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Ventura's Turner Goes from Average Pitcher to Standout

April 15, 1999| From Staff Reports

In two seasons, David Turner has transformed from an average high school pitcher into a Western State Conference workhorse with a Division I future.

The Ventura College sophomore right-hander is 9-4 with a 3.10 earned-run average and 92 strikeouts in 78 1/3 innings. He has been especially tough in WSC games, posting a 6-1 record, earning all but one of the Pirates' victories and averaging 12 strikeouts per nine innings.

His fastball registers 86-88 mph and, more impressively, he maintains his velocity into the late innings.

Case in point: In a 6-3 victory over Canyons on Tuesday, Turner pitched his third complete game and was as strong in the ninth inning as he was in the first.

"A lot of people don't know about Dave, but some Division I team is going to be very fortunate," Coach Don Adams said. "He is learning to pitch aggressively, he has good pitches and a live arm."

Turner, 19, took a hard look at himself after his first start this season, a debacle in which he allowed eight runs in a Visalia tournament game.

Adams told an assistant to drive Turner to the hotel minutes after he was pulled in the second inning, and the pitcher spent three hours alone staring at the ceiling and stewing.

"I took three or four showers just trying to wash that game away," Turner said. "It took me all day to simmer down."

The next day he pitched a three-hitter, striking out 15.

"I battled and that's what the coach wanted to see," Turner said.

After losing to Glendale in a WSC opener, Turner has won six in a row, complementing his fastball with a hard, downward-breaking curve and a changeup.

Turner was 3-6 last season after an unspectacular career at Agoura High. His turnaround began last summer when he was 4-1 with a 0.34 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 41 innings for the Agoura American Legion team. He later helped Conejo Valley win the Big League World Series.

"At this point, I feel like I can beat any team," he said.


Tami Pivnick, a redshirt sophomore at Cal, has been selected to participate in the third annual NCAA Foundation Leadership Conference.

The conference's mission is to prepare a diverse group of student-athletes to take an active leadership role on their campuses and in their communities.

Pivnick, a graduate of Chaminade, played midfielder for Cal last season, scoring four goals. She was honorable mention on the academic All- Pacific 10 team.

Staff writers Steve Henson and Mike Hiserman contributed to this notebook.

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