Alemany and Notre Dame play in the last round of the Redondo-Palos Verdes tournament Saturday. Alemany plays North Torrance for the consolation championship and Notre Dame plays Gahr for something like 27th place.
If the tournament has a familiar ring, it's because the first round began March 14. Every succeeding Saturday, weather permitting, the 32 teams involved have played tournament games. One reason for the tournament's popularity is that it allows teams to circumvent a Southern Section rule that limits teams to 20 games in a season. Under the rule, a tournament counts as two games no matter how many a team actually plays. The Redondo-Palos Verdes tournament guarantees every team five games.
"You need to play games to develop," Alemany Coach Jim Ozella said. "Five of our six pitchers have thrown five or more games."
Because Alemany also competed in the Westside tournament, which guaranteed five games, and has two doubleheaders, which count as one game toward the limit of 20, the Indians will have played 27 games by the time playoffs begin. . . . Crespi's John Dempsey is 7 for 16 with 7 RBIs as a pinch-hitter. "He's been very clutch," Coach Scott Muckey said. Dempsey, a sophomore, does not start because he is raw defensively. "He has no position," Muckey said. "We've got a project there."
Pitching change: Sylmar left-hander Olonzo Woodfin (7-1), who leads the Valley area with 105 strikeouts in 54 innings, may miss Thursday's East Valley League game with Poly. Woodfin reported pain in his left shoulder during a game last week and came out after two innings. "I warmed up today and it felt all right but I'll have to wait to see how it feels tomorrow," Woodfin said Tuesday. "Right now, it's kind of shaky who's going to start." Sylmar probably will start Carlos Armendarez if Woodfin is unable to pitch. . . . Poly Coach Jerry Cord had arthroscopic knee surgery two weeks ago, partly because of his off-season pursuit: Cord spends much of the winter running up and down hardwood floors as a basketball official. Said Cord: "Just too many years of wear and tear." . . . Some might have thought Reseda Coach Mike Stone was being too critical last week when he removed Steve Brody in the first inning after the pitcher balked in a run against Canoga Park in the championship game of the Thousand Oaks tournament. Stone doesn't think so. In Reseda's first-round win over Thousand Oaks, Brody committed six balks, four of which forced in runs.
Bad memories: Kennedy, fresh off its Babe Herman tournament championship, plays Mid-Valley League-leader San Fernando on Thursday. The last time the two teams met, San Fernando won, 18-0. "That was probably one of the best all-around games we've played this year," San Fernando Coach Steve Marden said. "We had pitching, 17 hits and turned three double plays. They're not going to allow themselves to be embarrassed. It's kind of early to make one game critical, but I wouldn't want to fall three games out with seven remaining and only one against us." . . . Senior outfielder Dain Turner led Kennedy to the Babe Herman tournament championship, batting .500 (7 for 14) with 5 RBIs, including a grand slam in the semifinal against Righetti. Sophomore designated-hitter Gino Tagliaferri was also a candidate for tournament honors, batting .727 (8 for 11) with 9 RBIs. Kennedy batted .408 in the tournament.
Gladstone makes Haynes grim: Burbank Coach Leonard Haynes chose not to have his team play in the the Babe Herman tournament because he said the fields are poorly maintained. Instead, Burbank played in the Gladstone tournament but Haynes got more rocky treatment. Gladstone played against its own junior varsity team in the first round and faced McCoy of Canada, which fields a team of ninth-graders only, in the second round. Said Haynes: "Gladstone faced us in the third game and they hadn't used any pitchers to get there." Haynes was incensed further when Gladstone Coach Rich Remkus wouldn't allow the Burbank players to take batting practice before the game. Haynes said Gladstone used its two batting cages for an hour and then locked them twenty minutes before the game. Haynes sent a letter of protest to the Southern Section office Monday. . . . Canyon designated-hitter Eric Martinez's eighth-inning solo home run didn't just give the Cowboys a 7-6 win over Channel Islands and the consolation championship of the Thousand Oaks tournament. It also gave Coach Wally Hammond one grand slam of a flashback. "I didn't realize the coincidence until I looked at the score book later," Hammond said. Two years earlier, on the same field, Canyon won the consolation championship of the same tournament with an eighth-inning solo home run by Joe Crawford against El Camino Real.