BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer email@example.com
Randy Roberts has seen enough playoff baseball games to know that winning is all that matters.
But that theory was tested Wednesday as Roberts' final Centennial team slogged its way through an 8-4 home victory over North in the first round of the Central Section Division I playoffs.
The Golden Hawks walked 12 batters and committed four errors, but Gabe Arteaga and Andrew Daughtery homered to help sixth-seeded Centennial (17-10-1) advance to play at No. 3 Clovis in Friday's quarterfinals.
"That was not pretty, but you've just got to win in the playoffs," said Roberts, who is retiring at the end of the school year.
Mitchell Haas went 3-for-4 for Centennial, and the Golden Hawks built a 6-0 lead through four innings as North wasted golden opportunities to score in each of the first three innings.
Two Centennial pitchers walked seven batters in those three innings, but each time the Stars (16-11) left the bases loaded each time. They did score four times in the fifth inning, with Kevin Kizzar's double the main blow, to cut the lead to 6-4. But Daughtery's two-run home run in the sixth gave Centennial breathing room again.
"You have to take any win you can get in the playoffs," said Justin Roberts, Randy's son and a Centennial assistant. "But just like any game, we have to find the areas we struggled in and get better. And we struggled in a lot of areas today."
Elsewhere in the Division I playoffs, Tyson Brewer hit a walk-off home run as No. 8 seed Liberty edged No. 9 Visalia-El Diamante 4-3 in nine innings. Allan Winans threw a two-hit shutout for No. 10 Frontier, which beat No. 7 Clovis West 2-0 on the road. No. 4 Stockdale blanked No. 13 Clovis East, 5-0, and next plays defending champion Fresno-Bullard at home Friday.
There was plenty of hardware handed out at Harvey Auditorium on Wednesday besides the Mayor's Trophy.
It was the third annual version of the Kern High School District's PEAAK Awards; PEAAK stands for Promoting Excellence in Athletics and Activities in Kern.
Awards were presented in 27 categories spanning athletics and other activities, including music, drama and academic clubs.
Three winners all have roots in the classic Central Section Division III football semifinal played between Independence and Ridgeview. The quarterbacks in that game, Preston Hodges for Independence and Kamari Cotton-Moya for Ridgeview, shared the award for Best Male Athlete, and Ridgeview's Preveon Alexander, who blocked a field goal to set up the Wolf Pack's stunning comeback victory, won for Best Moment.
Another Ridgeview standout, girls basketball All-American Erica McCall, was named Best Female Athlete.
There were separate awards for Best Male and Female Student-Athlete. Centennial senior Andrew Daughtery won the male award, and Frontier's Katie Cornford and South's Samantha Carbajal split the female award.
For a complete list of winners, see the School House Zach blog at bakersfield.com/schoolhousezach.
Jelmini wins third Pac-12 title
Shafter graduate and Arizona State junior Anna Jelmini won her third Pac-12 Conference discus championship Saturday with a best mark of 191 feet, 11 inches.
Only one other conference athlete has won three discus titles, and it's another Kern County native: Bakersfield High graduate Dawn Dumble, who competed for UCLA and helped coach Jelmini as a youth and in high school. Dumble's brother, David, coaches Jelmini at ASU.
Jelmini, who also finished third in the shot put at 55-9.75, is the NCAA leader in the discus this season with a best throw of 199-6.
Stockdale graduate Alex Collatz, a sophomore at USC, finished fourth in the discus at 179-7 and 12th in the hammer throw at 178-6.
Mustang wins national title
Former Stockdale volleyball standout Stevi Robinson won the sand volleyball pairs national championship for USC last week.
Robinson, who played three years at Stockdale before moving to Manhattan Beach for her senior season, paired with Kirby Burnham to win the title. The two were also named American Collegiate Volleyball Association All-Americans after helping the Trojans finish third nationally as a team.
Robinson played indoor volleyball at Pepperdine and then helped the Waves win a sand volleyball national title last year before transferring to USC.
Wattenbarger also a champ
Former Garces three-sport standout Abby Wattenbarger is excelling in another sport at Colorado State: She was named a Division I All-American in women's club lacrosse as the Rams won the national title.
Wattenbarger, a 2010 graduate who played tennis and basketball and swam for Garces, helped Colorado State beat UC Santa Barbara 14-4 in the national championship.