobian to first base really cleaned us up. When you pitch well you have to take care of the ball defensively.”

The Heralds will close out their three-game set with Heritage Christian with a road game at the Mission Hills Senior League field in North Hills, Friday at 3:15 p.m.

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Guadaramma’s single helps Raiders survive Troy in extras again

Posted on 17 April 2014 by La Habra Journal

Henry Bustamante (pictured against Murrieta Mesa) drove home the go-ahead run against Troy on Tuesday afternoon. The Raiders completed the sweep of Troy with a 1-0 win in eight innings, Thursday at home.

Henry Bustamante (pictured against Murrieta Mesa) drove home the go-ahead run against Troy on Tuesday afternoon. The Raiders completed the sweep of Troy with a 1-0 win in eight innings, Thursday at home.

by Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal

The Sonora baseball team continued its undefeated run through Freeway League play as it improved to 7-0 with a 1-0 victory in eight innings to complete a sweep of Troy, Thursday at home.

It was the Raiders’ second extra-inning victory over the Warriors this week. Sonora defeated Troy on the road 3-1 in eight innings on Tuesday afternoon.

The game was scoreless after seven innings, but the Raiders (12-6-1, 7-0) finally broke through in the bottom of the eighth inning. Gabe Armstrong led off the inning with a single and was replaced by pinch-runner Dillon Meyer.

Henry Bustamante laid a sacrifice bunt down the third-base line to move Meyer over to second base with one out. Maricio Guadaramma then came up and lined a shot into the right-center field gap that scored Meyer easily and gave the Raiders the walk-off win.

“My approach was just to hit something kind of hard to the right side,” Guadaramma said. “I just wanted to make sure that, if nothing else, I got Dillon over to third [base].”

Armstrong had two hits on the day, but his mark on the game was much more than just that. He also started the game and went the distance, giving up three singles and striking out seven batters.

“My arm felt good today,” Armstrong said. “I knew I had a lot of movement so I was just trying to hit my spots.”

Armstrong has been the teams’ ace for the preseason and the first part of league play.

“He came in and won the job,” said Sonora head coach Pat Tellers. “He has been great on the mound and at the plate. “

Troy also got a great pitching performance out of Brett Boller. He pitched seven-and-one-thirds innings for the Warriors and only gave up one run on five hits and struck out two batters.

“He came out and dominated us early,” Tellers said. “He did a great job mixing up his pitches and keeping us off balance.”

The Warriors (6-11, 3-4) threatened in the fourth inning but could not get the run home. With a runner on second base and one out, Tim Kim lined a base hit into center field but center fielder Justin Mellano came up throwing and threw Turner Acosta out at home.

The Raiders will look to improve to 8-0 when they travel to Fullerton next Wednesday.

“Our bats need to get going,” Tellers said. “If we do not, we will find ourselves in trouble in some tough games down the stretch.”

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Big inning allowed by Highlanders leads to first league loss

Posted on 05 April 2014 by La Habra Journal

La Habra shortstop Jonathan Hernandez makes a play in the infield during the Highlanders' 10-6 loss to Troy at home, Friday afternoon.

La Habra shortstop Jonathan Hernandez makes a play in the infield during the Highlanders’ 10-6 loss to Troy at home, Friday afternoon.

Story and photos by Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

After the La Habra baseball team captured the lead in the third inning, Troy stormed back with five runs holding on to a decisive 10-6 victory, Friday afternoon at La Habra High.

“We jump out and we get a lead, and we go right back and cough it up,” head coach John Sothern said.

The Highlanders struggled to string together hits, while the Warriors’ bats were active all game. The Warriors found success when they reached base early in the inning, while the Highlanders were only able to find production through plate discipline.

“I didn’t like anything all day long other than the (third) inning when we had good at bats,” Sothern said.

Down 5-2 in the third inning, with just one out, the Highlanders (7-6, 2-1) put their plate discipline in action. Austin Saad got the ball rolling by getting plunked on the leg, Michael Borg followed his lead by drawing a walk and Brad Hoffrichter loaded the bases with another walk.

Jake Tourville pinch-hit for Carlos Lomeli and knocked in the first run in the inning on an error by the third baseman.

With the bases still loaded and still just one out, the wheels had fallen off for starting pitcher Evan Frobisher. Two walks later and still no outs, the Highlanders had tied the score at five. Chris Nuanes hit a sacrifice fly to right to give his team the lead before heading back out to the mound.

