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Varsity Times Insider: The latest sports news from Southern California's high school teams

Eric Sondheimer has been covering high school sports for the Los Angeles Times since 1997 and in Southern California since 1976. Get his latest from the field and follow all our prep sports coverage and analysis here.

  • Baseball

Mira Costa improved to 20-2 on Saturday with a 4-0 win over Santa Monica.

Alfonso Cano threw five innings and Merrick Baldo pitched the last two innings.

Bash Alexiades had two RBIs.

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  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Baseball

New NCAA recruiting rules passed earlier this week are expected to eliminate early scholarship offers to high school freshmen and sophomores.

Under new rules, athletes in sports other than football and basketball cannot take official visits until Sept. 1 of their junior year. In football, it’s April 1 of their junior year. In basketball, it’s Jan. 1 of their junior year.

The big change is with unofficial visits. No longer will coaches or athletic department representatives be allowed to take around freshmen or sophomores on campus tours. They can’t participate in unofficial visits until Sept. 1 of the prospect’s junior year.

  • Track
Mason Ratkovich (left), Corey Kumamoto, Anthony Stone and Konnor Paris ran in 4 x 800 relay for Loyola at Mt. SAC Relays.
Mason Ratkovich (left), Corey Kumamoto, Anthony Stone and Konnor Paris ran in 4 x 800 relay for Loyola at Mt. SAC Relays. (Donna Kumamoto)

It was a big Friday night for the Loyola High 4 x 800 relay team.

The Cubs ran a nation-leading 7:45.77 at the Mt. SAC Relays at El Camino College.

Konnor Paris started the relay with a time of 1:57.7. Anthony Stone followed in 1:55.6. Corey Kumamoto followed in 1:56.3 and Mason Ratkovich ran 1:55.7.

Lincoln Bellamy of Palisades won two of his four sets in No. 1 singles for Palisades.
Lincoln Bellamy of Palisades won two of his four sets in No. 1 singles for Palisades. (Steve Galluzzo)

It's only fitting that the winningest program in City Section history won the section's first Open Division boys tennis championship Friday at Balboa Tennis Center in Encino.

Top-seeded Palisades (22-2) won six of the nine doubles sets to defeat Granada Hills 17-12.5 for its 10th consecutive City title and 36th overall.

Each team won eight single sets. Karapet Vardanyan and Daniel Lin swept at the No, 1 and No. 2 spots while Andrew Kang and Alex La were swept at No. 3 and No. 4 for Granada Hills (13-3), which didn't quite have the depth to dethrone the Dolphins.

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  • Baseball

No. 1-ranked Huntington Beach is running away in the Sunset League, improving to 21-3 overall and 9-0 in league after a 7-0 victory over Marina on Friday.

Josh Hahn and Cole Minato each hit two-run home runs. Edward Pelc, Nate Madole and Nick Morlett combined on a six-hitter.

Edison defeated Los Alamitos 5-4 in nine innings. Riley Haddon threw a complete game. Ted Burton had the game-winning walk-off sacrifice fly. Caden Aoki had three hits.

Bryan Golnick of El Camino Real threw his second consecutive West Valley League shutout in a 6-0 win over Granada Hills.
Bryan Golnick of El Camino Real threw his second consecutive West Valley League shutout in a 6-0 win over Granada Hills. (Eric Sondheimer)

El Camino Real has found its ace pitcher in Bryan Golnick.

For the second consecutive week, Golnick threw a shutout against a West Valley League team. Last week it was Birmingham. On Friday, he shut down Granada Hills 6-0 to enable the Conquistadores to pull into a first-place tie with Granada Hills at 3-1.

Golnick is throwing strikes and letting his defense take care of the rest. Right-fielder Amauri Thomas made a spectacular diving catch in support of Golnick, who allowed three hits, struck out two and walked none.

  • Track

Track and field and swimming take center stage this weekend in high school sports.

The Mt. SAC Relays will be held at El Camino College in Torrance because Mt. SAC’s stadium is under construction.

Also the 38th annual Royal High School Invitational is taking place on Saturday at Rancho Simi Park and Rec pool, 1765 Royal Ave. in Simi Valley.

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BASEBALL

ACADEMY LEAGUE

Crean Lutheran 3, Oxford Academy 0

  • Baseball

Banning kept alive its hopes for a Marine League baseball championship by pulling out a 1-0 win over San Pedro in eight innings on Thursday.

Josh Escobar had the walk-off sacrifice fly to score Andrew Solorio in the eighth inning. Freshman left-hander Anthony Joya threw shutout ball for 7 2/3 innings, allowing three hits.

Banning plays Carson next week for first place.

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