St. Bonaventure High has cornered the market for baseball players named Chris. Three players--Chris Borchard, Chris Castro and Chris Gaston--are in the starting lineup and a fourth--Chris Ruffinelli--is a reserve second baseman.
The Seraphs (6-3, 2-2) won their first four nonleague games with Borchard, Castro and Gaston batting four, five and six in the batting order.
When Ruffinelli entered the game, he batted seventh, giving St. Bonaventure a new Christian order.
Seraph Coach Dennis Johnson said he doesn’t have any problems giving instructions to the right Chris.
“I just call them by their last names,” Johnson said. “In fact, I call every player by their last name.”
News Flashes: Santa Clara is finding it tough to play a game against the Fillmore Flashes.
The Saints, 2-4 overall, were scheduled to play Fillmore (4-2) in their season-opener but the game was cancelled because of rain.
The teams were to play a make-up game last Thursday, but it, too, was cancelled because the Flashes were unable to field a team.
“I think it’s so late in the season, we might not ever play,” Santa Clara Coach John Lorenzana said.
But more might be at stake for Fillmore than a makeup game. The Flashes had four players suspended for taking part in a demonstration at the school. Nearly 500 students left classes on March 21 to protest a proposal to switch to a year-round school schedule.
Fillmore Coach Tom Ecklund refused to identify the players but said they will rejoin the team in time for the Flashes’ game Friday at Carpinteria.
Before the first game, Ecklund suspended sophomore Anthony Chessani for the season after Chessani violated a team rule that Ecklund would not identify. Chessani, who batted .467 last season when Fillmore won the Southern Section 1-A Division title, would have been one of the team’s top pitchers as well as hitters.
“It’s been a tough year because we can’t get anything going,” Ecklund said. “We’ve been playing fairly well lately and then the protest happened. Hopefully, we can get back on track.”
Packing his bags: JR Perez of Santa Clara last week accepted a football scholarship to attend Boise State in Idaho.
Boise State is a Division 1-AA school that competes in the Big Sky Conference.
Perez, a 6-4, 265-pound lineman, was selected first-team Times all-Ventura County. He was recruited by UCLA and California but was unable to meet the University of California standards for core classes because he failed to take geometry.
Perez will be academically eligible to play as a freshman at Boise State, but will redshirt his first season.
“I was impressed with the athletic program at Boise,” Perez said. “Everything is first class, from the weight room to the classroom.”
On the run: You won’t find too many stop signs at Santa Paula. Mark Magdaleno, in his first season as coach of the Cardinals, has given his team the green light to run. The team has stolen 36 bases in 38 attempts, including home plate last week against Palmdale.
With Santa Paula trailing, 4-3, in the fifth inning, Chris Cole waited for the Palmdale pitcher to start his windup before breaking toward home. Tom Frutos, who was standing deep in the batters’ box, swung wildly at the pitch and Cole slid underneath the catcher’s tag.
It was the 13th stolen base for Cole, who leads Ventura County players.
Stat watch: Ventura (4-6, 1-0) has lost three games in extra innings and has had five games decided by one run. . . . Santa Paula (1-5) has lost three consecutive games after being ahead or tied entering the seventh inning. The Cardinals have seven players batting over .300. . . .Chris Gaston of St. Bonaventure has nine hits--five for extra bases--for a slugging percentage of .708.
Up and over: Reggie Betton set a Ventura College high-jump record of 7 feet, 2 inches at the Southern California Relays last Thursday at Cerritos College.
Betton also broke Richard Thomas’ meet record of 7-0 set last year. Betton is one of five high jumpers in the state who have cleared 7 feet this season.
Mike Bryant also broke the school javelin record for the second time this season. Ryan Rapoza had a throw of 183-7 in the Southern California Relays to break Bryant’s record of 177-7 set earlier this month. Bryant then threw 188-4 to break Rapoza’s mark and regain the record.
Record breaker: Brent Cookson, a sophomore right fielder for Ventura College, drove in two runs against Moorpark College on Friday, giving him 41 RBIs for the season, which ties the school record set by Dave Patterson in 1984.