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Jackson Gives Encino Crespi Shot in Arm


If Encino Crespi is going to advance through the American Legion District 20 playoffs, it will need a few more pitching performances like the one turned in by Mike Jackson on Wednesday at Valley College in a playoff-opening 10-2 victory over Lancaster.

The left-hander, one start after getting hammered by Chatsworth for 14 runs in seven innings, was masterful in his first nine-inning complete game.

He struck out 14, including 11 of the last 18 outs, while pitching a five-hitter and appeared to get stronger as the game wore on despite throwing 127 pitches.

"I felt real comfortable out there," Jackson said. "I never thought I was going to have to come out."

Jackson said he had good command of a fastball, slow curve, fast curve and changeup.

The biting curves had Lancaster batters baffled.

"About three-fourths of my strikeouts were on the curve," Jackson said. "I throw the fast curve for a strikeout pitch."

Of the 13 outs that were not strikeouts, nine came on grounders.

"Everyone says strikeouts, strikeouts," Jackson said. "But I did the job with groundouts."

Encino Crespi Coach Scott Muckey needs more pitching like that with ace Tim Leveque out with an elbow injury.

Marshall Plouffe will start against hot-hitting Newhall Saugus Hart at Birmingham High today at 4 p.m. but Muckey shakes his head when asked how deep his pitching staff goes after that.

"We've got to win a lot of games," Muckey said. "I think we're just going to try and have some fun along the way."

Leveque has not pitched since the opening Legion game and has been relegated to designated hitting duties. He had an MRI Monday that did not reveal any damage and said the elbow feels fine.

Jackson's only mistake was a belt-high fastball that Matt Lopez hit for a two-run double to pull Lancaster to within 5-2 in the fifth.

A catcher-to-first double play on a botched squeeze play helped Jackson escape a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the third.

Encino Crespi took a 9-2 lead with four runs in the seventh, highlighted by Jonathan Oller's two-run triple.

Max Flaum and Kris Palomares each had four hits and scored twice for Encino Crespi. Plouffe had three hits and Leveque had two hits and three runs batted in.

In other first-round games:

North Hollywood Poly 10, Valley Chatsworth 4--Carlos Reguengo hit a two-run single to highlight a seven-run eighth inning for North Hollywood Poly (21-6) at Burroughs High.

Reguengo (9-1) scattered six hits in six innings and struck out five. He also had four hits.

Salvador Trujnillo pitched three innings to earn a save.

Mike Kunes had three hits, including a run-scoring double for Chatsworth (21-6).

Van Nuys Notre Dame 7, Central Valley Cleveland 6--Chris Dickerson's run-scoring, two-out single in the bottom of the ninth capped a four-run rally at Birmingham High.

Van Nuys Notre Dame (23-4) trailed, 6-0, before scoring three runs in the bottom of the eighth. Ryan Stonerock was four for four and drove in three runs.

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