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May 13, 2005

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Friday, May 13, 2005

Suiter's Suiter's (May 13, 2005)no-hitter is well-timed

by Keith Peters

Andy Suiter was at his worst and at his best. Fortunately for the Menlo School baseball team, Suiter was at his best when it counted most.

The UCLA-bound Suiter threw his first no-hitter of the season to beat Aragon, 4-3, in a crucial PAL Ocean Division game Wednesday.

The Knights (9-4, 17-12) have a chance today to clinch a co-championship in the PAL Ocean Division, needing only to beat host Woodside at 3:15 p.m.

Should Menlo and co-leader Capuchino both win their finales, the Knights will receive the league's lone automatic berth into the Central Coast Section playoffs that begin next week.

Menlo holds the tiebreaker over Cap, even though the teams split their season series. The Knights swept third-place Aragon this season while Capuchino fell to the Dons twice.

Capuchino beat Woodside on Wednesday in 10 innings, 2-1, to improve to 2-1.

Menlo took a big step toward having a chance to defend its CCS Division III title by rallying to beat visiting Aragon on Wednesday, 4-3. That knocked the Dons (8-5) out of a share of first place.

The win was Menlo's sixth straight. After Suiter's rocky second inning, however, it appeared that streak was in jeopardy.

Suiter hit two batters and walked two others, giving up three runs on no hits. Aragon scored twice, taking advantage of passed ball, a wild pitch and an error.

"I have no answer for what happened to him in that inning," said Menlo coach Craig Schoof.

And after that rough start?

"Andy had the best stuff he's had all season after the second inning," Schoof said.

Including the final out of the second inning, Suiter retired 16 straight batters. He finished with 12 strikeouts, improving his school record for career strikeouts to 419. In his past four games, the lefty has fanned 52 batters.

Menlo rallied from that early 3-0 deficit with two runs in the second without benefit of a hit. The Knights scored the winner in the sixth when Suiter led off with a single, was sacrificed to second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Calvin Jepson lofted a sacrifice fly to score Suiter.

An inning earlier, senior Ryan Cavan singled home freshman Jack Mosbacher with the tying run after Mosbacher had led off the fifth with a single.

In the Private Schools Athletic League, Sacred Heart Prep (12-1, 17-9) won its third straight PSAL title and fourth in the past five years with a 11-3 victory over host Redwood Christian on Tuesday. The win clinched a berth in the CCS playoffs for the Gators.

Lefty Tommy Pierson threw his third straight complete-game victory, striking out 11 and walking none. He allowed only one batter more than the minimum over the final six innings.

SHP rallied from a 2-0 deficit with a single run in the third and seven in the fifth. Junior Garrick Yuen led the Gators with three hits while senior Hudson Smythe contributed two hits and two RBI. Sophomore Matt Connor added two hits, including a triple in the wild fifth inning.

In the SCVAL El Camino Division, Gunn suffered a big setback in its title hopes after falling to visiting Fremont on Tuesday, 8-3. The Titans held the upper hand in the division over Santa Clara prior to the game, but fell to 11-5 (14-7 overall) and behind the Bruins (13-5).

Gunn bounced back from that loss to rout Lynbrook on Wednesday, 15-2. That moved the Titans to 12-5 (15-7 overall) heading into Thursday's game at Homestead. Sam Zipperstein had four hits while winning pitcher Colin Felch added two doubles and four RBI. Gunn ripped 19 hits.

Gunn needed to beat Homestead (9-7) on Thursday to wrap up the regular season. Should the Titans finish tied with Santa Clara for the division lead, they'll receive the lone automatic CCS berth based on beating the Bruins twice last week.

Interestingly, the Titans are 14-1 when holding opponents to three runs or less. When the opposition scores four or more runs, Gunn is 0-6.

Palo Alto (6-6, 8-12) closed out its season with a satisfying 4-0 win over visiting Gunn on Tuesday. Paly assistant coach Phil Yacap, who told the players he'd shave his long, white hair if the Vikings won, has a new haircut today as the players gladly shaved his shaggy mane after the game.

Paly sophomore Christie Cory limited Gunn to four hits while striking out nine. Senior Kelli Fangonilo had two hits as did Katie Barich and Cory, who drove in two runs with a double in the first.

In the West Bay Athletic League, Castilleja (9-0, 13-3) moved closer to winning its first-ever league title with a 10-0 win over host Mercy-San Francisco on Tuesday. Junior pitcher Alex Chang-Graham tossed a one-hitter with nine strikeouts and no walks.

Castilleja needs to beat host Mercy-Burlingame today to wrap up the team's first CCS berth. The last time the teams met, the Gators ended Mercy's streak of 58 consecutive league wins.

Top-seeded Gunn (16-0 overall) and No. 2 Menlo (12-3) will meet Saturday for the Peninsula Athletic League championship at Menlo-Atherton High at 11 a.m.

The Titans advanced with an 11-9 win over No. 4 Castilleja on Tuesday while the Knights ousted No. 3 Leland, 9-7. Gunn senior Maggie Wynn led the way with five goals while Menlo senior Molly Lapolla tallied five goals to pace her team's win.

The boys' PAL championship game will follow the girls' on Saturday at 1 p.m. Top-seeded Menlo (20-1) and No. 2 Menlo-Atherton will meet for the title.

The Knights advanced to the finals with a 12-3 win over Woodside as Matt Burke scored three times and Matt Moone, Devon Arscott and Colin Burke added two each.

Menlo-Atherton qualified by romping past Bellarmine, 17-6, as Blake Woodard scored six times and Eric Fowle added three.
Track and field

The Menlo-Atherton girls ran off with the PAL championship meet title by scoring 86 points to finish up three days of competition that ended Wednesday at Sequoia High.

The Bears won the 400 and 1,600 relays and Laurie Roberts added a victory in the high jump at 5-6. Menlo School senior Libby Jenke won the 400 (57.00) and 800 (2:15.88).

The M-A boys finished second to Westmoor in their race, but M-A senior Evan Anderson pulled off a triple by winning the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. Anderson won the 3,200 on Monday in a fine 9:23.27, then ran off with the 800 (season best of 1:56.92) and 1,600 (4:17.27) on Wednesday.

Next up for the top finishers will be the CCS semifinals on May 21 at San Jose City College.

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