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Gorrindo Departing for Hot Assignment

<i> From Staff Reports</i>

For most of his life, Brian Gorrindo has had a burning desire to play baseball.

This weekend, however, the versatile utility player for the Lancaster South American Legion team will walk away from the sport. Perhaps forever.

For the record:

12:00 AM, Jul. 02, 1999 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday July 2, 1999 Valley Edition Sports Part D Page 14 Zones Desk 1 inches; 20 words Type of Material: Correction
Baseball--The coach of the Woodland Hills East American Legion baseball team was misidentified in a story Wednesday. Greg Venger is the coach.

On Sunday, he begins work on a Hotshot crew, fighting fires for the U.S. Forest Service.

“It’s a bittersweet time,” he said of leaving Lancaster South to join the crew at the Texas Canyon Station in Saugus.

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Gorrindo, 18, son of a fire fighter, will spend at least the rest of the summer clearing brush and making fire breaks.

“It’s fire season,” he said. “As long as they’re having fires, I’ll have a job.”

That could take him into the school year, when he will be a freshman at Antelope Valley College. He says it is unlikely he will try out for the Marauders’ baseball team.

“It would be fun to continue on and play baseball,” he said. “But [firefighting] is what I really want to do.”

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In recent years, while classmates at Quartz Hill High were joy riding, Gorrindo was participating in ride-alongs with the L.A. County Fire Department as a member of its Explorer program.

Most of the time, he would ride with the paramedic team, other times with the fire trucks.

“It was a great learning experience,” he said.

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Noah Lowry, a 1998 Nordhoff graduate who played last season at Ventura College, was a master on the mound on Saturday for Ojai-Santa Paula.

The Pepperdine-bound left-hander pitched a two-hitter with 15 strikeouts and no walks in the first game of a doubleheader against Ventura at Ventura College.

Between a triple by Ian Nagy to open the second inning and an infield single by Jeff Staniland to open the seventh, Lowry retired 15 consecutive batters, including 11 in a row in one stretch. In addition, he hit a two-run home run and a run-scoring double in a 10-0 victory.

And that was only the first game.

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Playing left field, Lowry had three hits and three runs batted in during Ojai-Santa Paula’s 17-7 victory in the second game.

“That’s a day, huh?,” Coach Ken Newville of Ventura said. “He was a man playing among boys.”

Lowry, 18, was drafted by Texas in the 19th round earlier this month, but will attend Pepperdine in the fall.

“That’s for certain,” said Lowry, who is 6-1 this summer. “I’m looking forward to [Pepperdine]. I’ve been coming out and doing better and better each time.”

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Rosters have been announced for the District 20 all-star game on Monday at 11 a.m. at Valley College.

Valley Chatsworth (13-1), Van Nuys-Notre Dame (17-2) and Newhall-Saugus/Hart (13-2), which have the best records in the district, each will be represented by four players.

Charles Kenny, Chad Redfern and Jason and Jeff Spector of Valley Chatsworth, and Ryan Haag, Bill Susdorf, Matt Thayer and Justin Wiley of Newhall-Saugus/Hart will represent the West, coached by Dave Toledo of Newhall-Saugus/Hart.

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Chris Dickerson, Chris Morell, Alec Moss and James Rivero of Van Nuys-Notre Dame will play for the East. Jody Breeden of Van Nuys-Notre Dame will coach the team.

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Matt Schwartz has been sporting a two-bagger swagger in recent weeks.

The Woodland Hills West outfielder entered the week with doubles in nine consecutive games, a span in which he batted .552 with 14 doubles and three home runs.

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Sean Richards, a left-hander who will be a junior at Chatsworth in the fall, showed impressive command in pitching a five-hitter with 10 strikeouts and two walks for Valley Chatsworth in an 11-1 victory over Antelope Valley on Saturday.

“He’s a Mike Kunes-type guy,” Coach Matt LaCour of Valley-Chatsworth said. “Hope he has the same success. That would be nice.”

Kunes is the UCLA-bound left-hander who helped Chatsworth to the 1999 City Championship title and was selected City player of the year the last two seasons.

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Woodland Hills East forfeited its game against Lancaster North on Saturday because it had only eight players.

The team had nine players when it mistakenly arrived at a Lancaster Park, located a few minutes from Lancaster High, where the game was scheduled.

When Coach Mike Fonvergne realized the error, the Woodland Hills East players prepared to caravan to the school in several cars. However, center fielder Danny Chavez never made it, leaving the team a player short.

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Chavez, who recently graduated from Taft, is batting .333 and ranks second on Woodland Hills East with 12 RBIs. But Fonvergne wasn’t happy with him Saturday.

“He just told the kids he wasn’t going to go someplace else,” Fonvergne said. “But I don’t know what Danny was thinking about.”

Woodland Hills East (3-13), which has a 15-player roster, has battled poor attendance and injury.

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Second baseman Brendan Ryan drove in six runs in four at-bats in Van Nuys-Notre Dame’s 13-3 victory over North Hollywood Poly on Saturday.

Ryan had a two-run triple in the first inning, a run-scoring single in the second, a sacrifice fly in the third, a home run in the fifth and a run-scoring single in the sixth before the game was called because of the 10-run rule.

Ryan is batting .531 with 21 RBIs after leading Notre Dame in hitting last season with a .470 average and 30 RBIs.

Staff writers Dave Desmond and Lauren Peterson contributed to this notebook.

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