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County : NEWS FLASH

Northridge to Sign Six Baseball Players

April 08, 1998

The Cal State Northridge baseball team will sign six players to letters of intent today, including four highly regarded high school seniors.

Right-handed pitcher James Garcia of West Torrance High, left-handed pitcher Teddy Sutton of Colton High, catcher Brady Burrill of Valencia High and third baseman Nick Voyatzis of La Salle High have made commitments to Northridge.

Infielder Brent Egan and outfielder Kevin Mellinger of Oxnard College also will sign with the Matadors.

SOFTBALL

Eastern bound:Highland High shortstop Jennifer Smith has committed to Rhode Island. She is expected to sign with the school later this week.

TRACK AND FIELD

She's back: Sophomore Jayda Bailey of Taft High, the defending City Section champion in the girls' 800 meters, has regained her academic eligibility and can compete for the Toreadors, starting April 13.

Bailey, one of the most versatile track athletes in the region, has bests of 12.1 seconds in the 100, 25.6 in the 200, 54.48 in the 400 and 2:11 in the 800.

Her return will bolster a powerful Taft team and should improve the Toreadors' chances of winning their first City girls' title in May.

WATER POLO

Job search: Rich Corso, Harvard-Westlake's successful water polo coach, left Tuesday night for New Jersey to interview for the men's and women's water polo job at Princeton University.

Corso, a former U.S. Olympic team head coach, has been at Harvard-Westlake for 12 years. He has built the Wolverines' program into the strongest in the region. He earlier coached at UCLA and Yale. He said he decided to interview for the Princeton position after they called him.

"I'm going back there to see what kind of commitment they have for the sport," he said.

Big week(s): Cheri Shinn and Chelo Lopez of Cal State Northridge swept the weekly Big West Conference honors with standout performances last week.

Shinn, a senior pitcher, and Lopez, a senior first baseman, were named Big West pitcher and player of the week, respectively, for their performances against Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton.

Shinn (8-6) allowed just two runs in 12 innings and got two victories.

Lopez, a two-time winner of the award this season, homered in four consecutive conference games last week and went six for eight with nine runs batted in. Lopez is batting .364 and leads the team with eight home runs and 29 RBIs.

SOCCER

Ex-coaches in trouble: Two of the men accused of stealing $2 million as part of an automated teller machine theft ring in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys formerly coached soccer at Crescenta Valley High.

Phil Hacopians, 26, was the Falcon boys' soccer coach during the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons. He resigned in the spring of 1996.

A former Crescenta Valley player, Hacopians was the boys' junior varsity soccer coach at Pasadena High in 1996-97 and was the soccer coach at Mayfield, an all-girls school in Pasadena, last season.

Crescenta Valley girls' Coach Judd Bogust said Hacopians coached in a regional all-star game two weeks ago, guiding players from teams including Crescenta Valley, La Canada and Alemany.

"Quite a few of the parents were pretty concerned that he didn't step down [after being arrested]," Bogust said.

Crescenta Valley Athletic Director Pat Snickles said another suspect, Gilbert Petrosian, 24, served as Hacopians' assistant with the school's boys' team and was about to be hired as the girls' coach in the fall of 1996 to replace Bogust when a background check revealed a conviction for embezzlement and forgery.

MISCELLANY

Movin' on up: Five area baseball and softball teams are climbing in Cal-Hi Sports' top 20 polls.

In baseball, undefeated Hart (12-0) is ranked No. 4 in the state and No. 7 Chatsworth (11-1) and No. 12 Thousand Oaks (10-1-1) aren't far behind.

In softball, undefeated Camarillo (6-0) is No. 5 in the state and Simi Valley is at No. 10.

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