Valley Christian beat Menlo-Atherton & Texas ace

Valley Christian beat Menlo-Atherton & Texas ace

Division I

No. 1 Valley Christian 6, No. 8 Menlo-Atherton 3

Despite trailing 5-0 after only two innings, Menlo-Atherton might have at least a mild case of the “what-ifs” after losing to the Bay Area News Group’s No. 1-ranked team on Saturday.

The Bears’ ace, Texas Longhorns-bound right-hander George Zaharias, had a rare bad game, lasting 4⅓ innings and yielding six earned runs, seven walks and making an error. But Zaharias’ off-day wasn’t the only reason M-A lost.

The visitors outhit Valley Christian 11-6, but 10 of those knocks were singles. The Warriors, meanwhile, turned a few of those walks into the equivalent of extra base hits with six steals.

Valley Christian starting pitcher Michael Castaneda also worked 4⅓ innings. He allowed two runs and starred at the plate with a double and two RBI, one on a sacrifice fly. He picked up the win while Jacob Hudson pitched the seventh for the save.

Davis Phillips had three hits for M-A. Rowan Kelly and Trevor Heinz each had two.

The Warriors (27-3) next play St. Ignatius on Wednesday in a CCS semifinal at Excite Ballpark in San Jose. VC was 14-0 in West Catholic Athletic League play while SI was one of four teams tied for fourth at 6-8. 

No. 5 St. Ignatius 2, No. 4 Los Gatos 0

The Wildcats (17-11) broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the top of the seventh. Evann Smith drove in both runs. Leonard Beatie and Emmett Johnson scored.

Jackson Short and Archer Horn combined on a two-hitter. Short went six innings and got the win. Horn pitched the seventh for the save.

No. 6 Hollister 6, No. 3 St. Francis 1

The Haybalers roughed up Baylor-bound right-hander Jack Surdey for six runs (four earned) in 3⅔ innings en route to a mildly surprising win.

Hollister is 22-6 for the season while St. Francis fell to 16-13. But the Haybalers were 2-3 in their last five games before meeting the Lancers.

Surdey, who has allowed almost one hit per inning this season, according to the stats on MaxPreps, gave up seven hits on Saturday. He was relieved in the fourth during a four-run inning that broke the game open for Hollister.

 Junior Luke DeVine doubled twice and scored the only run for St. Francis.

Division II

No. 1 Aptos 5, No. 8 Pioneer 4

The Mustangs had top seed Aptos on the ropes after three innings, leading 4-0 behind the strength of a three-run homer by Nathan Tichy. 

But Aptos (20-6) drew even with two runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings, then scored the winning run in walkoff fashion in the bottom of the seventh.

Pioneer finished the season with a 16-10-1 record. Tichy, who homered for the first time this season, had a team-leading 25 RBI to go along with a .383 batting average. He will be back next year for one more season.

No. 4 Leigh 11, No. 5 Sacred Heart Cathedral 8

Leigh led 11-3 going to the seventh, then had to hold on as the visiting Fightin’ Irish lived up to their nickname by scoring five runs.

It was a sloppy game. The teams combined for 10 errors (six by Leigh) and 19 walks. Sacred Heart Cathedral left 12 runners on base.

Cole Griffin had a nice game, driving in four runs for the Longhorns (18-10), driving in four runs. Nate Miller had two hits.

In the semifinals on Wednesday, Leigh will play No. 1 seed Aptos at Hartnell College at 4 p.m.

No. 2 Bellarmine 4, No. 7 Santa Cruz 0

The Bells (18-12-1) scored single runs inn each of the first three innings, then tacked on one more run in the fifth.

Paul Montgomery and Paul Wheeler combined for the five-hit shutout. Montgomery went five innings.

Bellarmine unleashed a running game that netted nine stolen bases. Chase Knight, who scored twice for the winners, was one of four Bells with two steals apiece.

Bellarmine’s next opponent will be WCAL rival Serra in the section semifinals on Wednesday at Mission College. Game time is 4 p.m. 

Serra (16-11) took care of Burlingame 10-4 in the quarterfinals.

During the regular season, the Padres and Bellarmine were among four teams that tied for fourth in the WCAL with 6-8 records. Bellarmine won the season series two games to one, with one of those contests coming in the league playoffs. All three games were decided by one run.

Division III

No. 1 Branham 10, No. 8 Palo Alto 0

Right-hander Evan Williams won for the 12th time in 14 decisions with a five-inning shutout over Palo Alto (13-13). The Bruins (21-7), leading 1-0 after three innings, scored nine runs in their last two at-bats.

Williams, who will pitch next season at William Jessup University in Rocklin, gave up three hits, walked one and struck out five. He has been a workhorse this season for Branham, with 79⅔ innings pitched. He has been nearly as good at the plate with a .364 average. He is tied for the team lead with 23 runs and tops the Bruins with nine doubles.

