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April 8, 2009 > HAAL baseball week in review

HAAL baseball week in review

By Gary van den Heuvel

Midway through the Hayward Area Athletic League (HAAL) boys baseball season, the field is logjammed with five teams within one game of each other; however, those teams are all vying for second place, as undefeated Bishop O'Dowd (7-0, 11-1 overall) is the leading horse in this race and may just lap the field.

After a 1-4 non-league preseason, the Mt. Eden Monarchs answered their wake-up call once the regular season began, with five HAAL wins. Their fifth victory was a 2-0 road win over San Lorenzo on April 1. The Monarchs were led by Edward Brunelle's masterful pitching, and the offensive contributions of David Contreras and Kyle Vanek, who each delivered an RBI in the fourth inning to account for the scoring.

Mt. Eden was brought back down to earth in a brutal manner in their next game, though. Faced with an opportunity to jump into a first place tie with Bishop O'Dowd, the Monarchs blinked. The Dragons roared out to a four-run first inning and never let up, winning by a football-type score of 14-0. With the loss, Mt. Eden is 5-2 in the HAAL, in sole possession of second place but two games behind O'Dowd.

One game behind Mt. Eden (and locked in a three-way tie with Castro Valley and San Leandro for fourth) are the Hayward Farmers, who also have benefitted by the transition from non-league to league games. Hayward went 0-6 against non-league opponents but is currently 4-3 in the HAAL.

Hayward's chance to leapfrog third place Arroyo (4-2) unfortunately resulted in a humbling 25-4 road loss - after three innings the Farmers trailed 17-1. But Hayward didn't let the sting of that defeat linger. They returned home two days later to shut out San Leandro, 6-0. Pitcher Ryan Frohn picked up the victory for the Farmers. Jesse Sepulveda was 2- 3 from the plate, including a triple, an RBI and two runs scored.

Moreau Catholic High School (2-5 HAAL, 2-9 overall) took out some of their season-long frustration in a 16-2 swamping of last place Tennyson (0-7, 2-9 overall). The list of offensive stars for the Mariners included Michael Temple (3 hits, 4 runs scored); David Suan (4 hits, 1 run, 4 RBIs); Brian Hickel (3 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBI); Brandon O'Connor (2 hits, 3 runs, 2 RBIs); and Brandon Chamberlain (2 hits, 4 runs, 3 RBIs).

Unfortunately for Moreau, in their next game on Friday, April 3, they ran into the hot bats of Arroyo, who followed up their 25-run massacre of Hayward with a mere 18 runs against the Mariners. It was just enough for Arroyo to eke out an 18-6 victory.

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