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High Schools | Eric Sondheimer

Powered Up at Harvard-Westlake

April 08, 2003|Eric Sondheimer

Josh Satin and Brennan Boesch weren't separated at birth, it only seems that way.

They've been starting together on the varsity baseball team at North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake for four years. Last November, they signed with California, where they plan to be roommates.

Each possesses a powerful swing that causes friends to tease them about who can hit the ball farther.

"It's kind of a sore subject," Satin said. "People at school try to get us riled up."

The 6-foot-5, 190-pound Boesch has a size advantage over the 6-2, 180-pound Satin.

"Yeah, he hits it a little farther," Satin concedes. "He's bigger than me."

But Satin had 11 home runs last season compared to Boesch's six.

Boesch, though, earned the professional scouts' badge of respect last summer in Long Beach when he was selected the top hitter at the Area Code Games, which scouts consider an ideal setting for determining pro ability.

"It was important because I got my name out there," Boesch said. "It was almost proving to myself that I was just as good as the best out there."

Boesch, an outfielder, and Satin, a shortstop, have ignited a renewed sense of pride in the Wolverine baseball program. It has been a tough challenge competing in the Mission League, where Encino Crespi, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and West Hills Chaminade have been the dominant teams.

"Most of the team has rallied around winning a title," Boesch said. "If you look up in the gym, there are no banners for baseball saying 'Mission League Champs.' They know this is one of the years it can happen."

Harvard-Westlake (9-3, 2-2) split its first two-game series against Notre Dame and Mission Hills Alemany. Teams know the Wolverines can hit and have a solid No. 1 pitcher in Jason Glushon (5-0). Boesch is batting .576 with three home runs and Satin is hitting .481 with three home runs.

Pitchers face a predicament. Satin and Boesch bat second and third in the order, making the strategy of trying to pitch around them difficult.

Two weeks ago, Satin hit two doubles against Notre Dame, causing the Knights to intentionally walk Boesch twice. That allowed the No. 4 hitter, freshman Gabe Cohen, free rein and he responded with a double. The previous week, Boesch hit a three-run home run against Alemany.

"You have to chose your poison," said one Mission League coach.

The two get along well because they have similar work ethics. Satin has a 3.3 grade-point average and scored 1,390 on the SAT. Boesch has a 3.3 and scored 1,290.

"When you get someone who has the passion for the game like I do, and he does, we feed off each other," Boesch said.

Coach Tim Cunningham believes Boesch could be a prime target for a major league team in the June draft.

"He has a lot to learn and is well aware of it, but his potential and upside is tremendous," Cunningham said. "He just generates amazing power."

Some have speculated Boesch would never turn down the chance to attend college, but he's keeping his options open.

"My dream is not to be a rocket scientist," he said. "I came here because I thought I could make a name for myself in baseball and get a good education. My goal is to be a professional baseball player, and if I get the opportunity, I don't think I would hesitate."

Satin knows there's a chance Boesch might not join him at California, so if there's a separation pending, both want to go out with their bats blazing and their friends arguing about who's the better home run hitter.

*

Jason Hill, a 6-3 sophomore guard at Van Nuys Grant who was one of the best players in the Sunset Six League, has transferred to Reseda Cleveland after having academic troubles at Grant.

Matt Slater of Anaheim Servite, one of the top receivers and sprinters in Orange County, has decided to attend Dartmouth.

Howard Levine, the golf coach at Grant, got a hole in one at Wilson Golf Course last week during a match against Lake Balboa Birmingham.

*

Eric Sondheimer can be reached at eric.sondheimer@latimes.com.

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