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Wallace Bullies Palmdale in Quartz Hill's 5-4 Victory

March 31, 1993|STEVE ELLING | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Intimidated.

Intimidator.

William Wallace of Quartz Hill High has walked a mile in both pairs of shoes. This year, he is lacing on the latter.

"I don't need to be intimidated anymore," Wallace said. "Why should I be? On the baseball field, everyone's mortal."

Wallace is stretching the definition. In a Golden League game at Quartz Hill on Tuesday, the senior outfielder whacked a pair of two-run home runs to lead the Rebels to a 5-4 victory over rival Palmdale.

"I'm kind of excited," Wallace said. "I don't know what to make of this."

What he's making is a runaway of the league race. Quartz Hill improved to 6-2, 4-0 in league play; Palmdale fell to 6-1-1, 1-1-1.

With Palmdale leading, 4-3, in the fifth, Wallace redirected a fastball from Joe Garcia (2-1) over the fence in left for his sixth homer of the season. This from a player who hit one home run in 40 at-bats in 1992. Wallace is now 16 for 29 (.552) with 16 runs batted in.

"I feel more confident," Wallace said.

Quartz Hill needed every ounce of production it could squeeze out of the senior outfielder's bat, especially after Palmdale mounted a threat in the sixth. With the Falcons trailing by a run and runners at second and third and nobody out, Jerome Payton sent a fly ball to outfielder Freddy Coleman in left.

Don Dickey tagged up at third and was waved home by Palmdale Coach Kent Bothwell--for good reason, because the Falcons earlier had scored twice on sacrifice flies--but Coleman threw out Dickey at home. Catcher Chris Grado pulled down a high throw and applied the sweep tag.

"I sent him, so it's my fault," Bothwell said. "It wasn't a great throw, but they were able to make the play."

The mess wasn't quite cleaned up. With runners at first and second and two out, shortstop Brian Willey gloved a grounder deep in the hole and gunned down Luis Alcarez at first. Quartz Hill turned another double play, in the seventh, to wrap it up for right-hander Javier Salinas (2-0).

In short, Wallace started it and ended it for the Rebels. Wallace (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) opened the scoring with a wind-aided, two-run homer to center in the first. While rounding third, he told Quartz Hill Coach Mike Nielson that he was almost ashamed of the shot, which barely cleared the fence, 365 feet from the plate.

"If a person just saw that one, they'd think I hit 'em all bad," Wallace said. "Seriously, that was the first cheap one."

As long as he keeps putting balls in the cheap seats, his teammates won't mind.

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