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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
JC BASEBALL PLAYOFFS

Hellman Plays Big Role for Glendale

May 14, 1999|STEVE HENSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

GLENDALE — Sharing is the way to go, kids are told growing up.

But the Glendale College baseball team had enough of that a year ago when it tied Pierce for the Western State Conference Southern Division championship.

"We wanted it all to ourselves this year," said Matt Hellman, a sophomore outfielder and leadoff batter. "Down the stretch we knew it was time to turn it on full bore, and we did."

No. 13-seeded Glendale (23-21) will face No. 4-seeded Palomar (30-7) in Escondido at 2 p.m. today in the opener of a best-of-three Southern California Regional playoff series. The teams will meet again at 10 a.m. Saturday, with a third game to follow, if necessary.

Glendale won eight of its last 10 games to pull away from Pierce and Bakersfield, and the 5-foot-9, 165-pound Hellman had no small role in the surge.

He had 12 hits in a three-game stretch that included two five-for-six performances, including four doubles in a victory over Valley and a home run, double and three singles in a victory over Pierce.

Hellman, a 1996 graduate of Burroughs High, hit eight home runs and batted .345. He hit .358 in WSC play and was an all-conference pick.

Hellman begins a potent lineup that includes outfielder John Campanella (.378 with 15 doubles and six home runs) from Crespi, outfielder Jason Botts (.340, 12 doubles) of Paso Robles and designated hitter Wes Hutchison (.438).

Hutchison, a sophomore from Burroughs, also is Glendale's pitching ace, although right-hander Gerald De La Pena (5-1) will start today. Hutchison (7-4) will start Saturday.

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