Menlo School baseball keeps finding ways to post victories


Menlo School's Chandler Yu pitched a gem, RJ Babiera drove in the winning run, and the Knights got contributions up and down the lineup in a 2-1 nonleague baseball victory over visiting Terra Nova in 10 innings on Wednesday.

In the 10th inning, Menlo's Jared Lucian led off with a walk. Ben Somorjai drove the ball into the right-center gap, but the center fielder tracked it down for an out. Lucian then stole second base and then third. Babiera then hit a hard ground ball to short, and Lucian, getting a great read off the bat, scored the winning run.

"Today's game was a great team win," said Menlo coach Ryan Cavan, whose team improved to 5-1. "Everyone did their job for 10 innings. The team grinded for 30 outs and was able to play a great baseball game. It was a great example of our team philosophy of the season being not a sprint, but a marathon."

Yu struck out seven and walked one in 7 1/3 innings. The Knights got stellar relief from David Farnham and Babiera, who recorded his second win of the season.

"I am really proud of the way Chandler competed for seven-plus innings," Cavan said. "I was also really happy with our relievers, David Farnham and RJ Babiera. The entire team is to credit for the win. Everyone played a role. "

Antonio Lopez had the defensive play of the game in the eighth. With the bases loaded, Farnham came in and got a fly ball to left. Lopez, running back full speed made a full- extension catch in left. The runner at second did not tag up, because the ball off the bat looked like a clear base.

"The runner on third left early due to not thinking the ball would be caught and got the double play out of the inning," Cavan added. "The play was spectacular. It was an exciting game, but that play was the difference maker.

Somorjai called a solid game and caught all 10 innings behind the plate. He also threw out a runner trying to steal, and allowed no passed balls.

In Cupertino, Palo Alto opened its SCVAL De Anza Division baseball season with an 8-0 victory over Cupertino on Wednesday. Justin Hull pitched a complete-game one-hitter for the Vikings (1-0, 4-1-1) and helped himself at the plate with a double among his three hits.

In Atherton, Sacred Heart Prep opened its PAL Bay Division season with a 12-1 loss to visiting Sequoia. The Gators fell to 0-7.

The Menlo-Atherton at Westmont and St. Thomas More at Pinewood games were not reported.

Boys golf

Menlo School won its first showdown with rival Sacred Heart Prep, posting a 192-210 dual-match victory in West Bay Athletic League action Wednesday at Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club. The Knights (2-0) were led by Jeff Herr's even-par 36 while William Hsieh shot 37, Charlie Hsieh carded a 38 and Max Ting a 39. Will Johnson led the Gators (1-1, 1-3) with a 36.

Girls lacrosse

Despite getting four goals each from Grace Tully and Annie Payne, Menlo-Atherton dropped a tough 13-12 nonleague decision to host Redwood in Larkspur on Wednesday. The Bears (1-1) opened a 5-3 halftime lead with Tully scoring twice. Payne scored three of her goals in the second half, giving M-A a three-goal lead at one point. Redwood (1-1), however, went on a 4-0 run to close the match.

— Menlo School Athletics/Palo Alto Online Sports

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Like this comment
Posted by CoachFromAnotherTown
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 10, 2016 at 11:36 am

CoachFromAnotherTown is a registered user.

HaHa in typical Terra Nova fashion - they are crying about the call at third base. I think the Umpire should have "removed" both coaches that sprinted aggressively towards the home plate umpire who made the call ...

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Posted by CoachFromAnotherTown
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 10, 2016 at 1:54 pm

CoachFromAnotherTown is a registered user.

Here is the Terra Nova side of the call at third base

Web Link

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Posted by ClearEyed
a resident of Los Altos
on Mar 10, 2016 at 3:27 pm

I attended this game. The Terra Nova coaches discussed the call with the umpire, as expected for any such unusual call. Voices weren't raised by the coaches. The Terra Nova players, on the other hand, got a bit loud, but it didn't last too long and both teams got back to playing.

There was no question that the Terra Nova runner didn't get all the way back to third base for the tag up. He turned back toward home when the initial throw from left field went to second base. The Menlo dugout (third base side), saw this clearly and called loudly for the ball to go to third base after the unsuccessful play at second base. The runner, by then, was practically in the Terra Nova dugout.

Although the home plate umpire doesn't have a great reputation, in this case he did his job on a complex play and kept his eyes on the runner he should have been watching.

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Posted by CoachFromAnotherTown
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 10, 2016 at 4:18 pm

CoachFromAnotherTown is a registered user.

@ ClearEyed

Thank you for the info. TN's third base coach has to take some blame. There is a moment prior - where he and R3 needs to have a pre-pitch - pre-play thought. It may only involve a buzz word or two but I am sure Head Coach Vallero already knows that what happen - can't happen, however in HS sports kids seemingly always lean or break for the plate in that situation.

The phrase "freeze on a line drive" doesn't even work anymore. It is better to always say "Go back" on a line drive/fly ball or "Tag" on a line drive/fly ball.

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Posted by ClearEyed
a resident of Los Altos
on Mar 10, 2016 at 5:08 pm


You bet. Baserunnning is a bit of a lost art at the HS level. I often see kids failing to run the bases in a heads-up way. Bad secondary leads, not running soon enough (as soon as the pitcher commits to the dish) in situations where you "start the runners" (e.g. 3-2/2 outs), not taking an extra 90ft on throws that aren't cut off, etc. As a runner, you always have to know where the baseball is ... that will tell you everything you need to know about what you should be doing.

Above having been said, I agree the 3rd base coach does have some responsibility but the buck ultimately stops with R3 himself. There was no reason for him to even be more than two steps off the base while the ball was in the air. If that ball drops in LF, he could have crawled home. Why did he go halfway in the first place and have to (unsuccessfully) scramble back for the tag up?

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