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Camarillo Loses in the 4-A Final by a Foot at First

Times Staff Writer

He has been the driving force for the Camarillo High baseball team all season.

In football, he quarterbacked the Scorpions to the Southern Section’s Coastal Conference championship.

He is the player who has come through so often in the clutch during his days at Camarillo.

So it was savagely ironic that senior Scott Cline would make the error that cost his team a championship, 3-2, Friday night before 4,786 at Anaheim Stadium.

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It came in the bottom of the sixth inning with Camarillo and Fountain Valley tied, 2-2, in the southern Section 4-A championship game.

Cline, fielding a two-out grounder by Steve Miller to short, Pulled first baseman Travis Willis off the bag, allowing Terry Reichert to score the winning run.

The play was a close one, but not close enough for Camarillo.

“At the Coliseum we won it by an inch,” Cline said, referring to a last-minute touchdown pass he had made to win the game. “Here, we lost by an inch.”

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Said Willis: “The throw was just a little outside, but I had my foot on there.”

No matter how close the play, it didn’t ease the frustration Camarillo Coach Ken Wagner experienced.

“It’s nice to get this far,” he said, “but it hurts not to win the damn thing.”

Camarillo, the Marmonte League champion, had made it to Anaheim by winning 13 straight games.

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But the Scorpions failed to win the championship because they could not solve Fountain Valley’s Don Snowden.

Snowden, a 6-2 left-hander, allowed just four hits and struck ou 11. He also picked off two runners at first.

“Three runs shouldn’t beat us,” said Cline, who will attend UCLA in the fall.

Two runs were almost enough for the Scorpions (22-8) because of the effectiveness of pitcher Joe Salomon.

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The 5-9 senior right-hander nearly matched Snowden pitch for pitch, allowing just four hits in five innings. He held a 2-1 lead entering the bottom of the sixth.

Jeff Olson led off the sixth by lining a single just past Ken Sirak at second. Salomon was then replaced by Charlie Fiacco.

Jim Reach bunted Olson to second, and a wild pitch sent him to third. Olson the scored on a single by pinch-hitter Chris Bugbee.

Reichert pinch-ran for Bugbee, stole second, and proceeded to third on a passed ball.

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After Fiacco got Sam August to ground out to third, Miller hit his fateful grounder to Cline. The loss went to Fiacco, his first of the season in 10 decisions.

Camarillo got two runners on with two out in the top of the seventh. But Bob Sharpnack replaced Snowden and got Angel Barroso to ground out to first, giving the Barons (21-9-1) their first Southern Section championship in baseball.

The game started well for the Scorpions.

Barroso led off by drawing a walk from Snowden. Sirak followed with a bunt that third baseman Jim Doyle couldn’t handle, drawing an error and putting runners at first and second

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Cline, who went into the game hitting .506 for the Scorpions, lined a single to left, scoring Barroso. It was cline’s 31st RBI of the season, a team high.

After Fiacco and Kevin Madden struck out, Hugh Heath singled up the middle to make it 2-0. Cline, trying to go to third, got caught in a rundown and was tagged out.

Fountain Valley, which finished third in the Sunset League, got a run back in the bottom of the second.

Olson worked Salomon for a leadoff walk and went to second when Reach singled just past Fiacco at third.

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Reichert moved the runners over with a sacrifice fly to left.

Both teams missed chances to score again early in the game. Lillich led off; the Scorpion half of the second with a double that hit the left-field wall on the fly. But Snowden then struck out the next three.

Snowden began the Batons’ third by reaching first on an error by Cline, one of four the Scorpions made.

Snowden was running on the pitch when Jim Wayne lined to center.

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Heath made the catch and appeared to have an easy double play but threw the ball into the first-base dugout. Snowden was allowed to go to third.

With the infield drawn in, Sharpnack hit a grounder to Cline, whose throw to first was dug out by Lillich, saving a run. After Olson walked, Reach flew to right to end the threat.

“It’s only fitting that we should fall behind and do it the hard way,” Baron Coach Tom DeKraai. “we’ve done it that way all year. I doubt we have enough (energy) to celebrate.”


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