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Dynamiters Drove Selves to Succeed

May 26, 1993

How the heck did Glendale, a team that scraped its way into the Southern Section Division I baseball playoffs with a losing league record, manage to pull off the biggest upset of the first round, a 6-2 victory against two-time defending 5-A champion Millikan?

"There was nothing special about it," Coach Chris Axelgard said. "We just played better than they did. We weren't intimidated."

The day before the game, Axelgard had the Dynamiters drive down to Blair Field in Long Beach to look at--yep, look at--the field on which the game would be played. Axelgard wanted his players to be comfortable in the 3,200-seat stadium.

Did driving 45 minutes to look at a field really help?

"It sure didn't hurt," Axelgard said. "When your alternative is not playing again until next February or March, a 45-minute drive doesn't seem that bad."

The Dynamiters, who were tied with Crescenta Valley at 7-8 in league play and earned the final playoff spot because they won two of three games against the Falcons, were led by pitcher David Gantt, second baseman Brendan Barrett and outfielder John Lister.

Gantt pitched a complete game, allowing seven hits, striking out two and walking two. Barrett and Lister were each three for four. Axelgard said the team became more confident as the game went on.

"It was 0-0 after the first and we thought, 'Guess what, we're not behind yet,' " Axelgard said. "After the second, it was 0-0 and we said, 'Hey we're still not behind yet.' "

The Dynamiters also picked up steam by getting out of a bases-loaded one-out jam in the fourth inning with a double play that went pitcher to home to first.

"We just never let them get started," Axelgard said.



Now that baseball season is over, David Lamb has a major-league decision to make.

Lamb, a slick-fielding, good-hitting shortstop for Newbury Park High, already has signed to play at Pepperdine.

However, professional scouts spent the season watching Lamb, and they liked what they saw. What they have to say regarding baseball's amateur draft in June has Lamb cocking an ear.

Lamb estimates he has been approached by scouts from about 15 major league clubs.

"They've come over to the house and stuff like that," he said. "They talk to my parents. They just want to know what it's going to take to get me out of going to Pepperdine."

Lamb is beginning to wonder about that one himself.

Before the season began, Lamb said that accepting a scholarship would help him to concentrate on playing ball. He led the Panthers in batting average (.413), home runs (three) and runs batted in (21). He also dazzled scouts and spectators with vacuum-cleaner fielding and slick, on-the-run throwing.

"A lot of (scouts) think that within four or five years, I could be playing major league baseball," Lamb said. "They say I have the tools to be a major league shortstop."

Choosing the best road is the rub. This much Lamb knows: He won't go pro unless he is made an offer he can't refuse.

"I'm going to just wait and see with the draft," he said. "It depends on what round and what team, too. It'll definitely have to be in the high rounds."



Talk about timing.

Hart senior right-hander Gary Stephenson picked a perfect moment to become stingy.

Stephenson pitched the first no-hitter of his career in the Indians' 4-0 win over Hueneme in the opening round of the Southern Section Division II playoffs. It was the Indians' first no-hitter in three seasons.

"I was pretty stoked," Stephenson said. "It was cool to do it in a playoff game. Every game in the playoffs could be your last, so you get extra motivated. Everything was going my way."

Hueneme Coach Reg Welker agreed.

"We had one long fly ball to center field and the guy caught it over his head," Walker said. "That was it. He's one of the better pitchers we've seen this year."

Stephenson (9-3) struck out five and walked one, lowering his earned-run average to 0.89. His no-hitter was the first for Hart since Kevin Foderaro threw one in 1990.

"I was really happy with the defense . . . the guys clutched-up behind me," Stephenson said. "(Shortstop) Aron (Miyata) turned a great double play and (center-fielder) Mike (Espy) made a super catch."

Said Hart Coach Bud Murray: "No-hitters are tough enough to get during the regular season. Gary did a great job to do it in the playoffs."

It was an unpleasant re-run. Make that very unpleasant.

Burroughs lost at Placentia Valencia in its opening-round Division II playoff game, 13-10. As has often been the case, the Indians failed coming from ahead.

Burroughs coasted to a 7-1 lead in the second inning, then fell behind, 13-7, before scoring three in the top of the seventh to make it close. The story line is not new to Coach Terry Scott, who announced earlier he would resign following the Indians' final game.

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