Cal Lutheran Pinched by Chapman : Postseason Picture Has Fuzzy Look in Baseball
A soggy, schedule-shuffled regular season comes to a close this weekend for junior college baseball, but the playoff picture remains cloudy for three of the region’s teams.
Glendale, clearly the story of the season, is assured of a playoff berth for the first time since 1981 after clinching the Western State Conference South Division title this week.
The Vaqueros (24-13, 16-8 in WSC) will be among the field of 10 division champions and six at-large entries when the state playoff pairings are announced Tuesday. The state final is scheduled for May 23 at Fresno City College.
Oxnard (25-10, 16-6), one and a half games behind Cuesta (18-5) with three games to play, remains in contention for the North title. The Condors (25-10), however, are virtually assured of second and an at-large entry, despite dropping out of a first-place tie Tuesday with an 18-6 loss to Moorpark.
“We pulled even but we gave it right back,” Oxnard Coach Pat Woods said. “But we’re good to go.”
Pierce and Canyons, both 14-10, are tied for second in the WSC South and two games behind Glendale. Pierce (21-15 overall) defeated Canyons (23-14) four times and will finish second in the event of a tie.
“There isn’t a lot we can do now,” Canyons Coach Len Mohney said after the Cougars’ 9-7 loss to Pierce on Saturday. “But we’ll know exactly what we have to do come Saturday.”
Pierce plays today at Glendale and closes the season Saturday at home against Valley.
Canyons, which was forced to reschedule several early season games while its field was submerged in water, plays a makeup game Friday at Valley and plays at Bakersfield on Saturday.
The overall records of Oxnard, Pierce and Canyons are favorable for at-large consideration.
“I’d be really disappointed and surprised if four teams from our conference do not get in,” Mohney said.
Brian Riley of Ventura College might fulfill a baseball fantasy after all.
Riley, a sophomore utility player, entered the season with the intention of playing all nine positions. Except second base and center field, Riley has played every position this season, including designated hitter. Riley was forced to limited duty after suffering an ankle injury two weeks ago.
Riley has healed and might attempt to play all nine positions in one game--the season finale Saturday against Moorpark at Ventura.
“He does pitch for us and he caught the other day against Cuesta,” Ventura Coach Don Adams said. “So, he can do it.”
WSC swimmers of the year Patrick Nygren and Kathy Macropol of Ventura College will be among five conference champions from the region competing in the state swimming and diving championships today through Saturday at Ventura College.
Nygren, a sophomore from Westlake High and returning All-American, set conference and school records in the 200 individual medley (1:55.55) and 200 butterfly (1:53.57), and established a school record in the 100 butterfly (51.19).
Macropol, defending state champion in the 50 and 100 breaststroke, will compete in both events, as well as the 50 butterfly. Macropol was conference champion in the 50 (28.50) and 100 backstroke (1:00.56). Ventura’s Marissa Roarty was conference champion in the 100 butterfly (1:00.70) and set a conference record in the 200 individual medley (2:11.82).
Tomer Cagan, a sophomore from Camarillo High, set a conference record in the men’s 200 freestyle (1:42.93), and came close to breaking conference records while winning titles in the 500 freestyle (1:41.76) and 1,650 freestyle (16:18.53). Cagan will compete in all three events.
Benny Andersson and Stefan Pongratz of Ventura College, who won a WSC men’s tennis doubles championship earlier this month, added an Ojai Valley tennis tournament to their resume with a three-set victory over Gabriel Pitta and Golan Sassoon of Desert.
Andersson and Pongratz, classmates in their native Sweden, entered Ojai top-seeded with a 27-4 record. The duo’s victory clinched Ventura’s first men’s community college team title at Ojai.