Spring break means only one thing for the Menlo-Atherton baseball team -- no break from action.
While schoolmates are off enjoying their vacation, the Bears were busy playing a doubleheader at the annual Cordova Easter Baseball Tournament in Rancho Cordova on Monday.
Menlo-Atherton Placer (Auburn), 4-2, in its opening game and crushed Valley (Sacramento), 13-3, in five innings in its second game to improve to 8-4 this season.
Starting pitcher Leo McCabe allowed just two hits and one earned run over the first four innings of the first game, then received scoreless relief from Lawson Joos (two innings, one hit, two strikeouts) and Matt McGarry (one inning, three strikeouts, save).
McCabe (1-0) struck out four and walked just two to pick up the victory. The Bears scored all the runs they would need in the first two innings. Charles Grose's RBI groundout scored Eric Amundson for a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and M-A extended its edge to 4-0 in the second inning by scoring on two passed balls and an RBI single by Amundson. Amundson (now hitting .355) and designated hitter AJ Lemons (double, single) led M-A's offense with two hits apiece.
In the second game, M-A rolled over Valley to give the Bears a share of first place in the tournament's Black Division with Rio Linda, a team the Bears face on Tuesday morning.
Against Valley, M-A pounded 13 hits and scored multiple runs in every inning. Matt McGarry paced the Bears by going 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored while raising his batting average to .480. James Kollar-Gasiewski (one RBI, two runs scored), Joos (three RBI), and Lemons (two RBI, two runs scored, .615 batting average in 13 at-bats) had two hits apiece.
Brett Moriarty (.350 batting average) drove in three runs on a bases-loaded walk and a two-run single. Moriarty (1-0) also got credit for the victory, pitching in relief of starter Colin Martell.
Moriarty pitched the Bears out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the third, and allowed one run on one hit and two walks over 1 1/3 innings, striking out one.
M-A grabbed a 2-1 first-inning lead on McGarry's two-run single, and extended that advantage to 4-1 in the second on a passed ball and an RBI single by Joos. In the bottom of the third, back-to-back doubles by McGarry and Lemons made it 5-1. Lemons later scored on a bases-loaded walk to Moriarty, and Kollar-Gasiewski crossed the plate on a wild pitch for a 7-1 M-A edge after three innings.
After Valley cut M-A's lead to 7-2 in the top of the fourth, the Bears put the game away with six runs on seven hits in the bottom of the inning. Lemons (RBI single), Kollar-Gasiewski (RBI single), Moriarty (two-run single), and Joos (two-run single) all figured prominently in M-A's fourth-inning offensive explosion.
At the Cupertino Lion's Club Host Tournament in San Jose, Menlo School won its second straight game as it rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth for a 4-2 victory over Sierra at PAL Stadium.
The Knights (8-3) will play their final pool game on Wednesday against Kennedy (Sacramento) at 7 p.m., with a victory moving Menlo into the championship game.
The Knights tallied the winning runs as Christian Pluchar led off with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Jared Lucian. Sam Crowder's two-out single brought Pluchar home. Three straight walks then produced the second run.
In the top of the first, Menlo jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Mikey Diekroeger led off with a double and advanced to third on Crowder's ground out. Diekroeger scored on Will King's sacrifice fly.
After Sierra went ahead 2-1 in the third, Menlo bounced back in the fourth with an unearned run.
Chris Atkeson and Jack Redman were solid on the mound with Redman (2-0) getting the win while Menlo's defense played errorless ball.
In nonleague action, host Sacred Heart Prep (8-5) scored six runs in the third on the way to a 12-3 victory over Mountain View. Tyler VauDell pitched five innings of shutout ball for the Gators while Danny Cody had three hits and Mike Covell two for SHP.
At Gunn, the host Titans (4-10) snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 12-3 nonleague win over Pinewood.
Palo Alto strengthened its grip on first place in the SCVAL De Anza Division race with a 196-201 victory over host Gunn on Monday at Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course. The Vikings improved to 8-0 as John Knowles earned medalist honors by shooting a 2-over 38.
"It was a key match for both teams and Palo Alto played better in some tough conditions," said Gunn coach Chris Redfield. "They are now in control of the league with four matches left."
Grant Raffel and Alex Hwang shot 39 for Paly with Sam Niethammer and Patrick Fuery rounding out the scoring with 4-over 40s.
Gunn (5-1-1) was led by Curran Sinha's 39 while Avinash Sharma and Anson Cheng carded 40s. Jack Jaffe and Zack Tevanian rounded out the Titans' scoring with 41s.
At Los Altos Golf & Country Club, senior Andrew Buchanan and teammate Ethan Wong each carded nine-hole rounds of 1-over 36 to lead Menlo School to a 191-208 victory over Pinewood in West Bay Athletic League action. Freshman Jeff Herr shot 38, junior Riley Burgess had a 40 while freshman William Hsieh and senior Max Garnick each shot 41 as Menlo improved to 4-0.
Palo Alto edged Mountain View 9-8 in an exciting SCVAL contest on Monday night at Paly in a match rescheduled from last week.
The Spartans jumped out to a 5-2 lead early in the second quarter. Paly (2-3, 6-3) closed the gap to 5-4 at the half, and in the third and early fourth quarter regained the lead, ahead 9-6 with 2:30 left in the game.
Mountain View stormed back and scored two goals in the last two minutes but came up short. Jonny Glazier led Paly with three goals, Walker Mees had two goals and Tully McAlister, Skyler Anderson and Jordan Gans each had a single goal for the Vikings.
Grant Wineman and Dean Trammel led the Spartans with three and two goals, respectively. Matt Ford played extremely well for the Spartans in goal, recording 13 saves.
Host Menlo dropped a 2-1 nonleague decision in a game decided by the international tiebreaker rule after the Knights and Mills were tied after seven innings. Mills scored two runs in the top of the eighth.
Losing Kelly McConnell provided an RBI double in the bottom of the inning but the Knights (4-3) couldn't get another run in.
Gunn took three singles matches and swept the doubles while registering a 6-1 nonleague victory over host Sacred Heart Prep on Monday.
Ameya Rao, Jake Chua-Gozani and Caleb Choy got Gunn rolling as the Titans improved to 9-4 and the Gators dropped to 8-6. Three matches went to three sets and Gunn won all three, including Rao (6-1, 2-6, 6-4) and Chua-Gozani (6-4, 5-7, 10-8) in singles and the No. 1 doubles team of Arjun Narayen and Alex Matthys (6-4, 3-6, 6-2).