Ron Ponciano, assistant head coach at Valley College and former coach at Cal State Northridge, is keenly interested in the Little League World Series being played in Williamsport, Pa.
"Every inning, I get an update from somebody, no matter where I'm at," Ponciano said.
Ponciano's nephew, Jay, is hitting and pitching Hazel Dell Little League of Vancouver, Wash., closer and closer to the title game on Saturday.
On Tuesday, Ponciano helped Vancouver, representing the West, all but clinch a spot in the U.S. Pool Championship game on Thursday.
Ponciano hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning to pull Vancouver to within 4-3 en route to a 6-4, seven-inning victory over Goffstown, N.H.
On Monday, Ponciano pitched a two-hitter to defeat Bellaire, Texas, 5-0.
Last Thursday, with his uncle and other relatives in attendance, Ponciano combined with Greg Peavey to no-hit Huntington Beach Ocean View in a 3-2 victory in the Western Regional championship game at San Bernardino.
"He's an exceptional player," Ron Ponciano said.
Jim Ponciano, Jay's father, is the team manager.
One of Ron Ponciano's former players at Northridge, safety Hassan Abdul-Malik, is pushing hard for a starting spot at Valley.
"We're very deep in the secondary, but I would have to say he [will] be out there," Ponciano said.
Abdul-Malik, whose brother Sultan is an end at USC, said he plans to return to Division I football in 2001.
"The [Northridge] program was all messed up," Abdul-Malik said. "The situation with the stadium and leaving the conference. It wasn't the college football atmosphere I was looking for."
Northridge has announced plans to build an on-campus stadium but without a target date. The Matadors are expected to play home games at another facility starting in 2001 because North Campus Stadium will be demolished to make room for another phase of a biotechnical complex.
The Matadors are leaving the Big Sky Conference for the football-less Big West Conference next season. Northridge will play football as a Division I-AA independent.
Dan Marino is back in football pads.
This one is a 6-foot-3 sophomore end at Cal Lutheran.
The Kingsmen also have Casey Martin, a freshman receiver from Tacoma, Wash.