Brown Has Free Spirit Tickled Pink
Fans of the Mission College baseball team who attend Free Spirit games in the next few days might feel lost in a time warp.
The Free Spirit will wear brown jerseys that Coach John Klitsner says were last used by Mission, under a different coach, in the late ‘70s or early ‘80s. It’s all part of a plan by Klitsner to get his team moving in the right direction.
Klitsner dusted off the old jerseys for a nonconference game at Moorpark on March 17 and came away with a 3-2 victory in 11 innings. The Free Spirit (12-10, 6-6 in Southern California Athletic Conference play) has not played since but will be at home today in a nonconference game against Chaffey.
“We hit a cold spell,” Klitsner said. “We lost five in a row (four in conference play) before we played Moorpark. . . . I said, ‘Let’s try something new,’ so I brought out the old uniforms. We’ll keep wearing them as long as we keep doing well. They actually look pretty nice.”
The Antelope Valley baseball team continues to be involved in slugfests.
Tuesday, the Marauders (9-6, 3-3 in Foothill Conference play) lost to Citrus, 18-4, in a conference game in Lancaster. It was the 11th game this season in which the Marauders or their opponents--or both--have scored in double digits.
The most memorable game was a 30-22 nonconference victory over Oxnard on Feb. 19. A close second was a 21-13 conference loss to San Bernardino Valley on March 15.
Huddle Up, Guys
If James (Scoody) Woods wants to talk football in the Cal State Northridge dugout, he won’t have far to look for a lively conversation.
Woods, a reserve outfielder best known as a defensive back on the Matador football team, is one of many former high school football standouts who play baseball for Northridge.
Infielder Keyaan Cook (Montclair Prep), catcher Josh Smaler (Agoura) and pitchers Keven Kempton (El Monte), Evan Howland (El Camino Real), Marco Contreras (Gladstone) and Rick Orr (Sunny Hills) were Southland high school quarterbacks.
Outfielder Jonathan Campbell (Poly) was the 1990 City Section 3-A Division player of the year as a tailback, first baseman Jason Shanahan (Sentinel of Missoula, Mont.) played tight end and outfielder Joey Arnold (Reseda) was a receiver.
Northridge is on pace to obliterate its single-season school record for wild pitches--50--set in 1993.
The Matador staff has 40 through 28 games, and Rick Orr and John Najar share the school single-game record with four. Najar (5-2) unloaded four in each of his first two starts and has a team-high 16.
What’s it all mean? Not much to the two junior right-handers. Najar leads the team in victories and Orr has the team’s lowest ERA (3.41).
Around the Campuses . . .
* Northridge turned 85 double plays in 1993 to lead all NCAA Division I teams. So far this season, the Matadors haven’t turned more than their opponents--and by a large deficit. The opposition has 32, Northridge 15.
* Northridge opponents have stolen 54 bases in 66 attempts (81.8%).
* Since hitting rock-bottom in a 14-2 loss to Florida on Feb. 26, the Northridge offense raised its batting average 50 points to a season-high .295 entering play this week.
* The Northridge golf team recorded its best finish of the season last week at the University of San Diego Ashworth Invitational, finishing second at 895, 15 shots behind Cal State Stanislaus. Chad Holden and Nolley Adkinson of Northridge tied for second individually in the 54-hole event at 220. Tony Bordwell, a senior from El Camino Real High, leads the team with a stroke average of 76.8.
* The Northridge men’s 1,600-meter relay team of Derek Favorite, Akiem Brown, Troy Collins and Chris Brown moved to ninth on the Matadors’ all-time list with a third-place time of 3 minutes 12.83 seconds in Saturday’s Collegiate Classic at Long Beach State.
* Point guard Dave Ulloa of Cal Lutheran moved into a tie for 12th on the Kingsmen single-season list with 121 assists. With 199 assists in two seasons, Ulloa ranks 15th on the career list.
* The Master’s (28-5) shot 50% or better from the field in 17 games this season, but the Mustangs’ 98-86 loss to Georgia Southwestern in the first round of the NAIA Division I tournament marked the first time they hit at least half their shots and lost.
* Judging by the results of this year’s NAIA championships, seedings counted for little. The final four teams were seeded fifth, 16th, 19th and 26th at the start of the 32-team tournament.
Staff writers Fernando Dominguez, Steve Elling and John Ortega contributed to this notebook.