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JUST PREPS | THE PREPS / ERIC SHEPARD

Hits, Records Keep Coming for Cosentino

May 15, 1997|ERIC SHEPARD

With a week remaining in the regular season for baseball, Tony Cosentino of West Torrance High finally accomplished what many had been talking about for months when he became the state's all-time hits leader.

The senior catcher's two-run double against Redondo in the second inning of last Saturday's game was his 181st hit, breaking the previous record of 180 set by Eric Chavez of San Diego Mt. Carmel from 1993 through '96.

The record-setting hit gave West Torrance a 2-0 lead on its way to a 7-5 victory in the final of the Redondo tournament. Cosentino went one for three and was walked twice.

Cosentino, a four-year starter, added another hit in a 2-1 victory over Inglewood on Tuesday, increasing his total to 182. The victory clinched the Bay League title for the Warriors (22-4).

A 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior, Cosentino began the season with 148 hits. His home run in a victory over South Torrance two weeks ago broke the Southern Section record of 168 hits set by Jakob Jensen of Northridge Highland Hall from 1988 through '91. The national record is 259 by Tom Imhoff of Lansing Kee, Iowa, from 1977-80.

Cosentino is batting .460 with nine homers and 36 runs batted in.

"He's an impressive hitter," West Torrance Coach Harry Jenkins said. "Just look at his record hits, a home run and a double."

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The Southern Section baseball playoffs begin next week, and Antelope Valley of Lancaster will be one of the qualifiers from the Golden League. But the Antelopes will not have their top pitcher, senior Sean Douglass, who quit the team last week in a dispute with Coach Ed t'Sas.

At issue was the amount of push-ups (332) t'Sas required of his players in practice. Douglass, projected as a first- or second-round selection in next month's amateur draft, said the push-ups were detrimental to his training and tired his throwing arm.

T'Sas defended his regimen.

"The push-ups he did were not done consecutively, they were spread out over a two-hour practice," said t'Sas, in his seventh season at the school. "The whole team did them. It was not anything directed at Sean."

Douglass, a 6-5 right-hander, missed practice last Tuesday and Wednesday and quit the team Thursday after a meeting with t'Sas and vice principal Michael Vierra.

"I believe I'm making the only decision I could make under the circumstances," said Douglass, who will play in a men's league on weekends in Pasadena so scouts can continue evaluating him. "I've just got to move on."

*

The Playa del Rey St. Bernard baseball team defeated Gardena Serra, 9-2, May 7 in its first game without fallen teammate Kriston Palomo.

Palomo, a sophomore first baseman, died on May 4, a day after having his throat crushed by the bill of another boy's batting helmet when the two collided during a game at Torrance Bishop Montgomery.

Before the Serra game, the teams joined in prayer near first base. Fernando and Diana Palomo, Kriston's parents, also attended the game.

Kriston, the team's top player, was buried last Saturday at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes after a memorial service attended by hundreds at St. Bernard.

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A nagging hamstring injury kept sprint standout Obea Moore of Pasadena Muir from running the 200 meters or on the team's 400- and 1,600-meter relays at the Pacific League finals last Thursday at Arcadia.

Moore, who has led Muir to three consecutive state titles, has been hampered by the sore right hamstring since the Arcadia Invitational last month. He missed two weeks in late April and hasn't been at full strength since.

After finishing third in the 400 in 50.54 seconds in the league finals, Moore said his hamstring was too sore to run in the 200. The top three finishers in each event qualify for the Southern Section Division I preliminaries Saturday at Long Beach City College, and league coaches voted to advance Moore in the 200 even though he didn't run.

The section gives leagues the right to select their qualifiers, and the Pacific League obviously has a lot of faith in Moore, who won at the state meet last year.

"I probably should have rested the hamstring more when it first started bothering me," Moore said. "I'm going to run this weekend, and as of now my hamstring is feeling a lot better."

*

So few area schools field girls' gymnastics teams that the Southern Section doesn't even hold a postseason meet.

That hasn't stopped the handful of remaining teams, which competed in the Southern California High School Gymnastics Championships last Saturday at Marlborough High.

Brea Olinda won the team title with 173.6 points. Downey Warren was second with 164.6. Jamie Moody, a sophomore from Long Beach Millikan, won the all-around title with 37.50 points.

*

Anaheim Esperanza's 6-0 victory over Huntington Beach in baseball last week gave Coach Mike Curran his 400th victory and his 300th at Esperanza. . . . The Anaheim Canyon softball team forfeited three nonleague games for using an ineligible player in a tournament. . . . The Long Beach Wilson boys' and girls' swimming teams continue their dominance in the Moore League. At the league finals last week, the Wilson boys easily defeated runner-up Long Beach Poly to win their 25th consecutive league title, and the girls extended their streak to 21 league titles by beating runner-up Poly by 76 points.

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