Valley Pair to Try Out for Team USA

Kenny Kendrena, the ace of the Cal State Northridge pitching staff, and former Notre Dame High standout Bobby Hughes of USC will try out for the U.S. national baseball team beginning June 6 in Millington, Tenn.

Kendrena, a senior who was 11-6 with a 3.11 earned-run average, was not among the original 40 players invited to try out for the 20-member Team USA. However, he was encouraged by Team USA assistant Dave Snow to attend a two-day tryout camp for walk-ons.

Hughes, a sophomore catcher, also was an invited walk-on. Hughes batted .351 with 13 home runs and 45 runs batted in this spring, all team highs.

If the pair survive a first cut, they will stay on for at least another week. The squad will be trimmed to 40, then 25, and finally to the 20 who will represent the United States at the Olympics in Barcelona. The team is expected to keep seven pitchers.

Miami's Ron Fraser is head coach of Team USA, and he is familiar with Kendrena. A year ago, in the NCAA West II Regional in Fresno, Kendrena struck out 11 in defeating top-seeded Miami, 13-6.

Afterward, Kendrena wrote Fraser, telling him of his interest in playing for Team USA and asking the Miami coach to follow his progress. There was no response. This season, Kendrena got Snow's attention by defeating Cal State Long Beach, 4-2. Snow is the Long Beach coach.

Fernando Mendoza, a Channel Islands High distance runner, has signed a letter of intent to attend Fresno State. Mendoza ran a personal-best 9 minutes 8.78 seconds to place second in the 3,200 meters in the Southern Section 3-A Division track finals Saturday.

Mendoza, fifth in the state Division I cross-country meet in November, ranks third in the region in the 1,600 (4:17.52) and 3,200.

Cal Lutheran pitcher Steve Dempsey, shortstop Dan Smith and outfielder Bob Farber were named to the NCAA Division III all-tournament team.

The Chaminade fencing club won two titles in the U.S. high school national fencing championships in Phoenix, May 15-17. The Eagles' A team of Jeff Feinblatt, Chris Shubeck, Wes Waldron and Dean Jacobberger won national titles in epee and foil.

Chaminade's B team of Travis Johansen, Roshan Jayasinghe, Adam Vadnair and David Birtness finished third in epee.

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