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Spring season races, baseball, softball, tennis, heating up
April 16, 2013, 05:00 AM By Nathan Mollat Daily Journal

The Peninsula Athletic League’s Bay Division baseball standings just got a lot tighter following Burlingame’s 17-4 beating of Carlmont last Friday, handing the Scots their first division loss of the season and earning a series split with the division leaders.

Burlingame now finds itself, along with Terra Nova, a game behind the Scots with 4-2 records. The Tigers could have pulled into a tie for first, but lost 9-1 to Menlo-Atherton Friday as well.

Hillsdale was probably the biggest beneficiary of Carlmont’s loss as it takes some of the sting out of losing three of their last four league games. At 3-3, the Knights are still within striking distance of the teams above them. Hillsdale had a huge test the next two weeks, however, with Carlmont this week and Terra Nova looming the following week.

Capuchino, Menlo-Atherton, Aragon and Half Moon Bay all sport 2-4 league marks, but only three games out of first, they are a two- or three-game winning streak from being right back in the mix.

In the West Catholic Athletic League, Serra is primed to make a run at a league crown. The Padres and St. Francis are tied atop the standings with 6-1 records and hold a two-game lead over Valley Christian and Bellarmine as the second round of league play begins today.

Right now, Serra would hold the tiebreaker over the Lancers by virtue of the Padres’ come-from-behind 10-9 win over St. Francis March 22.

They have a rematch next Thursday, but the Padres can’t look too far ahead. They have three tough games before that — St. Ignatius today, Valley Christian Saturday and Mitty next Tuesday.

***

How good is the Carlmont softball team? A freshman, Jacy Phipps, currently leads the Scots in RBIs with 18. The Scots have four players on pace to drive in 20 runs or more and have a chance to have eight, and as many as 10, players finish with 10 RBIs or more.

Carlmont is threatening to go undefeated in Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division play and has only two losses on the year, to Soquel and San Benito — a pair of Central Coast Section powers. The Scots have since avenged their loss to San Benito with a convincing 9-1 win April 6. The Haybalers have won the last seven Division crowns in a row, beating Carlmont twice in the finals, including last year.

The Scots will be, once again, a favorite to win a section title — something that has evaded the seven-time champs since 2004.

Even more scary? The Scots have a chance to be even better next year. They will return their starting pitcher, shortstop, first baseman and outfield.

***

Despite being upset by Carlmont April 4, it looks like the Menlo-Atherton boys’ tennis team will capture its fourth-straight PAL Bay Division title.

The Bears lost a pair of starters to grades going into the match against the Scots, but have won their last two matches, including a big 5-2 win over Burlingame last week. With matches against the bottom two teams in the division — Woodside and El Camino, which are a combined 2-20 in Bay Division — it would take a monumental stumble to be denied the league’s automatic spot into the CCS tournament.

Carlmont, on the other hand, is surging right now. The Scots still have a shot at second place as they face Aragon today. A win by the Dons would lock up second place in the standings as well as the top seed in the PAL tournament — which is used to determine the league’s second automatic CCS berth. The top seed in the league playoffs will take on Ocean Division champion Hillsdale.

Nathan Mollat can be reached by email: nathan@smdailyjournal.com or by phone: 344-5200 ext. 117. He can also be followed on Twitter @CheckkThissOutt.


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