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ANAHEIM LIONS TOURNAMENT : Dana Hills Not Pitcher Perfect but Wins, 3-2


Bob Canary, Dana Hills baseball coach, just smiled. What else could he do? His team has somehow defied logic.

The unranked Dolphins' 3-2 victory over fifth-ranked Fullerton at Glover Stadium Tuesday put them in the finals of the West Anaheim Lions Tournament. A neat trick, considering they've been playing with two arms behind their back.

Dana Hills has worked its way through the tournament with little help from its top two pitchers, Seth Etherton and Chris Toomey. Their six-games-in-seven-days schedule has left Canary no choice but to pitch by committee.

"To tell you the truth, I have no idea who I'll be pitching tomorrow," said Canary, whose team will play Loara in the title game.

The Dolphins found themselves in this predicament after a rainout postponed their South Coast League game with Capistrano Valley last week. That game was rescheduled for Friday. They play Mission Viejo Thursday.

With two league games back-to-back, Canary couldn't afford to waste Etherton and Toomey on tournament games, as they are limited by the rules to 30 outs per week.

Etherton, who has signed with USC, pitched three innings in the tournament opener against Sonora Saturday. Toomey pitched two innings in Monday's game.

With minuscule help from their aces, the Dolphins' chances hardly seemed promising.

"I hoped we would stay close and get a break," Canary said.

He got both Tuesday.

With the score tied, 2-2, going into the bottom of the seventh, Etherton, who hasn't batted in a week because of a sore left shoulder, had a leadoff pinch-hit single. He went to second when Mark Richardson pushed a bunt passed the mound.

Ryan Currier then attempted to sacrifice. Pitcher Keith Ginter fielded the bunt and threw to third in time to get Etherton, but third base Robert Echavarria pulled his foot off the bag.

Brian Ralph then slapped a 3-2 pitch past a drawn-in infield to win the game.

The Dolphins (6-5-1) got another stable performance from their pitchers. Scott Maynard, normally a catcher, pitched four innings, and Bob Flood (2-0), a first baseman, pitched the final three and got the victory. Neither pitchers were strong, but they kept the game close.

In other tournament games:

Loara 4, Paramount 2--Jeff Roncevich pitched a six-hitter with seven strikeouts for Loara (8-4) at Glover Stadium. Dan Gusman had two doubles and drove in two runs.

Sonora 11, Santiago 2--Junior Rodriguez pitched a no-hitter with 10 strikeouts for Sonora (5-7). Rodriguez had a perfect game until the bottom of the seventh when he walked four and had a passed ball that scored two runs. He also had four hits and drove in three runs.

Sonora plays Kennedy at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Brookhurst Park.

Anaheim 7, Laguna Beach 1--In the fifth-place semifinal, Enrique Mejia pitched a six-hitter for Anaheim (6-6). Stewart Gorton had three runs batted in and a double, and Jaime Carlos had two hits and two stolen bases for Anaheim.

La Habra 4, Sunny Hills 3--Ryan Busch hit a two-run double to cap a three-run fifth inning for La Habra (4-4) at Glover Stadium.

Katella 5, Cypress 5 (Katella advances on total bases)--Katella advanced to the consolation final against La Habra at 4 p.m. today at Glover Stadium.

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