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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Chatsworth Rings Up a 30-8 Victory

Legion baseball: Sellz hits three home runs as bats come alive and Valley squad advances to regional semifinals.

August 15, 1999|DAVE DESMOND | TIMES STAFF WRITER

LAS VEGAS — Ring, ring, ring.

Saturday was a day of rings for Valley Chatsworth.

Coach Matt LaCour, absent from the American Legion Western Regional, was back home in California for his wedding, and the players received word their championship rings for winning the City baseball title probably will be waiting for them when they return home.

And their suddenly-awakened bats had the Tucson, Ariz., bullpen phone ringing all day at Nevada Las Vegas in a 30-8 rout that kept alive Valley Chatsworth's hopes of winning yet another championship ring.

Valley Chatsworth pounded 31 hits in the game, which was stopped after seven innings because of the 10-run rule.

Pitcher Scott Sellz was six for six with three home runs and 10 RBIs.

"That will put a little exclamation point on my stats," said Sellz (8-3), who hit two of the blasts, including a grand slam, in an eight-run seventh inning. "But I don't care as much about stats as I do about winning."

Valley Chatsworth (38-7), which has teetered on the brink of elimination through four tournaments, is 9-0 in must-win games.

"This team really surprised me," said assistant coach Mike Encinas, who stood in for LaCour and Coach Tom Meusborn of Chatsworth High, who flew home Friday night to participate in the wedding. "But this team is so good, it's getting harder to surprise me."

Valley Chatsworth advances to a semifinal game tonight at 8 semifinal against the winner of the late game Saturday night between Las Vegas Silverado, the Nevada champion, and Greeley, Colo.

Right-hander Ryan Robbins (7-0), who pitched Chatsworth High to victory in the City semifinals, is the likely starter.

"I'm confident," said left fielder Mike Kunes. "Ryan is a clutch performer."

If Valley Chatsworth advances to the final, Kunes, two-time City player of the year, would get the start.

The World Series begins Wednesday in Middletown, Conn.

Every player in the Valley Chatsworth lineup hit safely and drove in a run against Tucson, a marked improvement for a team that stranded 20 runners in its first two regional games.

"I think we're finally ready," said shortstop Matt Fisher. "I'm really impressed with how we came out and played without our coaches."

Fisher and Kunes each had five hits and three RBIs, and are batting .625 in the tournament.

Center fielder Chad Redfern and first baseman Charles Kenny, who had five RBIs, each had four hits.

Meusborn was awaiting a call from Encinas, telling him whether he should return for the semifinals.

"I think we should call Coach Meusborn and tell him not to come back, that we don't need him" Redfern joked.

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