NOTEBOOK : Pitching Delights Crescenta Valley Coach

The Crescenta Valley baseball team has played each Pacific League opponent at least once.

And as his team approaches Friday's game with Glendale, Crescenta Valley Coach Tony Zarrillo is mildly surprised that his Falcons are 9-4 overall and in second place in league play with a 5-1 record.

"Things are going better than I anticipated," Zarrillo said. "My feeling going in was that our pitching was going to be our biggest uncertainty.

"But the kids that are doing the bulk of the pitching are doing a great job."

Senior right-hander John Breckow is 2-2 and junior right-hander Josh Canale is 3-1.

The Falcons have received an offensive lift from senior catcher Andy Saltsman, who is batting .441 with six home runs and 17 runs batted in. Twelve of Saltsman's 15 hits have been for extra bases.

"We've put ourselves in an opportune position," Zarrillo said. "We've been able to win a lot of close games.

"This is a group of kids that truly likes to play. We were trying for a more aggressive approach this season and the kids have responded to it very well."

Twice in a lifetime: Kirt Kohlmeier coached Joe Hillman when he was at Hoover. Hillman went on to help Indiana to the NCAA basketball championship in 1987.

Kohlmeier, who also coaches softball at Hoover, envisions an equally promising future for sophomore pitcher Nancy Evans.

"She could be Division I right now and she's going to lead someone to an NCAA title," he said of Evans (8-2), who threw consecutive no-hitters in less than 24 hours last week.

Evans struck out 16 and hit a grand slam in a 25-0 win over Muir on Thursday. The sophomore right-hander had 15 strikeouts and faced only 22 batters. The following day, she had three hits, three more than she allowed Bell-Jeff in a 5-0 victory.

"Someone like Joe Hillman only comes around once in a lifetime. She is one of those players."

Historic wins: The Occidental softball team is only 6-11, but the Tigers made school history by sweeping a doubleheader from La Verne last week.

Occidental's 11-4 and 4-2 victories were its first ever against La Verne, the defending champion of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

It was also the the school's first doubleheader win against any opponent.

Long season: The Southern Section and City Section basketball season might be over, but the games continue for several Glendale-area girls.

Last weekend, Berlyn Cosman of Crescenta Valley and Kate Stoll of Ribet Academy were named All-Tournament after leading an 18-and-under team to the championship of an AAU tournament at las Vegas.

Cosman and Stoll, Times All-Glendale selections, averaged 20 points and 21 points for their school teams.

Tennis, anyone?: Signups have begun for adult and children's tennis tournaments to be held at Fremont Park in May and June.

The 53rd annual Glendale Parks tournament, May 21-25, includes divisions in men's and women's open singles; women's 30 singles, men's 35 singles and doubles, men's and women's open doubles and mixed doubles.

The Glendale Junior tournament will be held June 1-2 and 8-9. There will be boys and girls singles divisions 18-and-under, 16-and-under, 14-and-under, 12-and-under and 10-and-under.

There will also be doubles competition for boys and girls 18-and-under, 16-and-under and 14-and-under.

Information: (818) 548-3796.

Second Chance: David Benefield, a Glendale College strong safety in 1986 and 1987, has been signed by the Canadian Football League's Edmonton Eskimos.

After his Vaquero career, Benefield transferred to Cal State Northridge, where he was converted to outside linebacker and led the Matadors with 65 tackles and five interceptions in 1989.

This is Benefield's second try at winning a job in the CFL. He attended the British Columbia Lions' training camp last season.

Staff writers Steven Herbert and Kirby Lee contributed to this notebook.

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