There was cause for concern at Ventura High as the week began--Steve Dailey had not driven home a run in four games. But after a 9-2 win over Santa Barbara on Tuesday, the senior center fielder had put his teammates minds at ease and sent Coach Dan Smith scurrying to find the Cougar record book.
Dailey's 3-for-3 performance shattered single-season school records for hits (46), runs (36), home runs (8), RBIs (34) and batting average (.568).
Channel update: Rio Mesa outslugged Hueneme, 11-6, Tuesday to clinch a tie for first place in the Channel League. Hueneme fell into a second-place tie with Ventura, while Buena remained in the playoff picture with an 18-8 win over Oxnard.
In league finales Friday, Rio Mesa (10-2-1 in league play) visits Santa Barbara (1-12); Hueneme (9-3-1) visits Dos Pueblos (5-8); Ventura visits Oxnard (4-9); and Buena (8-4-1) visits San Marcos (4-9).
A Ventura or Hueneme loss coupled with a Buena win would force a tiebreaker Saturday to determine third place.
Ventura Coach Dan Smith took the liberty of handicapping the final day of play.
"Rio Mesa will have easy time with Santa Barbara," he said. "Hueneme at Dos Pueblos could be interesting. It's tough to win at Dos Pueblos. They have a funny park."
Foiled fund-raiser: The Ventura High baseball team thought it was poised to make a big profit when it began selling calendars adorned with pictures of Cougar players. But the fund-raiser was anything but a picture of success.
Every month was accompanied by a picture of one of the seniors--conservatively dressed. The most popular photo displayed the team sitting in Smith's hot tub.
But it wasn't popular enough. Only 25 calendars were sold at $5 apiece, which failed to cover the production costs. Smith lowered the price to $3 but still there were few takers.
"Too many of the photos were out of focus," Smith said.
Slugging Lancers: Thousand Oaks has hit 28 home runs, 11 more than the previous school record. Shortstop Steve Sisco's eight homers is also a Lancer record. Each Thousand Oaks starter has at least one home run.
The Lancers' 16 wins are the most since 1983, when they were 19-4.
"We're about as ready as we're going to be," Coach Jim Hansen said. "That is if we can keep it going. The way we're swinging the bats doesn't go on forever, but we'd like to see it go on for seven or eight more games."
Scorching the ball are Mark Skeels (.444, 4 home runs, 16 RBIs), Dan Chergey (.382, 14 RBIs), Bob Farber (.381, 18 RBIs), Mike Yanuzzi (.343), Tom Brozowski (.367, 8 doubles) and Sisco (.354).
"We don't have a superstar, we just have a bunch of super all-around kids," Hansen said. "Each kid has had his day as a superstar."
Lucky number: Royal's 13-game losing streak ended in a game for 13th place in the Redondo-Palos Verdes tournament last week. The Highlanders defeated Taft, 5-4.
Sean Sullivan was 3 for 3 with two home runs and a double and drove in three runs. Brian Skow (2-4) went the distance for Royal (10-16), striking out six.
Joining the playoff party: With three victories last week, Oak Park qualified for a playoff spot for the first time in school history. It also marks the first time Oak Park has qualified for the playoffs in football, basketball and baseball during the same year.
New all-star game: The Ventura County High School Baseball Coaches Assn. has added an extra all-star game this summer. The intra-county game for high school seniors has been scheduled for June 11 at 1 p.m. at Ventura College.
A 20-player team will be selected after that game to play an all-star team representing high schools from West Los Angeles. That game will be played June 18 at Ventura College as the start of a home-and-home series.
Schools supplying players for the Westside team are Westchester, Venice, University, Hamilton, Palisades, Loyola, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Crossroads, St. Bernard and St. Monica.
Getting along swimmingly: Swimmers from Mission Viejo and Capistrano Valley usually dominate the Southern Section 4-A championships, but one Ventura County swimmer has a chance to prevent an all-Orange County sweep of first-place finishes.
Jason Callahan of Camarillo posted the fastest time in the 100-yard breaststroke and is the favorite to win the race. Callahan timed 53.71 during the Marmonte League season, three seconds faster than any other swimmer in the 4-A.
Callahan will be shooting to break the CIF record of 50.68 set by Mission Viejo's Steve Barnicoat in 1980.
Other potential winners from Ventura County include Charles Monaco of Hueneme and Daryl Morris of Buena in the 100 breaststroke, Heather Suskin of Oxnard in the 100 breaststroke, Shauna MacEwen of Westlake in the 200 freestyle, Lauren Droshe of Thousand Oaks in the 100 backstroke and Michelle Hlinka of Thousand Oaks in the 500 freestyle.
Last year, Rio Mesa's Roland Zchiegner and Sara Anderson of Moreno Valley were the only non-Orange County swimmers to win races in the 4-A.
From VC to CLU: Colovito Thomas, a 6-foot, 1-inch, 170-pound center fielder from Ventura College, has signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Cal Lutheran.
Thomas hit .254 and stole six bases this season. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds, according to Cal Lutheran Coach Rich Hill.
Martin Kindreich, a right-handed pitcher from Grossmont College, and James Noonan, a left-handed pitcher-first baseman from Ontario Christian High, have given verbal commitments to attend Cal Lutheran.
Kindreich was 1-0 this season after converting from outfielder to pitcher. Noonan (3-2) struck out 80 in 51 innings and had a 2.7 earned-run average. He batted .520 this season.
Six players have either signed or given verbal commitments to attend Cal Lutheran.