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Orange County Player of the Week : Cutliff, Foothill's Big Hitter, Has Good Glove, Will Travel

April 23, 1986|STEVE KRESAL

It really doesn't matter to Chris Cutliff what position he plays--as long as he plays.

The Foothill High School senior played second base as a junior only to have Coach Gerry Sedoo move him to shortstop this season.

That was just a walk across the diamond compared to the move he'll probably next season.

The colleges interested in him--Chapman, the University of San Diego and Claremont--have expressed an interest in him as an outfielder.

But Cutliff doesn't worry. He just picks up his glove and goes to whatever position he's told to play.

When asked which he prefers, he really can't say.

"I like playing second base maybe the best, but shortstop is fine," Cutliff said. "It really doesn't matter. As long as we make it to CIF (the playoffs). Last season, we missed it by one game, so making it this season is our team's goal."

The Knights are tied with Canyon for first place in a very close race in the Century League.

Last week, Cutliff's hitting helped Foothill move into a three-way tie for first place.

On Tuesday, Cutliff was 3 for 3, hit his second home run of the season and scored four runs in the Knights' 8-2 victory over Santa Ana. On Thursday, he was 3 for 5, hit his third home run and drove in two runs as the Knights blasted Orange, 18-7.

For this, he's been named The Times' Player of the Week.

Besides playing different positions, Cutliff offers a variety of skills as the second-place hitter in Foothill's lineup.

"He can swing the bat really well," Sedoo said. "He can execute the bunt, the hit-and-run and last season started to show a little power. He usually makes good contact and is starting to mature physically, which will also help him."

Until last season, Cutliff had never hit a home run over the fence.

But as a junior, he tied for the team lead with four, batted .360 and was named to the All-Century League second team. This season, he is one home run behind team leader John McTaggart, who has four.

"I started to lift weights before my junior season and I got stronger," Cutliff said. "Last season, the ball just started to go when I would swing easy. But, sometimes I have problems if I swing too hard."

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