Baseball: West Valley League begins with ECR-Chatsworth showdown
League play has begun for several leagues, but the two big leagues in the CIty Section _ the West Valley and the Marine _ finally start action this week.
In the West Valley, the two dominant teams in the City Section _ Chatsworth and El Camino Real _ face off in a two-game series. On Tuesday, the game is at Chatsworth. On Thursday, it's at El Camino Real.
Both schools are loaded with top pitchers, but neither has been able to put together consistent hitting, so get ready for some low-scoring, extra-inning games. Chatsworth is 12-5. El Camino Real is 7-11. The good news is they've played strong competition, so ignore the records. It should be two All-City pitchers facing off on Tuesday, with Luke Laurita of El Camino Real taking on Jason Karkenny of Chatsworth.
The West Valley figures to be very competitive. Reseda Cleveland (12-6), led by pitcher Jack Hartman, could be a spoiler. And Granada Hills (11-5-1) has been impressive with its pitching. Birmingham (8-6-1) has Daniel Rivas, a pitcher who can throw well in big games.
In the Marine League, Narbonne is 9-9, but the Gauchos might have the best pitcher in sophomore left-hander Daniel Rocha, who's also the team's leading hitter. Narbonne owns a 14-inning win over El Camino Real but also lost to Cleveland. San Pedro (10-5) defeated Arleta on Saturday and has pitching depth.
-- Eric Sondheimer