"Losing a player like that, it brought a lot of players down," Anderson said. "It's like the Dodgers and Orel Hershiser. He meant a lot to us."
Anderson said his only concern is for Cervantes to make a full recovery, regardless if he is able to pitch for Bishop Montgomery next season.
"Basically our plan is to continue him on physical therapy and start him throwing in December or January, with doctor approval," the coach said. "We just have to take it one day at a time. We can't sit and panic and worry about what could be. He has a long career ahead of him. Even if he has to sit out next year and not play for us, that's what he has to do. I'm not going to jeopardize his career for my personal goals as a coach. I don't want him to pick up a baseball until he is ready to throw."
Rumors have circulated that Anderson will be fired, but Bishop Montgomery Athletic Director Steve Carroll says that's all they are--rumors.
"It's the first I've heard of it," Carroll said. "Nothing like that has been said or commented on by the administration. I haven't sat down with the principal and Coach Anderson to even assess the pluses and minuses of the season.
"I'll tell you what, though. Team records are nice, but there's a lot of other things that go into building a successful program."
Said Anderson: "If the administration decides to make a change for any reason they see fit, it's going to be their decision to make. Regardless if I'm at Bishop Montgomery or not, I'll be wearing a baseball uniform at some school. I have enough friends in the baseball community that I can hook on somewhere else."
Before the season, El Segundo baseball Coach John Stevenson said of Eagle senior Mark Lewis: "If there's a better shortstop around, I haven't seen him."
Stevenson is still looking.
Through 24 games, the consistent Lewis has committed only three errors, anchoring an infield that has been air-tight in virtually every inning. Third baseman Brett Newell and second baseman Eric Stevenson, the coach's son, have each committed only four errors in 23 games.
"That's the area of our team that I'm very, very happy about," Coach Stevenson said. "I'd put our infield, defensively, against anybody, anywhere. They can really play."
El Segundo committed only one error in two games Saturday. The Eagles beat Bosco Tech, 9-0, in a Camino Real League game and edged Millikan, 7-6, in the finals of the Palos Verdes/Redondo Tournament to improve to 20-3.
The infield is on a pace to break the school record for double plays in a season. With 22, it is one behind the number of double plays turned by the 1971 and '79 teams.
Both of those clubs also featured outstanding shortstops--George Brett in '71 and Dave Combs, an All-CIF selection in '79.
On most baseball teams, Brian Wise would be a productive member of the pitching staff. Playing for El Segundo, though, the promising left-hander is relegated to a supporting role as the team's No. 4 pitcher.
But Wise has made the most of his limited opportunities. In 17 innings pitched, the junior is 2-0 with 24 strikeouts and an 0.45 ERA.
"I'm sure on most teams in the South Bay he would be a star," Stevenson said. "But it's tough to get him innings with three established guys."
Wise, who figures to be the Eagles' ace next season, plays behind seniors Rob Croxall (8-1), Tate Seefried (6-1) and Jason Wayt (5-1), the area's most balanced starting rotation.
"We just don't have the innings for (Wise) to throw," Stevenson said. "We get him in JV games when we can."
Seefried hit two home runs Saturday to raise his total to 11, tying El Segundo's single-season record.
Former Eagle catcher Jose Sanchez set the mark in 1988.
Seefried, who also leads the team in hits (42) and RBIs (39), is closing in on the South Bay and Southern Section season home run records held, respectively, by Tim Williams of St. Bernard (15 in 1987) and Arnold Garcia of Channel Islands (16 in 1981).
San Pedro's softball and baseball teams played spoiler roles Tuesday, each posting upsets over Carson to knock the Colts out of undisputed first place in Southern-Pacific Conference races.
The Pirate softball team routed previously unbeaten Carson, 11-1, at Scott Park in Carson, while the baseball team snapped the Colts' 12-game unbeaten streak with a 6-5 victory at Carson.
Senior pitcher Lisa Gardea allowed one hit and retired 17 of the last 19 batters to lead San Pedro to its biggest softball win of the season. Gardea assumed pitching duties midway through the season after senior Debbie Elgin was declared academically ineligible.
Lori Noceti, Kathy Eldridge, Lusha Brown and Michelle Luce each had two hits for the Pirates (12-7 overall, 6-3 in league), who close out the season today at Narbonne.
Carson and Banning (each 8-1 in league) meet at 2:30 today at Dolphin Park in Carson to decide the championship.
San Pedro's baseball victory dropped Carson into a first-place tie with Banning. The Colts are 10-2-2 in conference play, while Banning is 11-3. The co-leaders meet twice next week.