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An Unlucky Streak Hits 13 for Alemany

March 20, 1997

Alemany pitcher Jason Westemeir sprained his knee in a game against Canyon last week, increasing the Indians' injuries to 13 since the end of last season.

Westemeir, who broke his elbow over the winter, is expected to return next week.

"I'm running a MASH unit over here," Alemany baseball Coach Tim Browne said. "They know me on a first-name basis at Holy Cross Medical Center."

The Indians have persevered, however, and are off to a 5-1 start, including a 7-4 victory over Crespi and All-Southern Section pitcher Brian Felten.

Closing fast: Burroughs High senior Anthony Fabrizio hasn't pitched in nearly two years, but the senior right-hander has been a natural fit as the Indians' closer.

Fabrizio, who normally plays first base, had a hand in all three of Burroughs' victories in the El Segundo tournament, picking up two saves and a victory without allowing a run.

He had a short tryout at pitcher his sophomore year, failing miserably.

"He just wasn't ready mentally," Burroughs Coach Jose Valle said. "But now he's grown up physically and mentally. He loves it now."

Epidemic: The Highland High baseball team has had plenty to contend with this season.

First, the Bulldogs' top returning player, third baseman Joe Meier, severely sprained his wrist two weeks ago.

Then junior Travis Hodge, expected to be Highland's top pitcher, hyperextended his elbow against Monroe.

Now a virus is moving through the team, further frustrating Coach Mike Van Cheri.

"It's hitting about two kids a week," Van Cheri said. "Take away the illness and injuries and we're still going to be all right.

Baby backstop: Few area baseball teams start a freshman catcher, especially in the tough Marmonte League, but Newbury Park's Joey Hamer is an exception.

Hamer, 5 feet 10 and 175 pounds, entered the week batting .308 for the Panthers (4-3), who last week advanced to the division finals of the Westside tournament.

Coach Curtis Scott praises Hamer's maturity and looks forward to having a four-year starter behind the plate.

"It's not like he's a fill-in, he's helped us considerably," Scott said. "He needs to work on blocking the ball a little better, but he's got a great delivery to second base and he doesn't let his athletic ability turn into arrogance."

Popular attraction: St. Bonaventure football Coach Jon Mack and offensive coordinator Tim Gutierrez proved to be a winning combination last season, leading the Seraphs to the Southern Section Division X title.

Last week, at a high school and college coaches' convention in Atlantic City, N.J., Mack and Gutierrez teamed up again to deliver an information-packed, three-hour presentation on St. Bonaventure's offense.

Any fear the two had of speaking to large audiences appeared unfounded when only two coaches sat in for the beginning of the talk. But by its conclusion, an overflow crowd of more than 60 was on hand and Mack has been besieged with requests to mail typed outlines of the speech and videotapes of the Seraphs' formations and plays.

"The guys from the East Coast are real interested in the passing game," said Mack, whose expenses were picked up by the equipment manufacturer sponsoring the clinic. "Thankfully we won this year so we were credible."

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