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March 30, 1995|KIRBY LEE


Millikan is the top team in the first Long Beach/Southeast sportswriters' baseball rankings.

The Rams, one of three Moore League teams in the rankings, defeated Lakewood, 7-0, Friday to remain undefeated in Moore League play at 3-0-1 and beat Redondo, 11-0, in the quarterfinals of the Redondo tournament to improve to 9-0-1.

Here is a look at the area's top five teams with league and division.

1. Millikan, Moore, Southern Section Division I--The Rams finished 15-11 and lost in the first round of the playoffs last season, but pitching should take Millikan much further this year with seniors Eric Ireland and Greg Moore and junior Nick Bierbrodt.

Ireland, who will attend the University of Texas, is 5-0 and has given up only five hits this season. He threw a one-hitter against Lakewood last week, striking out eight.

2. Gahr, San Gabriel Valley, Southern Section Division II--The defending league champion advanced to the finals for the first time last season. The Gladiators' hopes of advancing to another division final will ride on senior outfielder Chuck Lopez and shortstop Abel Orozco. Junior pitcher Val Pascucci also returns.

3. South Gate, City--The Rams, who won the 1993 City 3-A Division title and advanced to the 3-A semifinals last season, are favored to win their third consecutive Southeastern Conference title. Catcher Danny Mojarro, outfielders Andy Silva and Jorge Zamora--all seniors--were members of the 1993 City champion team. Right-hander David Coria was 6-1 for South Gate (25-7).

4. Long Beach Wilson, Moore, Southern Section Division I--The Bruins' feature freshman third baseman Sean Burroughs, who played on the two-time world champion Long Beach Little League team.

Pitcher Cory Rosenberg is the only returning starter for Wilson, which is 3-9 in Moore League play after losing four of its first five games.

5. Lakewood, Moore, Southern Section Division I--Steve Immel and Matt Dempsey are the only two returning starters from last year's 24-7 team, which advanced to the division final.

Immel, who pitches and also plays second base, had a 9-1 record and 1.29 earned-run average and batted .303. Dempsey (.353) had 36 hits and drove in 28 runs.

* The Long Beach Poly girls track team is clearly the Moore League's best dual meet team after defeating Long Beach Wilson, 84-26, Monday at Poly.

The league opener, however, did little to settle the debate on the league's or the state's top sprinter after Wilson's LaKeisha Backus, the nation's top returning 200-meter runner and state champion, did not compete because of a recruiting trip to USC.

In Backus' absence, Poly's Andrea Anderson, the fastest returning high school runner at 100 meters, clocked 11.8 seconds to win the event and lead a 1-2-3 Poly sweep along with Aminah Haddad and Zahella Showe. The UCLA-bound Anderson also won the 200 in 24.3.

Haddad, Anderson and Showe teamed with Pam Simpson, who won the 400 in 58.0 and long jump at 18 feet 7 inches, on the Jackrabbits' victorious 400-meter relay team, which timed 47.4.

* The Poly track team has been invited to compete in the Penn Relays April 27-29. The team is seeking contributions to finance the $9,000 trip.

Information: (310) 591-0581.


Center fielder Suzie Duarte hit two home runs to lift Cerritos College to a 6-4 victory over Ventura in the championship of the East L.A. tournament at South Gate Park. Duarte's second home run, a grand-slam in the fifth inning, helped the Falcons overcome a 3-2 deficit.

Duarte pitcher Amy Balangkura and catcher Trisha Cox were selected to the all-tournament team for Cerritos (17-8), which went 5-1 in the two-day tournament.

The Falcons, who play at East L.A. Friday, beat Citrus, 6-3, and Rio Hondo, 6-0, but lost to Pierce, 6-3, Saturday.

Cerritos defeated College of the Desert, 4-3, and Santa Monica, 5-3, Sunday to advance to the championship.

Duarte, a freshman from Warren High, had nine hits in 18 at-bats and drove in five runs in the tournament.

Balangkura, a freshman from Downey, won four games, including the quarterfinal and championship, and gave up only one earned run in 22 innings.

Cox had nine hits in 16 at-bats and stole two bases. She drove in two runs in the semifinal against Santa Monica to help the Falcons overcome a 3-0 deficit in the sixth inning.

* The Cerritos College baseball team is ranked 10th in the state and fifth in Southern California. Cerritos (17-6), which plays at Pasadena this afternoon, has a half-game lead over Long Beach in the South Coast Conference standings at 7-1.

Freshman first baseman Jose Alvarez is batting .348 with two home runs and sophomore center fielder Norm Padilla, who has not been thrown out in 10 stolen base attempts, is batting .338. Jose Miranda (.326), David McRill (.325) and Rod Barajas (.319) also are batting over .300. Miranda, a sophomore right fielder, leads the Falcons in conference play with 12 hits in 29 at-bats (.414) and 13 runs batted in.

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