They don’t have any plans to go into a recording studio, but Frank Halcovich and the Homers are still the hottest group in the Valley.
Halcovich, a starting pitcher for College of the Canyons, and the Homers--his teammates who have combined for 30 home runs this season--put on a 2 1/2-hour show Thursday at Valley, beating the Monarchs, 9-1, to jump out to a three-game lead at the top of the Mountain Valley Conference charts.
While local four-year colleges flounder through their respective conference schedules and no one high school team appears ready to leave the others behind, Canyons’ baseball is perhaps the hottest free ticket around.
The Cougars have won 18 of 20 games, 13 straight and all six of their conference games. Halcovich is 7-0 with a 1.64 earned run average. Canyons is ranked No. 1 in Southern California and would probably be ranked first in the state if such a poll was conducted. First baseman Scott Drury has seven home runs, his last coming against Valley in his first at-bat Thursday. Right fielder Chris Cota, who has been making some noise with his arm, has three home runs. Thursday, he hit the ninth pitch of the game over the left-field fence. He also singled and tripled.
Catcher Pete Kuld, who had two hits and drove in a run against Valley, has six homers and shortstop Don Erickson has five. Six other Cougars have homered this season. Canyons has six starter with batting averages over .340.
When Halcovich isn’t on the mound, Jeff Ward and Darrin Beer fill in adequately. They’ve combined to win eight of nine decisions.
Who can beat these guys?
“Ourselves,” Halcovich said. “But, if we come out here and we don’t relax, if we come out and play the way we know we can play, then it will be hard to beat us.”
Valley has found that out the hard way. March 22 at Canyons, Halcovich and the Homers did a 6-1 dance on Valley.
Valley will meet Canyons three more times before the conference schedule ends and Canyons Coach Mike Gillespie isn’t about to pass Valley off as a pushover.
“I still think, and I’ll keep thinking the same way until we’ve played all five games, that Valley will be our toughest game.”
That doesn’t say much for the rest of the conference. Valley is 3-3, which puts it in a tie for third place with West Los Angeles. Mission and Antelope Valley have only one win each. But as Cota says, “Any one team can lose to another on any given day.”
CANYONS--Halcovich, and Kuld.
VALLEY--Ricker, Moeller (7), Cossairt (7), Haslock (9) and Halen.
WP--Halcovich (7-0); LP--Ricker (5-3).