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For Shanahan, Opportunity Is Knocking

March 26, 1994

It is no typographical error.

First baseman Jason Shanahan is tied for the Cal State Northridge lead in stolen bases with five. That is five more bases than he swiped in his first two seasons at Northridge.

And then some.

"First five since Little League," he said.

Shanahan said he simply has been getting the green light more often from third base coach Mike Batesole. And he has stolen the bases in only six attempts.

"I've never had great speed, but I never thought I was slow, either," Shanahan said. "I've just had more opportunities."


Cook Sizzles

Something about Western Athletic Conference play seems to appeal to second baseman Keyaan Cook.

In six conference games, Cook leads Northridge in average (.542), runs (nine), slugging percentage (.833), on-base percentage (.633) and is tied for the lead in doubles (four).

Last season, Cook finished 15th in the WAC West Division batting race with a .315 average and tied for seventh in homers with four.


Alas, not everybody walked away from last week's 20-4 pasting of Hartford feeling completely warm and rosy. The windshield of Batesole's pickup truck was shattered by a Matador foul ball.

Fortunately for the player, there were so many hits in the game that nobody could recall who hit the errant ball.

Junior Colleges Lost Homers

Mission Coach John Klitsner blames his baseball team's recent woes on erratic fielding and spotty hitting after getting off to a resounding start at the plate. Mission recently snapped a five-game losing streak.

"We hit 20 home runs in our first 10 games and we haven't hit one home run since," Klitsner lamented. "We've made a lot of errors and we are hot and cold with our hitting."

One unexpected strength has been the work of the pitching staff, led by freshmen Ray Rivera (6-2, 2.80 earned-run average) from San Fernando High and Robert Ballester (4-1, 3.10) from Monroe.

"Our pitching, which we thought would be an area of concern, has a 2.90 ERA in conference (play)," Klitsner said.

Around the Campuses . . .

* Cal State Northridge right-hander Marco Contreras (3-4) has completed his first seven starts. With 27 regular-season games remaining, he has an outside shot at breaking the school record of 15 set by All-American Craig Clayton in 1991. Contreras completed eight of 14 starts as a junior.

* Right-hander Jason Vargas of Northridge had a streak of scoreless innings snapped at 10 when he surrendered a leadoff homer against Long Beach State on Tuesday. Earlier, the Valley College transfer strung together 8 1/3 hitless innings spanning appearances against Cal State Los Angeles, Hartford and Cal State Sacramento.

* Paul LaMott of Cal Lutheran narrowly missed the Kingsmen single-season record for shooting percentage. LaMott, a 6-foot-6 junior forward-center, made 70 of 111 shots (63.1%). Brad Reed set the school record of 63.9% (106 of 166) during the 1977-78 season.

* Bill Oates, who led The Master's men's basketball team to a 28-5 record during his first season at the school, has a 626-257 record (.752 winning percentage) during his 31-year career.

Staff writers Fernando Dominguez and Steve Elling contributed to this notebook.

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