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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | AREA HIGH SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

Cline Seeking Cure for Camarillo's Sick Bats

March 17, 2001|JOHN KLIMA

Camarillo High's offensive skid has Coach Scott Cline feeling like he's playing more head games than ball games.

"I'm not a baseball coach, I'm a psychiatrist," Cline said. "I've got guys one for 17, three for 25. Up and down the lineup, I've got guys struggling."

That's a new experience for Cline, whose teams have batted at least .350 in his seven years. The Scorpions (4-2) had a team batting average of .150 entering the weekend.

"These guys feel like it's the end of the world," Cline said. "I had to tell them that when I was in college, I was 0 for 32 one time. They're 0-for-a-week. I was 0-for-a-month."

Camarillo should be helped by the return of junior shortstop Brad Boyer, who missed Camarillo's first five games after sustaining a broken jaw when a line drive hit him at a batting cage. Cline said Boyer had two pins and a screw inserted in his jaw.

"That kid is tough," Cline said. "You don't see too many kids come back to play in a week after breaking their mouth."

The slump hasn't been helped by opponents' tendency to pitch around sophomore Delmon Young, who has walked 10 times in five games.

"That's the way it's going to be for the rest of his [high school] career," Cline said. "When you got a name and swing like that, nobody will pitch to you."

Cline has been impressed with Young's discipline at the plate. Young is batting .400 (four for 10) in five games. He has been intentionally walked three times.

Channel Islands walked Young to load the bases for Boyer, who had a double as part of his three-hit return.

"When this team starts hitting again, it's going to be a scary lineup," Cline said.

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Keep an eye on sophomore catcher Zac Hanes of Rio Mesa. He's 6 feet 2, bats cleanup and has an exceptional arm, Coach Dave Soliz said.

"He's great behind the plate and handles the [pitching] staff very well for a young guy," Soliz said. "He's got a good idea with the bat."

Hanes is batting .340 with three doubles for the Spartans (3-2). He has walked six times with only two strikeouts.

"That's what tells me he has a clue," Soliz said. "He's young, but he's thinking instead of hacking."

Junior right-hander Brian Borchard could be the next standout for traditionally pitching-rich Rio Mesa.

Borchard (1-0, 1.00 earned-run average) has 10 strikeouts in 16 innings.

"He has good stuff," said Soliz, who pitched at Rio Mesa and Cal State Los Angeles. "He's got some ability, but he's at the stage of learning the difference between pitching and throwing."

Borchard is a distant cousin of former Camarillo and Stanford outfielder Joe Borchard, a first-round draft choice by the Chicago White Sox last June.

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Westlake (3-2) could soon have its starting rotation at full strength.

Opening-day starter Justin Blaine (1-0) should return from a bruised knee next week, Coach Chuck Berrington said.

Right-hander Chris White is expected to return next week after an appendectomy.

Without Blaine and White, junior Tyler Carr was 2-0 and established himself as an effective No. 2 starter behind ace Tyler Adamczyk.

"I wouldn't be surprised if [Carr] dominates," Berrington said. "I've never seen him upset on the mound. He never gets rattled."

Adamczyk was 9-1 last season and ranks among the region's top pitching prospects. Adamczyk has two no-decisions and has been inconsistent after playing on the basketball team.

"A lot of it is ring rust, like with a boxer," Berrington said. "He's throwing 89-90 [mph] right now. When he gets some innings, he should be around 92-93 constantly. When he has command of that, he's unhittable."

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