Call it Camarillo's clever ruse.
Disguised as visitors, the host team of the Gene Waid Memorial baseball tournament at Rio Mesa High surprised the competition and snatched the championship.
The Camarillo American Legion team invited seven teams from three states to join it for the fifth annual tournament last weekend. And although Camarillo felt right at home, it jumped to first-inning leads three times as the visiting team.
All three leads were turned into victories, including a 12-3 win over Scottsdale (Ariz.) A's in the championship game. Camarillo also defeated Royal, 7-2, and Culver City, 8-5.
Camarillo's only loss, a 13-4 setback at the hands of Scottsdale Honda, occurred when the team was a bit too cozy as host and home team. The tournament title was Camarillo's second in a row.
Panning out: Some people wonder why major league teams go to the bother of holding tryout camps. Scouts have already studied and crossed out the names of most of the participating players during the school season.
Occasionally, however, a team--and a player--strike gold. Witness the Cincinnati Reds' camp two weeks ago at Thousand Oaks High. Bobby Ayala of Rio Mesa High stood out among the 105 players who attended and was signed by supervising scout Dave Calaway.
Ayala, the Channel League Player of the Year with a 12-1 record, is already playing for Kissimee, Fla., the Reds' rookie team in the Gulf Coast League.
Dialed in for all-star duty: Steve Dailey and David Eggert of Ventura High and Scott Sharts of Simi Valley have been selected by Chatsworth Coach Bob Lofrano to play in a statewide all-star baseball tournament July 14-17 at San Diego State. The six-team event is called the "area-code" tournament because the teams represent geographical sections of the state based on telephone area codes.
Included are teams from five California regions plus the Australian junior national team. Lofrano's team includes players from the 818 and 805 area codes.
High net yield: Ventura County is quickly gaining a reputation for producing top collegiate women tennis players. Seven players who grew up in in the county have tennis scholarships at major universities.
"I've been in the county for 18 years and this is the finest group of girls, by far, that have come along simultaneously," said Wayne Bryan, a tennis pro at Cabrillo Racquet Club in Camarillo.
Jandrea Ouwendijk and Val Stukovsky, from Rio Mesa and Camarillo highs respectively, are freshmen at Fresno State; Julie Gaiser (Rio Mesa) is a freshman at Pepperdine; Wendy Ouwendijk (Rio Mesa) is a sophomore at Tennessee; Francesca Heron (Oxnard) is a senior at UC Santa Barbara; Onnaca Heron (Oxnard) is a freshman at Cal Poly Pomona; and Julie Tullberg (Nordhoff) is a freshman at San Diego State.
Add tennis: Even with seven of its top players now in the collegiate ranks, Ventura County's junior program is still producing top-notch players.
Two teams from the Ventura County Junior Tennis Assn. have advanced to the state championship, to be held at UCLA in late August. And another will qualify for the championship if it beats a team from Santa Barbara in a qualifying match later this summer.
Semi-supreme schools: Moorpark and Ventura colleges were in the middle of the pack and Oxnard brought up the rear in the race for athletic supremacy among Western State Conference schools in the 1987-88 school year.
Moorpark ranked fourth and Ventura was fifth in the conference standings, which are based upon each school's success in the 13 men's and women's sports. Santa Monica won the title with 88.5 points and Bakersfield was second with 86.5 points.
Moorpark's total of 78.5 points was helped by conference titles in softball and women's basketball. Ventura, which won championships in men's basketball and women's cross-country, had 70.5 points.
Looking for a few good men: Cal Lutheran baseball Coach Rich Hill, who just finished his first season, seems to hustle up a recruit or two each week.
The latest to sign with the Kingsmen are Tim Wimbish, a pitcher from Huntington Beach High, and Rusty Pound, a third baseman and outfielder for Cuesta College.
Wimbish (6-3, 190 pounds) compiled a 4-2 record and a 1.40 earned-run average for Huntington Beach, earning All-Sunset League honors.
Pound batted .295 and received honorable mention on the All-Western State Conference team.
Signed, sealed, delivered: Matt Shepherd, a right-handed pitcher from Cal Lutheran, has signed a free-agent contract with the Cleveland Indians and has been assigned to Haines City, Fla., the Indians' Rookie League affiliate in the Gulf Coast League.
Shepherd was 6-3 with a 4.00 earned-run average last season. He had 63 strikeouts in 85 innings.
All Gran: Ed Gran has been selected as offensive coordinator for the Cal Lutheran football team. Gran, who coached Kingsmen wide receivers last season, is a 1987 graduate of Cal Lutheran.
A wide receiver who caught 17 passes for 206 yards his senior year, Gran takes over for Bernie Kyman, who will serve as offensive line coach.
Festival time: Entries are being accepted for the 28th Oxnard Sports Festival, one of Ventura County's largest and oldest open tennis tournaments.
The tournament, sponsored by the Radisson Suite Hotel, will be held the weekends of July 30 and Aug. 6 and features competitions in singles, doubles and mixed doubles for players of A, B+, B, C and D levels.
There are also competitions in singles and doubles for women 30 years and older, men 35 and older, men 45 and older, and a doubles competition for men 55 and over.
The cost is $15 for singles players and $25 for doubles teams. Entries must be received by July 25.
Information: (805) 483-2600.