For anyone who has followed Peninsula Athletic League baseball this season, you may have seen some eye-popping numbers coming out the Ocean Division.
Specifically, the scores teams are putting up against the bottom three teams in the division — Jefferson, San Mateo and Westmoor.
Take Tuesday, for example. Sequoia pummeled Jefferson to the tune of 32-2. That is not a misprint. South City throttled San Mateo 13-5, while Mills drilled Westmoor 15-0.
And this is not an isolated incident. Those three team have been regularly shelled this season, having been outscored in Ocean Division play 440-133.
PAL commissioner Terry Stogner is well aware of what is going on. But he doesn’t know what can be done about it.
“I just hope it’s one of those years,” Stogner said. “It’s no fun to play (those types of lopsided games).”
Can the PAL go back to a three-division system? Stogner said that is a no go because, to have three divisions, there would need to be six teams per division and other than the three bottom teams of the Ocean, no one else would feel their team would belong in a Lake Division. Implementing a 10-run mercy rule is a non-starter as well.
Westmoor and Jefferson have had sub-par baseball programs for years so the problem there may lie in the fact there just aren’t enough varsity-caliber players at those schools. San Mateo, on the other hand, could just be having a down year. The Bearcats lost their manager just before the start of league play, then shuttered the frosh-soph program because of a lack of numbers and brought up the few frosh-soph players to the varsity level this season. Sergio Noriega, only a freshman, appears to be a keeper for the Bearcats as he is having a strong year, batting over .300 on the season and going 4 for 4 against South City Tuesday.
“I think San Mateo will rebound,” Stogner said.
The biggest possible change on the horizon may be expanding the league. Stogner said he has been in talks with the West Bay Athletic League administrators and there is a chance the PAL may absorb the WBAL teams.
“The WBAL may be in trouble with baseball,” Stogner said.
Central Coast Section by-laws say there must be a minimum of six teams to form a league. WBAL baseball has only been around for a few years and it started with seven teams. Woodside Priory, however, dropped out this year, leaving the minimum six teams.
But Stogner said Crystal Springs Uplands School may be dropping its baseball program going forward, which would leave five teams without a league. Stogner said the PAL would be agreeable to taking in the remaining five teams — Menlo School, Sacred Heart Prep, Harker, King’s Academy and Pinewood.
Stogner’s reasoning is it would allow the PAL to go back to three division of six teams each. Other than Menlo and Prep, the WBAL is pretty weak. It would then allow the PAL to take Pinewood, Harker and King’s Academy and put them with Jefferson, San Mateo and Westmoor and voila, there’s your new Lake Division.
“I’m really doing this to help out teams like Westmoor and Jefferson,” Stogner said. “A Pinewood-Westmoor game might be pretty interesting.”
At the very least it would be competitive, which is all anyone wants. Stogner believes the current PAL coaches would not mind seeing the WBAL schools come into the league.
“Most coaches just want to play the best,” Stogner said.
PAL athletic directors and principals, however, have been resistant to mixing public and private schools.
Whatever the solution is, something needs to be done because no one gains anything from a 32-2 score.
The Serra tennis team finds itself in the finals of the CCS team tournament by virtue of a 12-6 win over No. 7 Saratoga Wednesday at the Los Gatos Swim and Racquet Club. The third-seeded Padres will take on three-time defending champion Menlo School, which has dropped only five sets in three CCS matches thus far. The Knights hammered No. 4 Bellarmine 17-1 in Wednesday’s other semifinal match.
Menlo has won a total of 10 CCS team tennis titles since 1998.
Serra advanced to Wednesday’s semifinals with an 11-7 win over No. 6 Stevenson Monday afternoon.
Patrick Soli, a former standout golf at Carlmont, helped lead Chabot College-Hayward to the California Community College Athletic Association Northern California tournament title to secure a spot in the state championship tournament.
Soli finished with an 8-under 136 after the two-round tournament. The state championship will be held on a course familiar to Soli — Rancho Cañada Golf Club, the same venue that hosts the CCS tournament.