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March 31, 1994|MITCH POLIN

LONG BEACH STATE

The Long Beach State baseball team will try to bounce back from a disappointing start to its Big West Conference season when it plays host to New Mexico State in a three-game series starting tonight at Blair Field in Long Beach.

The teams will play single games at 7:05 tonight and Friday and 1:05 p.m. game on Saturday.

Long Beach, which is ranked No. 10 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball magazine, is 19-7 and 1-2 in Big West play. The 49ers dropped two of three games to Nevada in its first conference series, including a 4-1 loss to the Wolfpack on Sunday in Reno.

The 49ers had won the first game of the series, 16-8, behind the batting of left fielder Jeff Liefer and shortstop Ryan Miller. They lost the second game, 13-5. The 13 runs was the most Long Beach has given up this season.

The top pitcher for the 49ers has been sophomore Scott Rivette, who entered the Reno series with a 5-0 record and 1.27 earned-run average. But he gave up six earned runs in six innings against Reno.

Long Beach's offense has been led by designated hitter Jeff Tagliaferri, a freshman from Granada Hills Kennedy who is batting .407. Junior third baseman Nate Vopata is batting .342 and senior second baseman Eric Martins is at .338.

After the New Mexico State series, the 49ers will play host to Cal State Northridge in a nonconference game at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday at Blair.

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The struggling Long Beach State women's softball team will play Big West opponent San Jose State in a doubleheader at 4 p.m. today at Mayfair Park in Lakewood.

Long Beach (16-14, 3-5 in the Big West) is ranked No. 5, but lost three of four conference games to Hawaii last week and was 3-3 in nonconference games at the recent Capital Classic tournament in Sacramento.

Freshman pitcher Amy Miner gave up only four hits in five innings to earn her first win, a 3-1 victory over host Sacramento State.

Miner's workload could increase with the announcement Monday that junior pitcher Rae Rice has quit the team for personal reasons. She led the team with an 8-3 record and had a 1.65 ERA and four shutouts.

Long Beach will play a Big West doubleheader against Pacific at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mayfair.

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After a split of two matches in the Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne tournament last week, the 13th-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team will play host to Mountain Pacific Sports Federation rival San Diego State at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Gold Mine gymnasium.

Long Beach (11-12) finished third in the tournament by defeating Ball State, 15-9, 16-14, 10-15, 5-15 and 15-12. The 49ers were sparked by senior outside hitter Jonathan Cummings, who finished with 23 kills, 11 digs and two blocks.

The 49ers opened the four-team tournament with a loss to Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne, 15-9, 16-14 and 15-9, despite strong play from Cummings and sophomore outside hitter Travis Barr.

The final home match for Long Beach is April 15 against Brigham Young.

COMMUNITY COLLEGES

After winning the Fullerton tournament on Monday, the Long Beach City College women's softball team is in the midst of an eight-day break before it plays host to Pasadena in a South Coast Conference game at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The Vikings (31-5 and 6-1 in the South Coast) suffered a 3-1 road loss to Pasadena for their only conference setback March 22. Long Beach defeated Rancho Santiago, 2-0, in the title game of the Fullerton tournament as pitcher Lisa Balbirnie pitched a four-hitter. Another leader for the Vikings has been catcher Kim Young.

PREPS

Five Southeast-Long Beach boys basketball players have been named to the 1994 All-Southern Section Division III and IV basketball teams selected by the Amateur Athletic Foundation's All-Southern California Board of Athletics.

Four of the players are in Division IV, including senior forward Jason Reynolds and senior guard Albert Juarez from St. Paul. Reynolds, a first-team selection, averaged 15 points, and Juarez, a second-team pick, averaged 14 as the Swordsmen advanced to the Division IV-AA final and the state playoffs.

Senior forward Tyler Ream of Whittier Christian, who averaged 15 points to lead his team to the Olympic League title, also made the Division IV first team. Troy Collins of Pius X, a 6-7 forward who is regarded as one of the top juniors in Southern California, made the second team.

The only Southeast-Long Beach player to make the Division III team was senior guard Doral Davon of Centennial. Davon, a first-team selection, averaged 16.2 points to spark Centennial to the Pioneer League title.

The Division I and II all-star teams will be announced Friday and Saturday.

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The list of honors for St. John Bosco High boys' basketball standout Jelani Gardner continues to grow.

Gardner, a 6-foot-6 senior point guard who led the Braves to the Southern Section Division II-A championship, has been named to the Parade Magazine All-America team. Gardner, who averaged 26 points and 5.5 rebounds, made the second team.

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