Josh Deneau, expected to be El Camino Real High's No. 1 pitcher this season, has been dismissed from the team for "failure to meet minimum district, school and team standards for behavior," according to Coach Bob Ganssle.
Deneau missed the first two weeks of the season because of injuries to his shoulder and ankle. He made three pitching appearances, including an inning Tuesday against Birmingham.
Afterward, Ganssle announced Deneau's dismissal.
The loss of Deneau leaves the Conquistadores (8-2), ranked No. 5 by The Times, without an experienced returning pitcher, but Nick Gomez, Chris Gallo and Greg Acheatel performed well while Deneau recovered from his injuries.
"We will carry on and try to be competitive," Ganssle said.
Valley teams have won 26 of the last 27 City championships, but there could be trouble this season.
Roosevelt is 11-0, including a 12-0 victory over Banning last week. Roosevelt lost to top-seeded Chatsworth in the quarterfinals last year, 5-4.
Two weeks ago, Carson routed Chatsworth and Birmingham in nonleague games.
Sophomore second baseman Ryan Braun of Granada Hills was a backup varsity player last season, but he has become an invaluable starter.
He hit his fifth home run on Tuesday and is batting .444 as the Highlanders' leadoff hitter. He has been playing shortstop the past two weeks because Erik Hagstrom dislocated a shoulder.
"He's worked real hard at his defense and hitting," Coach Steve Thompson said.
Freshman pitcher Justin Cassel of Chatsworth picked up his first high school victory Tuesday in relief against Cleveland.
"He had good poise," Coach Tom Meusborn said.
The Paul List Memorial Charity game will be at 11:15 a.m. Sunday at North Hollywood High.
The game honors Paul List, a former North Hollywood player who died in 1998 of Hodgkin's disease.
Entry fee is $30, with a portion of the proceeds donated to The Wellness Community, a nonprofit organization that supports young adults living with cancer.