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Wolfpack baseball shuts out Alta Loma

by Andrew Alonzo | aalonzo@claremont-courier.com

On Tuesday, Claremont High School’s varsity baseball team defeated Alta Loma High at home, shutting out the Braves 5-0.

Runs from junior Izaiah Camacho, and seniors Kody Johnson and Kenny Wang in the bottom of the first inning gave the Wolfpack an early advantage.

It was a rough day in Claremont for the Braves and their senior pitcher Dominic Gravina, as he gave up all five runs before being taken out during the bottom of the sixth.

Wolfpack senior pitcher Aiden Ross, however, enjoyed not only a complete game shutout victory, but also had a run batted in for the first time since recovering from a broken finger.

Ross made quick work of Alta Loma in the first, with two flyball outs and a strikeout of senior Dylan Corona.

In the bottom of the first, Claremont’s took an early lead it never let slip.

Leading off for the Wolfpack was Johnson, who doubled off Gravina. Then Camacho bunted, beating the pitcher’s throw to first for a single and advancing Johnson to third.

Johnson then scored on a wild pitch from Gravina to put the Wolfpack up 1-0 while Camacho advanced to second base.

Gravina then walked seniors Kenny Wang and Ross, loading the bases.

Junior Adrian Sanchez then popped up and was tagged out at first as Wang advanced to third and Camacho scored, making it 2-0 Claremont.

Senior David Lopez then singled and brought home Wang to make it 3-0, but Ross was called out at third after some good defensive play from Alta Loma.

It was a defensive battle during the third, fourth and fifth innings, with both teams able to get runners on base but unable to capitalize.

“The defense played real well and we’ve been playing defense pretty good all year,” Head Coach Charlie Reynoso said. “We were hoping to get more runs to be honest with you and we had the bases loaded as well … we missed opportunities but we also cashed in some.”

Claremont put the game to bed during the bottom of the sixth inning after Alta Loma committed a series of errors.

While Gravina opened the inning with a strikeout of freshman Wyatt Green, Ross’s pinch hitter, junior Brodie Ramos was able to snag a single after a big hit to center.

Johnson grounded to short, and looked like he would be thrown out, but Alta Loma shortstop Morales overthrew first, allowing him to advance to second and Ramos to third.

Alta Loma third baseman junior Seth Reker then dropped a Claremont junior Benjamin Gallegos line drive, allowing Ramos to score and putting the Wolfpack up 4-0. CHS got their fifth run on a line drive sacrifice fly for the final score, 5-0.

Tuesday’s win over fourth place Alta Loma was a big morale booster for the Wolfpack, who are in fifth place in the Palomares League, just one game behind the Braves.

With third place Glendora losing to second place Ayala on Tuesday, Claremont’s win keeps the Wolfpack in the race for a Division 4 CIF-Southern Section playoff spot.

If Glendora loses Tuesday and Thursday and Claremont wins Thursday’s upcoming game over Alta Loma, Claremont and Glendora will battle for a playoff spot next week.

“We see [Glendora] twice next week and if we beat them twice, win our next three games, and they lose their next game plus ours, then we’ll go to the playoffs,” said coach Reynoso. “There’s a slim chance, we need help from somebody else … but fingers crossed.”

According to CIF-SS baseball playoff regulations, all five [to] six team leagues will be guaranteed three entries into the playoffs. All eyes are on Reynoso and Claremont to sneak into that third place slot on the final day.

After Tuesday’s win, Claremont’s league record stands at 4-8, and 10-13 overall.
On Thursday, the Wolfpack traveled to Alta Loma to play the Braves for a second time in Palomares League competition. Updated results from that game can be viewed at maxpreps.com.

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