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Angelenos set to get cracking

Baseball: Glendale's wood bat collegiate league team will open its inaugural season Wednesday night at Stengel Field.

May 31, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk,

GLENDALE — At a glance, the evening practices that have occupied Stengel Field recently resemble any other that typically take place on the venerable field, which is home to high school and junior college baseball contests throughout the year.

But to the ear, it's quickly clear that something different is afoot.

As the Glendale Angelenos take batting practice, the crisp, satisfying crack of wood bat meeting rawhide echoes around the yard — replacing the shrill ping of aluminum — a sure sign that California Collegiate League baseball, as promised, has arrived in Glendale.

"I feel like we're going to have a hot start and it's going to be a pretty fun summer," said Ellis Whitman, first baseman of the Angelenos, who open their season and a two-game set against the East Los Angeles Dodgers of the Southern California Collegiate League at Stengel at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday before playing their CCL home opener against Team Vegas at 6:30 p.m. Friday.


Whitman is one of 11 members of the Glendale Community College baseball team on the Angelenos roster, which includes players from the University of Arkansas, USC, New Mexico Highlands, Cal States Northridge, Dominguez Hills and Los Angeles and various other junior college programs from around the state.

"I think we have good team, we have a lot of good pitchers, a lot of good infielders," said catcher Chad Nacapoy, a Crescenta Valley High graduate from Cal State L.A. "I'm just real excited, I think we're going to do really good. We have good competition in the CCL, so I think we're going to be able to hang with the other teams."

For its inaugural season in the CCL, one of the premiere collegiate summer leagues in the nation, Glendale will compete with seven other teams — the San Luis Obispo Blues, the Conejo Oaks, the Orange County Pioneers, Team Vegas, the MLB Academy Barons and the defending league champion Santa Barbara Foresters, who visit Stengel on June 8.

"I've heard a lot about the competition, how it's a really prestigious league and I'm really excited to play," Angelenos right-handed pitcher Sean Wardour (CSUDH) said.

The Angelenos' starting pitching rotation will consist of left-handers Randall Fant (Arkansas) and Ryan Sheriff (GCC) and righties Drew Muren (CSUN) and Greg Fowler (New Mexico Highlands), with several candidates, including right-handers Thomas Korn (GCC) and Usui Kamakane (CSULA) and lefty Nick Rodarte (CSULA), competing for the remaining two spots.

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