SHP's baseball dream of making CCS Open Division takes a hit


Heading into the weekend, the Sacred Heart Prep baseball team was in good shape to challenge for its first-ever berth in the Central Coast Section Open Division playoffs. In less than 24 hours, however, that dream is pretty much gone.

First, the Gators dropped a 2-1 decision to visiting Burlingame on Friday. Then, in the resumption of a game that was protested on March 18 after SHP had won, the Gators came up short Saturday morning in a 11-10 loss to Menlo-Atherton.

In the fourth inning of the contest that was played on the 18th, Sacred Heart coaches and players were ejected following a batter's interference call. The umpires lost control of the game and had to put the meeting to a stoppage.

"He called the guy out when he should've just called a dead ball," explained SHP head coach Anthony Granato. "I was never notified of the protest until a day and half later. They won the protest and it ended up withheld at their end and that's (expletive). We came back on the road and scored seven runs and they ended up winning the game, it's terrible."

With the losses to Burlingame and M-A, the Gators dropped to 7-5 (14-10 overall) and are two games behind PAL Bay Division leader Carlmont (9-3) and one behind Terra Nova (8-4) with two regular-season games remaining this week against Capuchino.

"We've got to keep fighting," said Granato. "We've got two games left, now we're fighting for our opportunity to make it to CCS."

The Bears resumed Saturday's game holding a 10-9 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Menlo-Atherton senior pitcher Kodiak Conrad struck out the side in the top of fifth inning and the Bears retained the 10-9 lead. Conrad picked up his second win of the season.

In the bottom half of the fifth, M-A senior Brian Coggins lined a double to the left-center field gap, bringing home sophomore Nick Prainito from second base and the Bears had an 11-9 advantage.

Sacred Heart senior Mitch Martella led off the sixth inning with a solo home run, just out of the reach of the right fielder and the Gators cut the lead to 11-10.

The Gators were threatening to score in the top of the seventh when Will Johnston led off the inning with a walk, but was called out on a throw to second base by Daniel Kollar-Gasiewski on a steal attempt. The No. 2 and 3 hitters then grounded out to third base and the Bears took the victory.

Sacred Heart will host Capuchino (3-9, 11-14 overall) in a PAL Division matchup on Wednesday while the Bears (6-6, 11-13) visit Menlo School in a home-and-home series prior to the PAL playoffs.

In nonleague action, Palo Alto (15-11) posted a 3-0 victory over host Leigh as Ben Cleasby and Max Jung-Goldberg provided two hits and Viking starter Corey Bicknell twirled a three-hitter over six innings. Justin Hull had a double and two RBI, while Jack Andrews and Cleasby also had doubles.

In San Mateo, Menlo School (5-19) dropped a 6-0 decision to host Serra. The Knights are closing in on their first 20-loss season since 1984 when Menlo went 0-22.

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17 people like this
Posted by Different Spin
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 3, 2015 at 3:23 pm

In the 4th inning on the 18th an MA batter was ruled out because his bat contacted the SHP catcher on the backswing. With runners on, the inning was over. The pitcher had not yet thrown the ball and the call was clearly an incorrect application of the batters interference rule that has been emphasized this year in the rule book. MA coach Mike Amoroso astutely argued the call and it was clearly announced to all, including SHP coach Granato, that from that point the game would be played under protest. No one was ejected and the game continued. It was apparent to anyone familiar with the rules that the protest would be granted and it was.
When the game continued Saturday from the point of protest in the 4th inning MA won. As sometimes occurs in HS baseball there were a couple of questionable calls that, as typical, balance out over the course of the game. The difference is that they are judgement calls and not applications of a rule. When Will Johnston was thrown out at 2nd on a close play, the SHP coach was livid. Following their coaches example, after the game a few over-involved SHP parents followed the umpires out to their cars continuing to argue the call In an enlightening display of bad sportsmanship.

6 people like this
Posted by More Like Biased Spin
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 7, 2015 at 10:01 pm

Your interpretation of what happened during the game on the 18th is not only biased, but factually inaccurate. At the time of the incident, there were NO RUNNERS ON base and two outs in the bottom of the inning. The MA coach did come out to argue the call between innings, however NO ONE was notified of the protest with the exception of possibly the MA dugout and possibly the umpire. Many witnesses have attested to the fact the protest was not made clear to the croud, and SHP players and coaches were never notified of the protest. This protest was IMPROPERLY executed and would not have had an impact on the game. As one could see in the continuance of the game on May 2nd, the inning was concluded with the absense of any rally or run scored.
In the top of the seventh, as with any atrocious call, anger did arise. In highschool baseball it is commonplace for a coach to argue a call and convey what the coach believed he saw. The behavior by the parents following the game was poorly mannered and was not condoned by either of the teams or coaches. It was merely a reaction to the critical blown calls of the base umpire.
When posting, at least get your facts straight.

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