Cal Lutheran Hits Road and Road Hits Back

<i> Times Staff Writer </i>

Maybe they should have taken the hint. Travel was just not in the master plan for the Cal Lutheran baseball team last Saturday.

First, the team was informed that school vans would not be available for a trip to Westmont College near Santa Barbara because they already had been reserved by other teams.

Undaunted, Coach Rich Hill arranged for the squad to travel by a makeshift caravan consisting of a “1970-something” Ford station wagon, an early model Oldsmobile and Hill’s own Honda Accord.

Strike two. The Oldsmobile didn’t make it out of the school parking lot without needing a jump start.


Once the team hit the road its problems continued to mount. Hill’s Honda, which was carrying the coaching staff, blew its water pump just west of Ventura.

After borrowing a wrench from a Caltrans worker, Kingsmen pitcher Jay Anderson got the car started again.

But the quick fix was only temporary. A few more miles down the road the car began to overheat and Hill once again was forced to pull over.

With game time quickly approaching, the coaches hitched a ride--"with some guy driving a Ford Bronco,” Hill said--and made it to the game.


Cal Lutheran’s misfortune had not ended yet, however. Westmont swept the doubleheader, 3-0 and 6-3. Anderson, with a save as a mechanic to his credit, was unable to come through as a pitcher. He started the second game, allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings and took the loss.

“It was an eventful day,” Hill said. “We had the car problems, then we got swept, then there was a food fight at the cafeteria where we were eating dinner.”

Hill said that Westmont students were the only ones hurling hash, which is a good thing. “I wouldn’t have been too happy if we’d have started throwing peas and macaroni,” Hill said.

To his credit, Hill did not let one bad day ruin his entire weekend. On Sunday, Hill and his wife Lori went back to Santa Barbara to pick up his car.


“We had a nice time,” Hill said. “We went to the (Santa Barbara) Mission, had a great day and made the best of a bad situation. Everything turned out all right except in the won-loss column.”

Cal Lutheran has lost three in a row after dropping a 6-3 decision to Southern California College on Tuesday. The Kingsmen (23-14 overall) are in third place in the Golden State Athletic Conference with an 11-6 record.