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Polanco, Cordeiro Set for Rematch in Playoffs

Southern Section baseball: Notre Dame, Thousand Oaks right-handers will square off again in attractive Division I opener today.

May 21, 1999| From Staff Reports

Phillip Polanco of Notre Dame High and Chris Cordeiro of Thousand Oaks will be in a familiar position today when they lead their teams against one another in the Southern Section Division I baseball playoffs.

The right-handers engaged in a pitching duel in March when Notre Dame won, 5-3, in the eighth inning off Lancer reliever Brent Schilhab. Polanco and Cordeiro went on to lead their teams to league titles and are scheduled to square off today at 3:15 p.m. in a first-round game at Thousand Oaks.

Notre Dame (22-4), ranked No. 1 in the region by The Times, tied for the Mission League title with Crespi at 11-1. Polanco is 9-0 with a 1.07 earned-run average.

Second baseman Brendan Ryan is batting .448 with six home runs and 26 runs batted in for the Knights. Third baseman John Puccinelli is batting .388 with six home runs and 20 RBIs. Other major contributors are Alec Moss (.432, 23 runs, 15 RBIs), Jon Horwitz (.398, 24 runs, 19 RBIs) and Matt Cunningham (.358, 19 RBIs).

Thousand Oaks (18-5), ranked No. 10 in the region, won the Marmonte League title with a 10-2 mark behind the play of four juniors. Cordeiro (6-2) and left-hander Tracy Goebel (6-1) shoulder the pitching and first-base duties, batting third and fourth in the lineup.

Shortstop Billy Lockin and second baseman Adam Leavitt bat first and second and form the region's best middle defense.

While the Notre Dame-Thousand Oaks matchup is the region's best in the first round, Hart and Palmdale also have intriguing openers at 3:15 today.

Hart (22-4), which won the Foothill League championship with a 14-1 record, will try to send longtime Coach Bud Murray into retirement with some playoff victories. The Indians, ranked No. 3 in the region, host Arroyo in a Division II game after being upset by Villa Park in the first round last year.

Palmdale (18-7), which finished second at 12-3 to Highland in the Golden League, could be without ace Matt Harrington in the playoffs.

The right-hander strained his pitching elbow last week. But Harrington threw on the sideline Thursday and might be available when the Falcons play at Bell Gardens in a Division I game.

Other top matchups today include San Clemente at Crespi, Long Beach Millikan at Camarillo, Warren at Highland and Downey at Crescenta Valley in Division I, and Westlake at Calabasas in Division III.

SOUTHERN SECTION BASEBALL PLAYOFFS

First Round

* Canyon: 4

* San Marcos: 0

*

* Royal: 9

* El Rancho: 5

*

* St. Monica: 5

* Faith Baptist: 0

* Matchups for today's first-round games involving regional teams.

Coverage Page 17

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