Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara, who dominated the West Coast Athletic Conference baseball season and earned national rankings, also dominated the all-conference team announced this week.
Conference champ Pepperdine placed five players on the first team--second baseman Matt Howard, outfielders Rick Hirtensteiner and Richard Barnwell and pitchers Britt Craven and Wayne Helm--and two more on the second team, shortstop Chris Martin and outfielder Jalal Leach. Loyola placed three on each team--catcher Miah Bradbury, first baseman Greg Wall and pitcher Kalani Bush on the first team, third baseman Rick Allen, outfielder Travis Tarchione and pitcher Mike McNary on the second.
Santa Clara also had three on the first team--second baseman Ed Giovanola, shortstop Matt Toole and pitcher Greg Gohr--and four on the second team--catcher Troy Buckley, outfielder Bruce Powers, designated hitter Bill Enos and pitcher Larry Donahe.
Pepperdine dominated the top four awards. Hirtensteiner, a three-time selection who hit .372 with 12 home runs and saved four games in relief, was named Player of the Year. Craven (10-2, two shutouts, 6-0 in conference) was named Pitcher of the Year, and Andy Lopez was named Coach of the Year in his first season.
Loyola freshman Joe Ciccarella, who hit .328 shuttling between first base and the outfield, earned the other major award, Newcomer of the Year.
Bradbury, who led the WCAC in hitting at .409, Hirtensteiner and Toole are repeaters on the first team. The Lions catcher bumped Santa Clara’s Buckley, who was WCAC Player of the Year in 1988, to the second team.
The first team is rounded out by DH Rod Nettnin, third baseman John DeRicco and utility man Don Angotti of Nevada-Reno and outfielder James Mouton of St. Mary’s. The second team includes Reno first baseman Jeff Barry and pitcher Aaron Turnier and utility man Andy Roberts of San Diego.
The UC Berkeley men’s tennis team is in the hunt for the NCAA title, thanks in part to singles player Forrest (Woody) Hunt.
The former South Torrance High standout, ranked 12th individually in the NCAA, will lead the third-ranked Bears in the NCAA Tournament next Friday at the University of Georgia. Hunt also teams with fellow senior Ted Scherman as the nation’s second-ranked doubles team. The NCAA format, which takes eight days to complete, opens with team competition, followed by an individual tournament.
Hunt, a two-time All-American singles player and an All-American doubles selection with Scherman last year, takes a 25-14 record and 16-9 dual record into the tourney. Hunt’s national standing was augmented in April when he defeated Stanford star Jeff Tarango, 6-2, 6-1. Tarango, who avenged the loss last weekend, is ranked sixth nationally. Hunt has beaten him twice in the last two seasons.
National ranking is nothing new to the 5-foot-10 senior. He was ranked fifth nationally as a junior (18 and under) and was the most heralded tennis recruit in the school’s history. Hunt was a member of the Junior Davis Cup team in 1987. That year, playing in the Transamerica Open, he defeated veteran pro Peter Fleming. At South High, where his father, Forrest Sr., teaches, Hunt was also an academic All-American, carrying a straight-A average.
As a junior Hunt battled shoulder problems, and teammate Scherman had an ankle injury. This year, a healthier, more veteran Bears team--which includes sophomore Pete Fitzpatrick out of Miraleste--unexpectedly won the National Indoor Team Championships in February to vault into the national ratings. They could give top-ranked UCLA, Stanford and UC Irvine a run for the title.
Afterward, the sociology major plans to turn professional and play on the Canadian tour this summer.
Can’t-Tell-the-Players Dept.: In recent weeks, viewers of Loyola Marymount baseball have regularly seen several players take the field in Steve Surico’s uniform, though the real Surico plays only when due to pitch. The answer to all the confusion, it turned out, came out in the wash.
Greg Wall’s road jersey and Mark Grafitti’s home jersey were in a recent load of laundry but never came back. Since Wall and Grafitti generally platoon at the same position, they have been wearing pitcher Surico’s uniform top.
It gets more complicated when Surico pitches. Last weekend at Pepperdine, Wall wore Surico’s jersey on Friday and Saturday. But Sunday, when Surico pitched, Wall came to the plate in Tim Byrne’s uniform and was introduced as Byrne. The umpire turned to the press box and corrected the identification. Pepperdine sports publicist Mike Zapolski, manning the public address system, announced the change: “Correction--now batting, Greg Wall, the man of many uniforms.”
Former USF and Boston Celtics star K. C. Jones was inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame this week, but it’s safe to say Jones doesn’t cause quite the stir of, say, Michael Jordan in public.
At the recent West Coast Athletic Conference basketball tournament held at USF--where he teamed with Bill Russell to win two straight national titles in the 1950s and where their uniforms hang on the wall of the gym--Jones was scouting for the Celtics and was barred from the press room by a student hired for security.
A bemused witness asked her, “Do you know who that was?” She said no, but that he lacked the proper credentials. When told Jones’ identity, she was red-faced. “That’s embarrassing,” she admitted. “I was just polishing the trophies in the K. C. Jones Room yesterday.”
The West Coast Athletic Conference has hopes its top three baseball teams--Pepperdine, Loyola and Santa Clara--will be chosen for the NCAA regionals. Bids should go out around May 20 . . . Six Cal State Dominguez Hills softball players received all-conference honors in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn., with pitcher Denise Biller and utility player Jennifer Moen named to the first team. Pitcher Kim Park, third baseman Nicole Stelter, outfielder Maria Romero and shortstop Dina Graham were chosen for the second team . . . Romero has set a school season record for runs batted in with 27. She set the old record of 26 last year . . . Loyola basketball player Tom Peabody has one foot in a walking cast after surgery to remove pins from a previous bone graft operation on the ankle. Peabody will not be allowed to resume activity until around August . . . Dominguez Hills outfielder Marty Williams is hitting .413 in CCAA play and .381 for the season. Outfielder Rob Campbell has 13 hits in his last 22 at-bats, raising his average to .353. He tied a school record with a five-hit game against Cal State Los Angeles . . . With one more start, Toros right-hander Rick Davis needs 14 strikeouts to tie the CCAA season record of 170.