Baseball: Maranatha has Won 11 Consecutive Games; La Salle Saves Season with Two Victories Over First Place Bishop Amat

Published : Monday, April 30, 2018 | 9:49 PM

From Top Clockwise: Max Blessinger, Dawson Netz, Marco Martinez, Landon Smith, Franco Alonso, Ethan Patrick

For La Salle, there is only one week remaining in the 2018 regular season.

For everyone else, there are two weeks left, and six area teams are in the hunt for CIF-SS playoff spots.

Maranatha and Poly are on the verge of claiming Olympic and Prep league titles, respectively.

Muir earned a two-game sweep of Glendale last week and Pasadena split their pair with Burbank.

St. Francis opened its new field Tuesday at the Glendale Sports Complex after more than 20 road games to begin the 2018 season, but Harvard-Westlake turned out to be pretty rude guests as the Wolverines earned a three-game sweep of the Golden Knights.

Flintridge Prep is sitting in third place in the Prep League behind Poly and Rio Hondo Prep in that order, and in spite of it being a steep, uphill climb for a second-place finish, the Rebels do control their own destiny.

Prep has two games with Poly this coming week and they finish off the regular season with a pair of games with Rio Hondo Prep.

Maranatha (18-4, 8-0) are the hottest and most talented program.

With three wins over Heritage Christian in Olympic League play and single nonleague game victories over Bosco Tech and Oxford Academy, the Minutemen have now won 11 consecutive games.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Dawson Netz is the most elite pitcher in the area and likely the section.

He extended his scoreless innings streak to 41 after Tuesday’s five-inning no-hitter against Heritage Christian.

Netz is now 7-0 with a 0.17 ERA.

MHS also got solid efforts on the mound from Will Downing, Max Blessinger, Casey Popham, JP Caire, Ben Guess, Charles Acker and Jack Goodman.

Max Blessinger (.514 batting average, 37 hits, 28 runs scored, 16 RBIs) and Marco Martinez (.527, 29 hits, 23 runs, 24 RBIs) anchor the MHS offense.

The Minutemen have a pair of games this week with last place Cerritos Valley Christian and in Tuesday’s opener with the Crusaders, Dawson Netz will be on the mound and it’s believed he needs just two innings to break a CIF-SS record for consecutive innings without allowing a run.

La Salle (12-10, 6-4) flipped the script after a terrible week before.

Heading into the first of two games with first place Bishop Amat, the Lancers had lost three games in a row, including a pair of one-run losses to St. Paul.

That setback allowed the Swordsmen to jump over La Salle and into second place of the Del Rey League standings.

And just when you might have thought the 2018 La Salle program was down for the count, the Lancers earned a two-game sweep over Amat.

Zane Lindeman had a three-hit shutout on Tuesday and Landon Smith and Jeff Daley held off Amat, 6-5, on Thursday.

That was only half of the reason why La Salle entered their weekend smiling.

St. Paul fell twice this past week to Serra, and against a Cavaliers team that until Tuesday had yet to earn a Del Rey League victory.

La Salle is back in second place and they have two with last-place Cathedral to end their regular season.

Poly’s (17-2, 7-0) lone contest this week was a Saturday game against Dunn.

The Panthers defeated the Earwigs, 11-4, some 125-miles from home.

Poly has three Prep League games this week, including a home-and-away with their rivals at Flintridge Prep and one with Chadwick.

Thanks to solid pitching and a lineup that is producing big numbers at the plate, Poly has won 13 consecutive games.

In seven Prep League games, the pitching staff has surrendered just 12 runs.

Franco Alonso’s .462 average is fourth best in the area, and the junior’s hits (30) and RBIs (22) are both third best among Pasadena and La Canada programs.

Pasadena (15-8, 6-4) has some unwanted drama over the last two weeks and it’s all because Burbank was able to salvage a split this week with PHS.

Burbank’s Andrew De La Torre struck out 13 Pasadena batters over BHS’s eight-inning, 3-2 victory Saturday night over the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs had won six consecutive league games and with much of the credit due to their pitching staff.

Alvie Castro (6-1, 0.84 ERA) and Jacob Green (4-2, 1.09 ERA) have been incredible throughout, but especially of late.

The PHS offense has been pretty bipolar, but they are averaging five runs per game.

Green and Castro are also tied for most hits (offensively) as each senior has 24 hits.

Green (.390 batting average), Castro (.338) and Adrian DePasquale (.386, 23 hits, team-best 17 RBIs are the heart of the PHS lineup.

Had PHS held on to sweep Burbank, they would have had a two-game lead over both Muir and Burbank with four games to play, but they now hold just a one-game lead, and they face undefeated Arcadia for two games this week.

