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Cleveland's Santillan Is Too Hot for Taft

April 04, 1998|ERIC SONDHEIMER

With temperatures in the 50s and a steady drizzle, senior right-hander Max Santillan of Cleveland High stood on the mound Friday in short sleeves looking unperturbed by the weather.

"Yeah, it's cold, but when you're so into the game, you don't think about it," he said.

Santillan proved he's definitely a cold-weather pitcher. He dominated Taft by throwing a two-hitter with eight strikeouts as Cleveland beat the Toreadors, 3-0, in a Northwest Valley Conference baseball game.

It was the best pitching performance in the four-year varsity career for Santillan, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound senior who primarily has played shortstop for the Cavaliers (6-3, 2-3). He also went three for three, with a single, double and triple.

Tony Cicero drove in Cleveland's first run with a run-scoring single in the first inning. Santillan had a run-scoring single in the third and Javier Gomez got an RBI in the sixth on a sacrifice fly.

Justin Wade, sidelined last season with a broken elbow, threw well for Taft (5-5, 2-3). He gave up five hits, striking out three and walking two.

Santillan's teammates kept asking him after each inning, "Are you cold?" They even told him to put sleeves on.

But he kept his focus on the Taft batters.

"I was cold, but I stayed strong and wanted to win," he said.

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