High School

West Ranch protest is denied; Yucaipa advances in baseball playoffs

Orange Lutheran shortstop Justin DiCriscio tries to make catch against Etiwanda.
(Jerry Soifer / For The Times)

The Southern Section has denied an appeal by West Ranch over a pregame protest on Tuesday, enabling Yucaipa to advance to the quarterfinals of the Division 1 baseball playoffs.

West Ranch filed a protest with the umpires, alleging Yucaipa held an illegal soft toss batting practice before the playoff game at West Ranch.

Yucaipa ended up winning 1-0.

The Southern Section also rejected an appeal by AB Miller against Carpinteria. Both schools submitted videos.

In both cases, the Southern Section ruled, “Drills shown in these videos do not rise to the level of removing either team from playoffs.” In other words, you must break the spirit of the rule to force the Southern Section to require a forfeit.

In softball, the Southern Section rejected an appeal by Royal against Ayala.

Several teams have been forced to forfeit playoff games in recent years for violating the rule that is spelled out clearly in the baseball and softball playoff bulletins. Summit’s softball team forfeited in this year’s playoffs.

Yucaipa coach Ralph Grajeda said on Tuesday, “I thought we were fine. We were doing normal soft toss off to the side. We had four rows going. Nobody was throwing overhand. They took a video. I felt we were within the rule.”

The rule: “Teams entered in the baseball playoffs will not be permitted to take batting practice on the day of a playoff game prior to the commencement of the contest. Batting practice will be construed as ANY type of pitching motion with ANY type of ball from in front of the batter (including pitching machines and overhand throwing). With the consultation and support of the C.I.F. Southern Section Baseball Coaches Advisory Committee, the rules are as follows.


“A) For side soft toss, the guidelines are as follows: the tosser should be on a knee, to the side of the batter and the ball should be lifted, not pitched, to the batter.“B) For pepper, the guidelines are as follows: the maximum distance between the pitchers/fielders and the hitter is 40 feet and batted balls are to be directed toward the pitchers/fielders.

“C) To clarify any questions that may arise. “Tracking”, the idea that hitters will stand in a batter’s position, while pitchers throw overhand to a catcher, and “track” pitches as they come toward the plate, is not considered batting practice by definition and is allowable prior to playoff contests. Batters who swing, or attempt to swing or bunt in any fashion, will be in violation of this rule and may face the consequences of that action. Coaches should be very careful to monitor any and all pre-game activities.”

Mira Costa advanced with a 2-1 win over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. Jared Karros struck out 10 and walked none. The Mustangs will play at La Mirada on Friday. Michael DeHaro struck out nine in an 8-2 win over Palm Desert.

Orange Lutheran defeated Etiwanda 4-0. The top-seeded Lancers have given up zero runs in 14 playoff innings.

Aliso Niguel defeated El Toro 1-0 on a ninth-inning home run from David LeBoida. Quinn Mathews struck out eight in 3 2/3 innings of relief.

Huntington Beach pulled out a 2-1 win over Bishop Amat on a walk-off single by Jag Burg. Cypress defeated defending Division 1 champion Capistrano Valley 2-1 with a two-run home run by Luke Davis in the seventh.

Harvard-Westlake defeated Ayala 11-2. JP Corrigan had a home run and three RBIs. Drew Bowser added three RBIs.

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Friday’s matchups: Orange Lutheran at Harvard-Westlake; Huntington Beach at Aliso Niguel; Mira Costa at La Mirada; Yucaipa at Cypress.

In Division 2, El Segundo got a walk-off hit in the 11th inning for a 3-2 win over Arcadia. Redondo defeated King 5-1. Jake Thau struck out six in four innings and Matthew Dalquist struck out three in three innings.

Gardena Serra defeated Saugus 3-2 on a walk-off hit by Jordan Brown.

Santa Margarita defeated Damien 4-2. Spencer Edwards threw two innings of shutout relief.

Crescenta Valley defeated Thousand Oaks 4-3. Vincent Parrott had two doubles and two RBIs.

Quartz Hill defeated Maranatha 14-12. Mike Marshall had four RBIs.

Alhambra defeated Ontario Christian 3-0. Victor de Leon threw five shutout innings.