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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL

The Show Fails to Move On at State

August 01, 2000|MATT MILLS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

YOUNTVILLE — The Show is over.

Van Nuys Show Ball, which dominated most American Legion baseball opponents this summer with a lethal combination of strong pitching and explosive hitting, ran into a hot pitcher and was eliminated from the state tournament Monday.

Mel Cuckovich allowed eight hits in pitching Southside of Sacramento to a 6-3 victory at the Veterans Home of California's Cleve Borman Field.

Cuckovich allowed one run in the first inning and two more in the ninth, when Southside already had the game well in hand. Southside broke a 1-1 tie by scoring five runs in the top of the ninth.

Jimmy Scheible's single to left field scored Eddie Gill from third with the go-ahead run.

"Their pitcher did a great job," Van Nuys Coach Jody Breeden said of Cuckovich.

Van Nuys finished the season 30-4, going 1-2 in the double-elimination state tournament.

"This was a great summer for us," Breeden said.

Van Nuys starter Dan Browne pitched a solid game, allowing six runs in 8 1/3 innings before tiring in the ninth and giving way to Brendan Ryan. Browne allowed seven hits through eight innings.

"Browne was outstanding," Breeden said. "He just ran out of gas in the last inning."

Van Nuys scored a run in the first when Ryan hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Jonathan Brewster, who went two for four.

Browne drove in two runs in the ninth with a bloop single to center. Alec Moss and pinch runner David Fox scored Van Nuys' final runs of the season.

Steve Moss was two for four, including a double, for Van Nuys.

Southside (28-12-1), which was eliminated later Monday by Danville, 14-2, was led by Bobby Ciani, who was three for four with a double. Matt Maddox and Jason Pasalich each had two hits for Southside.

Once-beaten Danville (47-10), the defending state champion, will play unbeaten Chino (30-2) in the final at 9 a.m. today. If Danville wins, a second game will follow at 12:30 p.m.

Chino defeated Danville, 7-6, Monday. Both teams have qualified for the regionals.

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