Canoga Park High's Adam Schulhofer had not started a game on the mound at Lanark Park this season entering Wednesday's West Valley League second-place showdown with Taft.
Actually, Schulhofer has never taken the mound on the Hunters' home field because there isn't one. Nor is there an outfield fence or any infield grass, only a slate-like surface that sometimes turns sacrifice bunts into high choppers over the pseudo-mound.
"MacKenzie always said that he had an advantage playing here," said Canoga Park Coach Horace Consolo, who replaced Doug MacKenzie when the latter retired last season after 37 years. "I still don't know what that advantage is."
Schulhofer (3-0) cannot exactly place his finger on it, either, but his eight-hit, complete-game victory placed the Hunters in sole position of second place as Canoga Park won the battle of bad hops, 8-3.
"Sometimes it's hard playing here because you don't have the forward momentum you would have coming off a mound," said Schulhofer, who struck out five and retired the last seven batters he faced. "But since we practice here, we feel we know the field better."
Canoga Park (6-6, 5-4 in league play) took a 5-0 first-inning lead on four hits and two Taft errors. The Toreadors (8-8, 4-5) committed six errors.
Canoga Park catcher Mike Kerber, who entered the game batting .652, was 2 for 4 with a run scored.