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CSUN'S FUTURE ACES TAKE TUMBLE IN DRAFT.

Byline: Chris Branam Daily News Staff Writer

Remember the events of the last two days if Cal State Northridge's baseball team is making a push for an NCAA playoff spot in 2000.

The Matadors coaches were worried they might lose their top two local high school pitching recruits - Kameron Loe of Granada Hills and Ivan Hernandez of Sylmar - to the Major League Baseball draft.

That doesn't appear to be a problem after Loe unexpectedly dropped to the 39th round and Hernandez wasn't picked at all in the two-day draft, which ended Thursday.

The disappointing draft experience wasn't because Hernandez and Loe, both right-handers, lacked talent. There were other issues.

The 6-foot-7 Loe was ranked by Baseball America as the 19th-best prospect in the state but is reportedly seeking a large signing bonus, much like Westlake High's Kevin Howard, who was expected to be taken in the top three rounds and dropped to the 22nd round.

Even though Hernandez was only 6-5 this season, his size - Hernandez is 5-foot-10 - scared off many teams. Now Hernandez and Loe will probably move into CSUN's rotation as the Matadors' Nos. 1 and 2 pitchers next year.

Other pitchers who slid in the draft included Crescenta Valley High's Jordan Olson, who pitched the Falcons to a Southern Section title last year, and Crespi's Tim Leveque, who had arm problems this season. Olson was taken by Cleveland in the 27th round and Leveque went to Detroit in the 29th.

Olson hasn't committed to a college; Leveque signed with Michigan. Former Highland High first baseman-pitcher Traviss Hodge, drafted last year by Pittsburgh before ending up at Pierce College, was drafted again, this time by the Dodgers in the 26th round.

USC had its eighth player selected in the draft when Greg Hanoian went to the Cubs in the 33rd round.

Justin Martin, a junior second baseman at Nevada who played at El Camino Real High, was drafted in the 16th round Wednesday by Pittsburgh.

Two local residents who attend high schools in West Los Angeles - Andre Monroe (Palmdale, Santa Monica High) and Darin Davis (Canyon Country, Palisades High) - were also picked Thursday. Monroe went in the 23rd round to Toronto and Davis went to the Yankees in the 26th round.

LOCAL DRAFTEES

Round,

Name School overall Team

Justin Martin Nevada 16, 482 Pittsburgh

Mark Penberthy The Master's 25, 726 St. Louis

Traviss Hodge Pierce (Highland HS) 26, 794 Dodgers

Brad Wright UCSB (Crespi, Agoura HS) 26, 795 N.Y. (AL)

Jordan Olson Crescenta Valley HS 27, 827 Cleveland

Tim Leveque Crespi HS 27, 867 Detroit

Chris Baker Oklahoma City Coll. (Hart HS) 29, 883 Toronto

Travis Allen Quartz Hill HS 31, 935 Seattle

Greg Hanoian USC 33, 1,010 Chicago (NL)

Doug Slaten Glendale Coll. 34, 1,027 Baltimore

Curt Fiore LMU 34, 1,044 Atlanta

Andrew Corona Moorpark College 36, 1,087 Baltimore

Kameron Loe Granada Hills HS 39, 1,176 Philadelphia

Josh Goldfield Moorpark Coll. (Calabasas HS) 41, 1,228 Arizona

Zach Gordon Moorpark Coll. (Simi Valley HS) 43, 1,288 Oakland

Jason Botts Glendale Coll. 46, 1,375 Texas

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Box: LOCAL DRAFTEES (See text)
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:SPORTS
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 4, 1999
Words:523
Previous Article:BRIEFLY : FAST GREENS AREN'T JANGLING JANZEN.
Next Article:WITH DRAFT BEHIND, USC LOOKING AHEAD.



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