The Apaches are 21-0 overall and 10-0 in Pacific League play.

The likely match ups are Caden Ross (7-0, 0.58 ERA) vs Nik Moran (1-2, 5.14 ERA) at Arcadia on Tuesday, and Chris Wilson (6-0, 0.68 ERA) vs Alvie Castro (6-1, 0.84 ERA) at PHS on Thursday.

Muir (9-7-1, 5-5) earned a season-saving sweep over Glendale this past week.

It allowed them to make up ground and jump up to fourth place in the Pacific League, which is significant.

The reason being, if the Mustangs’ can hold on to that spot with four games to play, they will have made the CIF-SS playoffs for the first time since Ronald Reagan was the POTUS.

Valente Vera and Brian Love both earned victories last week in wins over the Nitros.

It seems the Mustangs are finally getting a groove offensively, but they still have just one batter with at least 40 at-bats that is hitting over the .300 mark.

That guy is sophomore Amaris Harrison, who is batting .396 with 19 hits, eight runs scored and 12 RBI.

Muir and Burbank will face off for a pair of Pacific League games this week and there couldn’t be more on the line, as both are 5-5 and tied for that final automatic playoff berth.

St. Francis (8-15, 3-9) started their three-game series with nationally-ranked Harvard-Westlake on a competitive note.

The Golden Knights fell 4-1 on Tuesday, but they held a Wolverines lineup beneath their usual offensive output.

But things took a turn for the worse on Wednesday and Friday.

Harvard-Westlake defeated St. Francis 15-0 and 22-8, respectively, in their second and third games last week.

It might have been a sign of how the week would end when the SF pitchers walked 14 batters and struck out just one Wolverines’ batter on Wednesday.

St. Francis has a three-game series this week with Alemany on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

And the Golden Knights end their 2018 season next week in a three-game series with Loyola on May 7, 9 and 10.

SF will play four of their final six games at their new park at the Glendale Sports Complex.


This Week’s Baseball Schedule:

Baseball: Valley Christian at Maranatha at 6
Baseball: Pasadena at Arcadia at 3:30
Baseball: Muir at Burbank at 3:30
Baseball: St. Francis at Alemany at 3:30 B
Baseball: Cathedral at La Salle at 3:15
Baseball: Flintridge Prep at Poly at 3:30

Baseball: Alemany at St. Francis at 3:30
Baseball: Marshall at Gabrielino at 3:15

Baseball: Poly at Chadwick at 3:45
Baseball: Arcadia at Pasadena at 3:15

Baseball: Maranatha at Valley Christian at 4
Baseball: Burbank at Muir at 3:30
Baseball: St. Francis at Alemany at 3:30
Baseball: La Salle at Cathedral at 3:15
Baseball: Rosemead at Marshall at 3:15

Baseball: Poly at Flintridge Prep at 5

Baseball Standings Through April 28

Del Rey League:
Bishop Amat (12-11-1 overall, 6-2 in league)
La Salle (12-10, 6-4)
St. Paul (9-10, 5-5)
Serra (9-11-1, 2-5)
Cathedral (8-9, 2-5)

Mission League:
Harvard-Westlake (20-3 overall, 12-0 in league)
Chaminade (16-8, 9-6)
Alemany (14-10, 9-6)
Notre Dame (16-7, 7-5)
Loyola (12-12, 4-8)
St. Francis (8-15, 3-9)
Crespi (5-17, 1-11)

Mission Valley League:
Arroyo (10-7 overall, 7-2 in league)
El Monte (7-9, 5-3)
Mountain View (7-10, 5-4)
South El Monte (9-15, 5-4)
Marshall (6-11, 4-4)
Gabrielino (5-13, 3-5)
Rosemead (1-15, 1-8)

Olympic League:
Maranatha (18-4 overall, 8-0 in league)
Village Christian (17-4, 6-2)
Whittier Christian (13-13-1, 5-4)
Heritage Christian (11-14, 2-8)
Valley Christian (8-13, 0-7)

Pacific League:
Arcadia (21-0 overall, 10-0 in league)
Crescenta Valley (19-4, 10-0)
Pasadena (15-8, 6-4)
Muir (9-7-1, 5-5)
Burbank (7-10, 5-5)
Burroughs (10-13, 4-6)
Glendale (3-17-1, 0-10)
Hoover (1-20, 0-10)

Prep League:
Poly (17-2 overall, 7-0 in league)
Rio Hondo Prep (10-5, 6-3)
Flintridge Prep (12-5, 4-3)
Chadwick (7-9, 2-5)
Firebaugh (1-14, 0-8)