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CHRIS FOSTER

Around the Horn in Playoffs

May 21, 1996|Chris Foster

Scoreboard watching, from a different vantage point.

Santa Fe Springs St. Paul 12, Cypress 3--Poor Bobby Brito.

The kid tried from his first game as a freshman to carry the Centurions. He finished that way, going two for four with a double in Friday's first-round loss. Between his first game and Friday, he hit 26 home runs--second most in Orange County history--and actually turned Cypress into a threat.

Alas, no Natural ending here. The lights didn't shatter, they dimmed. The Centurions lost four of their last five, missed a chance for their first league title and were unceremoniously bounced from the Division I playoffs.

As those Irvine High kids proved a few years back, it's easier to get to a Little League World Series than it is to win a section title.

Listening out there in Yorba Hills?

Mater Dei 5, Rialto Eisenhower 4--Folks at Cypress shouldn't curse St. Paul too much.

The Swordsmen didn't exactly win the grand prize by getting Mater Dei today. True, the second round has been the Monarchs' frequent off-ramp, but there are a couple reasons to believe they will hit the gas this time.

For starters, it's St. Paul, definite Angelus League battle scars here. Remember, it was St. Paul football Coach Marijon Ancich who once tried to have baseball reduced to club status. Think Monarch baseball Coach Bob Ickes has forgotten?

Of course, around St. Paul, football is more an activity than a sport these days. The Swordsmen haven't been to the playoffs in two years--a lifetime in Ancich years. Their last postseason appearance? A 17-14 loss to Mater Dei. Now the baseball team draws the Monarchs.

A coincidence or instant karma?

The other reason to bank on the Monarchs? They are awfully good. If Disney really wanted to purchase a team that draws crowds and wins, it should have gone south to Santa Ana.

Fountain Valley 4, Bellflower St. John Bosco 2--The Barons scored three runs on a wild pitch, an error and a passed ball.

Sure, keep feeding the bears. That's just what a two-time defending division champion needs, a little help. Of course, one of the reasons the Barons are two-time defending champions is they pounce on such opportunities.

That's 11 consecutive playoff victories and counting. Opponents shouldn't give till it hurts 'em.

Servite 2, City of Industry Workman 0--Rick Chessman tossed a one-hitter, giving up only a seventh-inning double.

Can he match that performance if he pitches today? He'd better. Redondo, Division II's top-seeded team, is 27-1.

Upland 7, Sonora 6--The Raiders failed to get rolling toward a second Division II title, even with their lucky ceramic owl at their side.

Apparently Upland didn't give a hoot.

La Quinta 6, Norco 1--The Aztecs lost everyone who was anyone from last season's Division III championship team.

They can't possibly win a third title. Can they?

Liberty Christian 17, Canoga Park Coutin 2--What did Coutin think it was, eight-man baseball?

Still, 17 runs? Seems like quite a waste when you have three pitchers who have thrown no-hitters--Ray Cook, Bryan Davis, Mike Winters. That's either a great staff or another abnormality of Division VI baseball, like a 17-2 playoff game.

Still, it's never boring around D-VI. The extreme always seems to make an impression.

And softball, you say?

Fifty-five of 90 playoff games reported Friday were shutouts. That includes Canyon and El Dorado, who went 17 scoreless innings before Canyon scored two runs.

Either move that pitching circle back or switch to slow-pitch.

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