Chatsworth’s Wallace Hurls No-Hitter, 6-0 : Chancellor Pitcher Overcomes Wild Streak to Shut Down Kennedy

Times Staff Writer

Funny game, baseball.

Consider Tuesday’s performance by Derek Wallace, a senior right-hander at Chatsworth High.

Wallace walked five batters, hit three others with fastballs--one smack between the shoulder blades--and shaved the chins of several others with a slider that often seemed to be slip-sliding away.

“One just slipped out of my hand,” Wallace said, explaining one beaning.

But he didn’t give up a hit.

Still, Wallace considered the effort a “lousy” performance. Even Chatsworth Coach Bob Lofrano remarked afterward, “That’s as bad a control as he’s ever exhibited in two years.”

But what’s so funny? Manny Alvarado and the Kennedy Golden Cougars are not laughing.

“He no-hit us,” Alvarado said, seemingly at a loss for words. “He pitched a great game.”

Well, yes, Wallace did pitch a no-hitter. But let’s leave it at that.

Chatsworth (18-4, 11-2 in league play) blanked Kennedy, 6-0, in a Northwest Valley Conference game at Chatsworth. Wallace (9-1), who struck out five, survived control problems to become the first Chatsworth player to throw a no-hitter in seven years.


Said a perplexed Lofrano: “There are no answers to this game.”

Wallace, his own worst critic, described his performance in a word:

“Brutal” he said.

“I’m kinda disappointed in my mechanics, just the way I’m throwing the ball.”

It didn’t matter how Wallace was throwing, the Golden Cougars weren’t hitting.

Kennedy (16-6, 10-3) had runners on base in five of the seven innings, loading the bases in the first and putting two runners on in three other innings.

Wallace, however, slammed the door each time.

He escaped the first inning by retiring Danny Gugler on a soft bouncer to third baseman Rich Aude. With one out in the third and runners at the corners, Aude gloved a hard grounder by Travis Bourne to begin an around-the-horn double play.

Wallace struck out Gino Tagliaferri swinging with the bases empty to end the fifth inning, and second baseman Vince Simili and center fielder Kevin Chong each snared ropes to keep the Golden Cougars hitless in the sixth.

“We hit the ball sharply a few times,” Alvarado said, “but we couldn’t find any holes. One timely hit, one timely break . . . we couldn’t get it.”

In the seventh, things became so quiet you could hear a foul ball drop--which one did, off the bat of Kennedy’s Mike Murray. The ball fell just four feet from the right-field line and a certain bloop double. Murray fouled away three full-count pitches before drawing a walk to place runners at first and second.

“I thought to myself, ‘Just throw hard,’ ” Wallace said. “I think I just threw fastballs that last inning.”


Wallace then got Pat DeBoer, striking him out on three pitches to end the game.

Lofrano, ordinarily reserved in victory, charged onto the field and embraced Wallace, who joined Brian Wood in the Chatsworth record books. Wood hurled a rain-shortened, five-inning no-hitter against Reseda in 1982.

“Of course you want to see him get it,” said Lofrano, who paced the dugout and barked encouragement in the final inning. “But the game’s the important thing.”

The win snapped a two-game losing skid for the Chancellors, who remained two games ahead of Taft in the West Valley League race with four games to play.

“We try to look at this thing in the overall scheme and not get all bent out of shape,” Lofrano said. “But we obviously needed something after struggling a little. We put the bat on the ball.”

The Chancellors collected 11 hits off senior Mitch Cizek (7-3), whose personal seven-game winning streak was snapped. Aude, who was two for three, lofted a sacrifice fly to cap Chatsworth’s two-run first. He also had a run-scoring double in the third and a run-scoring single in the sixth.

Aude, who entered the game batting a team-high .443, finished the game with 31 runs batted in, tops in the Valley.


Chatsworth scored three times in the third to take a 5-0 lead. After Aude drove in Simili, Eric Johnson, Wallace and Reed McMackin followed with singles.