The 32-team El Segundo baseball tournament annually draws some of the top programs in the Southland, and this season is no different.
But when last weekend's rain-postponed championship game is played April 4, it will have a slightly new wrinkle because West Torrance and Torrance both come from the Bay League.
"This is unusual, two teams from the same league, especially with teams like Millikan and Simi Valley and other teams from different areas that are traditionally very good," Torrance Coach Don Nicholson said.
With six starters back from a team that advanced to the Division II semifinals last season, West Torrance is regarded as a favorite to win a section title. The Warriors are led by senior third baseman Greg Sain, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound third baseman who is being recruited by Florida and Arizona State among others. Sain, a two-time All-Southern Section player, batted .495 with 12 home runs and 54 runs batted last season.
Also back for West Torrance are pitchers Brian Thomas (10-2 in 1997) and James Garcia (8-1) and shortstop Warren Trott.
Torrance features seven juniors who played on last season's team that finished 14-14 and in second place in the league behind West Torrance.
Senior Steve Guererro and junior Brian Lockwood are the top pitchers, and both also play shortstop.
Ryan Mutc, who led the Loyola boys' soccer team to a Southern Section title, was named offensive player of the year in Division I. Ryan Kenyon of El Toro was defensive player of the year.
Other winners: Division II offense--Chris Clester (San Marcos), defense--Daniel Haws (San Marcos); III offense--Tim Pierce (Santa Margarita), defense--Mark Kisting (Servite); IV offense--Alex Avina (San Luis Obispo), defense Shaun MacGilluray (Laguna Beach); V offense--Justin Wells (San Bernardino Aquinas), defense--Erfan Puthawala (Palos Verdes Chadwick).
Girls' winners: I offense--Erin Misaki (Newhall Hart), defense--Kim Abbamonto (Capistrano Valley); II offense--Cami Boswell (South Torrance), defense--Erin Regan (Santa Margarita); III offense--Christine Bill (Glendora St. Lucy's), defense--Carlie Stokes (West Hills Chaminade); IV offense--Katie Quatro (Sierra Madre Maranatha), defense--Jennifer Griffith (Ventura St. Bonaventure).