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High Schools | SOUTHERN SECTION BASEBALL PLAYOFFS

Young Sparks Camarillo

May 24, 2003|Mike Bresnahan,Rafer Weigel | From Staff Reports

As he slammed shut the trunk of an older-model Mercedes-Benz, Delmon Young promised he'd have new wheels soon enough.

"My [Hummer] H2 is two weeks away ... hopefully," he said with a sheepish smile.

Then he took off, the player considered by scouts to be the best high school outfielder in the nation, less than two weeks from being selected as one of the top picks in the amateur baseball draft. With that should come a multimillion-dollar deal.

Until then, he's trying to win a second consecutive championship with Camarillo, which defeated San Bernardino Cajon, 6-1, in the first round of the Southern Section Division I playoffs Friday at Camarillo.

Young did his part -- a single and a run-scoring triple hit so hard, fast and low that the Cajon center fielder lost track of it -- and Camarillo (23-3) won its 23rd consecutive game.

Young was the last player to leave the field, posing for pictures, signing baseballs for kids and adults and steadfastly denying any intense interest in the June 3 amateur draft.

"We all want to get another ring," said Young, who is batting .540 with seven home runs despite being intentionally walked 30 times and missing the first three weeks of the season because of a severely sprained ankle. "That's the only thing on our mind right now."

Camarillo's pitching staff was expected to struggle after graduation depleted the staff and Young's pitching was terminated at midseason because of tendinitis in his right shoulder.

But sophomore Eric Komatsu (5-1) struck out nine and gave up four hits against Cajon. The only run scored by Cajon (19-9) came on a passed ball with the bases loaded in the third inning.

"You never know what's going to happen when you put a sophomore in a situation like this," said Camarillo Coach Scott Cline, who is resigning after nine seasons. "I don't think he gave up a hard hit."

Camarillo also received strong performances from Todd Sandell, who had a solo home run and a run-scoring single, and Abe Candelaria, who had a run-scoring double in the second inning.

For now, the Camarillo coach is still in business and his star player is still an amateur. And until they lose, the Scorpions are still the champions.

-- Mike Bresnahan

Glendora 5, Los Alamitos 3 -- Kevin Hansen hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the No. 19 Tartans a victory over the No. 14 Griffins in a Division I game, the only first-round playoff matching two of The Times' top-25 teams.

With two out and the winning running run on second, Hansen delivered his second home run of the year over the left-field fence to advance the Sierra League champions to the second round.

"I was only looking to try and put it through the gap," Hansen said. "Hitting home runs is so rare for me. Fortunately I just got underneath it enough and was able to power it over the wall."

Los Alamitos (19-9), which finished third in the competitive Sunset League, opened the scoring on David Montoya's run-scoring single in the third and tied the score, 3-3, when Jeff Kline hit the second of his two solo homers in the sixth.

The Tartans (22-4) scored two runs off errors in the bottom of the fourth to tie the score, 2-2. Hansen doubled in a run in the fifth inning for a 3-2 lead.

Brandon Villalobos (3-0), making his fourth appearance on the mound after battling tendinitis in his left elbow, earned the victory for Glendora with 3 1/2 innings of relief.

-- Rafer Weigel

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