CLOVIS -- McKay France was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning as third-seeded Clovis High defeated No. 6 Centennial 3-2 in the quarterfinals of the Central Section Division I baseball playoffs Friday at Lloyd Merriman Field.
With that bizarre finish, Centennial coach Randy Roberts stepped down after going 421-143-3 with three section titles in a 20-year career with the Hawks. He announced previously he would resign after the season.
-- FRESNO BEE
East High's Sammy Ramirez won two tight matches at the Central Section boys tennis individual championships at Wasco High to move into the final four against top seed Andrew Gong of Visalia-Central Valley Christian. The semifinals begin at 9 a.m. today, with the final at noon.
Ramirez, the No. 4 seed, beat No. 13 Jayke Ancheta of Clovis West, 7-5, 6-3 before coming back to beat Liberty's Anthony Busacca, 6-7, 6-1, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
Another Kern County player, Sullivan Roche of Bakersfield Christian, also lost a three-set quarterfinal. Roche, the No. 6 seed, blanked No. 3 Allen Wang of Clovis-Buchanan 6-0 in the first set before losing the next two 7-6, 6-3. Wang will take on Fresno-Bullard's Viran Batth in the other semifinal.
In doubles play, No. 2 seed Andrew Engel-Drew Raney of Liberty needed three sets in both of their Friday matches; they beat Connor Bennett-Robert Cardenas of Sanger, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 and then edged Pao Vang-Brian Chongtoua of Clovis East, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. Engel and Raney will play Andy Vang-Omar Hernandez of Clovis East in the semifinals.
Stockdale's John Matthew Flores-Matt Nisson also reached the final four by beating Buchanan's Ben Liang-Josh Comes 6-1, 6-4 in the quarters; another Mustangs team, Patrick Nassar-Amir Khan, lost to Vang and Hernandez. Flores and Nisson will play top seed Patrick Huls-Michael Sasso of Clovis West in the semifinals.
Swimming finals today
At today's preliminaries of the Central Section Swimming Championships at Bakersfield College, Stockdale senior Eric Sande qualified first in both the 200-yard freestyle and 100 breaststroke, and he helped the Mustangs to the fastest time in the 200 medley relay.
Teammate Brock Bonetti was first in the 100 backstroke. On the girls side, the Frontier duo of Chandler Bullman (100 butterfly) and Jorie Caneta (100 breaststroke) each qualified first.
The finals begin at 10:30 a.m. today at BC.
At the Division II meet in Tulare, Highland's Aiden Pike (100 backstroke), Independence's Chris Salcido (500 freestyle) and Highland's Taylor Solorio (100 butterfly) all qualified first. Solorio's butterfly time was faster than the top qualifying time in Division I.