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CENTURY LEAGUE BASEBALL ROUNDUP : Matranga's Wave of Emotion Helps Power Orange Past Canyon

March 29, 1995|MIKE TERRY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Senior shortstop David Matranga celebrated his decision to attend Pepperdine this fall in a big way, getting four hits and driving in four runs as Orange routed Canyon, 20-3, Tuesday at Orange High.

Matranga--who orally committed Monday night and said he would sign his letter of intent "as soon as the NCAA allows me to"--doubled twice, homered and singled in his first four at-bats as the surprising Panthers (4-4, 3-0) remained the Century League's only undefeated team. Canyon slipped to 6-3, 1-2.

"I'll hate to lose him, but I also know it's time for David to move on," Orange Coach Ed Howard said. "I do want him to be very successful at the next level.

"He will be on the list of greats that have graduated from here."

Matranga said he had considered Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and USC, but believed Pepperdine had what he was looking for in a college. His decision allows him to concentrate on the 1995 season, which is shaping up to be an interesting one for Orange.

"I think our team is coming together," Matranga said. "We don't have the greatest talent, but we like to work hard, and it's starting to show up in games. No one could have predicted a 3-0 start in league and we know things can change quickly. But we feel we have nothing to lose."

Matranga was not the only Panther to feast on Comanche pitching. Every starter and two pinch-hitters got at least one hit. Orange had 25 hits against four Canyon pitchers.

Tony Damiano drove in five runs with two hits, with three runs batted in coming on a bases-loaded double in the third. Erich Roden had four singles and scored three times. Aaron Alvarado and Art Bell each had three RBIs, and Bell also made several sparkling plays in center field.

Orange bolted to a 4-0 lead in the first against Scott Redfox (1-2), although three of the runs were unearned because of two Comanche errors. The Panthers then broke open the game with 10 runs in the third--nine coming with two out.

Orange starter James Starr should have coasted to his first victory, but was gone after 1 1/3 innings because he could not get the ball over the plate. Reliever Bryan Stewart (2-0) pitched the final 5 2/3 innings to get the victory.

In other Century League games:

Santa Ana Valley 6, Foothill 4--Rich Chavis had three hits, two RBIs and a run scored for visiting Santa Ana Valley (5-4, 2-1). Ralph Aburto hit a home run and scored two runs and Johnny Garcia added two hits and a run scored for the Falcons.

El Modena 4, Villa Park 1--Derrick Muska pitched a five-hitter for El Modena (3-4, 2-1). The Vanguards also turned three double plays.

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