The offense came to life for the Menlo School baseball team and it couldn't have come at a better time as the Knights tuned up for next week's Bishop Gorman Easter Classic in Las Vegas with a 19-0 blasting of visiting Harker on Friday.
Led by Pomona-bound senior Jake Bruml's two home runs (his third and fourth of the season) and four RBI, along with freshman Mikey Diekroeger's first homer and five RBI, Menlo busted out of its season-long offensive funk.
The Knights (3-1, 13-2), who trail first-place Sacred Heart Prep in the West Bay Athletic League by a game, banged out 18 hits by 13 different players while eight players drove in runs during the impressive offensive display. Menlo scored in five of the six innings in which it batted.
The pitching was just as dominate as four Menlo pitchers shut out the Eagles, allowing only three hits while striking out 14. Jake Batchelder got the win. Menlo returns to action on Wednesday in the Bishop Gorman tournament, opening against Cottonwood of Salt Lake City at 1 p.m. Host Bishop Gorman opened the season ranked No. 1 in the nation, but since has dropped in the national rankings.
In another WBAL game on Friday:
Just two days after taking over first place in the league standings with a big victory over Menlo School, Sacred Heart Prep rode the momentum of that triumph to a 14-2 romp over host King's Academy on Friday.
Holding a 4-2 lead entering the top of the seventh, the Gators (4-0-, 9-8) exploded for 10 runs – highlighted by a grand slam from senior Tomas O'Donnell. Matt Martella also homered for SHP, which banged out a season-hjgh 21 hits. Zack Buono had four hits, as did Bo Sakowski while Jack Larson and O'Donnell added three apiece. O'Donnell drove in five runs and Martella had four RBI. Cal Baloff had a double and drove in three runs.
In Hillsborough, Cyrus Chagnon pitched a complete game for Pinewood in a 7-4 victory over host Crystal Springs on Friday. Nate Bell led the Panthers' attack with two hits and the winning RBI as part of a three-run seventh inning. Bell and Zach Jones each had two RBI while Dante Fraioli and John Bennett contributed an RBI apiece.
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton tuned up for next week's annual trip to Rancho Cordova for a spring break tournament by defeating host Aragon, 8-5, on Friday. The Bears evened their league mark at 4-4 while improving to 10-6 overall as they scored five times in the top of the second and held an 8-1 lead in the fifth inning.
Myles Brewer had a bases-clearing double and a two-run single by Casey Eason as highlights. Brewer also had a triple and Eason drove in three runs. Junior Nick Lange needed only 59 pitches over five innings, striking out six and allowing only one hit to get the win.
At the Baseball Battling Cancer tournament in San Jose, Palo Alto (13-7) closed out its three-game showing with a 3-2 victory over Leigh. Austin Braff had two of Paly's six hits, one a double, and drove in a run. Clay Carey doubled and had an RBI while Ben Sneider picked up the pitching win.
The Sacred Heart Prep boys' tennis team didn't need its strongest lineup on Friday as it took on host Crystal Springs, but the Gators still had plenty of depth to register a 5-2 victory to close the regular season in the West Bay Athletic League. Sacred Heart finished 9-3 in league (11-8 overall) and next will compete in the WBAL Individual Tournament at Menlo School in two weeks.