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NOTEBOOK : Pepperdine Loses Some Cagers but Picks Up 4 Newcomers

September 10, 1987|Ray Ripton

There were a lot of new faces on the Pepperdine basketball team last season, but some were never seen in a uniform. Now, it turns out, some probably never will be.

Two of last year's newcomers, guards Ed Allen, a junior transfer from City College of San Francisco, and Wally Carter, a redshirt freshman from Las Vegas, were ruled academically ineligible. A third, redshirt freshman center Antonio Martin, who played for Spain's junior national team and the Real Madrid club team, was ruled ineligible by the NCAA because of his playing experience.

Allen, Carter and Martin have left Pepperdine and are not expected to return.

Allen, a sharpshooting guard in junior college, didn't live up to expectations at Pepperdine. Carter sat out his freshman year and has reportedly enrolled at Ventura College. The 6-10, 230-pound Martin had knee surgery before the season and never played a game.

Besides those three absentees, Jim Harrick, son of Pepperdine Coach Jim Harrick and a junior guard, accelerated his academic program and graduated in August.

The unexpected departures left Coach Harrick scrambling to find replacements, and the school recently announced late signings.

Among this year's cast of newcomers are 6-2 guard Shann Ferch, a junior transfer from Montana State, and three freshmen: Damon Braly, a 6-10, 225-pound center from West High School in Arvada, Colo.; forward Dennis Burbank (6-5, 220) from Anaheim Valencia High, and 6-0 guard Rick Welch from Westlake High in Westlake Village.

Ferch averaged 11.2 points and 5.2 assists a game last season as Montana State won the regular-season championship of the Big Sky Conference and earned a berth in the National Invitational Tournament. Though he will have to sit out a year at Pepperdine before he is eligible, Harrick expects big things from him.

"We recruited (Ferch) out of high school," Harrick said, "and I am confident he will play a major role in the future success of our team."

Braly, an All-Jefferson County selection in Colorado, averaged 16 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocked shots as a senior.

Burbank, named to All-CIF Southern Section and All-Orange League teams, averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds last season.

An All-Ventura County and All-Marmonte League selection last season, Welch averaged 15 points and nine assists and led Westlake to the semifinals of the CIF 4-A playoffs.

They may have to find a new trophy case for the Culver City Babe Ruth baseball program.

The old one must be bulging at the seams with bronze awards for national, regional and state championships won by the program's all-star teams since the late 1970s. The program has won two national championships, for boys age 13 in 1981 and for boys age 15 in 1983. And in August, a Culver Babe Ruth team won another state title, this time for boys age 14. This was the first time a state tournament was held for 14-year-olds, said Art Keith, long a member of the Culver Babe Ruth board of directors, who managed this year's state titlists and has been a manager or coach with several others.

Keith, who has also been an assistant coach for several years for the Culver City High School baseball team, said that although this was the first time a state tourney was held for 14-year-olds, not only a state but also a Pacific Southwest regional tournament probably will be held next year. He said that Babe Ruth organizations in Utah, Nevada and Arizona have indicated they would send teams to a regional tourney.

This year's state tournament was held in Arroyo Grande near Pismo Beach, and teams were from the host city, East Sacramento and Visalia. Culver City won three straight games, but the team did it the hard way, edging Visalia, 6-5, in an opener, getting by Arroyo, 3-1, and coming from behind (a repeat of the scenario in the opener) to defeat East Sacramento, 7-6, in the championship game.

Keith said his coach for the all-star team was Ben Dudley, long active as an officer and coach in the program, who also coached the Santa Monica High School junior varsity last season.

The team also did it the hard way in terms of personnel. It had just 11 players, reduced to 10 when Craig Carr broke his collarbone before the tournament.

Culver players named to the all-tournament team at Arroyo Grande were pitcher-first baseman Hector Gutierrez and outfielder Gavin Tanchuck.

Other Culver team members were Eric Banuelos, Dean Davidson, David Esteves, Luy Galdamez, Rick Heineman, Greg LeBuffe, Roger Packard and Mario Tucker.

Pepperdine baseball Coach Dave Gorrie not only had a fine team last year and a good crop of recruits this year, but he also was named the school's coach of the year. And one of his players, junior outfielder Rick Hirtensteiner, was selected as Pepperdine's student athlete for the 1986-87 academic year.

Last year Gorrie's Waves earned their third straight berth in the NCAA tournament and their fourth consecutive West Coast Athletic Conference championship, including a share of the conference title with Loyola Marymount in 1985.

In his sophomore season, Hirtensteiner, a business major, not only batted .363 with 12 home runs and 46 runs batted in, but he also compiled a 3.93 grade-point average (out of a possible 4 points).

Joining Gorrie and his team will be eight newcomers, including three sophomore transfers and five freshmen.

The sophomores are pitcher Brett Craven, who was at Menlo College in Northern California last year; outfielder Richard Barnwell from Lamar University in Texas and pitcher Wayne Helm, who prepped at Laguna Hills High and played at the University of Arizona last season.

The freshmen are catcher Frank Charles of Valencia's Montclair Prep, catcher Jeff Graham from Sierra High near Fresno, pitcher Dennis Burbank from Valencia High in Orange County (also on a basketball scholarship), outfielder Jalal Leach from San Marin High in Novato and pitcher Mike Wysup from Laverne Lutheran High.

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