The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on June 8, 1989 · 36
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · 36

Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Thursday, June 8, 1989
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12 Part IllThursday, June 8, 1989F Cos Angeles Sitnee NEW ORDER After Many Dismal By MITCH POLIN, Times Staff Writer Over the years, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has been a National Collegiate Athletic Assn. Division II power in track and field, crosscountry, tennis and footbalL But for most of its 59-year history, the San Luis Obispo baseball team has struggled. "It has been frustrating,' said Steve McFarland, who has coached the Mustangs the last six years. "Neglected is the word." The successes of the baseball team have been few and far between. In 1971, the Mustangs were 39-11 and ranked No. 2 in Division II but didn't make the playoffs because they finished second to No. 1 -ranked Cal State Northridge in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. In 1977, the Mustangs, featuring shortstop Ozzie Smith, were selected to the Division II regional as the second-place team in the conference but lost their first two games in the double-elimination playoffs. Until this season, 1977 was the only time the Mustangs reached the NCAA playoffs. Also, the team had never won a CCAA title. San Luis Obispo was 132-140 in McFarland's first five years. So, it was hardly tradition that was behind the Mustangs when they won their first Division II championship with a 9-5 victory over second-ranked New Haven last week at Montgomery, Ala. Yet, despite the less-than-suc-cessful past, McFarland had reason to start the 1989 season with more optimism than usual. The Mustangs were coming off a season in which they had finished with a 28-26 record and were third in the CCAA. They finished only three games out of first place and were in title contention until the final week of the season. College World Series A Wedge Shot Helps Wichita State in 7-4 Win By GARY KLEIN, Times Staff Writer OMAHA-Eric Wedge and Ricky Kimball each spent 56 minutes trying not to think about it. When Wednesday night's College World Series game between Wichita State and Florida State was suspended by rain in the eighth inning with the score 3-3, Wedge was at the plate for Wichita State with the bases loaded and Kimball was on the mound for the top-seeded Semi-noles. D MISSING IN ACTION Scott Sharts, who set the Southern Section career home run record at Simi Valley High, has played sparingly as a freshman at Miami. Page 16 "I didn't go in there the dugout and have a brainstorm too much," Wedge said. "I just wanted to hit the first good pitch." Once play resumed, Wedge jumped on Kimball's second offering for a two-run single that keyed Wichita State's 7-4 victory before a crowd of 11,561 at Rosenblatt Stadium. "You get to sitting around and thinking about it," Kimball said of the delay, "and you go over every pitch in the book." Wichita State's victory avenged 54 Your weelends are precious, so use this invaluable source 'or ideas on where to go and what to do. Thursdays, in the rlOUrSi Times View section. 11010 .1BKmmD I SI'S- I Years, San Luis Obispo Has Championship Baseball Team 'I think a lot of other teams in the league thought we weren't going to win it. We were going to slip up, like ... in the past.' STEVE McFARLANE Cal Poly SLO baseball coach With most of its best players returning, San Luis Obispo was ranked No. 10 in Division n in a preseason poll. McFarland said the team began the season with confidence. "We had a lot of guys from that team who had seen how it was and learned the difference between winning and losing," McFarland said. The coach said that the team's goal at the start was to win the conference title. "We couldn't anticipate anything else because we hadn't even been to the NCAA playoffs since 1977 and we didn't know what would happen," he said. McFarland, who had played for the Mustangs in 1971 and 1972 and was an assistant coach in 1973, was all too familiar with San Luis Obispo's past struggles to think otherwise. "We had good teams in the past but we always had injuries or something else would happen to get in our way," he said. Even when his team held a comfortable lead in the conference with fewer than two weeks remaining in the season, McFarland said a lot of CCAA opponents were expecting the Mustangs fall. "I think a lot of other teams in the league thought we weren't going to win it," he said. "We were going to slip up, like we had in the past. That sort of thinking was evident in talking to other coaches in the conference. I think Cal Poly Pomona which finished second ,J v , - -v y Associated Press Wichita State's Todd Dreifort slides into second base on a steal. He continued to third on a wild throw by Florida State's catcher. a 4-2 loss to Florida State in a second-round game Sunday. Florida State (54-17) and Wichita State (66-15) will meet again Friday to decide the East Division representative for Saturday's national-championship game. Texas (53-17), which is unbeaten in the tournament, faces once-beaten Louisiana State (55-16) tonight in a West Division game. Wedge, who was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the third round of the draft, drove in four 7Y I ftS"" 77 FRWV II 1 " thought that" But the Mustangs clinched at least a tie for the title by defeating Pomona in two of three games late in the seasoa He said the team also gathered momentum for the playoffs by splitting a two-game non-conference series against Cal State Sacramento in Sacramento the week before the regional. "We split at Sacramento with our Nos. 3 and 4 pitchers," he said. "We came back from that feeling