Gunner Paedon swung the big bat Saturday, going 3-for-3, driving in three runs and scoring twice. Matt Garcia also had three hits, including a double.

Next up for Branham will be a meeting with Sacred Heart Prep on Thursday at Mission College at 4 p.m.

No. 4 Sacred Heart Prep 10, No. 5 Carlmont 5

Daniel Gee drove in five runs and Connor Schmalzle added three RBI for the Gators (20-7-1).

Both teams scored four runs in the first inning, then SHP took over as sophomore left-hander Devin Saltzgaber allowed just one run the rest of the way. 

For Carlmont, Joe Prieto had three RBI including a home run. Henry Massey had three hits. 

No. 2 St. Francis-SCP 5, No. 7 Los Altos 0

Los Altos trailed 1-0 until St. Francis-Watsonville scored four runs in the sixth. The Eagles fell to 13-14 with the loss.

St. Francis (18-9) advances to play third-seeded Carmel (16-12) in the semifinals Thursday at 3 p.m. at Hartnell College. Carmel edged Christopher 3-2 on Saturday.

Division IV

No. 8 Santa Teresa 5, No. 1 Wilcox 2, 8 innings

The Saints scored three runs in the top of the eighth to knock off top-seeded Wilcox in what might have been more of a mild surprise than a stunner. 

Despite its No. 1 seed, the Chargers came in having lost three of four and finished the season 13-14.

Santa Teresa (15-13) finished eighth out of 10 teams in the tough SCVAL Mt. Hamilton, a much underrated conference in which the top three teams – Live Oak, Branham, Leigh – all won opening round games on Saturday. Live Oak and Leigh both beat teams from the powerful West Catholic Athletic League, and the Mt. Hamilton’s eight playoff teams were x-x in the quarterfinal round.

Anthony Dela Cruz was the hero of Santa Teresa’s first-round win, doubling home home runners from first and second in the eighth. He then stole third and scored the game’s final run on a wild pitch.

“He had a tremendous at-bat,” second-year Saints’ coach Patrick Hawk said of Dela Cruz. “He’s been working hard in the cage, making adjustments.” 

Santa Teresa trailed 2-0 when Brad Tran singled in the fifth for the Saints’ first hit. The visitors eventually loaded the bases, then Roy Miner walks to force home a run, making it 2-1. Tran then hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth for the tying run.

Johnny Alvarez went the first six innings for Santa Teresa, then Riley Breton pitched the final two frames, allowing one hit and striking out two for the win. 

The Saints will play league rival Leland on Wednesday in the section semifinals at Sollecito Ball Park in Monterey. First pitch is at 7 p.m. It will be preceded by the Hollister-Salinas semifinal at 4.

No. 4 Leland 6, No. 5 Monterey 4

The Chargers (14-14) rallied from a 4-2 deficit with back-to-back two-run innings in the fifth and sixth. 

Will Fischer was the star of the game. On the mound, the senior right-hander took over in the fourth inning and completely shut down Monterey’s offense, allowing one hit and striking out seven in 3⅔ innings. At the plate he drove in two runs, as did Cody Hardtke.

Vincenzo also played a big part in Leland’s win, going 2 for 4 and scoring two runs.

No. 2 Palma 4, No. 7 Sequoia 3

The underdog Ravens made it interesting in the seventh, scoring a run to close the gap to one, but Palma managed to hang on.

Max Stallings had two RBI for Sequoia (13-13-1) while Aaron Melz had two hits including a triple and also drove in a run.

No. 6 Salinas 6, No. 3 Willow Glen 5, 10 innings

Both teams scored in the first, fourth and tenth innings. Willow Glen led 3-2 after one, the game was tied 4-4 after Salinas scored twice and Willow Glen once in the fourth, then Salinas added two more runs in the 10th and managed to hold the Rams to one run in the bottom of the inning.

Manny Dorantes, the third pitcher of the game for Salinas, according to the MaxPreps box, worked the final seven innings to gain the win, allowing five hits and two runs (one earned). He walked two and struck out six.

Jordan Isla was the hitting star for the Cowboys (13-13) with three singles and three RBI.

Dyan Dallas and Jacob Torres each had three hits for Willow Glen. Both scored a run and drove in a run for the Rams (15-12). 

Division V

No. 4 Monte Vista Christian 1, No. 5 Gilroy 0

Senior Kyle Recota scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the seventh as Monta Vista Christian-Watsonville improved to 22-5 on the season with a quarterfinal win. Joseph Keldsen pitched six innings for the winners, allowing two hits and striking out 12. Brayden Mrtinez had two hits for Gilroy (17-7-1).  

Next up for Monte Vista Christian is No. 8 seed Hillsdale (17-9), which shocked top-seeded Harbor 4-0. That semifinal will be at Hartnell College in Salinas. First pitch will be at 4 p.m. 

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