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Rebuilding Year Doesn't Look Bad for Chatsworth

March 07, 2000|ERIC SONDHEIMER

UCLA was not the only school that celebrated an upset of a No. 1-ranked team last weekend.

Chatsworth High, the defending City baseball champion, stunned No. 1 Hart, 8-3, Saturday, clearly indicating the Chancellors are no longer rebuilding despite returning only one starter.

"A lot of the young guys did well and it showed us we could play with the good teams," said All-City shortstop Matt Fisher, who hit two home runs against the Indians (1-1).

Chatsworth (2-0) has benefited from the smooth transition of several players from the junior varsity team. They include sophomore third baseman Ryan Barba, sophomore outfielder Brian Lee, junior pitcher Sean Richards, sophomore pitcher Joe Guntz, junior catcher Danny Dominguez and sophomore outfielder Jared Halpert.

"If we want to go to Dodger Stadium, we have a good shot," Fisher said.

Guntz (1-0), a left-hander, emerged in winter ball as Chatsworth's No. 1 pitcher.

"Things have started to click for him," assistant coach Matt LaCour said. "He's pretty effective."

Chatsworth's quick return to prominence sets the stage for another memorable confrontation later this season with West Valley League rival El Camino Real (2-0).

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Fisher, one of the region's top unsigned players, has recruiting trips planned this month for Missouri, Nevada and Oklahoma.

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Notre Dame has decided to stop competing as a Southern Section Division I playoff participant in baseball. The school allowed Saturday's deadline to pass without requesting a move up.

If the Knights qualify for the playoffs, they will compete in Division IV based on enrollment, the same division as most fellow Mission League members.

Crespi is the only Mission team eligible to play in Division I.

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It figured that Adam Schulhofer, a former Canoga Park High and UCLA pitcher, would put together a top pitching staff at Canyon.

Schulhofer, the Cowboys' second-year coach, acted like a proud teacher after the performances last week of two of his star pupils, Matt Palmer and Chris Seddon. Palmer, a senior right-hander, allowed four hits in a 1-0 loss to Sylmar. Seddon, a junior left-hander, allowed two hits and struck out 10 in a 2-1 victory over Camarillo.

"It's kind of what we expected from those two guys," Schulhofer said. "They've each worked hard on developing better breaking pitches. They've tried to become well-rounded pitchers."

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El Camino Real hosts Highland today in a 3 p.m. game matching the region's No. 2 and 3 teams.

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