Sports

Paly baseball closes in on first place in De Anza Division race

Palo Alto remained in the hunt for a possible title in the SCVAL De Anza Division baseball race with a 3-2 victory over visiting Homestead on Wednesday.

The Vikings moved to 7-2 in league (11-8 overall) and inched to within a game of first-place Los Gatos, which suffered a 6-1 upset loss to host Saratoga.

Palo Alto scored all of its runs in the second inning while making the most of its four hits. Seniors Bowen Gerould, Daniel Tachna-Fram and Jack Cleasby all drove in runs in the big inning with Gerould, Anthony Lim and Noah Phillips scoring the runs.

Palo Alto took advantage of nine walks and three errors by the Mustangs (5-6, 8-9-1) as senior Brian Kannappan picked up the win with 6 1/2 innings of six-hit ball. Chris Smith finished things off in the top of the seventh.

The Vikings remain ahead of third-place Wilcox (9-3, 16-5) in the loss column. The Chargers crushed host Gunn, 15-1, on Wednesday as the Titans fell to 0-9 in league (1-17 overall).

In Southern California, Menlo School won its final pool-play game in the San Diego Lions Club Tournament, an 8-5 baseball victory over Olympian.

The triumph was the Knights' second straight in the four-day tournament, which Menlo opened with a tough one-run loss in eight innings on Monday. That setback prevented the Knights from reaching the championship round.

Instead of possibly playing for a title, Menlo (12-6) will face Olympian (7-9) again Thursday in a consolation game.

Junior lefthander Austin D'Ambra threw a complete-game six-hitter on Wednesday, walking only one as he improved to 3-2.

Senior co-captain Sam Crowder provided two hits and an RBI. In the three tourney games, Crowder has seven hits and five RBI.

In other nonleague action, Menlo-Atherton pitchers issued 11 "free passes" (10 walks and a hit-by-pitch) and the Bears committed several costly defensive miscues en route to a 10-6 loss to Riordan at Bettencourt Field. The loss moved M-A's overall record to 12-6.

Four of Riordan's 10 runs were scored by players who reached base via a walk, and another Crusader scored after reaching base on a third-strike passed ball. The visitors scored twice on passed balls, once on a wild pitch, and added another run on an M-A fielding error. They also produced nine base hits, including four in a three-run second inning.

Starting pitcher AJ Lemons (1-1) absorbed the loss for M-A, allowing four runs (zero earned) on five hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings. Four other pitchers -- Colin Martell, Leo McCabe, Cameron Malloy, and Jordan Long -- were summoned from the M-A bullpen over the final 2 1/3 innings.

Trailing 7-0 in the bottom of the sixth, M-A made things interesting by scoring six runs on five hits and two walks. The Crusaders answered with three runs in the top of the seventh to thwart the Bears' comeback.

M-A collected a total of eight hits, including a pair of two-run doubles by juniors Matt McGarry and Max Gardiner. Long had an RBI single; third baseman Brett Moriarty was 2-for-4 (both singles); and Lemons, Lawson Joos, and Paul DeTrempe also had hits for the Bears.

Menlo-Atherton will visit Westmont on Friday at 4 p.m.

Girls lacrosse

Gunn held on to first place in the SCVAL standings with a 6-5 victory over host Saratoga on Wednesday evening. The Titans improved to 6-0 in league (9-1 overall) and maintained a one-game lead over St. Francis (8-1).

Junior Rachael Tsai scored three goals to pace Gunn with Victoria Nguyen, Anna Cabot and Caroline Chou all adding one. The Titans' top-ranked defense -- the team allows an average of only five goals per match -- was lead by sophomore Liz Cromarty's six saves in in goal. Saratoga came in averaging 16.5 goals per game.

Gunn will host Los Gatos on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

In nonleague action, Sacred Heart Prep rolled to a 20-15 victory over host Palo Alto. The Gators (10-4) pulled away from an 8-7 halftime lead and controlled the second half.

Sophomores Ally Mayle (seven goals, two assists) and Libby Muir (five goals, two assists) led the way while senior Caroline Cummings also contributed five goals. Cameron Gordon finished with two goals and two assists, Brigid White had one of each and goalie Natalie Palmer came up with five saves for the Gators while Paly dropped to 5-5.

Paly junior Allie Peery scored five goals with sophomore Maya Benetar adding four. Senior Ami Drez finished with three and junior Paige Bara added two. Goalie Meredith Kinnaman had six saves. The Vikings held a 9-8 lead early in the second half until SHP pulled away.

Softball

Getting 10 strikeouts from junior Iris Chin, Gunn won its eighth straight game with a 12-8 nonleague decision over host Aragon on Wednesday. The Titans (11-2) got four hits from Emma Wager, who slammed a home run and triple as Gunn pounded out 16 hits.

Chin had three hits while improving her pitching record to 11-2. Gunn held a 6-0 lead after the top of the second, but Aragon kept it close. The Dons got to within 7-5 after three, but no closer as the Titans tallied three runs in the fourth.

Catherine Schwarzwalder, Natalie Oda, Mariana Torres and Megan Ostrom all had two hits for Gunn.

Track and field

The Gunn girls remained undefeated (4-0) and moved closer to claiming the SCVAL De Anza Division dual-meet title following an 89-38 victory over host Los Altos on Wednesday. The Gunn boys fell to 2-2 after a 68-54 loss to the Eagles.

Gunn senior Sarah Robinson cruised to victory in the 1,600 meters (5:17.72) and sophomore Gillian Meeks took the 800 with a personal record of 2:17.69, as both ran only one individual event as a tuneup for Friday's CCS Top 8 meet at San Jose City College.

Sophomore Robin Peter was a double-winner for Gunn as she took the 100 hurdles (15.93) and open 100 (13.08). Senior Adriana Noronha also won twice, winning the shot put (a PR of 38-11, No. 3 in CCS)) and discus (116-7) and senior Stephanie Do swept the long jump (15-7) and triple jump (32-8 1/4).

Gunn senior Sean Lydster ran only his third 300 intermediate hurdle race ever and finished second in 40.81, which ranks him sixth in CCS. He trailed only Kelly McConnell of Los Altos, who ran 40.02 for the No. 2 CCS time.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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