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Canyons Baseball Player Killed in Granada Hills Crash

Chris Tashima, a starting left fielder for the College of the Canyons baseball team, was killed Monday when the car he reportedly was driving was involved in a multicar crash in Granada Hills.

Tashima, 20, a 1993 graduate of Alemany High, was driving one of two cars racing on Balboa Boulevard that hit several other cars, Los Angeles police said. At least six other people were treated for minor injuries, a Los Angeles Fire Dept. spokesman said.

Tashima, who lived in Granada Hills, was headed home from practice, Canyons Coach Len Mohny said.

“The team was in sort of a state of shock but pulling together,” Mohny said. “Most of the team heard [the news] from me, but some had heard from other teammates. He was a very popular guy, a fun person to be around.”

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Baseball

The Big West Conference has changed its position on part-time members and will consider applications from schools such as Cal State Northridge, said Rob Halvaks, Big West associate commissioner.

Halvaks said conference baseball coaches decided on the new policy at their meetings last week.

Northridge is joining the Big Sky Conference next fall but baseball is not a conference sport.

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The baseball alignment for the Big West in 1997--the soonest Northridge could join--includes Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cal State Fullerton, UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State, Nevada, New Mexico State and Pacific.

John Knott, a 6-foot-1 left-handed pitcher from Citrus College, signed a letter of intent with Northridge.

Fernando Centeno, an All-City outfielder who was declared ineligible at Birmingham High last month, has dropped his appeal process and enrolled at Kennedy, his home school.

The City Section Rules Committee ruled Centeno was recruited to Birmingham from Ecuador by Jose Freire, the Braves’ soccer coach. Centeno lost an appeal last week.

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Outfielder Brian Baron and infielder Mike Bland of Hart High signed letters of intent, as did Westlake pitcher Tim Carr.

Baron, who hit .412 for the Indians, committed to play for Northwestern, while Bland is going to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Carr, who struck out 32 batters in 32 innings last season, committed to Arizona State.

Softball

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Greg Hayes resigned as the Canyon High coach, saying he wants to spend more time with his family. Hayes, who also coaches boys’ basketball, was the Cowboys’ softball coach for five seasons.

A likely successor is Larry Mohr, Cowboy football coach.

Tennis

Zuzana Stunova of Rio Mesa is the top-seeded singles player in the Westlake Racquet Club sectional playoff, part of the Southern Section individual tournament which begins Nov. 18.

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Helena Horak of Westlake is seeded third and Debra Pepkowitz of Calabasas is seeded fourth.

In doubles, Shera Wiegler and Kirsten Gross of Calabasas are seeded second while Erin Smith and Katy Smith of Westlake are seeded fourth.

Seeded players receive a first-round bye.

Cross-Country

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The Nordhoff boys’ team and the girls’ squads from Canyon and Louisville highs have maintained their No. 1 rankings in the latest state polls.

The Nordhoff boys will be trying for their second consecutive Division III title in the Southern Section championships at Mt. San Antonio College on Saturday with the Canyon and Louisville girls going for their first Division I and IV championships.

Football

Tom Merrill, a senior fullback, left the squad at Cal State Northridge last week because he was unhappy with his playing time, Coach Dave Baldwin said. He had 163 yards in 39 carries and three touchdowns.

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Basketball

Registration for winter session of the American Roundball Corp.'s instructional youth basketball academy for boys and girls grades 1-8 will be held at North Hollywood High on Saturday at noon.

Information: 818-995-3761.

Miscellany

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A sports card and comic book show will be held Saturday at Cal Lutheran to raise funds for the school’s baseball program. More than 100 tables with baseball, basketball, football and hockey cards are expected to be on display.

Scheduled to appear is catcher Mike Lieberthal of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Information: 310-478-9818.

Contributing: Fernando Dominguez, Jeff Fletcher, Irene Garcia, Dana Haddad, Vince Kowalick, Michael Lazarus, John Ortega, Bryan Rodgers, Peter Yoon.

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