Pitching Is the Key to Playoffs for 3 San Gabriel Valley Teams

Three San Gabriel Valley teams--Diamond Bar, Edgewood and San Dimas--have been seeded in the CIF Southern Section baseball playoffs that start Friday.

Hacienda League champion Diamond Bar, 22-2, is the top seed in the 2-A Division, Valle Vista League winner Edgewood (22-3) is No. 3 in 3-A and Montview League champion San Dimas is No. 4 in 1-A.

In first-round games at 3 p.m. Friday, Diamond Bar hosts Rosemead, Edgewood hosts Savanna and San Dimas hosts San Jacinto.

The three valley teams have outstanding pitching. Diamond Bar's top starters are Ken Schaffer, who is 8-0 with a 2.24 earned-run average, and Rich Gonzales, who has a 6-1 record and 2.32 ERA. The Brahmas have a standout relief pitcher, Kraig Washington, who has an 0.88 ERA and five saves and leads the team in hitting with a .433 average.

Edgewood has one of the top pitchers in the valley, Larry Gonzales, a 6-3, 205-pound senior who has a 7-0 record and 1.05 ERA. Other pitching standouts for the Trojans are Eric Figueroa and Albert Salgado.

The top player for San Dimas is pitcher Dennis Watson, who has a 5-1 record and is one of the batting leaders for the Saints with a .422 average.

Other top valley teams competing are Rowland, Nogales, Bishop Amat and Walnut in 4-A, Glendora and Damien in 3-A, Arroyo in 2-A and Webb and Temple City in 1-A.

In first-round games, all at 3 p.m. Friday, Rowland hosts Fountain Valley, Nogales hosts Crescenta Valley, Walnut visits Redondo, Bishop Amat hosts St. Francis, Damien hosts Troy, Arroyo hosts Bolsa Grande, Webb hosts Baldwin Park and Temple City hosts St. Bernard. Glendora hosts the winner of Wednesday's Cerritos-Harvard wild-card game in its opener.

Winners in the opening round advance to the second round Tuesday. The quarterfinals are May 24, semifinals May 28 and finals May 31 at Anaheim Stadium and June 1 at Blair Field in Long Beach.

The Cal Poly Pomona women's softball team, which won the Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. championship in its first year in the conference, placed five players on the all-conference squad.

Leading the way is sophomore pitching sensation Rhonda Wheatley, who posted an NCAA record 44-13 mark with an 0.24 earned run average and 303 strikeouts in 385 innings and was voted the PCAA player of the year.

Other Broncos selected to the first team are first baseman Kandi Burke, catcher Donna McElrea, designated hitter Jamie McCandlish and outfielder Alison Stowell. Burke, a sophomore, was Pomona's leading hitter with a .330 average, 11 home runs and 36 runs batted in. Her home run and RBI totals are school records.

Second-team selections are third baseman Lyn Callahan and second baseman Kathy Powell. Pomona Coach Carol Spanks was named the conference coach of the year.

The Broncos, ranked No. 2 in NCAA Division I with a 48-15 record, visit No. 7 Fresno State (52-13) in the Division I regional playoffs Thursday and Friday.

The University of La Verne, which tied Redlands for the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference baseball title, has landed four players on the all-conference first team.

The Leopards, who lost to Redlands in the NCAA Division III playoffs last week to finish with a 30-17 record, placed catcher Buddy Buzzard, third baseman Perry Ceccarelli, right fielder Bill Baird and left fielder Mark Stutzman. Stutzman was the second-leading hitter in the conference with a .519 average.

Other first-team selections are first baseman Carl Curtis and shortstop Pat White of Pomona-Pitzer, designated hitter Brent Uken of Claremont-Mudd and right fielder Quay Richardson and first baseman Jeff Saenger of Occidental, a freshman who led the SCIAC with a .554 average.

An all-star team of 18 water polo players and three coaches from the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference will compete in a 15-day tour of the People's Republic of China that starts Monday.

The team is coached by Claremont-Mudd's Mike Sutton, who led the Stags to the SCIAC title last year, and includes six of his players: Don Kuhn, Bud Coppersmith, Gary Eisenberg, George McKelvey, Ed Smith and Rick Bregman.

"It's a competitive trip because we'll be playing a lot of local teams, but we like to stress that it's a good-will trip because we'll be conducting clinics everywhere we stop," Sutton said of the trip, which will include stops in Peking, Shanghai and Nanking.

Jack Ameluxen and Les Perry, former San Gabriel Valley high school coaching standouts, are among six recipients of the 1985 CIF Hall of Fame Recognition Award.

Ameluxen coached Mark Keppel High in Alhambra to 14 boys tennis titles between 1958 and 1982, and Perry guided Webb High of Claremont to a 165-45-2 record and seven league football titles from 1946 to 1975.

Others receiving the award are sportswriter Claude Anderson, football coach Sam Cathcart, basketball coach and athletic director Russ Hawk and athletic director and administrator Bill Smitheran.

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