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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | SUMMER NOTEBOOK

Area Code Is Dialing for Dollars

August 09, 2000|MIKE BRESNAHAN

The Area Code Games are the equivalent of a high school graduating class--you never know how good the participants are until four or five years later.

Last year's class included pitchers Matt Harrington of Palmdale High, Jamie Shields of Hart and Matt Parris of Highland, and outfielder Jason Kubel of Highland. That group could become among the best from the region in the annual event showcasing players for professional scouts and college coaches.

Those four players were all selected in the upper rounds of the amateur draft in June.

Parris and Kubel have signed and been assigned to minor league teams.

Harrington, picked seventh overall by the Colorado Rockies, is holding out for a lucrative signing bonus, and Shields, a middle-round pick, likely will honor his commitment to Louisiana State, the NCAA champion.

This year's class?

There aren't a lot of high-profile names from the region--certainly none like Harrington, who parlayed a 97-mph fastball into elite status in the eyes of scouts.

"I don't know that you've got a similar group out there this year," said a scout for an American League team. "It's just a cyclical thing."

But there are talented players from the region competing this week at Blair Field in Long Beach.

Tyler Adamczyk, a 6-foot-6, 185-pound pitcher-first baseman for Westlake High, could be one of the biggest fish in the Area Code pond.

Scouts and coaches are trying to figure out what to do with Adamczyk, who was 8-1 with a 1.38 earned-run average and batted .381 with 25 runs batted in last season for Westlake.

"Some will see him as a hitter and some will see him as a pitcher," said another American League scout. "He meets the physical profile [of a complete player]. He's got power and he's got arm strength. If the kid puts on a show, anything can happen."

The same could be said for Ryan McCarthy, Adamczyk's teammate at Westlake. McCarthy, a cousin of first-round draft choice Joe Borchard of Stanford and Camarillo High, plays several positions for his Area Code team and has a smooth swing.

McCarthy's versatility in the field is a bonus. He might play shortstop, third base, center field and pitcher.

"He'll play wherever we've got a hole," Manager Craig Wallenbrock said. "You slide him in somewhere and it looks like he's been playing there his whole life."

Also participating are pitchers Chris Seddon of Canyon, Jered Weaver of Simi Valley, Greg Acheatel of El Camino Real and Kris Krise of Crescenta Valley; outfielders Richie Martin of Valencia and Erik Johnson of Chaminade; shortstops Tim Cantu of Alemany and Ryan Braun of Granada Hills; first baseman Jaime Martinez of Hueneme and second baseman Gregg Wallis of Chatsworth.

How will this class compare to others?

Check back in 2005.

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Johnson had the winning hit in a 7-6 victory over the 900 team on Monday.

Johnson singled to shallow center field with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning.

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Outfielder Delmon Young of Camarillo and infielder Tim Murphy of Burroughs are playing well for the U.S. Youth National Team in the Pan-American Championships in Monterrey, Mexico.

Young, a sophomore, had a single, double, home run and three RBIs in a 13-2 victory over Brazil on Saturday in the 16-and-under tournament.

Young also pitched in relief, allowing one hit and one run in 2 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked three.

Murphy, a junior, atoned for a fielding error by hitting a two-run home run against Brazil.

On Monday, Young had a single, double and two RBIs to help the U.S. (3-0) rally from a 2-0 deficit in a 6-2 victory over Puerto Rico.

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The Conejo Valley Little League 9-10 all-star team placed second in the Southern California Division 3 championships, its best-ever finish in that division.

Coach Bob Cohen of Conejo Valley remained upbeat following his team's 2-0 loss to Northridge in the championship game Friday in Rancho Cucamonga.

"These past six weeks have been magical to me," Cohen said. "To finish second in the state out of over 500 teams is a major accomplishment."

The season also is over for Northridge because Little League does not hold a national tournament in the 9-10 division.

Darin Esper contributed to this report.

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