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JETHAWKS REPORT : April Showers Can Bring Storm

April 21, 1996|JEFF FLETCHER

Sure, it's only April, but the JetHawks' three-game series against the Lake Elsinore Storm, which starts Tuesday, is still a key series.

The Storm eliminated the Riverside Pilots--who became the JetHawks--in the playoffs last season.

"It's a big rivalry," said JetHawk outfielder Marcus Sturdivant, who played for Riverside last season. "We are going to play it like it's a playoff game."

The series is also significant because through Friday the Storm trailed the first-place JetHawks by one game in the Southern Division.

JetHawk Manager Dave Brundage is looking at this series as an indication of just how good his team really is. Of the JetHawks' 18 games before the series, 15 will have been played against the three worst teams in the league.

As co-op teams, the Visalia Oaks and Bakersfield Blaze get leftovers from other teams. The High Desert Mavericks are filled with lower-caliber Class-A players from the Baltimore Orioles.

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To take some pressure off slumping cleanup hitter James Clifford, Brundage moved him to sixth in the order Saturday night. "Hopefully all the hits are in that slot," said Clifford, who went two for four Saturday and is hitting .189. . . .

Delwyn Young Jr., the 13-year-old son of the JetHawks' hitting coach, took some swings in the batting cage Saturday and hit a ball over the right-field fence. . . .

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Today's Game:

High Desert (Gary White, 1-0, 0.00) at JetHawks (Ken Cloude, 1-0, 2.25), 2:05.

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