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Dated Gag Has Coach Speechless

April 07, 1993

Rick Nathanson, a co-coach of Calabasas High's baseball team, got quite a scare last week.

Shortly before practice, several players and co-Coach Scott Drootin told him the team's new portable outfield fence was missing. Nathanson looked to the outfield and, sure enough, no fence.

"I wandered out (to the outfield) in sort of a daze," Nathanson said. "I was just speechless. All I could think was how much money that thing cost us."

One of his players told Nathanson he spotted something attached to home plate. Nathanson raced to the plate and picked up a note lying there. The note read, "Thanks for the fence."

"I was reeling," Nathanson said. "I broke out into a cold sweat and I was shaking. I didn't know what to do."

Nathanson was so upset he hadn't realized that Drootin and the rest of the team was standing directly behind him. Drootin stepped in front of Nathanson and said, "April Fool."

"They really got me good," an amused Nathanson said. "They had the fence hid all along. I was had."


The streak is over.

Calabasas third baseman Josh Morton had his 28-game hitting streak snapped in an 8-6 league loss to Santa Paula on Friday. Morton--named the state sophomore player of the year by Cal-Hi Sports after batting .483 last season--hit in all 20 games last season and the first eight this season.

"I think the pressure really got to him," Nathanson said. "The expectations on him are so high.

"It's really unfair. I think people sometimes forget he's just a high school kid playing baseball."

Morton leads the Coyotes in batting (.423), home runs (two) and runs batted in (17). Former Torrance catcher Jason Kendall holds the state hitting streak record of 43 games, which he set last season.


Simi Valley catcher Kevin Nykoluk, a senior and the Pioneers' cleanup hitter, celebrated his 18th birthday Friday by going one for four with a walk in the Pioneers' 17-6 win over Agoura. Nykoluk had a run-scoring single, scored twice, stole two bases and earned the praise of Agoura assistant Ed Aguilar.

"Kevin Nykoluk is the toughest out in this league," Aguilar said. "Every at-bat."

Nykoluk is being recruited by several Division I schools, including Arizona State.

Who is Jason Tubb and what business does he have hitting a pair of home runs, including a two-run game-winner in the bottom of the seventh Friday to give Newbury Park an 8-7 win over Thousand Oaks?

Tubb, a senior utility player and designated hitter, came back with a double Saturday in the Panthers' 8-5 win over Burbank in the opening round of the Babe Herman tournament.

On Monday, Tubb had the game-winning hit in the sixth inning of a 3-2 tournament win over Saugus.

Pretty surprising, considering his name was not among those mentioned by Coach Gary Fabricius in the preseason.

Said Fabricius: "He'd been hurt with a bad leg. But he's been feeling better and swinging the bat better in practice."

Agoura's Kevin Sass stole two bases against Simi Valley on Friday to surpass Jamal Nichols of Thousand Oaks for the league lead. Sass has 15, Nichols 13. Andy Wilson of Thousand Oaks stole four bases last week to give him 13.


This no-hitter needs two asterisks. Not only did it come in less than a full game, the victim was less than a full team.

Crescenta Valley left-hander Jim Parque pitched three perfect innings against Ocean View in the first round of the Babe Herman tournament Saturday, then had to leave the game because of the state rule prohibiting pitchers from throwing more than 10 innings in a week. Shortstop Kirk Hagge, who hadn't pitched this season, held Ocean View hitless for the next two innings before the game was called because of the 10-run rule. The Falcons won, 12-1.

But Ocean View was playing with a split squad of sorts.

It seems the Seahawks had booked themselves into two tournaments the same weekend.

When organizers of the Babe Herman tournament wouldn't release Ocean View from its commitment, the Seahawks used junior varsity players along with the varsity and split into two teams.


"Wild and crazy."

That's how Oak Park Coach Mike Bolyog characterized the Eagles' 14-13 league win over visiting St. Bonaventure last week.

The Eagles overcame a 10-run deficit--the largest comeback in school history--in a game called after six innings because of darkness.

St. Bonaventure had scored one run in the first and nine in the second.

Oak Park rallied with four runs in the third and eight in the fourth to go ahead, 12-10. St. Bonaventure regained the lead, 13-12, with three in the sixth, but the Eagles scored four in the bottom of the inning for the victory.

The teams combined for 22 hits, all singles. Seven pitchers delivered 20 walks.

"I didn't have enough hair before that game and I lost a lot during it worrying," Bolyog said. "It was just incredible.

"The word 'miracle' comes to mind."


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