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WSC Baseball Teams Take a Break; Some Can Really Use It

April 08, 1998

While the Western State Conference observes spring break this week, its teams are scattered and some idle.

Canyons enters the Hancock tournament, Oxnard the Palomar tournament, and Pierce and Valley the Rio Hondo tournament.

Glendale (20-9, 11-4 in conference play), leading the WSC South Division, is idle until playing Valley on April 14.

Conference rules prohibit makeup games being played during the break.

"We need the rest," said Glendale Coach Denny Barrett, whose team has won 10 consecutive games.

Ventura (8-15, 3-11) is winless in 12 tournament games over three years.

Rather than enter a tournament this spring, Coach Don Adams opted for an intrasquad series.

"We decided to see what we could do if we took time off," Adams said.

Awkward position: Sophomore third baseman Brian Riley of Ventura suffered a sprained knee colliding with a fence while chasing a foul pop fly two weeks ago. Riley recently returned but he won't achieve his goal of playing every position this season.

Riley, a second team All-WSC infielder last season, has played every position this season except center field, second base and catcher. Last year, Riley played every position except center field.

Riley, who is batting .306, is limited to use as a designated hitter.

Shortfall: Rain washed away Andy Super's bid to become Ventura's all-time iron man.

Super, a pitcher and infielder, has played in 63 consecutive games, including all 40 last season. Super's streak can reach only 75 games, since Ventura has only 12 to play, including games to be made up.

Rain has forced cancellation of at least five games for Ventura this season.

Joseph Jauregui, who plays second base for Cal Lutheran, holds the Ventura record of 77 consecutive games in 1995 and 1996.

Super is 2-2 and is batting .258 with a team-high 14 runs batted in.

Team leader: It's starting to seem like Barry Zito is Pierce's only pitcher.

Zito, a 6-foot-4 sophomore left-hander, is 4-1 with 53 strikeouts and 2.20 earned run average in 41 innings. Zito is scheduled to start Thursday against Rio Hondo at Pierce in the Rio Hondo tournament.

"With all the rainouts, we just keep giving the ball to Zito," Pierce Coach Bob Lofrano said. "Sometimes we wind up playing only once a week. If you're only going once a week, you want to go with your best pitcher and he's definitely the best guy."

Zito and teammates Derek Morse and Barry Matthews combined last week for 35 strikeouts in 18 innings. Zito accounted for 24, including 17 against Santa Barbara.

Morse had nine in six innings after relieving Zito on Sunday against Ventura. Matthews had two against Santa Barbara.

Stealth bombers: Cal Lutheran (18-5) complements its potent offense (.377 batting average, 46 home runs) with speed, running often and effectively.

Cal Lutheran has 73 steals in 90 attempts, led by Raudel Flores with 15, Adam Rauch with 13 and Donny Churchman with 10.

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