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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | HIGH SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

Young Doesn't Act His Age, Making a Hit for Camarillo

March 22, 2001|JOHN KLIMA

Camarillo High had 14 hits in a 15-8 victory over host Hueneme on Tuesday, including two home runs by sophomore Delmon Young.

In Young's five plate appearances, he again showed why he is considered among the top sophomores in the state.

Young's knowledge of the strike zone and patience impress coaches and scouts as much as his power.

Young walked on a full count in his first at-bat. In his second at-bat, he drew a walk on a 3-and-1 count.

"That tells you right there this kid knows what he's doing," Hueneme Coach Reg Welker said.

His third at-bat was a different story. Young hit a line-drive home run that Welker estimated went about 380 feet.

"It was gone quick," Welker said. "That's what happens when he gets a pitch out over the plate that he can drive."

Welker had his pitcher throw nothing but curveballs off the plate in Young's next at-bat. The tactic worked. Though Young is regarded as a good breaking-ball hitter, he struck out on three consecutive pitches.

That set the stage for Young's next at-bat. Welker called for a fastball inside, believing Young could be jammed if he lunged for breaking balls away.

Instead, Young hit an opposite-field home run to right, about 400 feet.

"He just inside-outed it and hit it a mile," Welker said. "You don't see too many kids [homer] to right [at Hueneme]. That's serious power."

Welker, the Vikings' coach for 21 years, said he has seen only a few underclassmen with as much power as Young. One is Young's brother Dmitri, who has a .295 batting average in four major league seasons.

*

Hueneme has benefited from the contributions of two football players.

Leadoff hitter Gherrett Levette entered the week batting .611 (11 for 18).

Batting behind him is Leslie Lee, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season.

Lee took a year off from baseball to run track and improve his speed. This spring, he's again the starting center fielder.

Lee's speed makes him a threat. In his first 13 at-bats, he scored 11 runs.

"It seems like all he has to do to score is get on base," Welker said.

Lee's aggressive baserunning has impressed Welker.

"He can tag up and score on a shallow fly ball," Welker said. "He's scored on popups 20 feet behind [the] shortstop."

*

Junior right-hander Justin Segal has inherited the role of No. 1 pitcher for Calabasas.

Segal (2-1) put together a streak where he didn't allow an earned run in 14 innings with 19 strikeouts and five walks.

He's been a starting pitcher for two seasons, but with the graduation of Tony Sulser, now at Arizona, Segal has emerged as the Coyotes' ace.

Segal threw a two-hit shutout against Notre Dame, striking out nine and walking three. He threw six shutout innings against North Hollywood and earned a save with a scoreless inning against Malibu, striking out the side on 11 pitches.

Segal has helped Calabasas (5-3, 1-0 in the Frontier League) overcome a stagnant offense.

"He's inherited that role Sulser had the past two seasons," Calabasas Coach Rick Nathanson said. "And he's kept us winning."

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