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SOUTHERN SECTION BASEBALL PLAYOFFS : Gonzales Gives Westminster Another Chance

May 23, 1987|STUART DEDIC | Times Staff Writer

Westminster High School's 8-0 Southern Section 4-A playoff victory Friday over Muir gives the Lions a chance to avenge last year's playoff loss to Lakewood.

Left-hander Ryan Klesko, who lost the playoff game last year when Lakewood rallied for four runs in the seventh, and 10 other players from the 1986 team will meet Lakewood Tuesday. Lakewood beat West Torrance Friday, 18-7.

But after John Gonzales' five-hit victory over Muir, which advances Westminster into the second-round game against Lakewood, Klesko will have to wait to see if he gets the starting assignment. One way or another, Klesko, who plays designated hitter or first base when he doesn't pitch, will get a shot at a little revenge.

"I want to get them back," Klesko said. "I want to pitch again. . . . I think we should have beat them last year.

"If I don't get to pitch against them, I'd sure like to hit against them."

Westminster Coach Ken Ostrowski said he will probably decide over the weekend whether to start Gonzales (7-1), Klesko (5-1) or Brian Stubbs (8-4). But Ostrowski may be leaning toward Klesko. "He's got a real good chance of seeing the hill," Ostrowski said. "But we'll see (how Gonzales feels) tomorrow."

Friday's first-round game against Muir (16-8) was little more than a tune-up for Westminster (19-6-1), the second-place team from the Sunset League. Gonzales struck out eight and didn't allow a runner past second base.

"We've never scored less than four runs in a game this season," said Muir Coach Dave Aromatorio. "(Gonzales) is a good pitcher who threw a good game. We could never get untracked.

"They played real well defensively and had some good hits. That's the ballgame."

Al Rodriguez was 2 for 2 with three runs and an RBI and Dan Villegas was 2 for 4 with three RBIs, including a bases-loaded double that gave the Lions a 5-0 lead in the fourth inning. "This is great. The whole team thinks so," Rodriguez said of the Lakewood rematch. "It felt terrible (to blow the 3-0 lead last season). It took about a week to get over it."

Dean Eddy was 2 for 3 with two runs and Jim Slagle was 2 for 2 with a run and three stolen bases for Westminster.

Tony Crutchfield (4-2) pitched a complete game for Muir, allowing nine hits. Four Westminster runs were unearned, although Muir committed only one error. A passed ball and two Crutchfield balks set up the unearned runs.

Ostrowski said Southern Section officials will flip a coin today at 8 a.m. to decide whether Tuesday's game will be played at Westminster at Lakewood.

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