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2001 Baseball Preview

Private Schools

February 20, 2001

Calvary Chapel

Coach: Mike Williams

2000 record: 20-8

League record: 12-3

Starting pitcher Kyle Christensen (15-2, 1.30 ERA, 130 strikeouts), a Times' Orange County first-team selection, will miss his junior season with a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Christensen suffered the injury, a devastating blow to the Eagles, in October. Eight starters return, though, giving Coach Mike Williams a deep and experienced squad in his first season. Pitchers Joe Carrier, Jared Merino, Terry Mermer and Patrick Spurgeon must pick up the slack. Catcher Ben Linn (.463, 28 RBIs) carries a big bat, while third baseman David McDougall, shortstop Tyler Schaffer, outfielders Blake West and Joey Patierno and infielder Richard Maxson should give the Eagles a potent lineup. Pitcher/utilityman Brian Stanley, a transfer from Ocean View, and Tim Carrier are the newcomers.

Capistrano Valley Chr.

Coach: Terry Gaunt

2000 record: 14-9

League record: 9-1

Only two players return, but one is first-team all-league catcher Jason Ward, who hit .379 last season. Outfielder James Pierce is the other returning starter. The Eagles must rely on newcomers, including pitcher Josh Stickel and outfielder Garret Day, a transfer from Dana Hills. Freshman pitcher/infielder Chris Mitchell is expected to see considerable playing time. The Eagles also need contributions from several of last year's junior varsity players.

Eastside Christian

Coach: Mike Blankenship

2000 record: 3-13

League record: 3-9

All-league pitcher Chris Love (3-7), who also hit .511 with 11 RBIs and 15 stolen bases, and outfielder Bryant Lopez are the team's only returning starters. Freshman pitcher/catcher/shortstop Matt Silvernale and utilityman Bryan King will see plenty of playing time. The Eagles' depth will be bolstered by nine transfers from Southern California Christian, which closed last year: outfielders Michael Crandall, Eric Roberts, Joey Sommers and Matt McMillen, first baseman John Crandall, second baseman Daniel Allen, third baseman Josh Zumkehr, pitcher/catcher Mike Snavely and pitcher/shortstop Alan Mendez. Coach Mike Blankenship said the influx of players should give the Eagles more depth at each position.

Fairmont

Coach: Mark Alves

2000 record: 6-10

League record: 1-9

Seven starters return to a team that will use speed to manufacture runs. First-team all-league pitcher/infielder Chris Hebein hit .543 with 17 RBIs last season, and infielder Phil Waites hit .412 with 16 RBIs. Infielder Jason Park stole 13 bases, pitcher/outfielder Ben English stole 10, pitcher/outfielder Bryan Kim (.378) stole nine and outfielder Shawn Malik stole four. Infielders Nur Malhis and Spencer Ko and outfielder Saffon Ahmed provide depth and experience. Top newcomers include catcher Devon Rucker, an Esperanza transfer, catcher/first baseman Arizona Smith and pitcher/infielder Matt Etheridge. Coach Mark Alves said the Huskies should benefit from tremendous speed at the top and bottom of their lineup.

Liberty Christian

Coach: Don Harbert

2000 record: 6-11

League record: 5-7

The Minutemen return seven starters, including first-team all-league selections Nick Harbert (.295), a pitcher/shortstop, and Mike Spagnola (.509, 3 HRs, 18 RBIs), a pitcher/center fielder. Third baseman Brandon Burch (.340), second baseman Cory Pickering (.310) and shortstop Paul Bond give the team an experienced infield. Right fielder David Huie and left fielder Chris Houser (.292) are the other returning starters.

Mater Dei

Coach: Burt Call

2000 record: 17-11

League record: 7-5

Shortstop Sergio Santos (.440, 8 HRs, 29 RBIs), a Times' Orange County second-team selection, will lead a Monarch team intent on supplanting Bellflower St. John Bosco as Serra League champion. Catcher Richard Mercado (.400, 32 RBIs) and second baseman/outfielder Mike Harris (.366, 8 HRs, 19 RBIs) are Mater Dei's other top returning starters. Third baseman Andy Castillo (13 RBIs) and outfielder C.J. Cook (4 HRs, 17 RBIs) are also back. Several others with varsity experience return, including second baseman Garrett Gipe, first baseman Keith Greer, pitcher/first baseman Josh Gagne, outfielder Jason Murray and pitchers Warren Cheiner, Anthony Slama and Matt Navarrette. Newcomers J.P. Maciel and Ryan Kelly will compete for spots on an inexperienced pitching staff. Other newcomers include outfielder Daniel Perales, first baseman/third baseman Tim Stewart and catcher J.J. Owen.

Orange Lutheran

Coach: Mark Langston

2000 record: 6-19

League record: 5-10

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