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Southern California Playoffs

Community College Baseball

May 09, 1997|STEVE KRESAL, Times staff writer

* FORMAT: Best-of-three series.

* WHEN: Friday and Saturday. Games begin at 2 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday. If necessary, Game 3 begins 30 minutes after conclusion of Saturday's first game.

* WHAT'S NEXT: Winners of each series advance to the regional finals May 16-18. Next step is the state tournament, May 24-26 in Fresno.

* TICKETS: $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and children under 12.

THE MATCHUPS

* No. 16 San Bernardino Valley (20-22) at No. 1 Rancho Santiago (37-6-1)--Rancho Santiago batted .331 as a team in the regular season and led the Orange Empire Conference with 53 home runs. Shortstop Josh Redding hit .432 with 20 steals, third baseman Erik Sobek hit .398 and drove in 50 runs and utility player Joe Secoda hit .378 with 18 steals. Kevin Duck has nine home runs, and Kevin Burford and Rick Gonzalez eight each.

Heath Bell, a freshman right-hander, is 8-0 with nine saves and a 2.17 earned-run average. Matt Ward, a sophomore left-hander, is 10-1 and walked only nine in 103 2/3 innings. Jeff Bowman is 6-0 and Tim Larsen is 7-2.

* No. 15 Southwestern (26-16) at No. 2 Saddleback (33-8)--Saddleback led the conference with a .356 team batting average and hit 49 home runs. Right fielder Greg Ferrell hit .411 and drove in 46 runs. He also has one of the top arms in Southern California.

Second baseman Corrie Willkie hit .368 with 18 doubles, and first baseman Kirk Bolling hit .384 with 11 home runs and 57 RBIs. Left fielder Johnny Nguyen hit .371 and drove in 42 runs.

Mike Palumbo and Ryan Poe, both right-handers, are the workhorses of the pitching staff. Palumbo appeared in 25 games and is 8-1 with two saves and a 3.80 ERA. Poe appeared in 21 games with a 6-5 record, four saves and a 3.77 ERA. Pat Versluis is 7-1 and Kyle Kane is 2-0 with a save and an 0.47 ERA.

* No. 13 Hancock (29-15) at No. 4 Cypress (33-10-1)--Craig Kuzmic became a switch-hitter and a catcher this season and excelled at both. He batted .410 with 19 doubles, 13 home runs and led the conference with 59 RBIs. Cypress hit .341 with 44 home runs as a team.

Left fielder Greg Jacobs, who has signed with Cal State Fullerton, hit .376 with nine homers and 44 RBIs, right fielder Scott Daeley hit .347 and stole 21 bases, and third baseman Randy Case had 53 RBIs.

The patchwork condition of the Chargers' pitching staff can best be illustrated by reliever Brian Greene (6-2, four saves), who tied for the staff lead in victories. Richard Sundstrom, a starter, is 6-3. Ron Aparicio, another starter, is 5-0.

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