Coach Bill Kernen figures third baseman Jason Shanahan is the closest thing to an Eagle Scout there is on the Cal State Northridge baseball team.
Which is why the coach went ballistic Sunday when Shanahan, who isn't considered a malicious sort, was ejected from the Matadors' 12-10 victory over Hawaii.
First base umpire Robert Radder ruled that Shanahan intentionally spiked Hawaii first baseman Robert Medeiros after sending a slow roller to the right side.
Medeiros gloved the ball and walked very slowly to first. Shanahan stepped on Medeiros' right foot as both hit the bag almost simultaneously.
Medeiros screamed at Shanahan, who was thumbed by Radder.
Kernen stepped on the gas and bolted onto the field. According to Kernen, the exchange with Radder went this way:
Kernen: "It's Shanahan's job to step on the bag."
Radder: "He intentionally spiked him."
Kernen: "You know that? Did you read his mind?"
Radder: "Yes, I did."
Kernen: "Great, we have the Amazing Kreskin umping first."
We predict the umpire will not appreciate these comments. . . .
Moments later, for the first time since 1993, Kernen was tossed too.
Spike II: Did he or didn't he?
Shanahan said he stepped on the middle of the bag and claimed the problem was caused by Medeiros. The first baseman took his sweet time getting to the base and made Shanahan run out the grounder.
Said Shanahan: "There was enough time to get to the bag, throw the ball back to the mound and make a couple of pitches to the next batter."
Kernen stood by Shanahan, a four-year letterman from Montana.
"What kind of idiot is going to think that?" Kernen said, directing another barb toward Radder. "Shanahan's the last guy on this team who'd do something like that."
Footnote: Was Shanahan, the cleanup hitter, a tad frustrated? In his six at-bats, there were 13 runners on base and he failed to get a hit or drive in a run.
Second Chance: When Simi Valley baseball Coach Mike Scyphers cut senior Curtis Miller, Miller said if any of the other players became ineligible or quit the team, he'd like another shot.
Days later, the Pioneers lost several players to grade problems and Miller had his chance. He's made the best of it.
Miller has started all 10 games at third base, and he's hitting .667 (16 for 24) with nine runs batted in.
Brains of the outfit: What do Harvard-Westlake High football players Kadar Lewis, Derek Lemkin, Charu Turner, Hersh Davis-Nitzberg and Kevin Goldfein have in common?
Futures as promising as a first-and-goal situation inside the five.
The shoulder-padded five who played an integral role the Wolverines' Camino Real championship in 1994 will move on to a higher level of competition--athletically and academically--next season.
All five will attend an Ivy League college.
"It's almost a rule of thumb around here," Harvard Coach Dave Bennett said. "They either look to get into Stanford or they look to the Ivy League."
Goldfein, a wide receiver, will attend Pennsylvania.
Quarterback Lemkin and linebacker Turner will attend Brown. Linebacker Davis-Nitzberg will attend Princeton.
Lewis, a wide receiver, is headed to Harvard.
Said Bennett: "Went to Harvard, going to Harvard."
Rich Corso and the U.S. Water Polo team won the United States' first gold medal of the Pan American Games with a 16-4 defeat of Brazil in the final.
"The gold medal is our payoff for our five and six hours a day training," said Corso, who also coaches Harvard-Westlake. "Now we've got to go another continent and take on Europe."
The U.S. team outscored opponents, 70-20, and won its' seventh gold medal in water polo.
Stanford women's basketball Coach Tara VanDerveer, on North Carolina's point guard Marion Jones, a world-class sprinter from Thousand Oaks: "You're used to a record playing at 45, and she's at 78."
There is one primary reason the Quartz Hill High baseball team is 6-0 a month into the season--pitching.
Pitchers Darrell Hussman and Mark Madsen have been dominant, allowing nine hits in their four starts. The Rebels have allowed three earned runs in six games.
Alemany softball pitcher Sophie Contreraz recorded four victories in a row last week as the Indians (11-1), ranked No. 1 in The Times' regional poll, won the championship of the Redondo tournament. Contreraz, a senior, gave up only nine hits and struck out 17 in 27 innings. She pitched her second no-hitter of the season against Harvard-Westlake.
Things to Do
The Valley College softball team will play host to Moorpark today at 3:30.
Ventura Raceway begins its racing season tonight with USAC Midget and three-quarter Midgets starting at 7.
ESPN will televise the races Thursday night.
Compiled by Irene Garcia. Contributing: Steve Elling, Jeff Fletcher, Vince Kowalick, Michael Lazarus, Bryan Rodgers.