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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Area College Notebook

March 13, 2001|JOHN KLIMA

Sophomore left-hander Bill Murphy will start when Cal State Northridge plays at UCLA in baseball today at 3 p.m.

Murphy (4-0, 3.03 earned run average) has been Northridge's most consistent starter. In 29 2/3 innings, he has 28 strikeouts and has allowed 24 hits and 24 walks.

Murphy went 2-6 with a 5.30 ERA last season. He surrendered 10 hits in beating the Bruins last season, 7-2.

Northridge is 6-1-1 against UCLA the last four years. Northridge was 2-1 last season against UCLA, losing to right-hander Josh Karp, who pitched Saturday and will not start today.

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Shortstop J.T. Stotts is a key reason Northridge (14-7) is off to its best start in four seasons.

Stotts, a junior, is batting .427 with eight home runs and 24 runs batted in. In 89 at-bats, Stotts has struck out only three times and walked 13 times.

He has 15 extra-base hits and had a 15-game hitting streak snapped March 2 against Westmont.

Stotts, who has seven errors, hasn't made an error in two weeks.

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Left-hander Noah Lowry (6-0) of Pepperdine had his worst outing of the season Saturday but earned a victory.

A junior from Nordhoff High, he entered the game with a 1.04 earned run average. In 34 innings, Lowry had allowed 27 hits, walked 13 and struck out 39.

Lowry allowed five runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings Saturday against St. Mary's in a West Coast Conference game.

Drafted in the 19th round by the Texas Rangers two years ago out of Ventura College, Lowry continues to see his stock rise. Pro scouts believe he can be in the major leagues within two years because he is throwing two major league pitches and his change-up is considered above average.

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Pepperdine Tony Garcia has emerged as perhaps the best defensive college shortstop in California.

Garcia's range and arm strength are outstanding, and his offense, questioned after last season, has improved. He tied a career-high with four hits in an 11-7 victory against St. Mary's on Saturday. Garcia is batting .278 with three home runs and six RBIs. He has five extra-base hits in 15 games.

Last season, Garcia batted .181 with only seven extra-base hits in 50 games.

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