AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL : West Wins Twice in Playoff Tuneup


If one coach hadn't been doused with ice water, it would have been impossible to tell which team won the American Legion District 20 championship on Sunday at Birmingham High.

For the record, Woodland Hills West Coach Bob Marks received the bath. His team won the title by beating Woodland Hills East, 13-1 and 12-7, in a pair of games that held about as much suspense as a "Rocky" film.

Both teams had already clinched spots in the Area 6 playoffs, which begin Thursday at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium.

"I thought this game was pointless," said East catcher Adam Shotland, who pitched in the second game. "We were just loose and having a good time. With the pitching we had today, we didn't expect to win.

"As long as we made it to the next tournament, that was our main concern."

East (18-9) guaranteed itself a spot in the Area 6 playoffs by winning its first three games in the District 20 tournament. West (23-4) was guaranteed a spot after East eliminated Van Nuys East on Saturday.

"Both teams were real loose because we knew we were going (to the playoffs)," said West left-hander Randy Wolf, who won the first game Sunday. "The district championship was kind of secondary. That's the reason we hit so well. We were really loose."

West put the first game away with a six-run fifth inning. Scheduled for nine innings, the game was called because of the 10-run rule after seven.

West first baseman John Novak was four for five with a home run and three runs scored.

East threw right-hander Josh Irving into the fire and left him there. He pitched all seven innings, allowing 13 runs and 18 hits. Wolf gave up a run and five hits and struck out six in five innings.

Tony Kyber picked up the win for West in the second game, which was scheduled for seven innings.

Second baseman Jeff Astgen led West with three hits, including a three-run double.

Jon Schaeffer continued his hot hitting for East. He was three for four in the second game. In the past four games, Schaeffer is 12 for 20.

The double-elimination Area 6 playoffs include the two District 20 teams, District 16 champion Ventura, two San Gabriel Valley teams and one from the Westside. The winner advances to the state tournament in Yountville.

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