DanvilleSanRamon.com

Sports - March 16, 2007

Spring season baseball and softball open

Preseason win bodes well for wolves

by Rachel McMurdie

San Ramon Valley boys baseball team looked regal in the Crown Dublin East Bay Classic victory, beating Serra High School in the championship game Saturday, 3-1.

Despite the momentum built earlier in the tournament by Serra's pitcher Brian Belli, the Wolves (3-3) pulled the win and established themselves as contenders among the area's heavy weights.

Joe Southwick delivered the first of three runs for the Wolves with an RBI single in the first inning. The Wolves finished the first inning up 2-0. The Padres (5-2) pulled close in the fourth inning, earning their only run off an RBI double by Anthony Armanio. The Wolves answered back in the sixth inning, solidifying their lead when Vai Schierholtz batted a double for the wolves final RBI. Bret Harada, batting for the Wolves, had two hits and scored two runs during the game.

Wolves starting pitcher Mike Gibbons (2-0) recorded his second season win. He was relieved in the fifth by Keegan Bill, who earned his first save. Jake Whitney was catcher for the Wolves.

The Padres started Steven Lumpkins as pitcher, relieving him in the fourth with Rich Mirowski.

The Wolves faced tough competition throughout the tournament. The team lost to Campolindo and Berkeley but won against Deer Valley, West, and ultimately Serra. Cross-town contender Monte Vista also played in the weekend's Classic. The Mustangs (3-2) earned a 7-0 win over West, an 11-1 win over Antioch, and a 14-5 win over Castro Valley, but fell 3-9 to Serra, and 0-7 to Logan.

Softball

Monte Vista and San Ramon Valley's girls softball is officially under way, with both teams' preseason records tied at 2-0. The Mustangs opened their season with a 7-1 win against Acalanes, and last week put away Washington (Fremont) 6-2. The Wolves opened their season with an equally strong 5-1 win over Carondelet and an 18-0 blowout against Skyline. Both teams are scheduled to compete in this weekend's Queen of the Mountain Tournament in Concord.

Basketball

Monte Vista's season run finally came to an end Thursday, just two points shy of advancing to the second round of boys basketball Division I CIF Northern California playoffs.

Despite a 33-21 lead at the half, the Mustangs fell to Skyline in an edge-of-your-seat game that came down to the last seconds. Skylines' winning shot came on a Kwame Vaugn, 17-footer with four seconds left. But with seconds left, it could have been either team's game.

Skyline had pulled to within 1 during the last eight minutes of the third quarter, and used the momentum to propel themselves through the fourth, setting the pace and coming up with the occasional 2- or 4-point lead. But the Mustangs continued to battle back. Trailing 56-53, with 20 seconds left, Ryan Whalen tossed up a 3-point attempt, but missed. John Appel grabbed the rebound and fed Whalen again who followed his shot, and was fouled. This time the 2-point basket sank, as did the free throw, tying the game. Whalen, who plans to attend Stanford on a football scholarship, finished the night with 28 points and seven 3-pointers.

After a timeout, Skyline put the ball into Vaugn's hands. The junior who scored 13 of his game's 15 points in the last half outmaneuvered Monte Vista defense for the final shot and scored.

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