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Times' All--county Baseball Team : Player Of The Year

June 16, 1988

Scott Sharts

SIMI VALLEY

The Southern Section's all-time slugger, Sharts (6-6, 220) smashed 32 home runs in his three-year career. He hit 15 homers this season. Sharts, a first baseman and pitcher who has signed to play at Miami, drove in 37 runs and batted .471 this season to help Simi Valley to the Marmonte League title. On the mound, the senior right-hander posted a record of 10-1 and an earned-run average of 1.88..

PITCHER OF THER YEAR Willie Leighton

FILLMORE

Leighton, who perfected his craft amid the orange groves of Piru, threw accurately and often during the past season. The 5-foot, 9-inch lefty from the groves appeared in 15 games and had a County-high 12 complete games. Leighton (15-0) led the area with a 1.45 ERA and struck out 155 batters in 101 innings. He pitched every inning of four playoff games to lead Fillmore to the Southern Section 1-A championship.

COACH OF THE YEAR Tom Ecklund

FILLMORE

His teams have won 265 games and 12 league championships since he became coach in 1973, but Ecklund says he may have done his best coaching job during the past season. Few would disagree. Fillmore was 21-2, won the Southern Section 1-A championship and was selected the top 1-A team in the state. "This was a super team effort," said Ecklund, whose teams have won four Southern Section titles.

Dean McMillin Ventura PITCHER 6-0,185 SR. No pitcher in the County was more capable of lighting up a radar gun than this hard-throwing Cougar senior. He struck out 115 in 82 innings. McMillin's record was a respectable 8-4, but more impressive was his allowing only 67 hits. McMillin was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the recent Major League Baseball free agent draft.

Robert Ayala Rio Mesa PITCHER 6-1,170 SR. During the regular season, Ayala tied for the County lead in wins with 11. He finished with a 12-1 record, a 2.02 earned-run average and had 65 strikeouts in 79 innings. The ace right-hander for Channel League-champion Rio Mesa pitched nine complete games. His strikeout-to-walk ratio (65 to 21) also was among County leaders.

Mark Skeels Thousand Oaks CATCHER 5-10,175 SR. Skeels, a switch-hitter who will attend Stanford on an academic scholarship, was the fifth-leading batter in the County with an average of .467. The Lancer cleanup hitter possessed impressive power for his size, collecting six doubles and five home runs. After starting at second base for two years, Skeels moved to catcher and performed like a veteran.

Gabe Diaz Hueneme INFIELDER 5-6,150 SR. Although diminutive in stature, Diaz posted larger-than-life numbers at the plate. Opposing coaches said no player was a tougher out. In 96 at bats, Diaz never struck out. He led the team in batting (.448), runs (31), doubles (9), triples (4), runs batted in (24) and steals (13). A team leader at shortstop, he also recorded three saves as a pitcher.

Darrell McMillin Ventura INFIELDER 5-8,165 SR. The McMillin brothers had a lot to do with Ventura's success this season. Dean did most of the pitching and Darrell was Mr. Clutch when it came to hitting. He had a school-record eight game-winning RBIs. His 35 RBIs was fifth-best in the County. McMillin's .443 batting average and seven home runs also placed him among the leaders.

home runs. He batted .374, led Thousand Oaks with 34 hits and led the Marmonte League with 15 stolen bases. Sisco, a three-year starter, anchored the defense with his reliable glove.

Steve Sisco Thousand Oaks INFIELDER 5-10,170 SR. Known primarily for his talents as a lead-off hitter and scrappy shortstop, Sisco surprised opponents with his power, setting a school record with nine Gil Valencia Camarillo INFIELDER 6-1,180 SR. Valencia's prowess on the football and baseball fields have led to an on-going tug-of-war between local JCs for his services. In football, he is the County's all-time leading receiver. In baseball, he drove in more runs (38) during the regular season than any player. A left-handed hitter and thrower, Valencia batted .378 with seven home runs.

Lupe Carrillo Oxnard INFIELDER 5-7,160 SR. Carrillo was not only the finest-fielding second baseman in the County, he also led infielders with a batting average of .490. His 48 hits ranked second in the County and he led Oxnard with 33 runs scored, 23 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. Carrillo's exceptional range and strong arm enabled him to contribute as much with the glove as with the bat.

Steve Dailey Ventura OUTFIELDER 6-0,195 SR. Name an offensive category and there's a good chance Dailey holds Ventura's school record for it. The center fielder led the County in batting with a .561 average. He had a County-record 55 hits and was the team leader in doubles (16), homers (9), RBIs (36) and steals (14). He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves but has signed to play at Oklahoma State.

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