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Mater Dei Shortstop Plans to Dial Area Code Game W-I-N-S

August 01, 2000|BEN BOLCH

Sergio Santos isn't easily intimidated. As a freshman, the Mater Dei shortstop played so well in last year's Area Code Games--against players as much as two years older than him--that Baseball America tabbed Santos the second-best underclassman in the competition.

Santos, a Times' Orange County second-team selection, is back for this year's games with designs to make even more of an impression.


"By being [selected] No. 1," he said. "That's the only way."

Santos is among eight county players competing in the 10-team games, which match high school players who have been hand-picked by pro scouts. The games begin Monday and continue through Aug. 12 at Blair Field in Long Beach.

The Orange County players will compete on two teams: the Anaheim Angels and the Area Code Team.

Santa Margarita first baseman Matt Wilkerson, a Times' Orange County first-team selection, is among the seven county players on the Angels. Last season, Wilkerson, who will be a senior, hit .508 with nine home runs and 27 RBIs.

The other county players on the Angels are: El Dorado senior outfielder Joe Turgeon (.464 average with six homers), Santiago senior pitcher Brian Pilkington (8-2 with a 1.28 earned-run average), Sonora senior pitcher Brett Smith (7-1 with a 1.28 ERA), Irvine senior catcher Jonathan deVries (.449 average), Fountain Valley junior pitcher/outfielder Josh Bartusick and Mater Dei senior catcher Richard Mercado.

Santos, the only county player on the Area Code Team, hit .433 with eight home runs and 29 runs batted in for Mater Dei last season.

The Area Code Team will play an exhibition game at 5 p.m. Saturday against the Chicago White Sox.

On Monday, the Area Code Team opens play in the round-robin format at noon against 900, a team with players from all regions of the country. The Angels play their first game at 6:30 p.m. Monday against the Pirates/Florida, which is made up of players from Florida and the Southeast.

The Angels and the Area Code Team face each other Thursday.

An East vs. West all-star game, pitting players from each region deemed to have had played the best during the week, will be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 12.

A number of players from the all-star game will also participate in the Epson-Goodwill Series against a squad of Japanese national team players Sept. 2-4 at Blair Field.


The top-seeded Trap and 10th-seeded SoCal girls' 18-under water polo teams finished seventh and eighth, respectively, out of 12 teams competing last week in the Junior National Championships in Roseville.

Trap, which featured players from Santa Margarita, Irvine, Capistrano Valley and El Toro, defeated SoCal, 10-5, in the final round to earn its seventh-place finish.

The highlight for SoCal, which comprised returning Foothill High players, came when it defeated rival Golden West, 10-7, in the second round. Brittany Hayes, who led SoCal with 14 goals, was voted to the tournament's first team.

Ian Elliott, who will be a junior at Foothill High, and Ted Peck, who will be a senior at University, are among the county players selected to compete for the U.S. men's junior water polo team in Venezuela from Aug. 13-20.

Other county players named to the squad are Pat Logan, a Foothill graduate who will attend Long Beach State; Garrett Gentry, a Corona del Mar player headed for UC Irvine; and Nick Pacelli, a sophomore at UCLA who played at Villa Park. The team is coached by Jim Brumm of Foothill.

* More than 4,000 boys and girls will participate in the National Junior Olympic Water Polo tournament that runs Sunday through Aug. 12 throughout the county.

The 343 teams from throughout the United States, competing in divisions for 14-, 16-, and 18-and-under athletes, will play from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily in what is being billed by organizers as the largest water polo tournament in the world.

Championship games for the girls will be Aug. 10 and the boys Aug. 12 at El Toro High.

Tournament games will be played at 14 venues: El Toro, Newport Harbor, Villa Park, San Clemente, Aliso Niguel, Canyon, Cypress, Loara, Servite, El Modena, Esperanza, Valencia and Katella high schools, and Fullerton College.

Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for students, and free for children 10 and under; single admission is good all day at all pools.


The Chinese National girls' basketball team made an appearance at the Vanguard Basketball Camp last week and played an exhibition against the Swish team coached by Vanguard's Russ Davis.

It did not go well for the high school players, who Davis said lost by about 20 points.

"We got down early and were down by 18 at halftime, and with seven minutes left, we cut [the deficit] to eight points, and they pulled away at the end," Davis said.

Troy's Veronica Johns-Richardson and Foothill's Kristen Mann had credible performances.

"We did some isolation stuff for Veronica, and with Kristen's versatility, they'd put a guard on her and we'd post her up, and they'd put a post on her and we'd move her outside," Davis said. "They had a couple of matchup problems, but we had about five matchup problems."

The Chinese, who were represented at Vanguard by their national team, not their Junior Olympic team, failed to qualify for the Summer Games in Sydney.


Staff writer Martin Henderson contributed to this report.

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