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VALLEY/VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Canyons Slowed Slightly

Baseball: Cougars continue to rebound with 12-3 victory over Valley. Second game postponed.

April 05, 1998|VINCE KOWALICK | TIMES STAFF WRITER

VAN NUYS — Umbrellas and raincoats outnumbered innings and runs during a drizzly doubleheader Saturday at Valley College.

College of the Canyons collected 16 hits in a 12-3 Western State Conference South Division baseball victory over Valley.

The game was scheduled for seven innings and intended as the first of two. The second game was scoreless in the third inning when the steadily increasing downpour forced a delay and finally postponement.

The game will be rescheduled at a date to be determined.

The rain also halted--temporarily, at least--Canyons' run of success.

The Cougars (17-8, 9-7 in conference play), defending South Division champions and Southern California regional finalists last season, have won six consecutive games after a lackluster start to conference play.

Canyons moved ahead of Pierce into third place in the South standings this week. The Cougars enter the Hancock tournament Tuesday in Santa Maria and resume conference play April 14 at home against Pierce.

Before embarking for home Saturday, several Canyons players played catch.

"We're going into this tournament and we're going to be ready," Canyons Coach Len Mohney said. "We're upset we lost this game to the weather. But we're really not playing as well as we could be playing. We've got a lot of things we need to get better at."

Hitting wouldn't appear to be on the list. Four Canyons players had three hits.

Sophomore Kris Yeaman and freshman Cory Brigs each had three hits and three runs batted in. Each had a double, the only extra-base hits in the game.

Sophomores Craig Hennes and Jesse Alvarado also had three hits each for Canyons.

Jeremy Shields (6-0), a freshman left-hander from Hart High, pitched 4 2/3 innings, striking out three and walking two while scattering eight hits.

Canyons scored five runs in the third inning and led, 8-1, in the fifth when the Monarchs (6-14, 4-9) tagged Shields for five hits and two runs.

Wayne Mahaffey replaced Shields with two out and runners at first and second, and ended the threat with a ground out.

"The ball was a little wet today," Shields said. "But I didn't notice it that much. I've been lucky. I haven't had too many strikeouts this season, but my defense is playing well behind me."

Mahaffey pitched a scoreless sixth and Jeremy Davis pitched a scoreless seventh.

Right-hander Alberto Flores (0-1), a freshman from Birmingham High, allowed seven runs in four innings for Valley.

Juan Montano and Cooper Barnett pitched the fifth and sixth for Valley.

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