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Menlo School opens tournament with victory

Menlo-Atherton blanks Woodside 12-0; Palo Alto routs Homestead 18-9

Led by sophomores Jake Batchelder, Freddy Avis and Dylan Mayer, the Menlo School baseball team opened play in the 15th annual Bishop Gorman Easter Classic with a convincing 11-4 win over Bishop Manogue of Reno on Wednesday in Las Vegas.

Batchelder was stellar on the mound by throwing a complete game while allowing only three earned runs. Only a missed-played line drive that turned into a inside-the-park home run deprived him of a shutout.

The other two sophomores, Mayer and Avis, did their damage at the plate. Avis had three hits and three RBI while Mayer had two hits, including a double. Senior Matt Crowder shined on defense as the Knights turned three double plays.

Menlo returns to action Thursday morning as the Knights play the winner of the Newbury Park (CA)–Frasier (Canada) game at 9 a.m. at College of Southern Nevada.

In Atherton, starting pitcher Patrick Moriarty hurled six shutout innings and Menlo-Atherton cracked a season-high 16 hits to defeat Woodside, 12-0, in PAL Bay Division action Wednesday afternoon.

Junior shortstop Casey Eason went 4-for-4 with three RBI, senior catcher Jeff Keller raised his season batting average to .551 with a solo homer and two doubles (two RBI), and junior Myles Brewer had three hits and two RBI as the Bears improved their season record to 9-6 and PAL Bay Division mark to a perfect 3-0. Junior second baseman Kyle Zirbes and Moriarty also added two hits apiece as Menlo-Atherton won its third consecutive game.

Moriarty limited Woodside to just five hits, striking out five and walking two to improve his season record to 3-1 (2-0 in league play). Moriarty now owns a string of 13 consecutive scoreless innings, and has permitted just one earned run in his past 19 innings pitched. Brewer pitched a scoreless seventh inning in relief of Moriarty, striking out one.

Menlo-Atherton took the lead in the second when first baseman Nils Gilbertson walked, moved to second on a perfect sacrifice bunt by Ryan Chilcoat, and scored on Moriarty's RBI single. Eason singled in another run for a 2-0 M-A lead.

Keller delivered a long homer to left to extend the Bears' lead to 3-0 in the third inning. M-A blew the game open with five more runs in the fourth inning on five base hits, including RBI singles by Brewer and Gilbertson, and an RBI sacrifice fly by Chace Warren.

M-A returns to action on Friday afternoon (3:15 p.m.) with a PAL Bay Division contest at Woodside.

In Sunnyvale, despite letting in nine runs, Palo Alto looked like it was taking batting practice against host Homestead on Wednesday during an 18-9 SCVAL De Anza Division rout. The Vikings' lineup produced runs evenly throughout the game, with nearly every player contributing

USC-bound senior outfielder Joc Pederson had the most outstanding performance, going 3-for-4 with a 420-foot home run, two doubles, three RBI and six runs scored. Palo Alto held on to first place in the SCVAL De Anza Division at 9-0 record (14-3 overall).

Christoph Bono also slammed a home run and led the team with four RBI. Scott Witte added three hits while Wade Hauser contributed two hits and three RBI and now has 10 hits in his past 12 at-bats. He leads the team with a .532 batting average.

Paly will host Homestead on Friday at 3:30 p.m., before taking on host Sobrato on Saturday afternoon in a nonleague matchup.

Elsewhere in nonleague action, Sacred Heart Prep (3-8-1) visited Serra in a makeup game and suffered a 12-1 defeat on Wednesday.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports with Craig Schoof, Bob Moriarty contributing

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