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Valley / Ventura County Sports | HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL

Rookies Carry On El Camino Real Legacy

April 23, 1999|ERIC SONDHEIMER

It's happening again at El Camino Real High, where talented baseball players keep showing up season after season.

Following in the tradition of McGuire, Wolf, Cliffords and Jackson, sophomore Jason Kort and freshman Greg Acheatel made major contributions on Thursday and the host Conquistadores defeated Chatsworth, 9-6, in a West Valley League game.

Kort hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning to give El Camino Real (14-4, 7-3 in league play) a 9-4 lead. He missed hitting another three-run home run in the sixth on a fly ball to left field that was barely foul.

Acheatel, playing third base, came up with two important defensive plays and had a run-scoring single to help inflict the first league defeat on the Chancellors (15-3, 8-1), ranked No. 2 in the region by The Times.

"I just try to shine when I get the opportunity," said Kort, who hit over .400 for the junior varsity team as a freshman. "This is the best. This is what baseball is all about."

Pitchers on both teams struggled. Ryan Gunches (6-0) at times resembled a batting-practice pitcher. He gave up 12 hits, including three apiece to Chad Redfern and Scott Sellz. Five Chatsworth hits went for extra bases.

Sellz (4-1) walked nine, hit a batter and allowed eight hits.

Sean McElroy delivered a three-run double in the second inning for El Camino Real, which played without third basemen Michael Grossman and Josh Deneau, each sidelined for disciplinary reasons. Another player, pitcher Dan Williams, is academically ineligible.

The Conquistadores responded well after their 8-4 loss to Chatsworth on Tuesday. They held a team meeting on Wednesday and tried to regain the focus that enabled them to win the last two City championships.

"We held nothing back," pitcher Johnny Koegel said. "We melded together. We realized if we want to play against good teams like Chatsworth, we have to come together like a family."

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