If the 1987 Southern Section baseball season was made into a movie, this would be the chase scene:
Tom Redington of Anaheim Esperanza and Danny Macias of El Monte Mountain View going for the career home run record, and Scott Davison of Redondo and Jeff Cirillo of Burbank Providence for the single-season runs batted in mark. Four players from four teams, all of whom are still alive as the playoffs start this week.
Actually, Davison, a junior shortstop-pitcher, already has his record, two runs batted in against El Segundo in the regular-season finale giving him 58, two more than South Torrance's Chris Donnels had in 1984. Now he can add to the mark, or at least keep it away from Cirillo, the returning Small Schools Player of the Year.
"I was kind of disappointed when I heard another guy had more than me," said Cirillo, who has driven in 54 runs for Providence. "I thought it was just me against the record. We played Redondo last year, and I remember Davison. I hope he does good, but I wouldn't mind if they got knocked out of the playoffs. Either that, or someone pitches a great game against them and they win only 1-0."
This chase could last for a while. Providence has one of the best teams in the Small Schools, and Redondo is the favorite for the 3-A championship, especially after last week's two-game sweep of No. 2 El Segundo. In the second meeting Friday, Davison, the pitcher, struck out 11 and got the eight-inning win, improving his record to 12-1, while Bob Brooks tied the Southern Section single-season walk record at 37.
The Redington-Macias pursuit is more of a waiting game, as in, "Which one will start hitting home runs?" Each has been in something of a dry spell in that department, giving Andy Ruscitto's standard of 22 homers from 1983-86 added life. Redington has been stuck at 21, Macias at 19.
"No one has really been challenging him, especially once we got into league," Mountain View Coach Joe Dankert said of Macias. "He's gotten all curves, away. It's probably been aggravating to him to not get many fastballs, but that's smart (of the other teams)."
Cirillo also has the career RBI record. Well, he probably has it, since no one can say for sure at this point.
He has driven in 54 runs this season, and had 46 as a junior. That's 100, and the Southern Section best is 102 by Rocco Buffolino for Van Nuys Montclair Prep.
The only problem is, the whereabouts of statistics from Cirillo's sophomore season, the year before current Coach Marc Saraceno arrived, is unknown. A search is under way.
As a pitcher, Cirillo had an 11-2 record in '85, 12-2 last year and is currently 9-2 with 119 strikeouts in 74 innings. And he has done it all with advance warning--his license plate.
The black Firebird pulls up before the game and the message is in plain sight: JC KZ U.
Translated: JC Ks You.
The most impressive statistic in an all-around impressive season last year for Redington--a .442 average, 10 home runs, 42 RBIs--was the scarcity of strikeouts.
Three, in 86 at-bats.
His reputation has grown as a playoff player and a clutch hitter. Esperanza, which squeezed by Anaheim Katella last Wednesday and then lost Friday to La Palma Kennedy, could certainly use his lift now.
"I'll take last year every day," Aztec Coach Mike Curran said.
The investigation by the City's Interscholastic Athletic Committee into alleged recruiting violations at Reseda Cleveland continues, though the only action taken at a meeting Monday was the IAC's decision that it has no jurisdiction over a personnel matter, which it sent to Dan Isaacs, assistant superintendent of the L.A. Unified School District.
Despite a recommendation by City administrators last month that Tom Smith, the Cavaliers' B team football coach, be suspended from coaching for the 1987-88 school year, the IAC turned the matter over to Isaacs. He will review evidence brought by officials at Van Nuys Grant that Smith used "undue influence" to persuade students at Madison Junior High to attend Cleveland.
Meanwhile, City Commissioner Hal Harkness said that detailed guidelines prohibiting coaches from contacting youngsters at junior high schools will be implemented in September.
"This problem really magnified what's going on all over the City," he said.