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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Kennedy Victory a Crowning Achievement

4-A: Left-hander Wes Crown isn't perfect, but he's effective in beating Westchester, 5-1.

June 03, 1998|MITCH POLIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

GRANADA HILLS — At 5-foot-8, pitcher Wes Crown of Kennedy High doesn't intimidate batters when he stands on the mound.

He wasn't overpowering and he didn't have his best stuff Tuesday against Westchester in the City Section 4-A Division quarterfinals.

But he pitched a masterpiece as far as the Golden Cougars were concerned.

The senior left-hander tossed a complete game, scattering nine hits and striking out six, in Kennedy's 5-1 victory over the Comets.

Fourth-seeded Kennedy (24-8) and top-seeded Chatsworth will meet in a highly anticipated rematch Thursday in a semifinal tentatively scheduled at Pierce College.

All Crown (7-3) wanted to do was get the Golden Cougars there.

"It could've been better," Crown said. "It can always be better. But I just wanted to keep [Westchester] off the bases and get outs."

The Comets (23-10), who stranded 10 runners, had their opportunities.

They loaded the bases in the fourth inning before Ryan Barton flied out to center fielder Pat Hernandez to end the threat.

After Sergio Corona drove in Westchester's only run with a one-out single in the fifth, the Comets had runners at first and third.

Crown then induced designated hitter Evan Faught to hit into an inning-ending double play.

"They could've had a lot more runs," Crown said. "But the defense really came through for me."

After two scoreless innings, the Golden Cougars broke loose for three runs on five hits in the third. The big blows were triples by Phil Arias and Tim Arroyo, and a double by Marcus Alvarado.

Arroyo, one of a handful of holdovers from Kennedy's 4-A championship team in 1996, also doubled and scored in the fifth.

Since he didn't play in the 1996 title game at Dodger Stadium, Arroyo is itching to return June 11.

"It would be the greatest thing to go back there as a senior and play," he said.

Standing in Kennedy's way is powerful Chatsworth. But the Golden Cougars split two Northwest Valley Conference games against the Chancellors and Arroyo says they are ready.

"We don't want to wait two days," Arroyo said. "We'd like to finish it now."

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