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NOTEBOOK

Emerging Petersen Follows the Pitch of His Older Sister

April 13, 1999|MIKE BRESNAHAN and ERIC SONDHEIMER | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Looks like Andrew Petersen learned a little from his older sister.

Petersen, a pitcher at L.A. Baptist, is finding the same success on the mound that his sister, Megan, did for the Knights' softball team before she moved on to play for Iowa.

Andrew, a sophomore, is 3-1 with a 2.55 earned-run average. He has been equally impressive with the bat, going six for nine with 11 runs batted in at the Templeton tournament last week.

"It's running in the family," said Coach Mark Hubbard, who added that another Petersen, Bryan, is expected to enroll at L.A. Baptist as a freshman in the fall and could contribute immediately.

In the meantime, Andrew's emergence could not have been more timely for L.A. Baptist (10-2), which recently lost dependable starter Scott Swenson because of a bruised shoulder.

"He's picking up some slack," Hubbard said of Andrew. "We've been waiting for him to come around and he did, like a house on fire."

Andrew credits his sister, who is having a strong sophomore season for 25th-ranked Iowa. Megan is 6-2 and has a 1.34 ERA, which ranked fourth in the Big Ten as of last week.

"I remember her working hard in the front yard, playing and pitching with my dad [Ray]," Andrew said.

"I learned from observing her how important it is to work hard on sports and have that carry over into academics. It's important for getting into the right kind of college."

*

If it is played today as scheduled, the Crespi-Notre Dame game could be as unpredictable as the recent weather.

A pitching duel is expected at Notre Dame, with San Francisco-bound Phil Polanco pitching against Crespi's Tim Leveque, who has signed with Michigan.

But the history of the hotly contested rivalry speaks for itself.

"Expect the unexpected," Crespi Coach Scott Muckey said. "If you expect a low-scoring game, it usually ends up being a high-scoring game. If you expect a high-scoring game, it's usually a pitching duel.

"We'll just go in there and play the game and see what happens."

Notre Dame (12-2, 4-0 in the Mission League) and Crespi (13-3, 4-0) play again Friday at Valley College.

*

Westlake (10-2-1) resembles a baseball factory turning out top players season after season, with talent lined up at every grade level.

Last season, the Warriors sent shortstop Scott Dragicevich to Stanford. Before that, catcher Chris Parker and pitcher Tim Carr signed professional contracts and outfielder Matt Riordan became a standout at Loyola Marymount.

This season, senior Kevin Howard is batting .526 with six home runs. Junior pitcher Joey Guy (2-0) has an 0.62 ERA in 11 1/3 innings.

But the class making the biggest noise is the sophomores, led by 6-foot-5 Tyler Adamczyk, who is batting .529 and has a 1.27 ERA in 11 innings.

"[Adamcyzk is] crushing the ball," Coach Chuck Berrington said.

Adamczyk was a starter for the basketball team and came out late to baseball, but he's quickly getting into peak form.

"Every start, he seems to be throwing harder and harder," Berrington said.

The other sophomores to watch are catcher Michael Nickeas, one of the best defensive players in the Marmonte League, and outfielder Ryan McCarthy, who is struggling with his hitting but has two saves as a reliever.

*

Nordhoff (6-4) is off to its best start in school history, according to second-year Coach Rob Duran, who is touting the Rangers to win their first Frontier League title.

Duran said school administrators informed him that the Rangers have never finished the season with a winning record.

Duran insists 1999 will be the first.

"I imagine we're going to have more than six wins," Duran said. "In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say I'll guarantee it."

*

Outfielder Matt Thayer of Harvard-Westlake, an All-Mission League choice as a sophomore, started the season in a slump with three hits in 16 at-bats. Since then he has caught fire, going 12 for 16 with 15 stolen bases in his last seven games.

*

With rain forcing postponement of games last week, several City Section teams must play three games this week, putting pressure on pitching staffs.

Don't feel sorry for Chatsworth, which has one of the region's best No. 3 pitchers in senior Ryan Robbins, who is 4-0 but only gets to pitch after Mike Kunes (4-1) and Scott Sellz (3-0).

*

Alemany (8-6) wasn't supposed to be a factor in Mission League play, but the Indians have an improving junior pitcher in Chris Suazo, who's 4-1 and throwing strikes.

*

Felipe Tetelboin, a junior second baseman for Grant, has hit safely in all 13 games for the Lancers (10-3) and is batting .486.

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