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Kishita's Relief Work Helps Vigilantes Win Third Straight

May 27, 1997|MIKE TERRY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

MISSION VIEJO — Welcome to the Western Baseball League, Dan Ehler.

Ehler, a 22-year-old right-handed pitcher who spent the last four seasons in the Florida Marlins' organization, signed with the Mission Viejo Vigilantes Monday afternoon.

Several hours later, Ehler found himself on the mound. The Chico Heat, trailing by three runs in the seventh inning, had the bases loaded with two out and Manager Buck Rodgers asked Ehler to get out No. 3.

It didn't happen. Chico would score two--one on Alan Burke's error--before Kirt Kishita retired the side. But the Vigilantes went on to claim their third victory in four games against Chico, winning, 9-4, before 2,017 at Saddleback College.

Kishita, who won on Saturday and earned a save Monday, might be filling the closer spot in Mission Viejo's bullpen. In the series, Kishita pitched 5 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, giving up one hit and striking out six.

"If there's a front runner for that position, Kirt is it," Rodgers said. "We will still look at some other people, but Kirt is definitely one of the guys we're considering."

Kishita said he would pitch in whatever role the Vigilante have for him, but admitted he wouldn't mind being a closer. "Why not? It's a great job," he said.

As for Ehler, Rodgers said his appearance Monday would not be a cameo. "He did get a ground ball that should have gotten him out of the inning," Rodgers said.

As they had done on Sunday, the Vigilantes got out the gate quickly, jumping on Heat starter Josh Montgomery (0-1) for five runs in two turns at bat.

Vigilante starter Scott Singleton (1-0) struggled with his control, but didn't surrender any runs until the fifth--his final inning. He gave up eight hits, two runs and walked two.

Although Chico got within 5-4 in the seventh, Mission Viejo put the game away with two runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth.

Before the game, the Vigilantes placed right-hander Mark Tranberg, who sustained a strained right shoulder during Saturday's game, on the seven-day disabled list.

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