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Season Over, but Caffrey Is Still Setting Records

May 21, 1996|MIKE TERRY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Although Heritage Christian's baseball season is over after a Division VI first-round playoff loss to Redlands Arrowhead Christian, it is still a season to remember for sophomore Paul Caffrey.

Caffrey, who plays shortstop and pitches, is poised to set a county record for batting average--.597, with 46 hits in 77 at-bats. That would be two percentage points higher than Fullerton's D.C. Olsen hit in 1990.

The statistics will be final when the baseball playoffs are over.

It would be the third record Caffrey has set this season. He also established a county RBI standard with 56, and a county and Southern Section record for triples with 13.

What makes the average impressive beyond the number is how Caffrey achieved it. He did not begin the season batting .700 and trying to hang on.

He did not enter the weekly stats in The Times until April 2, at .500. The average kept rising throughout the season, peaking at .613 last week before a one-for-three afternoon against Arrowhead.

As a pitcher Caffrey was 6-4, with a 1.43 earned-run average. But it's the hitting that draws the most attention.

"Three years ago we had a player who hit tremendously in league but was not consistent the whole season," Heritage Coach Mike Smith said. "Paul was consistent from Game 1 to Game 22."

Smith said he has been deluged with calls from coaches asking for Caffrey on a summer league team. "I told him, 'The higher league you play in, the better you will be,' " Smith said of Caffrey, who is considering joining a Connie Mack-level team.

*

There was no bigger local upset in the first round of the softball playoffs than Trabuco Hills' 3-1 victory over Fountain Valley. "Unbelievable," Baron Coach Cary Baker kept saying afterward.

Fountain Valley (17-11) shared the Sunset League title and was ranked seventh in the final Orange County poll. Trabuco Hills (11-12) wouldn't have even qualified for the playoffs if San Clemente had not forfeited 15 games.

In fact, it was a bad day all around for the Sunset League, which went 0-4. The South Coast League went 3-0, including an almost equally stunning 4-1 victory by Capistrano Valley (12-14) over Huntington Beach (20-9)--the team that shared the league title with Fountain Valley.

The Century League went 3-0 during Friday's first round, Garden Grove 1-2, the Empire 1-3.

In Division II, the Sea View League went 2-1, the Golden West League 2-1, and the Freeway League 1-1.

The Orange and Pacific Coast leagues went 1-2 in Division III, and the Olympic League 3-0 in Division V.

In Division VI, the Academy League went 3-0, the Arrowhead League 0-2.

Only five of the top 10 teams in Orange County--including the top four, Foothill (27-2), Mater Dei (26-1), Pacifica (25-3) and Woodbridge (25-5)--are still alive. The other team is Irvine (22-6-1), which was ranked eighth.

Staff writer Martin Henderson contributed to this report.

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