After winning the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. title, the Cal Poly Pomona baseball team will be trying for a berth in the NCAA Division II World Series when it faces Sacramento State in the West Regional playoffs starting Friday at Sacramento.
Sacramento State has a 37-18 record and is ranked No. 2 in Division II. Pomona enters the best-of-five series with a 31-22 record and is ranked No. 9.
Both are outstanding offensive teams. Sacramento's Hornets have a .327 batting average while Pomona's Broncos are hitting .313.
The Hornets are led by outfielder Mark Gieseke, who is hitting .482 with 8 home runs and 44 runs batted in. Other standouts are second baseman Brian Hewitt, who is hitting .405 with 2 homers and 31 RBIs; third baseman Lorenzo Lesky at .348 and outfielder Gary Brown at .339.
Sacramento has solid starting pitchers in Erik Bennett, who has a 9-2 record and 2.73 earned-run average, and Brad Stoltenberg, 10-2 with a 3.95 ERA.
Pomona matches up on offense with eight of its nine starters batting .300 or higher. The leaders are shortstop Dave Hajek at .368, catcher Chris Goldbach at .367, third baseman Bill Beeman at .342, right fielder Chris Butterfield at .337 and second baseman Jim Chapman at .335.
The Broncos have an outstanding starting pitcher in sophomore Wayne Koklys, who has a 13-3 record and 3.79 earned-run average. Koklys has been particularly impressive in conference play with a 2.94 ERA and 9-1 record.
Butterfield thinks the Broncos are ready for Sacramento.
"Everyone's starting to come together and we're all swinging the bat well," he said. "I think we're playing our best ball of the season. If we get defense, pitching and hitting in one game, I don't think anyone is going to beat us."
Pomona is making its first appearance in the regionals since 1985. The winner this week advances to the Division II World Series on May 28 in Montgomery, Ala. The Broncos won Division II titles in 1976, 1980 and 1983.
Bishop Amat High's Glenn Martinez and Mountain View's Joe Dankert have been named coaches for the first East vs. West All-Star Baseball Game that will be played June 11 at Arroyo High in El Monte.
Martinez will coach the East and Dankert the West. The game, sponsored by the Friendly Cities Kiwanis Club of El Monte, will match many of the top graduating high school seniors in the San Gabriel Valley.
Martinez has been coach of Bishop Amat the last two seasons, having started at the school as an assistant in 1980. He guided the Lancers to a 22-5 record and a berth in the CIF 4-A Division quarterfinals last season. Bishop Amat won the Angelus League title and Martinez was recognized as the league's coach of the year. The Lancers have reached the playoffs again with a 15-8 record this season.
Dankert, who has coached Mountain View since 1984, has a career record of 78-41. The Vikings reached the 2-A semifinals in 1985 and 1987 and won the Mission Valley League title in 1986. Mountain View slipped to an 11-13 mark this season.
Bishop Amat's Joe O'Conner and Tom Salter will be assistant coaches for the East and Vic Bernal of Mountain View will be an assistant for the West.
Catcher Mike Scioscia, pitcher Orel Hershiser and Coach Joe Ferguson of the Los Angeles Dodgers are scheduled to participate in the annual Dodger Day in Valinda at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The Dodgers will appear in a parade at 11 a.m. that will go from Azusa Blvd. and Amar Road to Rimgrove Park. They will conduct a youth baseball clinic from noon to 1 p.m. and sign autographs from 1 to 2 p.m. at the park. Former Dodger Lou Johnson will be emcee at the park.