YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Torrid Hankins Leads Simi Valley to Ho-Hum Rout


It is becoming almost predictable: the big inning, the home run by Ryan Hankins, the early exit by their own starting pitcher, the "Shucks, we just swing the bat" postgame comments.

All of which again applied to Simi Valley High's 13-4 victory over Mater Dei on Tuesday at Fullerton College in the quarterfinals of the Upper Deck tournament.

Simi Valley (12-1), which defeated Okmulgee (Okla.), 21-1, in Monday's opening round, blew open a 6-2 game with a five-run sixth inning in which 10 batters came to the plate. The Pioneers tagged four pitchers for 16 hits--three by Hankins.

Hankins, a senior third baseman, drove in five runs with a single, a two-run triple and a two-run homer, his seventh of the season and second of the tournament.

"It's been fun," Hankins said. "Everyone's up for the games."

Especially the guy they call Hank--as in Hammerin'. In his last 23 at-bats, Hankins has 18 hits, including three home runs, and 18 runs batted in. His batting average stands at .490.

Talk about letting your bat do your talking.

"He's just been crushing the ball," Simi Valley Coach Mike Scyphers said. "That home run today would have been out of any major league park."

Simi Valley, which has scored at least 13 runs in eight consecutive games, will play Carmichael (Calif.) Jesuit in a semifinal today at 3:30 p.m. at Cal State Fullerton. And with a rested starter in junior right-hander Bill Scheffels (5-0).

Senior right-hander Trevor Leppard (4-1) kept Mater Dei (11-2) off balance through five innings, scattering four hits and striking out three. He was roughed up only in the third by Jeff Frankel's run-scoring triple and an ensuing balk that allowed Frankel to score.

"My arm feels good," Leppard said. "We have strong pitching."

That is becoming apparent as the tournament progresses. Senior right-hander Bill Treadway worked only four innings Monday. And Scheffels has yet to throw in the tournament. Other teams' pitchers aren't likely to be as rested.

"I've got a guy going tomorrow who's 5-0," Scyphers said. "I like that."

Hankins opened the scoring in the first inning with a two-out triple and scored on a single by Scheffels. In the third, Hankins walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on another single by Scheffels.

Los Angeles Times Articles