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A FUN TRIPP SAUGUS STANDOUT HAS BEEN A HIT THROUGHOUT HIS PLAYING JOURNEY.

Byline: Gerry Gittelson Staff Writer

SAUGUS - Even back in Little League, Adam Tripp's baseball reputation was undisputed.

``Adam was the best at hitting home runs. He was always a dominant hitter,'' said Chris Valaika, who eventually would star at Hart High.

Tripp continued to blossom in high school, too. He batted .407 with five home runs (10 over two years), 25 RBI and a .744 slugging percentage as a senior at Saugus this past season, and the outfielder has accepted a baseball scholarship to Michigan State.

But first Tripp will represent Saugus one last time at the 27th annual Bernie Milligan Daily News All-Star Game at 1:30 p.m. today at Birmingham High in Lake Balboa. Valaika, his longtime rival who finished his Hart career with a school-record 18 home runs, also will participate, along with Hart's Ian Feldman, Danny Williams and Kyle Boggio and Saugus' Mike Scripture.

``It's going to be a lot of fun playing in the Milligan game,'' he said.

Being an all-star has given Tripp a chance to reflect on his high school career, a career that peaked at the end as Saugus reached the Southern Section playoffs for the first time past season, defeating Highland of Palmdale in a Div. II wild-card game before losing at third-seeded Arroyo Grande in the first round.

``In the three years at Saugus we went through a lot,'' Tripp said. ``I think the thing I've liked the most about baseball has been a chance to hang out with my friends. In the end, that's the most important thing.''

Today, Tripp and the other five players from the area will play for the East team, co-coached by Santa Clarita resident Randy Thompson of Alemany High in Mission Hills.

Tripp is also a solid citizen and student. He was honored as a Sammy Award winner at Saugus, a commendation based on values and academics as well as athletic achievement.

Tripp plans to leave for Michigan after the summer. In the meantime, he'll keep busy by playing in an adult league in Lancaster.

Gerry Gittelson, (661) 257-5218

gerry.gittelson(at)dailynews.com

LOCAL FLAVOR

A look at the other local participants in today's Daily News Bernie Milligan All-Star Game:

--Kyle Boggio, Hart, P - Hart's No. 1 pitcher, Boggio, a left-hander, was 8-5 with a 2.21 ERA and just eight walks in 76 innings this year. Also batted .453 with four homers, seven doubles and 22 RBI. Plans to play for College of the Canyons.

--Ian Feldman, Hart, C - Blossomed as senior, batting .384 with three home runs, 16 RBI and .644 slugging percentage. He was especially hot at the end, batting .579 over the final five games. He has a 4.2 grade-point average and committed to Claremont-McKenna.

--Mike Scripture, Saugus, C - In his only season on varsity, Scripture emerged as one of region's most dangerous hitters. He led the team with .486 average, five homers, 34 RBI and .806 slugging percentage. He was rarely challenged by baserunners. He plans to play for College of the Canyons.

--Chris Valaika, Hart, SS - Hart's all-time career home run leader with 18, Valaika (.426, 10 HRs, 26 RBI) has batted .411 or better three consecutive seasons. He's also among the region's fastest baserunners. Committed to UC Santa Barbara.

--Danny Williams, Hart, 1B - Despite a knee injury, he led Hart with .468 batting average, five homers, 26 RBI and .714 slugging percentage. He is considering and offer from NAIA college Texas Wesleyan among others.

CAPTION(S):

photo, box

Photo:

Outfielder Adam Tripp, who has accepted a scholarship to Michigan State, hit .407 with five home runs, 25 RBI and a .744 slugging percentage as a senior at Saugus this past season.

David Crane/Staff Photographer

Box:

LOCAL FLAVOR (see text)
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 14, 2003
Words:626
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