Sports

SHP's upset opens door for possible Menlo title repeat

Menlo School baseball coach Craig Schoof should be feeling pretty good following the opening round of the Central Coast Section Division III playoffs. A path to the finals has been cleared for his Knights once again.

If history is any indication, Sacred Heart Prep's 6-5 upset of top-seeded Palma on Wednesday has opened the door for Menlo.

Last year, Palma also was seeded No. 1 but lost in the second round to Santa Cruz. Menlo wound up beating Santa Cruz in the championship game, 4-0.

In 2010, Scotts Valley was the No. 1 seed and lost its opener to Hillsdale, which advanced to the championship game. There, Hillsdale fell to Menlo, 8-2.

And, in 2004, Carmel was the No. 1 seed in Division III but lost to Scotts Valley in the semifinals. In the championship game, Menlo topped Scotts Valley, 7-5.

Second-seeded Menlo (20-7) is now the highest remaining seed and is two wins away from reaching the finals for a third straight year. The Knights need to beat No. 7 San Lorenzo Valley (15-7) on Saturday to earn a semifinal date against either No. 3 Monte Vista Christian or No. 6 Monterey.

In the bottom half of the bracket, No. 16 Sacred Heart Prep is matched against No. 9 Pacific Grove (17-10) in Saturday's quarterfinals. The other game has No. 4 Soqual (16-10) against No. 5 Carmel (19-9). Those winners meet Tuesday in the semifinals.

If Sacred Heart Prep advances to the finals to meet Menlo, it will be their first championship matchup since 1989 when the Knights won the 2A Division crown.

The Gators were a huge underdog to No. 1 Palma on Wednesday in the opening round of the playoffs. That obvious disadvantage didn't seem to bother the Gators, who pulled the upset of the tournament over the host Chieftans (21-6). The Gators got a 90-pitch, complete-game victory from Tyler Vau Dell and four RBI from Joey Papangellin, who had a bases-clearing double in the fifth inning to give SHP a 6-4 lead. Matt Martella had three hits while Mike Covell, Luke Thomas and Nick Sinchek all contributed two hits for the Gators.

In Atherton, Freddy Avis hit a pair of home runs to pace Menlo School to a 10-0 victory over St. Thomas More in five innings to open the playoffs. Davidson-bound senior lefthander Jake Batchelder threw the third CCS no-hitter in Menlo history. Andy Suiter vs. King's Academy in 2005 and Jake Bruml last year against Sacred Heart Cathedral had the others. Batchelder struck out seven and walked three in the five-inning complete-game effort. Batchelder also was a star at the plate as he doubled in the first run in first and knocked another in the third on a groundout.

The real hitting stars for the Knights were Avis and Mikey Diekroeger. Diekroeger got Menlo going with a leadoff line drive home run in the third to put the Knights up 2-0. That was one of his three hit on the afternoon. Avis then hit two titantic blasts, the last estimated at over 400 feet.

In Division I action, Ozzie Braff belted a three-run homer to spark Palo Alto to a 9-0 victory over No. 16 seed Evergreen Valley in the opening round. B.J. Boyd, Clay Carey and Christian Lonsky all had two hits for the Vikings, who belted out 12 hits. Paly used four pitchers who combined on a three-hitter, with starter Kevin Kannappan getting the win with three innings.

The No. 1 seed Vikings (26-6) next will play No. 8 Bellarmine (15-14), a 6-3 winner over No. 9 Santa Teresa, in Saturday's quarterfinals.

In other Division I action, Menlo-Atherton gave up four runs in the second inning on five hits, a walk and an error and couldn't make up the deficit while dropping a 7-1 decision to host Mitty. The No. 6-seeded Monarchs (17-12) wrapped things up in the fifth by scoring three runs on a hit batter, a walk, two singles and a sacrifice fly.

M-A senior Nick Lange (7-3) pitched a complete game while allowing eight hits, but couldn't get the offensive support he needed. The Bears (19-9) got their lone run in the third when Ryan Cortez walked, advanced to second on a single by Will Lyons, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout by Erik Amundson. A double by Sam Falkenhagen in the fifth went for naught when a strikeout ended the threat.

Softball

Castilleja saw its season end in a 14-0 loss to host and No. 4 seed Notre Dame-Salinas in a CCS Division III opener on Wednesday that was shortened to five innings by the 10-run mercy rule. Frances Hughes had the only hit for the No. 13 Gators (11-16), a single in the first inning. Senior Aryana Yee struck out seven in her final game.

Tennis

Menlo School juniors William Boyd and Michael Hoffman finished second in the doubles portion of the CCS Individual Tournament that wrapped up Wednesday at Imperial Courts in Aptos. Boyd and Hoffman, the No. 4 seed, reached the finals by upending No. 2-seeded Nick Chu and Rohan Shankar of Bellarmine, 6-2, 6-1, but fell in the title match to the No. 3-seeded team of Anthony Bello and Spencer Simonides of Los Altos, 6-1, 6-3.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

Comments

Posted by FreddieRules, a resident of Barron Park
on May 18, 2012 at 11:36 am

Two home runs and all you can give the Fredster is a line? His fielder's choices are usually worthy of a paragraph. We want more Freddy!


Posted by melbelli, a resident of Green Acres
on May 18, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Green Acres is the place to be. Farm livin' is the life for me.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Breastfeeding Tips
By Jessica T | 9 comments | 1,190 views

Who Says Kids Donít Eat Vegetables?
By Laura Stec | 6 comments | 1,044 views

Community Service Helps You, Too
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 813 views

Weekly Update
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 757 views

Call it a novel: Dirty Love by Andre Dubus III
By Nick Taylor | 1 comment | 287 views