Since Bill Cunerty took over the Saddleback College golf program in 1982, he has taken an extra golfer to the Southern California Regional tournament as a reward to his best player who is not one of the top six who get to compete.
Monday, he discovered that bringing an extra golfer could be rewarding for the whole team.
The morning of the tournament, held at the Spring Valley Lake Country Club in Victorville, Jeff Mehlert, Saddleback's No. 2 player, woke up with a sore throat and was too sick to play. John Adams, the extra player, stepped in and shot 78-79 as the Gauchos (772) finished third behind Long Beach City (753) and Ventura (755) to qualify for the state tournament.
San Diego Mesa (776) finished fourth and also qualified for the 36-hole tournament Monday at the Fort Washington Country Club in Fresno. Canada, Monterey Peninsula, Sierra and San Jose City qualified in the northern regional.
"We have a chance and that's the best thing about it," Cunerty said. "In golf, you really don't play the other teams, you play the course."
Saddleback has split matches with Long Beach City and Ventura this season, each winning on its home course.
Saddleback, which won state titles in 1983 and '85 under Cunerty, is led by Orange Empire Conference most valuable player John Waldrup, who averaged 73.6 strokes, Mehlert (74.4), Peter Shaw (75.9), Bob Hayes (76.4), Ray Fawacett (76.8) and Gabe Armendariz (77.9).
Fawacett was the medalist in the conference match when Saddleback won its sixth consecutive conference title earlier this season. Saddleback has also won the Pacific Coast (1982-84) and the South Coast (1985-86).
How hot is he? Orange Coast's Dave Staton struggled for parts of this season because of injuries, but he's healthy now and his numbers show it. The sophomore designated hitter/first baseman is 11 for 17 in his last four games, including three home runs.
He's hitting .353 (47-133) overall and .450 (23-51) in Orange Empire Conference play. He has 10 home runs and 28 career doubles to tie Glen Robertson (1977-78) for the school record.
Staton, who shares the cover of the OCC baseball guide with Joey James, was an all-state designated hitter last season and hit .355 with 6 home runs and 48 RBIs hitting behind James, who had 19 home runs and 80 RBIs.
Bill Workman, Orange Coast football coach, is scheduled to be one of the speakers at the Southern California Substance Abuse Awareness Workshop May 19-20 sponsored by the California Assn. of Community Colleges.
The conference, being held at the Westin South Coast Plaza, also will feature speakers Ron Heitzinger, a consultant to the NCAA on substance abuse, and Gregory Hayner, the chief pharmacist at the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic.
Community College Notes: John Porrello of Golden West shot a 2-over-par 146 to finish second in the Southern California golf regionals Monday and will advance to the state tournament to compete in the individual division. . . . Orange Coast's Brian Lewis was voted the most valuable volleyball player of the South Coast Conference. Lewis led OCC (31-2) to the Southern California Regional title Friday over Long Beach City. . . . Cypress first baseman Rick Nen and outfielder Bob Long have signed letters of intent to play at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo next season. . . . Chris Ganz of Orange Coast defeated Mark Oryskevich of Saddleback, 6-4, 6-2, to win the Orange Empire Conference men's tennis singles title Saturday at Rancho Santiago. Mike Boice and Grant Hein of Saddleback defeated Ganz and John Gabriel of OCC, 6-4, 7-6, for the doubles title. . . . Former Golden West shortstop Kevin Elster (1983-84) and second baseman Steve Springer (1980-81) are playing together for the New York Mets' Triple-A team at Tidewater, Va. . . . Bill Craft, an All-Mission Conference safety for Orange Coast last season, will miss this season because of a knee injury. He injured his knee last season and missed the final two games and reinjured the knee in spring conditioning last week. . . . The Golden West softball team finished 7-5 and in third place in the South Coast Conference without allowing an earned run in conference. Golden West outscored conference opponents, 60-13. . . . Cerritos remains the top team in the Southern California baseball poll as the teams are in the final week of the regular season. Orange Coast is second, College of the Canyons and Los Angeles Harbor tied for third, Rancho Santiago fifth, Oxnard sixth, Fullerton seventh, San Bernardino Valley eighth, Mt. San Antonio ninth and Cypress 10th.