South Bay Blue Jays to Compete in U.S. Open Baseball Tourney
The South Bay Blue Jays, a collection of semipro and amateur baseball players, hope to enhance their reputation when they play in the U.S. Open Baseball Tournament in Ontario starting Tuesday.
The Blue Jays, coached by Joe Triano of Carson, placed ninth in the 26-team Open last year in Lake Tahoe and are currently 17-11. Those having big years for the Jays include catcher Chip Cruise and first baseman Dan Fouts, both former Harbor College players, and outfielder Oscar Duran, an ex-farmhand for the Milwaukee Brewers. All three have been chosen to play with a San Diego entry in the upcoming National Baseball Congress World Series.
Several of Triano’s players last year received pro contracts and college scholarships after good summers with the Blue Jays. Slugger Robert Small signed with the Montreal Expos, while pitcher Dave Alexander walked on at Arizona State and had one of the top relief records in the country at 11-2.
From this year’s team, several players will be attending Mendocino College, including Keoni Kaono of Carson High and Darren Kondash of Banning, Eric Bonilla and Danny Gonzales, both out of Bishop Amat High, and Mike Harolde. The Jays pitching staff is led by Dave Seward, who plays fro Cal State San Bernardino, and Darren Kay, the top starter at 8-1.
The Open in Ontario will include teams from as far as Hawaii, Mexico, Chicago, Alaska and many of the top teams in California.