Thousand Oaks has continued the success it enjoyed during the high school baseball season.
After finishing 19-6 last spring, Thousand Oaks has run off an 18-1 record in American Legion ball with a mix of returning players and newcomers from the junior varsity.
"Everybody's kind of answered the bell," Coach Joey Garcia said.
Key contributors include the Lancers' double-play combination of shortstop Billy Lockin, who is batting .578, and second baseman Adam Leavitt, who is at .500.
Lockin, a speedy leadoff batter, leads the team with 21 stolen bases. Leavitt, the No. 2 batter, has a team-high 20 runs batted in.
A strong pitching staff is led by right-hander Chris Cordeiro and left-hander Tracy Goebel.
Cordeiro, The Times' Ventura County pitcher of the year, is 3-0 with a 0.64 earned-run average.
Goebel is 1-0 with a 3.11 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 18 innings.
"Those guys are like pitching coaches out there," Garcia said.
Senior Greg Simonetti is 4-0 since being promoted from the junior varsity, where he was 10-2 last spring.
"After three years, it's kind of exciting to be playing with the varsity," Simonetti said. "There's good pitching, good hitting and defense. Everything's working for us."
Right-hander Brent Schilhab is 2-0 with a 0.58 ERA. Seven Lancers are batting better than .300, including designated hitter-first baseman Ian Corso (.371) and outfielder Ryan Fitzgerald (.361).
Corso was on the varsity last season but played sparingly. Fitzgerald was promoted from the junior varsity.
Cordeiro, Goebel, Leavitt, Lockin, Simonetti and Corso were selected to play in the District 16 American League All-Star game.
Shane Miranda of Camarillo, bound for UCLA, is playing catcher this summer, which should be his position for the Bruins. But hitting remains his biggest asset.
On Saturday, he went seven for seven in a doubleheader. He has 21 hits in his last 26 at-bats, including six home runs and nine doubles.
The eight-team, double-elimination District 20 playoffs begin today, with Valley Chatsworth (24-2) seeded No. 1 and Van Nuys Notre Dame (24-2) seeded No. 2. Chatsworth won the only meeting between the teams, 5-2.
Van Nuys Notre Dame Coach Jody Breeden is confident his team can repeat as District 20 champion.
"I like our chances," Breeden said.
Chatsworth has been led by Charles Kenny (7-0) and Sean Richards (5-0), and has the three pitching standouts from its City Championship team--Mike Kunes, Scott Sellz and Ryan Robbins.
Van Nuys Notre Dame has Joel Kirsten (6-0), Austin Bryant (4-0), Matt Kohon (4-0), Ryan Cowsill (3-2), Ryan Stonerock (4-0) and Phil Polanco.
Coach Matt LaCour of Chatsworth could have a small problem if his team is still alive in the playoffs next month. He is getting married Aug. 12, then goes on a two-week honeymoon. He plans to recruit the team's high school coach, Tom Meusborn, to take over if needed.
Youth has served the Burbank Burroughs Legion team well.
A core group of six sophomores at Burroughs High is showing that the Indians might be a team to contend with in the future.
Tim Murphy was the varsity third baseman as a freshman.
Burroughs' other emerging stars--Rory Carey, Mike Silva, Mike Williams, Derek Walker and Adam Baumgarten--played on the junior varsity and freshman teams last season and have helped Burroughs to an 18-7-1 record and a District 20 playoff spot under 21-year-old Coach Tom Crowther.
"They're beating seniors and JC guys," assistant Craig Sherwood said. "Not only have they stepped up to a higher level in their playing ability, but also in their poise and the way they handle themselves. Their maturity level has been really impressive."
Murphy, an All-Foothill League selection who batted .348 with 21 RBIs, has a .461 batting average, five home runs, seven doubles and 26 RBIs this summer.
Carey, a right-handed pitcher, is 6-1 with a 2.87 ERA and complete-game victories over Encino Crespi and Woodland Hills East.
Silva has helped fill the void of graduated catcher Mike Shamoon, a three-time all-league selection. Silva is batting .345 with nine doubles, and has impressed Sherwood with a take-charge approach.
"I think he's going to become one of the premier catchers in the region over the next couple years," Sherwood said.
Williams is strong defensively at first base and is batting .513.
Walker plays shortstop and is hitting .382. Baumgarten plays right field and is batting .320.
The Valencia Legion team rode its offense to a 14-9-1 record.
Eight players batted .300 or better, and the team averaged 13 hits a game. Catcher Chris Rippe led the team with a .512 average.
"That'll keep you in the game," Coach Doug Green said. "It's been awesome, really kind of amazing."
Staff writers Lauren Peterson and Eric Sondheimer contributed to this notebook.
DISTRICT 20 PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
First Round -- Today at Burroughs H.S.
* No. 4 Newhall-Saugus/Hart vs. No. 5 Burbank-Burroughs, 4 p.m.
* No. 1 Valley Chatsworth vs. No. 8 Encino-Crespi, 7 p.m.
at Birmingham H.S.
* No. 2 Van Nuys-Notre Dame vs. No. 7 Woodland Hills West-El Camino Real, 4 p.m.
at Valley College
* No. 3 West Hills-Chaminade vs. No. 6 Palmdale, 4 p.m.
Double-elimination playoffs continue through Sunday.
Championship game at Birmingham on Sunday at 1 p.m.
DISTRICT 16 PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
National League--Best-of-three format
Thursday-Saturday (if necessary) at Ventura College
* No. 1 Ojai-Santa Paula vs. No. 4 Ventura
* No. 2 Camarillo vs. No. 3 Agoura
Series winners meet for district championship on Sunday at Camarillo High at noon; both finalists qualify for Area 6 playoffs.