Thu09182014

Sports

LA doubles team looks to defend section title this week

Los Altos High’s boys tennis season came to an end for all but two players last week.

The fifth-seeded Eagles were eliminated by No. 4 Bellarmine 12-6 in the quarterfinals of the Central Coast Section team playoffs May 6.

But Anthony Bello and Spencer Simonides – the Eagles’ No. 1 and 2 singles players, respectively – will team up for this week’s CCS individual tournament. The top-seeded seniors were slated Tuesday (after the Town Crier’s press deadline) to begin their defense of the doubles title they won a year ago. The semifinals are scheduled 12:30 p.m. today, with the finals to follow, at Imperial Courts in Aptos.

Baseball

The regular season didn’t end as Los Altos hoped – Mountain View beat its rival two games to one last week in the SCVAL De Anza Division Postseason Tournament – but the outcome didn’t end the Eagles’ year.

Los Altos (16-14 overall) has qualified for the CCS Division II playoffs. The 12th-seeded Eagles are scheduled to visit No. 5 Willow Glen (17-10) 4 p.m. Thursday. The winner moves on to the quarterfinals Saturday to face No. 4 Los Gatos (20-7) or No. 13 Burlingame (17-9) at a time and place to be announced.

Los Altos, which opened the division tourney by sweeping Gunn the prior week, topped Mountain View 11-9 in the second-round opener May 7. Steven McLean homered for the Eagles; Patrick McColl and Max Wilber added two doubles each.

The Spartans evened the series Thursday, prevailing 7-1 behind the arm of Will Thornton (complete game one-hitter) and the bats of Sam Moore (three hits) and John McAlister (two RBIs).

Mountain View won Friday’s finale 5-4, rallying with three runs in the fourth. Dwight Washington’s RBI single proved to be the game-winner.

Adam Petke did not coach Mountain View (12-18-1) in the series. The week before, the team’s second-year coach “resigned for personal reasons,” athletic director John Payne said.

St. Francis has earned the top seed in the CCS Division I playoffs. The Lancers (25-4) are slated to host No. 16 Monta Vista (13-13) 4 p.m. today. The winner meets No. 8 Wilcox (22-11) or No. 9 Valley Christian (17-11) Saturday in the quarterfinals at a time and place to be determined.

Softball

No. 5 Los Altos has the more-desirable seed, but coach Tom Barrera said No. 12 Branham poses a formidable challenge for his Eagles in today’s CCS Division II playoff opener, set for 4 p.m.

“Players and coaches will need to bring their ‘A’ game against Branham,” he said. “They are coming off one of their best seasons in several years. They play solid defense and hit the ball well. Our hitting is not what it was last year, and if we expect to continue into the second round, we’ll need to step it up and be more aggressive at the plate.”

The winner of today’s game between host Los Altos (16-9-2) and Branham (15-12) advances to Saturday’s quarterfinals against No. 4 Saratoga (22-4) or No. 13 Valley Christian (13-13) at a time and place to be announced.

The Eagles placed third in the De Anza Division at 8-4, which Barrera called “a respectable record.” He noted that the team has come a long way since February.

“When we kicked off the season there were many unknowns,” the coach said. “Pitching was a big question mark. However, Marialena Ahern and Lizzy Beutter silenced the critics. Players such as Tianna Vasquez, Amanda Jones, Marialena Ahern, Anamaria Gomez and Jasmine Pedroza should provide enough offensive power to enable Los Altos to have a successful showing in CCS.”

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