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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Area College Notebook

May 16, 2000|VINCE KOWALICK

It may be Joe Albertson's College, but it's also home to a handful of members of The Master's College baseball team.

Coach Monte Brooks and four Master's players will return to their native Idaho this weekend when the Mustangs play a best-of-three series against Albertson College for the NAIA section title.

The series opens Friday and concludes Saturday with a doubleheader, if necessary. The winner advances to the NAIA World Series, from May 26 through June 2 at Lewiston, Idaho.

Master's (34-11), NAIA Region II champion, split two games in March at Albertson, located in Caldwell, Idaho, and named for Joseph A. Albertson, the famed supermarket magnate and philanthropist who died at 86 in 1993.

Formerly College of Idaho, the private school was renamed in 1991 for Albertson, a former student who donated more than $35 million to the school.

Following Master's 18-7 series-clinching victory over Biola on Saturday for the Region II title, Brooks and players posed for several celebratory photographs. Brooks posed for one photo while flanked by Chris and Luke Kollman, Kurt Fillmore and Ryan Pollard, all Idaho natives and integral team members.

Brooks, who has led Master's to at least 30 victories in each of his four seasons, received the traditional ice-bucket shower from players.

"I knew they were going to try earlier," Brooks said. "But what surprised me is, even my own assistant coach was in on it."

Albertson (46-11) was runner-up last season to NAIA national champion Lewis-Clark State. Albertson, which defeated Western Oregon in the Region I championship series, is ranked No. 3 in the nation. Master's defeated Albertson, 8-7, on March 13. Albertson won the following day, 12-3.

Ross Mitchell, the Cascade Conference player of the year, is batting a team-high .436. Scott Skeen, a right-hander who pitched a complete game Saturday against Western Oregon, is 7-1 with a 2.78 earned-run average.

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Cal Lutheran (26-12-2) enters the NCAA Division III West Regional against George Fox of Newberg, Ore., on Thursday at Southwestern University in Georgetwon, Texas.

Junior right-hander Tom Canale (10-2) is scheduled to start for the Kingsmen, champions of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The four-team regional also includes Chapman and host Southwestern. The region final is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. (CDT).

The winner will advance among eight regional champions to the Division III World Series from May 26-30 at Wisconsin Oshkosh.

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Cal State Northridge concludes its baseball season tonight at 7 with a game at Cal State Fullerton. The Matadors (23-32) won two of three games at Washington State over the weekend.

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