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NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE PRESS ROW – Artesia baseball cannot recover from first inning deficit, season ends with loss in second round

May 8, 2024

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on X

Artesia High’s young baseball team, with just two seniors, had rallied for a win five times this season, including coming back from a 5-3 deficit when they entered the top of the seventh inning last Friday to beat Eisenhower High by 7- 5 to beat in a CIF match. Southern Section Division 7 First Round Game. But when the Pioneers hosted South El Monte High last Tuesday, they were in a 4-0 hole before they could even swing the bats.

This time it was too much to overcome, and Artesia dropped a 6-1 decision, ending the season at 13-12. The Pioneers have advanced to the second round twice in the past three seasons and to the quarterfinals in 2023. It marks the first time since 2003-05 that the program has advanced to the playoffs in three consecutive seasons. The game also marked the fifth time the Pioneers allowed at least three runs in the first inning, each time resulting in a loss.

“In the playoffs it’s only one inning, and it was the first inning,” Artesia head coach Jose Serrano said. “We have a young team and they have a hard time coming back, especially when we go down. The (lack of) experience and not wanting more…I think the 4-0 deficit was a big slap in the face.”

Freshman pitcher Ramon Chavez, who started against Eisenhower and led the team with 10 starts, had control problems in the first two innings. He gave up three hits and walked three in the top of the first inning as nine players came to bat. He threw 21 strikes and 18 balls in the frame and 14 balls and 13 strikes in the second inning.

“It shows you exactly,” Serrano said. “I always tell the kids, if you’re not throwing to make contact, and you’re walking around with people, and especially in high school baseball, if at some point you’re throwing more balls than you’re hitting, you’re not going to succeed , and that’s what happened. Today.”

Still, the Pioneers had opportunities throughout the game to close the deficit, but were only able to get one runner to third base in the first six innings. In the second inning, junior second baseman Victor Sanchez reached on a fielder’s choice and stole third base with two outs. In the next inning, junior right fielder Alex Escobar singled to right with one out and advanced on an error when freshman first baseman Jorge Vidal was safe on a fielder’s choice. However, both runners were unable to advance.

Artesia avoided the shutout when junior pinch hitter Jacob Kim walked with one out in the seventh and was replaced by senior pinch runner Daniel Guardado. Then, with two outs, junior left fielder Daniel Serrano singled to center, bringing Guardado home.

The recent rise of the Artesia program over the past three seasons has been a pleasant surprise for Jose Serrano and his coaching staff. In addition to graduating Guardado and pitcher Juan Ceballos, the Pioneers had 10 juniors, two sophomores and three freshmen, making the future bright.

“That’s definitely true; it really is,” he said. “After last year, I knew from the beginning that this year was going to be a struggle. So just making the playoffs and even winning the first game meant a lot, especially to my young kids. The experience they gain this year and last year is good for them.”

In other baseball action, sixth-ranked La Mirada High defeated Foothill High 5-2 in a Division 1 second-round game to improve to 23-6. The Matadores host #3 Orange Lutheran High on Friday.

In Division 4 action, ninth-ranked Cerritos High squeaked past Los Osos High 6-5 in eight innings last Tuesday to move to 22-6 as the Dons will travel to top-ranked Camarillo High on Friday. Cerritos tied the same record as two seasons ago and a win will mark the first time the program has reached 23 wins in more than 25 seasons.


In Division 2 action, Gahr High edged past Tesoro High 4-3 last Tuesday to improve to 16-10. The Gladiators, who visited fourth-ranked Rio Mesa High on May 9, built a 4-1 lead after three innings and prevented a late-inning rally.

In Division 5, Valley Christian High trailed Shadow Hills High 3-0 after the first inning before tying the game in the fourth. The Defenders trailed 5-3 again before scoring single runs in the sixth and seventh before earning an 8-5 victory in eight innings. The Defenders, sixth in the division, improved to 16-6 and hosted third-place Providence High on May 9.

La Mirada lost another heartbreaking home game in the first round as the Matadores were defeated 3-2 by JSerra High in Division 1 action last Tuesday. The Matadores (19-6-2) led 2-0 in the top of the seventh inning.

Cerritos dropped a 7-4 game to La Canada High in a Division 3 first-round game last Thursday to finish the season at 15-4.

Artesia (13-8-1) lost to Carter High 13-12 in eight innings last Thursday in a Division 5 first-round game after being tied at seven runs in the top of the seventh inning.


There were several individual champions and other top performers at the CIF-SS Swimming Championships, held last Thursday through last Saturday at the Mt. San Antonio College. The diving finals were held last week at the Marguerite Aquatic Complex in Mission Viejo, where Whitney High freshman Trisha Lapidario placed 13th.e placed in Division 2 in the 1-meter event with a score of 323.85, good for the only 10 points the school would receive. La Mirada freshman Claire Droessler finished in fourth place in Division 4 in the same event with a score of 284.75.

In Division 2 swimming action, the Cerritos girls earned 75 team points and finished 13e ranked out of 48 schools, while the Cerritos boys came in eighth out of 49 schools with 95 points.

For the Cerritos boys, freshman Anthony Dornoff won the 200-yard IM with a time of 1:48.35, while sophomore Andrew Vet placed second with a time of 1:52.46. Dornoff would later place third in the 500 meter freestyle with a time of 4:32.24, while Vet came in ninth with a time of 4:41.11.

In the consolation finals, the 200-meter medley relay team of Dornoff, Vet and sophomores Andres Garey and Matthew Ho finished in third place with a time of 1:39.05.

On the girls side, Cerritos junior Clemence Choy finished in first place in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:02.72 and fifth in the 200-meter IM with a time of 2:05.44.

Top performers in the consolation finals were the 200-meter medley relay team of Choy, senior Alexandria Dornoff, junior Daphne Khong and freshman Alice Tam, who finished third in the consolation finals with a time of 1:53.56, and freshman Isabella Castro, who finished second in the 500 meters freestyle with a time of 5:10.54 and third in the 200 meter freestyle in 1:55.37.

In Division 3, the La Mirada boys finished in 22nd placeNL placed out of 48 schools with 44 ½ points and Whitney received 16 points. La Mirada junior Lincoln Jones finished second in the 200 IM with a time of 1:54.71 and fifth in the 100 backstroke (53.75), while senior Robert Rayfield finished in second place in the 100 consolation final meters. yard Butterfly with a time of 54.50.

Whitney junior Aaron Lee won the consolation final in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:56.88 and finished in fourth place in the consolation final in the 200 freestyle (1:49.42).

In Division 4, the Gahr boys scored 41 points, good for 24th out of 62 schools, as junior Carlos Valderamma had a CIF-SS Division 4 record time of 49.42 in the 100-meter butterfly and finished in second place at the 50 meters. Freestyle with a time of 21.39.


The CIF-SS division championships will take place Saturday at Moorpark High, with several area athletes competing for a spot to advance to the Masters Meet. In the Division 3 preliminaries last Saturday, Gahr senior Josiah Joseph tied for first in the long jump with a score of 22-00.75, while Artesia senior Jordan McGruder placed fourth in the triple jump (44-1.50) and junior Keiasja Carbins placed ninth in the girls’ triple jump with a mark of 34-8.

In the Division 4 preliminaries, the VC boys 4×400 relay team finished in second place with a time of 3:29.94, while VC senior Micah Jones placed sixth in the 800 meters (1:59.95) and junior Jayce Shields placed seventh. in the 400 meter run (50.10). VC freshman Celia Polk finished in seventh place in the girls pole vault with a score of 9-06.00.