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April 15, 2009 > HAAL baseball roundup

HAAL baseball roundup

By Gary van den Heuvel

The Hayward Area Athletic League (HAAL) had a virtually idle dossier last week - almost all of the games were nonleague matchups that had no bearing on the standings - so little was settled as to the ongoing battle for second place, which currently features five teams - Mt. Eden and Arroyo (both 5-2 in the HAAL), Castro Valley (5-3), San Leandro and Hayward (both 4-3) within a game of each other. They're all chasing after Bishop O'Dowd, leading the league by two games with an 8-1 record.

For the Mt. Eden Monarchs, the week brought mixed blessings; they had no scheduled league matchups, but were able to gain on O'Dowd by virtue of the Arroyo Dons' dramatic three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat O'Dowd, 4-3, and hand the Dragons their first HAAL loss. The downside, from Mt. Eden's point of view, was that Arroyo, who the Monarchs beat 3-1 on March 25, was able to climb into a second-place tie with Mt. Eden after the win over O'Dowd.

Aside from that, Mt. Eden's week wasn't much to write home about - they lost two out of three games, but the games were all nonleague contests in the inaugural Lionel and Warren Wilson Easter Tournament at Oakland Tech, so the losses didn't affect their place in the standings.

The Monarchs' first-round game was an impressive 11-3 whipping of Lincoln (San Francisco). Eddie Rodarte led the Monarchs' hit parade with two homeruns, three RBIs and three runs scored. Chris McClain also hit a home run, had two RBIs and scored three times. Edwin Alvarenga and David Contreras chipped in two RBIs each for Mt. Eden. Tournament host Oakland Tech handed Mt. Eden a 7-4 defeat in the second round, and the Monarchs ended the tournament on the wrong end of a 7-1 score against San Mateo in a consolation game.

One game behind Mt. Eden are the Hayward Farmers (4-3, 5-9 overall), a team that discovered new life once the preseason ended and the league games began. The Farmers continued their solid play of late with a 7-3 nonleague win at Northgate, in which all seven of their runs came in the first inning. Leading Hayward's offense was junior Jesse Sepulveda (2-3, 1 run, 1 RBI), and 6-foot-1, 230 pound freshman Robert Monchak (2-3, 2 RBIs).

Moreau Catholic High School (2-7, 2-11 overall) may have preferred to have scheduled some nonleague games; they played two HAAL foes and took it on the chin both times - 14-7 on the road at Bishop O'Dowd, and 7-1 at home to Castro Valley.

Tennyson, who is winless in the league at 0-7, may have had the right idea: they were idle last week.

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