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2001 Baseball Preview

Sunset League

February 20, 2001

Edison

Coach: Dave Tallman

2000 record: 14-11-1

League record: 7-8

Coach Dave Tallman has only three returning starters to work with in his first season, but a core of reserves--including four pitchers--is back. Catcher Cory Vanderhook, who threw out 32 runners last year and was named the league rookie of the year, will give Edison a strong presence behind the plate. Returning pitchers Jeff Gilmore (3-3, 3.47 ERA) and Joe Mozeleski (4-2, 2.29 ERA) are the veterans of a staff that also includes Tim Robertson, Scott Booth, Cody Evans and Jared Schwam.

*

Esperanza

Coach: Mike Curran

2000 record: 19-8

League record: 10-5

Most coaches pick the Aztecs to win the league title, and with good reason. They have six returning starters, including third baseman David Nicholson, who hit .407 and was a first-team all-league selection, and shortstop Patrick Rooney, a second-team all-league selection. Catcher Luke Sargent is a three-year varsity starter, and pitcher Matt Campbell joins outfielders Matt Lawson and Robert Nesbitt as the other returning starters. Exceptional defense and above-average offense are expected, but pitching is a concern.

*

Fountain Valley

Coach: Ron LaRuffa

2000 record: 19-10

League record: 8-7

The Barons opened last season as the top-ranked team in the county but were never the same after losing two pitchers who had been expected to contribute heavily. This year, the expectations are a bit more modest. They certainly can boast about pitcher/first baseman Josh Bartusick, a solid hitter who stood out last year as a sophomore. Also back are UC Irvine-bound pitcher Michael Koehler, first baseman Jimmy Goetz, outfielder Jeff Ault and catcher Jason Cayton.

*

Huntington Beach

Coach: Benji Medure

2000 record: 1-15

League record: 5-10

Coach Benji Medure said he hasn't studied the other teams in the league heading into his first season because he's only concerned with improving his Oilers. That will take some doing. Huntington Beach finished fifth last season, ahead of only Marina. Seven starters return for the Oilers, but none has top-notch credentials. Utility infielder Brett Flowers, pitcher/first baseman Justin Keadle, catcher Joe Huskins and pitcher/second baseman Wes Etheridge are seeking breakthrough years.

*

Los Alamitos

Coach: Mark Clabough

2000 record: 19-11

League record: 11-4

The Griffins, who return only two starters from last year's Division I semifinalists, are the league dark horse in Coach Mark Clabough's first season. Clabough is known for getting the best out of what he has, though. He took Long Beach Wilson all the way to the Division I championship game last year after entering the playoffs as a wild-card team. Clabough does not have much depth this year. Adam Sargeant, the league pitcher of the year last season who went 8-3 with a 3.05 ERA, and outfielder Brandon Tripp, who hit .230 with 12 RBIs, are the only returning starters.

*

Marina

Coach: Paul Renfrow

2000 record: 8-17

League record: 4-11

Coach Paul Renfrow, still seeking his first league title in his 18th season, has eight returning starters at his disposal. Catcher Jason Zeller, who hit .308, and shortstop Matt Costello, who hit .314, will lead the way. Returning infielder Steve Armendariz posted a team-high .414 batting average last season.

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