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2001 Baseball Preview

Century League

February 20, 2001

Canyon

Coach: Joe Hoggatt

2000 record: 14-13

League record: 9-6

Joe Hoggatt begins his first season as coach at Canyon and comes into one of the better situations in the county. The Comanches have gone to the playoffs 12 consecutive years and return seven starters off a team that finished tied for second in league. The entire outfield is back, led by senior Andy Clay, who had nine home runs and 32 RBIs last season. Canyon also returns three starters on the infield--first baseman Matt Lewis, second baseman Anthony Duarte and shortstop Mike Whipple. Matt Fry, who won five games, anchors the Canyon pitching staff, which will also get contributions from Sean Driscol, Vinnie Pestano and Rocky Roquet. Sophomore Justin McClure could start at third base.

El Modena

Coach: Steve Bernard

2000 record: 12-13

League record: 8-7

El Modena has 15 players returning, including seven starters from a team that won its final five league games to finish fourth. Right fielder Hans Gleason has shown promise and pitcher Travis Hertzberg and first baseman Kurt Angier were named first-team All-Century League. Left fielder Jason Sanada, one of the squad's few juniors, led the Vanguards in batting last season with a .408 average.

Foothill

Coach: Vince Brown

2000 record: 17-10

League record: 9-6

The entire pitching staff graduated, so Vince Brown, who begins his fifth year as coach of Foothill, will rely on Neeraj Reddy, Joe Rodriguez and Dan Sotelo to pick up the slack on the mound. The Knights return five starters, including first baseman Chad Bigler, who batted .463 with four home runs and 24 RBIs, center fielder Phil Alderson and second baseman Brett Twomey. Foothill will have a solid core of hitters.

Orange

Coach: Chris Esperanza

2000 record: 9-15

League record: 3-12

Orange started strong last season by winning the Montebello tournament, but could manage only a fifth-place finish in league. Still, things seem to be looking up for the Panthers, who return six starters. Outfielder Nick Smith, who batted .450 with six home runs, is back, and first baseman John Medina and third baseman Brian Gadberry also return. Anthony Alvarado and Tucker Boyd are two of the key pitchers. First baseman Noe Gonzalez and pitcher Brian Schwenneker will also contribute.

Santa Ana Valley

Coach: Leon Smith

2000 record: 9-17

League record: 2-13

Five starters return from a team that went 7-4 in nonleague games, but could manage only two wins in league. Center fielder Robert Padilla, who batted .395 and stole 16 bases, will again be counted on heavily until some of they younger players adjust to varsity competition. Eric Saldana and Juan Garcia are key offensive players and pitchers and infielder Cesar De La Riva and catcher Gus Navarro also return to start.

Villa Park

Coach: Tom Tereschuk

2000 record: 29-2

League record: 14-1

Villa Park got a second chance last season. Tustin beat the Spartans, 7-1, in the Division III quarterfinals, but the Tillers had to forfeit the victory for using an ineligible player. Villa Park then beat Charter Oak in the semifinals and top-seeded West Torrance in the final to win the championship. The Spartans lost Times' first-team all-county players Brandon Averill and Jeff Tuttle to graduation, but Villa Park won't be hurting. Left-handed pitchers Dan Reid, who was also named to the Times' all-county first team with a 9-0 record, and Erik Averill, who was 7-0, both return. Fellow left-hander Chris Bragg will also contribute on the mound. Second baseman Bryan Arguello and left fielder Ricky Sims are key players for an aggressive offense.

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