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El Camino Real Is Strong in Arms

March 01, 2000|ERIC SONDHEIMER

Everybody assumes four-time City champion El Camino Real High can hit, but what the Conquistadores showed off Tuesday in their season baseball opener was the kind of pitching depth crucial to making it back to Dodger Stadium.

Nick Gomez, Chris Gallo and Greg Acheatel walked only one batter while scattering eight hits in the Conquistadores' 13-3 victory over Grant in an opening game of the San Fernando Valley Invitational at Grant.

El Camino Real finished with 17 hits, highlighted by consecutive home runs from Sean McElroy and Conor Jackson in the sixth inning.

Jackson, an All-City shortstop whose presence brought out more than a dozen professional scouts, faced the first of many games that will test his patience.

In five at-bats he swung three times on 20 pitches--collecting a single, home run and sacrifice fly while walking twice and scoring four runs.

"That's the way it's going to be," Jackson said. "I can't get impatient."

Teams can walk Jackson, but there are still plenty of hitters in the Conquistadores lineup.

Acheatel, McElroy, Jason Kort, Leduc, Nick Teslik and Polo Gomez each had two hits against Grant.

But it was El Camino Real's pitching that stood out.

While ace Josh Deneau was out because of a sprained ankle, Gomez, Gallo and Acheatel were effective throwing strikes.

"Nobody really knows most of the guys," catcher Mike Leduc said. "They're going to surprise people."

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