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Valley / Ventura County Sports

Cold Crespi Can't Keep Pace With Long Beach Wilson, 4-0

May 20, 2000|ERIC SONDHEIMER

In a little more than two hours, Crespi High's baseball season ended Friday, with its conqueror just another pitcher from the pitching-rich Moore League.

Joey Pace pitched a five-hitter to lift Long Beach Wilson over the Celts, 4-0, in a Southern Section Division I first-round playoff game at Valley College.

Pace (8-1), a right-hander whose only loss came against Moore League champion Lakewood, is headed for Long Beach State.

Wilson (20-9) finished third in the Moore League, but that hardly left the Mission League champion Celts (23-4-1) feeling confident.

"You play a team from the Moore League and you have your hands full," Crespi Coach Scott Muckey said. "You have to play a championship game."

The Celts committed three errors and did not make the plays needed to win.

Wilson scored two runs in the first inning off right-hander Marshall Plouffe (10-2) on four singles, two of which didn't leave the infield. The Bruins added two more in the fourth on a two-run double by Rashon Brooks.

Pace relied on a flawless defense and a sharp breaking ball. Crespi had runners on second and third with one out in the third, but Matt Wilson popped out and Jonathan Oller grounded out. That was the Celts' only legitimate scoring threat.

"I owe the shutout all to the defense," Pace said. "They were awesome today. My curveball is my bread and butter pitch, and it was working today. We played our best game."

Right-hander Clint Kofmehl of Crespi pitched three shutout innings of relief. He is expected to sign with Nevada this weekend.

It was the final game as a Division I participant for Crespi, which is being forced to move to Division IV next season under new section guidelines that require schools to play within their enrollment classification.

Even in defeat, the Celts would rather play Division I.

"Division I to Division IV is a big joke," outfielder Brian Horwitz said. "We make it to the playoffs every year. Why put us down?"

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