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Disbro Finds His Niche at Chapman

Until he discovered Chapman University last fall, Donny Disbro’s college baseball career was a wash.

It wasn’t supposed to turn out that way. Disbro batted .367 as a junior at Mission Viejo in 1989 and accepted an 80% scholarship to Division I Santa Clara before his senior season, passing up offers from Oklahoma, Pacific and Cal State Fullerton.

But things didn’t work out at Santa Clara for Disbro, a first baseman. He played sparingly as a freshman--"I had no numbers I want to share with anyone,” he said--and was a redshirt as a sophomore when it became apparent he wouldn’t play much that season either.

It was a frustrating couple of years. Friends asked him, “Why worry? Who cares if you’re not playing as long as your tuition is paid?’ ”

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Disbro said he couldn’t be satisfied sitting. His father, Russ, who pitched for Oklahoma in 1966-68 and ranks fourth on the Sooner all-time complete-game list with 22, had set a standard he wanted to follow.

So he gave up his scholarship and transferred to Rancho Santiago. But the 1993 Dons, who would win the State championship, already had a starting first baseman, so Disbro only worked out with the team in the off-season.

Rancho Santiago Coach Don Sneddon pointed him toward Chapman, a program making a transition from Division I to Division III.

“I decided after all my transitions, I just wanted to find a place to play,” Disbro said. “It didn’t matter if it was Division I, II or III. I just wanted to show people I could play.”

After shedding 30 pounds to get down to 230, Disbro, who is 6 feet 3, is proving himself worthy.

Chapman Coach Rex Peters said Disbro has been the most consistent Panther batter. Batting fourth, he is leading the team in batting average (.293), runs batted in (27) and total bases (55). The Panthers (10-23-1) play host to Westmont today at Hart Park, then finish the season Tuesday at home against UC San Diego.

The season finale will give Chapman a chance for redemption: the Tritons, ranked third in Division III, swept a three-game series from the Panthers last week.

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Southern California College softball pitchers Beth Howard and Shannon Saylor continue to shut down opponents.

Last week, Saylor extended her scoreless-inning streak to 45 with two shutout victories over Biola. Howard, who earlier in the season had a 55-inning scoreless streak, allowed only one run in each of two victories over Biola and shut out Point Loma Nazarene, 11-0, in a game shortened to six innings by the mercy rule Saturday. Saylor’s scoreless streak ended in the first game against Point Loma. She took a 5-3 loss, but didn’t allow an earned run.

Saylor, a junior from Diamond Bar, was named the NAIA District 3 pitcher of the week. Howard, a senior from Cypress High, was named the Golden State Athletic Conference pitcher of the week.

Entering the week, Howard and Saylor led the district in earned-run average. Howard’s was 0.63 and Saylor’s 0.72.

SCC’s Angie Vega, a sophomore center fielder from Savanna High, was named the conference player of the week after going four for five with a triple, two RBIs and two runs in the doubleheader against Point Loma.


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