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On the Beat Baseball: Danny Worth shows versatility

Posted: May 26, 2014 9:53 p.m.
Updated: May 26, 2014 9:53 p.m.

Detroit Tigers infielder and former Valencia Viking Danny Worth throws during the ninth inning of a game against the Texas Rangers in Detroit on Thursday.

One of Major League Baseball’s biggest stories last week was Valencia High graduate and Detroit Tigers infielder Danny Worth pitching twice and displaying an impressive knuckleball.

Of course, position players usually only pitch when their team is getting blown out, but the Tigers have apparently found something with Worth.

Tigers beat writer James Schmehl wrote the following on Saturday:

“(Tigers manager Brad) Ausmus spoke with Worth on Friday and told the 28-year-old utility infielder that he may be called upon later in the season if a similar situation arises. To prepare for such a role, he’s been asked to throw a bullpen session every 10-14 days.

“We’re not asking him to become a pitcher,” Ausmus said. “We just told him it would strictly be in blowout situations to help save bullpen arms.”

Worth, who played at Valencia from 2001 to 2004, did pitch a little for the Vikings, though he was primarily the team’s shortstop.

Said Saugus High head coach John Maggiora, who was an assistant at Valencia while Worth was playing there: “In fact, he’s legendary for a five-inning, 34-pitch performance at Burbank way back in either 2003 or 2004 — 32 strikes, two balls! No joke. And the knuckler was used for about half of those pitches.”

Speaking of Valencia: The Vikings will have their hands full today, traveling to play No. 1 overall seed JSerra in San Juan Capistrano in the CIF-Southern Section Division II second round.

JSerra is ranked No. 9 in the state by Maxpreps.

These two teams met on April 5 with JSerra winning 6-0.

JSerra hit two home runs in the game and the Vikings 1-4 batters (Keston Hiura, Devin Davis, Chad Bible and Anthony Lepre) were a combined 2-for-13.

If the Vikings can pull off the upset, they get the winner of Edison-Harvard Westlake.

SCCS’s tall task: Santa Clarita Christian travels today to play Riverside Christian in the second round.

Last week, SCCS head coach Garrick Moss talked about how his team was an unlikely No. 1 seed because of its youth.

One team he said could be danger down the line was Riverside Christian.

The Warrior League No. 2 team is averaging 12.4 runs per game this season.

SCCS is giving up 2.2 runs per game.

Road to the World Series: The NCAA Division I baseball regionals get going this week and we have a handful of locals looking to make an impact for their teams.

Valencia grad Brian Mundell has done that all season long for Cal Poly, which is hosting a regional this weekend. Mundell has a slash line (batting average, OBP, SLG) of .290/.388/.430 with four home runs and 41 RBIs this season.

Former College of the Canyons pitcher Andrew Rohrbach (who we profiled in April) is 6-2 with a 2.13 ERA for Long Beach State and is a major reason why the 49ers have come this far. Valencia grad Alex Bishop (.189/.299/.270) is also on the 49ers.

Former COC player Connor Garelick is with Pepperdine and 2013 Foothill League and All-Santa Clarita Valley Player of the Year Max Weinstein has played sparingly for UC Irvine this season.


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