good about ourselves against Sacramento State. We felt if we got the bid to serve as host for the regional, we could be in good shape." San Luis Obispo was selected as regional host and, after defeating Sacramento and losing to San Francisco State in its first two games in the double-elimination tournament, advanced to the Division II College World Series by sweeping its final two games against San Francisco. In the World Series, the Mustangs took a difficult route to the title, losing their opening game in the double-elimination tournament to Lewis of Romeoville, 111., before winning five consecutive games and the title. McFarland said that the team's pitching depth was the difference. "We had four quality starters and each one was capable of coming through with an outstanding performance," he said. "That was really the key for us." San Luis Obispo received perhaps its best pitching performance runs Wednesday. He drove in a first-inning run with a ground-out to second base and had a run-scoring double in the third. Todd Dreifort put the Shockers ahead, 3-0, in the fourth when he walked, stole second, moved to third on a throwing error by Florida State catcher Pedro Grifol and scored on a wild pitch by Florida State starter Gar Finnvold (10-4). Brian Gilliland started Florida State's scoring in the fifth, EXCEPTIONAL Vice President Of Service Well established, fast growing Southern California food service business is creating the new position of Vice President of Service. This position reports directly to the PresidentCEO and offers the future opportunity to become Vice President Chief Operating Officer. Initial responsibilities for this position will focus on marketingsales, public relations, and human resource activities. The ideal candidate is presently a high profile manager for a company with sales exceeding $250,000,000 and will have a minimum of five years service industry experience. Other requirements include the ability to develop leaders, possess superior visionary and creative skills, exude a high energy level, plus hold excellent organizational, administrative and interpersonal abilities. The successful candidate will also be results oriented, service and quality sensitive, and have proven leadership skills. Minimum travel. For confidential consideration, please call Don Riley, (818) 906-0945 or submit your resume to Suite 306, 17337 Ventura Boulevard. Encino, CA 91316. of the season in its third tournament game, when Bobby Ryan pitched a complete game in shutting out Lewis, 7-0. For the season, the Mustangs were led by Dave Wilson with a 7-6 record and 3.00 earned-run average and Greg Paxton at 11-3 with a 3.33 ERA. San Luis Obispo's offense was led by first baseman Pat Kirby at .325, outfielders Billy Smith and Rich Shepperd at .313 and .310, respectively, and shortstop Ron Crowe, who had 11 home runs and 57 runs batted in. McFarland said that the Mustangs, who finished 38-22, were not a team loaded with stars. "There's nobody that had a great year but we had a lot of guys that are very good college players," he said. "If we had to pick an MVP, it would be very hard because we have five or six players at about the same level." The coach said the team's lack of a superstar helped. "I think everybody put aside their individual goals in statistics and just played baseball." McFarland also said that winning the championship has proven that, along with San Luis Obispo's other top athletic teams, the Mustangs have a future in baseball. "I think right now it has shown that this program can be successful and I think a lot of people doubted that in the past because of the conference we played in among other things," McFarland said. He said the school's distance from the six other CCAA schools has made travel difficult. Also, he said the Mustangs do not have the best practice facility. But for the moment, McFarland is willing to set aside the problems that have plagued the baseball program at San Luis Obispo. This time around, the Mustangs are champions. coming home from third on a fielding error by Wichita State shortstop Pat Meares on a ground ball hit by Rocky Rau. The Seminoles tied the score with a two-run sixth inning keyed by Buddy Cribb's run-scoring double and Gilliland's sacrifice fly to ! center field that scored Cribb from i third. j Following Wedge's single off Kimball in the eighth, Wichita State scored its final runs on fly balls by Meares and Dreifort. Relief pitcher Jeff Bluma (3-0) i earned the win while Jim Newlin pitched the final two innings to record his nation -leading 18th save. Wedge's double against Florida State gives Wichita State 199 doubles for the season, tying the Shockers' own NCAA record set inl985. Newlin's save against Florida State was his third of the tournament, which ties a World Series record. Tonight's West Division game between Texas and LSU features a matchup between two of the best college pitchers in the nation. Sophomore right-hander Kirk Dressendorfer (17-2) starts for Texas against LSU's junior right-hander, Ben McDonald (14-3). OPPORTUNITY m 19 7 Reasons why 2000 Firms Count on the Chrfe! M Circle Renewals, Guaranteed! 1 -800-635-8558 AT compatible computer 1MB Laser winter Color EGA Monitor PageMaker Software "7Ready to buy I a new car and 4 f SAVE MONEY? CALL 1 -800-0 K-4-CARS Recently Featured On TV News Man. - Fii, 8:30am - 4:30pm No fee. No obligation. Consumer Auto Referral Service mm DODGERS ANGELS BUY SELL (21202(714)2.5800 (8189700(818)83-1033 SRVW CMJHX MCiUKD Virtually Vandal Proof! Wo Can Oatlvart Us N knnwdiaMy. Mini Storage On Your Own Property THE ULTIMATE ANSWER TO YOUR STORAGE PROBLEM ALUMINUM 8TCCL 8UPER STRONG FLOORS NO SITE PREPARATION REQUIRE!) 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