Nuanes inherited two base runners when he came in to relieve Andrew Gallegos in the top of the third inning. With runners on first and second, Nuanes picked up back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the jam with only one run for the inning.

After the big inning for the Highlanders though, the Warriors (5-8, 2-1) were determined to regain the lead and take control of the game.

The fourth inning began with a throwing error from Jonathon Hernandez, as he rushed to throw out the speedy leadoff hitter Turner Acosta. Kris Amparo took a pitch square in the back and Tim Kim loaded the bases with a single. Though Nuanes was missing bats the inning prior, the Warriors adjusted to his pitches and broke the game open with 5 singles in six at bats.

“Defense was terrible today, pitching was terrible today, I mean it was just bad,” Sothern said.

With the score now 10-6, the Warriors cruised to the victory behind the arm of Brett Boller who kept the Highlanders’ bats quiet the rest of the afternoon.

La Habra's Austin Saad takes a swing at a pitch from Troy's Evan Frobisher during the Highlanders' 10-6 loss to Troy at home, Friday afternoon.

La Habra’s Austin Saad takes a swing at a pitch from Troy’s Evan Frobisher during the Highlanders’ 10-6 loss to Troy at home, Friday afternoon.

The Highlanders saw two quality innings from Tyler Holub in the fifth and sixth innings, but by then their biggest concerns were offensive.

“The biggest difference between his inning and the other innings was he came out in both innings and got the first batter out, he throws strikes get the first batter out they don’t get anything,” Sothern said.

With the loss, the Highlanders fall to 2-1 in Freeway league play, and will visit Sonora High school next Wednesday.

“The vast majority of the time we are going to do it right, today was one of those days where we didn’t do anything right,” Sothern said. “We obviously have to play a lot better than this. If we are going to play like this we are going to be terrible. If we figure it out, we’ll be fine.”

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Tellers nears career milestone as Sonora opens league with win over Troy

Posted on 20 March 2014 by La Habra Journal

Gabe Armstrong threw five innings of work, but did not factor into the decision as Sonora came from behind to beat Troy, 3-2 at Sonora, Wednesday afternoon.

Gabe Armstrong threw five innings of work, but did not factor into the decision as Sonora came from behind to beat Troy, 3-2 at Sonora, Wednesday afternoon.

by Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal

The Sonora baseball team opened up Freeway League play with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Troy, Wednesday afternoon at Sonora High.

Junior Gabe Armstrong was given the start for the Raiders over JP Sarro, who has been in the starting rotation since last season as a sophomore.

“We went with Gabe because of the way he has pitched in preseason,” Sonora head coach Pat Tellers said. “JP has not quite been where we want him, so we are giving him some more time and plan on having him in the rotation down the stretch.”

Armstrong gave the Raiders five strong innings. He gave up two runs on five hits, two walks and struck out six batters. He did not have his best stuff early and both runs came in the third inning.

“I definitely think that I could have pitched better,” Armstrong said. “I put myself in some bad spots and elevated a few pitches. They got those two runs in the third but I feel that I settled down pretty well.”

Those two runs came on a bases-loaded single by sophomore Jonathan Banuelos. He saw a pitch from Anderson that was elevated in the zone and poked it into right field for two RBI.

The Raiders (4-4, 1-0) answered back with one in the fourth inning when Justin Mellano drove in Andrew Piraino with a single into right-center field.

Armstong was pulled after the fifth inning and replaced by Sarro, who dominated in his two innings pitched. In those innings, he only faced six batters and struck out five of them.

“I just wanted to go out and perform,” Sarro said. “I was a little wild early, but I settled down and I was hitting spots nicely.”

The Raiders won the game with a big sixth inning. They managed to load the bases. Mellano, who went 2-for-3 with two RBI, tied the game with a sacrifice fly,

The bases were loaded again after Henry Bustamante was intentionally walked.

Evan Sonny then earned a bases-loaded walk to drive in the eventual game-winning run.

Troy starting pitcher Evan Frobisher went five-plus innings and gave up three runs, only one earned, on five hits and four walks, while striking out four.

The win puts Tellers one win away from 400 in his 24-year career at Sonora.

The Raiders will try to help their coach reach the milestone Friday, against Fullerton at Sonora. Evan Sonny will take the mound.

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