Notebook /Sean Waters : After Santa Paula Holds a Lead, the Coach Gets to Write One

A reporter will rarely get a “no comment” from Mark Magdaleno.

The first-year Santa Paula High baseball coach knows sportswriting isn’t easy because he gets firsthand experience every day. Magdaleno is the sports editor at the Santa Paula Chronicle, a newspaper of 3,000 circulation that is published five days a week.

Magdaleno knows a good story and he’s not going to let this one go untold. “I feel very fortunate that I have two jobs that allow me to get paid for something I would enjoy doing for free,” he said.

Magdaleno began writing while attending Ventura College and has been the sports editor at the Santa Paula Chronicle for two years. He said the paper primarily covers high school sports, although he does get a chance to attend some Raiders games.


The Cardinals baseball team, however, does not receive preferential press from its coach. And the reviews are not always favorable.

“We don’t cover the games,” Magdaleno said. “I would have another reporter write a couple paragraphs about it and I would add some words of wisdom. That’s it.”

In turn, Magdaleno doesn’t receive preferential treatment from fellow coaches--not even from his brother and Santa Paula soccer coach Joe Magdaleno.

“My brother Joe is the worst person at the school to get quotes from,” Magdaleno said. “He’s brutal. You have to drag words out of his mouth. Talking to him is like talking to Tom Landry when he’s deep in thought.”


The most quotable coach?

“Mike Tsoutsouvas, our football coach,” he said. “He’ll yak you to death.”

A real mudder: Santa Paula (3-9 overall, 0-2 in league play) has 64 stolen bases in 69 attempts and is 10 of 11 in Frontier League play. Chris Cole, the fastest player on the team, leads with 18 steals and Manual Herrera, the slowest player, has four.

“I call him Shamu because he runs better on rainy days,” Magdaleno said of Herrera.

Santa Paula, however, did get caught being overly aggressive. Mario Gonzalez, who had a 12-game hitting streak, sprained his right ankle while sliding into third base unnecessarily. He’ll be out of the lineup for at least two weeks.

Losing more players than games: Santa Clara lost three players from its roster during the past two weeks, but it hasn’t affected them in the loss column. Pitcher Tim Gutierrez underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee April 8 for the second time this year and will be out the rest of the season. Gutierrez, who is also a standout quarterback, may not play spring football either.

Two other players--pitcher Mario Vasquez and reserve catcher Carlos Martinez--left the team for personal reasons.

Still, the Saints (6-6, 1-1) managed to win two of three games last week.


Musketeer madness: Moorpark High, in its first year on its new campus, is pursuing its first Tri-Valley League baseball title. The Musketeers, behind the pitching of junior Robert Hernandez (6-0, three saves) and senior Keith Orford (5-2) are 11-2 overall and lead the league with a record of 7-1.

Moorpark missed the playoffs in 1986 and 1987 on the last day of the regular season. Hernandez, who started at third base as a freshman, believes this team is different.

“I was hoping we would start to win someday. It makes sense that it is this year,” he said. “I’m still a little surprised but I think we’ll continue to do well.”

Fourth-year Coach Mario Porto, who played on two Division III national championship teams at CS Stanislaus in the late ‘70s, has infused a winning attitude in a program used to losing.

“We always expect to win,” said Porto, who was an assistant at Hueneme for several years before taking the Moorpark job. “The kids believe in themselves this year.”

Add Moorpark: The Musketeers gained ammunition in their title quest this week when Phil Spizale and Chris Garrettson regained their eligibility after missing the first 12 games because of poor grades.

Spizale, a versatile player who started most games last season, and Garrettson, who was a part-time outfielder, have been practicing with the team all spring.

More injuries: Nordhoff first baseman Rob Lasby will be back in the lineup as a designated-hitter after missing two weeks with a strained rotator cuff in right arm. . . . Senior outfielder Kevin Manning of Buena, who suffered a stress fracture of the tibia in his left leg, is out for the season. . . Thousand Oaks’ second baseman Bill Hall, who is batting .486 overall and was 10 for 12 in Marmonte League play, is out for the season after dislocating his shoulder last week.


Record streak: Buena (11-2-1, 6-0) set a school record with its 11th victory in a row. The Bulldogs benefited from two errors and a balk call with the bases loaded to beat Hueneme, 7-6, Friday.

The 1983 Bulldogs, who featured pitchers Matt Shepherd and Rick Hartenstiner, held the previous mark with 10 consecutive wins.

Lucky No.13: Kevin Zoll of St. Bonaventure wears uniform No. 13. He has 13 hits and 13 runs scored. He also has an earned-run average of 1.39.

Brotherly blasts: Mike Teron of Ventura College hit a three-run home run Saturday to help Ventura beat Santa Monica, 12-4. On the same day, Garth Teron, Mike’s younger brother, blasted a grand slam for Santa Clara High in a 20-1 win over Moapa Valley (Nev.).

Bring on Blyleven: Hueneme (7-8, 3-3) has not hit a home run all season.

Signings: Tony Walker, a sophomore guard for Ventura College who averaged 8.5 assists to lead the Western State Conference, has signed a letter of intent to attend Loyola Marymount.

Walker, an All-WSC selection who averaged 7.4 points, was one of three Pirates who signed letters of intent. Dave Heckmann, who averaged 7.8 rebounds to lead Ventura, signed with UC Riverside and Rick Fluckey, an All-WSC honorable mention selection, signed with New Mexico State.

Running off to Hawaii: Rachel Rossbach, who set a Ventura record in the 5,000 meters at the Bakersfield Relays last week, has signed a letter of intent to attend Hawaii.

Rossbach ran the 5,000 in 18 minutes, 1.4 seconds to break her previous record of 18:03.6, set at the Santa Monica Invitational last month.

Record setters: Mike Bryant of Ventura College won the Southern California Decathlon Championships at Cerritos to qualify for the state junior college championships.

The sophomore runner won the decathlon with 6,602 points, while Pirate teammate Ryan Rapoza placed seventh with 5,723 points. The top six finishers qualified for the state championships.

Records setters part II: Brent Cookson, who earlier this season broke the Ventura College record for career runs batted in, now also holds the school’s single-season RBI record.

Cookson, who has 48 RBIs this season, broke Dave Patterson’s 1984 record of 41.

But Cookson is only one of several Pirate players to have either set records or are threatening to do so.

Darren Lloyd has scored 42 runs this season and is one shy of tying Tom LeVasseur’s 1984 record of 43. Lloyd is also one walk away from tying Roger Erickson’s 1976 record of 41 walks in a season.

Freshman left-hander Richard Mendez, who has a 1.65 earned-run average, is threatening to break Larry Nevarez’s 1974 mark of 1.63.

Staff writer Ralph Nichols contributed to this notebook.