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Gutsy Donny Williams learns sore hand was fractured

first_imgThe good news after Hart High baseball standout Donny Williams injured his hand last week sliding into home plate was that he hit a home run on his next at-bat. The bad news is X-rays later revealed a spiral fracture, and he will miss the rest of season. “It’s a very big loss,” coach Jim Ozella said. “Someone has to step up, because Donny is one of the best players on the team.” Williams is a tough kid. He played two games – with two pitching appearances – with the broken hand, hoping the swelling would go down. When the hand didn’t heal properly, he saw a doctor and received the bad news. “It was one of the gutsiest performances I’ve seen,” longtime Hart statistician Mike Gaber said. The 6-foot junior is batting .429 in seven at-bats, and he also has struck out three in three innings with a 2.33 ERA. Williams emerged last year as one of the top sophomores in Southern Section Div. II, finishing 4-3 with two saves and a 2.95 ERA in 57 innings to help Hart to the quarterfinals. He also batted .245 with five RBIs in 53 at-bats. Valencia’s Casey Mulligan might be the Foothill League’s hardest-throwing pitcher, but he has been used sparingly a total of four hitless innings with six strikeouts the first month of the season. There are big plans ahead for Mulligan. The strategy is to utilize the Cal State Fullerton-bound multipurpose standout at pitcher more frequently as the season progresses, and Mulligan could break into the starting rotation during the final weeks of the season and the playoffs. For now, coach Jared Snyder loves Mulligan as a closer, especially when Mulligan relieves ace Scott Fowler, a left-handed off-speed specialist who gives hitters a much different look. Hart and Saugus are among the high school football teams scheduled to participate in a tug-of-war contest April 7 at Staples Center, before the Arena League game between the Avengers and New York Dragons. Advance tickets can be purchased for $14.50 through the schools’ athletic offices, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the programs. Hart is No. 15 and Canyon is No. 30 in the final Cal-Hi Sports state girls’ basketball rankings. Canyon’s football team will play host to a weightlifting contest April 22 at 8 a.m. Awards will be presented to the strongest team and individuals, based on weight class. Spots are available. Information: (661) 252-6111. James McGoldrick, an avid supporter of local football, has created a new Web site: scvgridiron.com, linking information about preps, college and youth leagues. Information: (661) 799-7286 or [email protected] The Foothill League softball season will start with a showdown between powerhouses Valencia (8-1) and Saugus (8-4) at 3:15 p.m. Thursday. The Vikings will be home. Valencia, which advanced to the Div. I final last year, returns standout pitcher Jordan Taylor (7-1, 0.26 ERA). Semifinalist Saugus returns sluggers Victoria Kemp (.419, three home runs) and Tiffany Huff (.480, one home run). Kemp, a junior, has 17 career home runs, four shy of former Canyon star Crystl Bustos’ area record of 21, set in 1992-95. With just three Foothill League football teams to qualify for a playoff berth if a new playoff-grouping format becomes official next month, annual outsider Saugus is under pressure to improve. The Centurions (4-7 in 2005) haven’t won a playoff game since 1999; Hart, Canyon and Valencia have combined for 38 playoff victories during that span. Kyle Monson, Nick Gautier, Desi Rodriguez and Mario Wright are competing for starting quarterback at Saugus, and Mike Torres, Ryan Zirbel and Ry Biehahn are competing at tailback. Gerry Gittelson’s column appears in the Daily News three times a week. He can be reached at (661) 257-5218 or [email protected] AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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