Two weeks ago, the Los Altos High baseball team looked like a lock to make the Central Coast Section Open Division playoffs. A four-game skid followed, however, and – just as coach Gabe Stewart feared – it cost the Eagles an invitation to the top tier of the tournament.
“Due to recency bias, I am not sure if the committee will be able to overlook our recent four-game losing streak and instead focus on the fact we won 21 of our first 22,” Stewart said prior to Sunday’s seeding meeting. “My best guess is that not winning at least one game against Palo Alto, which would have made us (SCVAL De Anza Division) co-champions, and losing against Wilcox in the postseason (league) tourney, is going to hurt us for being selected for the Open.”
The committee chose only two De Anza squads for the eight-team Open – regular-season champ Los Gatos (21-7 overall) and league tourney champ Palo Alto (17-9). Los Altos (21-5) landed the second seed in CCS Division I and is scheduled to open at home against No. 15 Menlo-Atherton (12-13) 4 p.m. today. If the Eagles prevail, they advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals to face the winner of today’s game between No. 10 Mountain View (16-10-1) and No. 7 Santa Teresa (15-11) at a time and place to be determined.
Los Altos, which fell to Wilcox 7-2 in the second round of the league playoffs May 8, won the CCS Division I crown last year.
In other baseball action last week:
• Top-seeded St. Ignatius defeated No. 4 St. Francis 2-0 in the WCAL semifinals May 8 at Santa Clara University, but the Lancers still qualified for the CCS Open Division. The seventh-seeded Lancers (17-12) are slated to face No. 2 Mitty (19-10) in Saturday’s quarterfinals at a time and place to be determined.
St. Francis was limited to only four hits, including a double by Izzy Galindo, in the WCAL semis. The Warriors scored both runs in the fifth.
• In a league playoff game to decide the PSAL South Division champion, Thomas More pounded Pinewood 12-2 May 8 at San Jose High. The loss kept the Panthers (11-5) out of the CCS playoffs.
The teams entered last week’s game with identical 9-1 league records and split their two regular-season meetings.
The Panthers jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first, but More tied it up in the second and outscored Pinewood 4-1 in the third. The Knights sealed the win with a seven-run sixth.
There will be no sharing this year. Mountain View wrapped up the De Anza Division title – which it shared with Los Gatos last season – by routing host Santa Clara 15-4 May 7.
Up 5-3 at the end of the third, the Spartans pulled away with a 10-run fifth that included a three-run homer by Arya Patel.
Jessica Day also drove in three runs in the game; Nikki Pappas and Ilona Sullivan each had two RBIs.
Sullivan picked up the win, surrendering four hits and one earned run over four frames. She struck out four.
Sullivan also earned the win in Thursday’s 1-0 win over visiting Los Altos to cap the regular season. The senior allowed just four hits and struck out eight.
Day, Lauren Dove and Alysia Capote had two hits each for the Spartans. Dove’s single in the second inning scored the game’s lone run.
Both teams are bound for the playoffs. Mountain View has qualified for the CCS Open Division for the first time. The No. 4 Spartans (17-6) are scheduled to meet No. 5 Carlmont (16-9) in Saturday’s quarterfinals (time and place to be determined).
Los Altos (11-14-1) is the 11th seed in Division I and slated to visit No. 6 Gilroy (13-11) 4 p.m. today.
St. Francis is playoff bound as well. The third seed in the Open Division, the Lancers (22-5-1) are set to play No. 6 Santa Teresa (21-6) Saturday (time and place to be determined).
Los Altos and Mountain View finished one-two at the SCVAL North Division finals May 8. The host Eagles put up a team score of 145.750; the rival Spartans posted a 141.200.
Los Altos junior Emma Tsao was the all-around champion with a score of 37.400. She won the uneven bars (9.500) and floor exercise (9.800) and tied Mountain View senior Nomi Rosen for top honors on the vault (8.800). Rosen placed fifth all-around with a 36.000.
Eagle Allison Bricca took second all-around (36.800) and won the balance beam (9.650). Spartan Cindy Linker came in third all-around (36.300) and Pinewood’s Lucia Diffenbaugh (36.200) was fourth.
While St. Francis didn’t qualify for the CCS finals as a team, two Lancers made it individually with strong performances at last week’s regionals. Matthew Adams tied two other golfers for third and John Heckel finished in a six-way tie for sixth in CCS Regional No. 1, held the morning of May 7 at Laguna Seca Golf Ranch in Monterey. Adams shot a 72 and Heckel a 73.
The St. Francis team placed seventh with a score of 406.
Michael Bringas, Mountain View High’s lone representative at the event, finished 59th with a score of 86.
Three other local golfers competed in CCS Regional No. 2, held later that day on the same course. Los Altos High’s Jamison Tan and Pinewood School’s Tyler Chou tied for 38 with rounds of 81; Los Altos’ Connor Song came in 57th with an 86.
The CCS finals were slated Tuesday (after the Town Crier’s deadline) at Laguna Seca.
No. 8 St. Francis won the first set of its CCS Division II quarterfinal match against top-seeded Leigh, but the host Longhorns took the next three to advance. Leigh prevailed 21-25, 25-17, 25-16, 31-29 May 7.
The Lancers finished the season with a 16-16 record.
Fifth-seeded St. Francis fell 6-1 to No. 4 St. Ignatius in the CCS quarterfinals May 6 at San Francisco State.
The Lancers, who defeated Mitty 5-2 in the previous round, concluded the year with a 17-5 record.