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COMMUNITY COLLEGE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BASEBALL REGIONALS : Long Comes Through Again for Golden West

TIMES STAFF WRITER

All season, Coach Bert Villarreal has used a single phrase to describe Golden West College pitcher Todd Long.

Time and time again, Villarreal has simply said, “He’s our guy.”

Villarreal said it again Friday after Long pitched a seven-hitter and Golden West defeated San Bernardino, 7-1, in the Southern California Regional playoffs at Cerritos College.

Long (9-3) has been especially tough in the playoffs. Last Friday, he pitched a shutout in Golden West’s 4-0 victory over Cuesta in the first round.

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Long, a sophomore right-hander, has a team-high nine complete games this season.

An error by Golden West left fielder Shelby Hart allowed San Bernardino Valley’s only run in the eighth inning, but by then Golden West was ahead, 6-0.

Long also got some timely help from his defense.

Third baseman Gerad Cawhorn reached for a line drive and turned it into a double play to end the third inning. Center fielder Frank Herman made a diving catch in the sixth, and shortstop Robb Carabba turned a shot up the middle into a double-play in the ninth.

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“They (San Bernardino Valley) hit some good balls today,” Long said. “But we made the plays when we needed to. The defense was there.”

San Bernardino’s defense was not as strong. Errors in the third and seventh innings led to two unearned runs.

Golden West took a 1-0 lead in the third when Mark Magrann reached on an error, went to third on a single by Steve McKowen and scored on a balk by pitcher Robert Smith.

Mike Willey had an RBI single in the third, and Golden West added four more runs in the seventh.

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Magrann doubled to start the rally and went to third on McKowen’s bunt single. Magrann continued home when third baseman Brian McGilvary’s late throw to first went into right field.

Cawhorn and Gary Christopherson had RBI singles and Hart capped the inning with an RBI double.

Golden West (28-12) advances to play Los Angeles Harbor, a 7-4 winner over Rio Hondo in 12 innings Friday, today at 11 at Cerritos.

“We took them out of their game by getting ahead,” Villarreal said. “Their mistakes hurt, and Long did a great job again.”

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