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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | HIGH SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

Injuries Disarm Kennedy's Staff

March 30, 2001|ERIC SONDHEIMER

Kennedy High, defending City Section champion and ranked No. 1 in the region by The Times earlier this season, is suffering a pitching crisis that could result in a third-place finish in the Valley Mission League.

All-City pitcher Adam Geery has a tender triceps muscle in his right arm and is not expected to pitch again until April 14 in Las Vegas, Coach Manny Alvarado said.

No. 2 pitcher Eric Moore is sidelined with shoulder pain and plans to see a specialist.

Without Geery and Moore, Kennedy was swept in a two-game league series by Sylmar, 8-1 and 5-3, this week.

"We're as injured and as battle-scarred as we possibly could be, but we're not making excuses," Alvarado said. "We've got kids with bad arms and I can't figure out why."

Kennedy lost another pitcher, Chris Schreiber, to a work-related back injury.

The Golden Cougars (9-4, 2-2 in league play)) have one of their deepest pitching staffs in school history, but it wasn't good enough to survive Sylmar's strong performance.

"I respect Gary [Donatella's] program," Alvarado said of the Sylmar coach. "They're a good ballclub and they played outstanding this week, but we're not able to play under adversity right now. True champions do that."

The good news for the Golden Cougars is they don't play San Fernando, the other league title contender, until April 23, giving them three weeks to get their pitchers healthy.

Kennedy won the City Championship last season as the No. 9-seeded team, so not winning a league title isn't considered a fatal blow to reaching the final at Dodger Stadium.

Sylmar (8-3, 4-0) can take a big step toward winning the league title by sweeping San Fernando (9-2, 4-0) in a two-game series next week.

Sylmar has withstood the absence of left-handed pitcher Greg Ramos, who broke his right arm in a snowboarding accident. Ramos hopes to receive doctor's clearance to return April 4 and see action during four games in Las Vegas on April 12-14.

*

Shortstop Stephen Yoo of Montclair Prep has been accepted to USC and will try to make the baseball team as a walk-on. The Mounties have had success placing walk-ons at USC, with Josh Persell becoming a starter.

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