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Chelette Has Sights Set on 200, State Title

March 05, 1997

Newton Chelette, men's basketball coach at Antelope Valley College, could reach two milestones in one night if the Marauders win the state title March 15 at San Jose State.

Chelette has a 195-64 record in eight seasons with the Marauders (28-4), who play host to Riverside (22-12) in a Southern California Regional second-round game tonight at 7.

If the Marauders defeat Riverside and win their third-round game on Saturday, they would advance to the state championships and play a quarterfinal game on March 13.

Victories in the quarterfinals, the semifinals March 14 and the final the next night would give Chelette 200 victories.

The best showing for the Marauders in the state championships was runner-up to Harbor in 1956.

Late charge: It was the classic case of a three-time loser reversing fortunes in Las Vegas.

Cal State Northridge dropped its first three games of the four-team Nevada Las Vegas Desert Classic to Clemson, UNLV and previously winless Northwestern in round-robin play Thursday and Friday.

But all four teams advanced to Saturday's semifinals, and the fourth-seeded Matadors defeated top-seeded UNLV, 11-7. On Sunday, Northridge crushed Clemson, 18-5, to win the tournament championship.

Northridge (15-7-1) pounded out 20 hits against the Tigers, including four by Cesar Martinez, who improved his batting average to .429. The senior second baseman has 39 hits, equaling his total of last season.

Coach Mike Batesole's strategy of saving left-handed aces Benny Flores and Erasmo Ramirez for the last two games proved sound. Ramirez pitched a complete game against Clemson, striking out nine, and Flores earned with victory against UNLV by going seven innings.

The Matadors' late charge kept them from dropping out of the national rankings. Northridge is ranked 22nd by Collegiate Baseball and 24th by Baseball America.

Hot, hot, hot: Adam Kennedy was chosen Collegiate Baseball magazine's national player of the week after batting .615 in five games during the UNLV Desert Classic. Kennedy had three hits in four of the five games, going 16 for 28 with six home runs and 18 runs batted in.

In the victory over Clemson for the championship, Kennedy hit a grand slam and drove in six runs.

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