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PREP BASEBALL NOTEBOOK: HART DUO EARNS GOLD WITH SHARKS.

Byline: Heather Gripp Staff Writer

The winning ways Chris Valaika and Danny Williams are accustomed to as members of the Hart High of Newhall baseball team extend beyond high school. The pair won gold medals at last week's sixth annual USA Junior Olympic Baseball Championships as members of the South Bay Sharks.

The Sharks went 9-1 in the 64-team tournament and defeated the ABD Bulldog Blue of Riverside 14-2 in a mercy-rule-shortened championship game in Tucson, Ariz. The title is the Sharks' second at a national tournament in their four years together.

``This one means more, because it was a bigger and more competitive tournament,'' coach Tony Wilhite said. ``This basically had the best 16-and-under players in the country. It was highly competitive.''

Valaika scored three runs in the final and played well enough throughout the tournament to earn an invitation to try out for the Youth National team this month in Houston.

``He had an incredible tournament offensively and defensively,'' Wilhite said of the shortstop.

The Sharks go for another title when they play in the South Bay wood-bat tournament beginning July 25.

--Attracting attention: Three Canyon players were invited to play in the Team One showcases. Pitcher Jake Coash is at the national event, which runs through Saturday in Tempe, Ariz.

Infielder Ryan Burke and pitcher/first baseman Eric Ashbrook are scheduled to participate in the West Coast regional beginning Sunday in Tempe.

--A rising star: Justin Tuttle of Saugus played on the junior varsity team this past spring but is one of Saugus' top players this summer. The incoming senior outfielder joined Matt Underwood as Saugus' representatives at Thursday's Valley Invitational Baseball League all-star game.

Tuttle is batting .429 with a .500 on-base percentage and six stolen bases in 15 games for the 3-15 team. He batted .386 with 15 on JV this year.

Tuttle and his teammates are in action again this weekend, playing at Sylmar on Saturday and at home Sunday against Burroughs of Burbank.

--Well represented: Several players from the Antelope Valley are among those selected to play in the Area Code games or invited back for a final round of tryouts for the national showcase.

The eight players being considered for the Southern California team after one round of tryouts last weekend are Kent Wolfe of Highland, Dallon Cox of Mojave, Tyler Donnie of Desert Chrisian, Jason Anderson and Justin Zarley of Lancaster and Lonnell Grimes, Oscar Flores and Jamie Booth of Rosamond.

The last round of tryouts is July 17 in Long Beach. The Area Coide Games are Aug. 6-12 at Blair Field in Long Beach.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jul 6, 2001
Words:434
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Next Article:LANCASTER JETHAWKS NOTEBOOK: BARBER STARTS TO SEE THE LIGHT FORMER RELIEVER GETTING USED TO HIS NEW ROLE WITH JETHAWKS.


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