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BASEBALL ROUNDUP : Crenshaw Wakes Up to Beat San Pedro


The story for the Crenshaw baseball team this season has been the arm of pitcher Mark Jones.

The 6-foot senior struck out six while pitching a complete game Tuesday as the Cougars out-slugged defending City Section 4-A champion San Pedro, 8-6, in a Southern Pacific Conference game at San Pedro.

Jones (5-0) had pitched consecutive no-hitters--beating San Pedro, 2-0, and Gardena 4-0--before Tuesday afternoon's start.

Jones, who has an impressive 0.58 earned run average, has amassed 25 strikeouts and surrendered only one earned run in the last 21 innings he has pitched for Crenshaw (10-2, 5-1).

San Pedro (6-6) looked to avoid a repeat performance of Jones' first outing, posting five runs in the first two innings to take an early lead.

"(San Pedro) was up for (Mark)," Crenshaw pitching coach Ken Allen said. "And we weren't ready to play at the beginning of the ballgame."

San Pedro first baseman Dan O'Neill, who opened the game with a single, came home when third baseman Tim Harper doubled to center field.

After San Pedro pitcher Larry Cannon flied out to center fielder Dameon Porter, his throw to home plate sailed over the backstop. One run scored and the Pirates took a 2-0 lead.

In the second inning, Jones walked Brian Castaneda and Bob Lukin with two outs. The mistake proved costly when Harper singled to drive in two runs and extend San Pedro's lead to 5-0.

Crenshaw then rallied for five runs over the next three innings to tie the score at 5. The Cougars were led by first baseman Ivan Jones, whose two triples scored a run and drove in another in consecutive plate appearances.

Mark Jones retired nine of the next 13 batters, striking out five.

"Mark showed his character and great composure coming back from that (bad start)," Coach Major Dennis said.

"I lost my composure in the beginning," Jones said. "But I got my composure back when we started rallying."

Crenshaw loaded the bases in the sixth inning and second baseman Herbert McNeely, who had four RBIs, cleared them with a two-out triple to center field that barely eluded Castaneda's outstretched glove.

"(McNeely)-just a junior-is going to be a great player for us," Dennis said. "He has a strong arm and already has great power (hitting) to center field."

In the seventh inning, San Pedro--which had already scored a run to cut Crenshaw's lead to 8-6--had a man on first and second with one out, but Jones got A.J. Brucelas to hit into a game-ending double play.

"That's one of the best hitting games this season," Dennis said. "This team never gives up."

Lincoln 14, Wilson 5--Lincoln remained undefeated with a victory over Wilson at Rose Hills Park.

Lincoln broke away with nine runs in the fourth inning. Pete Gonzales hit a triple that brought in three runs. Lico Erami also had a key hit, bringing in two runs on a double.

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