The Hart High baseball team was bailed out by an unusual source Friday, although the last time the Indians’ newest reliever threw a baseball, he likely was trying to win a stuffed animal at an amusement park.
The reliever--a gentleman behind the wheel of a pickup truck--tossed his most effective curve across two lanes of the San Bernardino Freeway and into the Alhambra team bus.
No one was injured in the fender-bender but the Moors were stranded until a rescue bus arrived, delaying the Foothill League game between Alhambra and Hart for more than an hour. The holdup later would prove frustrating for both teams.
Despite the distraction, Alhambra pitcher German Louisiaga was picking his spots and picking apart Hart batters. He relied primarily on a nasty curve to strike out six and limit the Indians to two hits.
“His curve slid and then it dropped,” said Hart’s Ray Gardocki, who struck out swinging twice. “Some of us, like me especially, were trying to pull the ball.”
In time, however, the bottom fell out on Louisiaga’s lightning. The game was suspended in the bottom of the sixth inning because of darkness with Hart trailing, 3-2. The game will be completed at a date to be announced.
“I deserved that game,” Louisiaga said. “I was working hard. I don’t think it’s fair.”
Gardocki said that it was not an equitable situation from the outset.
“We’re not that happy they showed up an hour late,” he said. “We can come back when we’ve got a clear head.”
And if the Indians do come back, they can credit the save to the guy in the banged-up pickup.
Add Hart: The injury to Jason Edwards, who has been unable to pitch because of soreness in his right shoulder, was diagnosed Thursday as tendinitis in the rotator cuff. Edwards is taking oral medication to reduce inflammation in the area.
Edwards, the 1988 Foothill League MVP, plans to pitch in two weeks and says that he will get a pain-killing cortisone shot in order to expedite his return to the mound.
Dismissal fallout: Herman Cooper, who recently lost an appeal concerning the dismissal of his son, Craig, from the Westlake baseball team, said Saturday that he is still considering possible actions against Coach Rich Herrera and the school.
Craig Cooper, the team’s most valuable player as a junior last season, was cut from the team in late February. Westlake officials have refused to divulge their reasons for cutting Craig, but Herman Cooper claims it is because of an emotional disorder that Craig has suffered.
The Coopers’ appeal to Carol Erie, the Conejo Valley Unified School District’s director of secondary education, was denied last week.
“I’m still looking at some options right now,” Herman Cooper said. “I don’t think it’s absolutely dead just yet.”
Luck o’ the Eagles: During Chaminade’s 0-6 start this season, Coach Steve Costley tried nearly everything to break the Eagles’ hex.
He changed his hat. He changed his uniform number. He changed his undershirt. But Chaminade still languished.
Early last week, however, Costley looked at Friday’s game against Paraclete as another chance for superstition to intervene. It was, after all, St. Patrick’s Day.
The final: Chaminade 16, Paraclete 5.
The difference? Chaminade had 20 hits and committed only three errors. And Pete Miller, whose given first name is Patrick, was five for five.
Oh, and the Eagles switched from their standard navy blue headgear to green caps.
“I know the Dodgers do it, and we needed something,” Costley said. “Unfortunately, I think some of the guys want to wear them again Wednesday.”
Costley, who has a bit o’ the Irish in him, declined the offer.
Said Costley: “When your colors are blue and orange, the green looked pretty hideous.”
Bus stop: Apparently, sickness among bus drivers in Culver City has reached epidemic proportions.
Thousand Oaks’ baseball team, having played only two games before the start of the Marmonte League season, was scheduled to play host to Culver City on Wednesday. The game, however, was postponed at 12:15 p.m. when the Centaurs’ bus driver fell sick and a substitute could not be found.
Thousand Oaks Coach Jim Hansen was, to say the least, irritated.
“I can’t begin to tell you how angry I was,” he said, “because we needed that ballgame so badly. We needed it to prevent from going flat as a pancake.
“It sort of infuriated me to no end.”
The Lancers split a doubleheader against Lompoc before playing Channel Islands on Friday in their only other games. In contrast, their league foes had plenty of time to work the kinks out: Newbury Park played nine nonleague games, Simi Valley had seven, Channel Islands and Westlake each played six and Camarillo had five.
Baby bloomers?: El Camino Real infielders Greg Lederman (third base), Gregg Sheren (shortstop), Paul Geller (second base) and Ryan McGuire (first base) hardly have a worn glove between them.
Lederman and Sheren are sophomores and McGuire is a junior. Geller, a first-year starter, is the only senior.
“It’s fun,” Coach Mike Maio said of employing a youthful quartet. “If they work out, we’ve got it pretty set for the future. But it’s hard. The consistency is not there yet.”
Milestones: Saugus Coach Doug Worley this week became the third Valley-area coach this season to reach a milestone when the Centurions defeated Santa Clara, 2-0.
The win was Worley’s 200th in his 13th season at Saugus. Earlier this month, Simi Valley Coach Mike Scyphers posted win No. 200 in his 10th season, and Bob Cooper of Hoover notched win No. 400 in his 25th season.
For Worley, No. 200 couldn’t have come at a better time.
“The ones I keep thinking about are the losses,” he said.
Like last Saturday’s 20-1 El Segundo tournament loss to Arcadia--Saugus’ worst under Worley.
“I’ve never been beat like that,” said Worley, whose career record is 200-104. “It was a nightmare.”