Community College Baseball : Southern California Regional : Gonzales Comes On Strong as Cypress Beats El Camino

Times Staff Writer

Benny Gonzales allowed three hits over eight shutout innings Friday to lead Cypress College to an 8-1 victory over El Camino in a Southern California Regional baseball game at Cerritos.

It was the first time Gonzales, a sophomore right-hander, has pitched in 15 days. Cypress (33-9) had not played in 13 days.

Gonzales (11-2) struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter. He allowed a first-inning double to Dan Berthel, a fifth-inning single to Colin Franker and a seventh-inning single Jim Alexander.


Dave Bladow worked the ninth for Cypress, allowing a run on a 2 hits and 2 walks.

“I thought I’d be wild,” said Gonzales, who threw 107 pitches. “It just didn’t feel right for a while being out there. It took me until the fourth inning to get into my rhythm. I was surprised I did so well after all that time off.”

Cypress made things easier for Gonzales with five runs in the third.

Doug Yates singled and Mark Steinert walked. After Rod DeYoung struck out, Steve Gill singled to load the bases.

Ken Briggs then singled to score Yates and Steinert.

Tim Churchill grounded into a force play to score the third run, and Paul Bunch doubled to score two more. Churchill, running on the pitch, was able to score from first base on Bunch’s double.

Lucio Chiadez (10-5) worked 2 innings, allowing 5 earned runs and 5 hits, to take the loss.

Cypress added an unearned run in the sixth off reliever David Seward after Kevin Clancy pulled a single to right field that rolled through the legs of Eric Shanks for a two-base error.

Yates then lifted a shallow fly to right, and Clancy tagged and bluffed coming to the plate. Shanks made the catch and a good throw to the plate, but the ball went off the arm of catcher Jamy Villa to the backstop, allowing Clancy to score.

Cypress added two more in the ninth when El Camino center fielder Robert Pfeif dropped a fly ball with two on.

DeYoung had a one-out double and Gill singled him to third base. Briggs then drove the ball deep to center and Pfeif appeared to have an easy catch, but the ball went off his glove for an error.

“Benny made it easy,” Scott Pickler, Cypress coach, said. “We got a couple of clutch hits early and Benny just did the rest. We took him out because this thing could go a few games and we might need him Sunday.”

Cypress plays Cerritos today at noon as the double-elimination tournament continues.

Cerritos defeated College of the Canyons, 14-0, Friday. El Camino (29-15) plays Canyons (32-7) at 9 a.m. with the loser being eliminated.

The winner of today’s game advances to the championship at 11 a.m. Sunday, and the loser plays at 3 today.