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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Southern Section

March 17, 1998|TRIS WYKES

CHANNEL LEAGUE

Rio Mesa is the early favorite after sharing the title with Hueneme last season. The Spartans return seven starters, including pitcher Greg Ramirez, a 6-foot-4 junior who was 8-2 and earned all-county honors last season. Junior catcher Isaac Romerobatted .324 and junior pitcher-first baseman Ernie Borjas batted .375 and was 3-0. . . . Hueneme returns six starters. Senior first baseman Robert Avila batted .316 with 20 runs batted in and senior Lee Lewis was 4-0 with a 2.33 ERA. . . . Oxnard Coach Dan Garcia pointed toward this season last year, when the young Yellowjackets finished in seventh place. They return seven starters, led by seniors Chad Pierson (.362, 18 RBIs) and Eric Swanger (.375), and junior Paul McAnulty (.349, 18 RBIs). . . . Junior twins Jon and Jason Branch are back at Ventura. John, a catcher and pitcher, batted .383 with 14 RBIs and Jason was 5-2 with a 2.42 ERA. . . . Buena returns only two of its top seven hitters in senior Kurt Probasco (.304) and Mike Frick (.346).

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