Cypress, Rancho Santiago Ready for State

Cypress and Rancho Santiago, which have won two of the last three State baseball titles, start play Saturday in this year's tournament at Cerritos College.

Cypress (39-10), the Orange Empire Conference champion, plays Lassen (39-9) at 3 p.m.

Rancho Santiago (38-11), the third-place team from the same conference, plays Chabot (33-12) at 11 a.m.

The tournament continues Sunday and the title game is 11 a.m. Monday.

Cypress has won 13 in a row, including five playoff games. The Chargers have outscored opponents, 50-9, in the postseason.

Jason Hodges set the Cypress single-season record for home runs with 14 and pitcher Aaron France (12-3) has tied the single-season record for victories.

This is the third trip to the State tournament for Cypress. The Chargers won the title in 1991 after finishing third in conference. Cypress Coach Scott Pickler has a record of 287-152 and is in his 10th season.

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Rancho Santiago will defend the title won last season against host Sacramento. The Dons have won five consecutive playoff games this season and nine over the last two seasons.

Rancho Santiago Coach Don Sneddon, in his 13th season, is 421-144-1.

Bill Martineau (5-3) played third base this season but has been most impressive as a pitcher. He gave up no runs in eight-plus innings of a 2-0 victory Friday over Los Angeles Harbor, then came back to get his third save in the 6-4 victory Sunday over Citrus. Martineau, 2-0 in the playoffs, has an earned-run average of 2.64.

Matt Kastelic was six for 14 in the regional and is three hits short of the Dons' career record of 154, held by Conrad Colby (1989-90). Kastelic, a sophomore center fielder, is hitting .374 after batting .438 as a freshman.

Sophomore catcher Darren Troilo reached base 10 times in three playoff games over the weekend, including being hit four times.

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Bill Otta has been named the Saddleback athletic director, the college announced Monday. Otta will step down as the men's tennis coach, a position he has held for 20 years.

"This was not an easy decision," Otta said. "It's hard to walk away from coaching and I'm going to miss being out on the court with the athletes every day . . . I'm excited the college administration has put their faith in me to handle this position."

Otta replaces Keith Calkins, who has been the dean of physical education and athletics as well as athletic director.

Otta had a mark of 346-71 and won 15 conference titles, 10 Southern California titles and five State titles. His teams also won the Ojai invitational title five times.

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