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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Cassel Gives Chatsworth a Shot in the Arm and Beats Kennedy

High school baseball: Sophomore pitches 6 1/3 innings and Chancellors knock off defending City champions, 6-4.

March 16, 2001|JOHN KLIMA | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

GRANADA HILLS — It took a glimpse of the future to help the Chatsworth High baseball team erase memories of the past.

Last season, Kennedy upset Chatsworth in a City Championship quarterfinal.

Thursday, sophomore Justin Cassel threw four scoreless innings and pitched into the seventh, and three veterans helped the Chancellors gain a minor measure of revenge in a 6-4 nonleague victory Thursday at Kennedy.

Kennedy hammered pitcher Sean Richards last year, but this time Richards got Jared Kaplan to pop up with the bases loaded to save the victory.

He wasn't the only Chancellor senior getting some payback.

Jon Selman and George Spadier, who each had two hits and two runs batted in, had run-scoring hits in a three-run fifth inning that gave Chatsworth (6-0) a 4-0 lead against left-hander Eric Moore (2-1).

Cassel did the rest.

He dominated the early innings and battled into the seventh, allowing four runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Richards relieved Cassel after Danny Mata's sacrifice fly sliced the lead to 6-4. He surrendered a single to Chad Shaw to put runners on the corners.

He got Adam Geery to pop up but walked cleanup hitter Phil Avlas to load the bases.

That brought up Kaplan, who popped up to second baseman Gregg Wallis to end the game.

"It's got some playoff intensity, but we keep it in perspective," Chatsworth Coach Tom Meusborn said. "It's still just a nonleague game."

Maybe so, but Kennedy Coach Manny Alvarado knew the Golden Cougars (5-2), the defending City champions, were marked men.

"We came here expecting them to want us," Alvarado said. "[Chatsworth] was playing like they had extra incentive."

Cassel (2-0) retired the first eight batters and pitched around a two-on, two-out threat in the third inning.

Wallis stabbed Moore's grounder and turned a double play in the fourth.

The Chancellors gave him a three-run fifth to extend their lead to 4-0. Selman and Spadier provided key hits.

The sophomore right-hander fatigued in the fifth inning when Kennedy loaded the bases with one out. Mata hit a sacrifice fly and Shaw's two-out run-scoring single cut the lead to 4-2.

Chatsworth pulled ahead, 5-2, on Selman's RBI double in the sixth, and Chris Schreiber cut the lead to 5-3 with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning.

Brian Lee hit an inside-the-park home run in the seventh to give Chatsworth a 6-4 lead.

"We wanted to get them, but this won't make the season," Cassel said. "When we're playing under the lights, that's when a game like this will mean something."

Moore struggled. The junior left-hander allowed four runs on six hits in five innings.

"The pitching was a little off the mark and we didn't get the big hits," Alvarado said.

Shaw, who played with a groin injury, had two singles for Kennedy.

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