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UPDATED: Dodgers win on SCV Dodger Day

Hart alum Lindsay Hough sings 'Star Spangled Banner' at Dodger Stadium

Posted: April 10, 2008 6:41 p.m.
Updated: August 9, 2008 5:02 a.m.

In his office after Saturday's 7-3 win over the Cubs, Dodgers manager Joe Torre referred to winning pitcher Derek Lowe's fourth quality start and Matt Kemp's three-run homer in the 7th inning as confidence-builders for the team.

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Saturday was SCV Dodger Day at Dodger Stadium, as the team played an afternoon game, the third in a series of four games with the visiting Chicago Cubs.

After dropping the first game Thursday and winning Friday, the Dodgers made it two wins in a row Saturday with a 7-3 comeback win, a nice present for the Santa Clarita Valley residents on hand for the game.

Every year, in conjunction with the city of Santa Clarita, the Dodgers salute the SCV with on-the-field ceremonies at one of the team's home games. Saturday's game marked SCV Dodger Day's 31st anniversary.

"It's a beautiful day where we support the community and the community supports the Dodgers, and we always appreciate every year the great support we've had from Santa Clarita," said Steve Shiffman, the team's vice president of ticket sales.

"We have almost 400 (community salutes) per year, but only the big ones get all the on-field stuff, and SCV Dodgers Day is one of the biggest," said Lon Rosenberg, Dodger Stadium director of operations.

This year, Lindsay Hough, 21, a 2005 Hart High School graduate now attending college at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, was the SCV resident chosen by the city and the Dodgers to sing the National Anthem in the pre-game ceremonies.

"We had about 20 submissions," said Pat Downing, the city's recreation supervisor for special events. "The selection committee reviewed all of them and thought (Lindsay's) was the best."

Final decision was made by the Dodgers' community relations crew, and Kris Hough, Lindsay's mother, got the call at the Hough family's home in Valencia, and in turn called her daughter in Boston.

"She was jumping up and down, she was so excited," said Hough, regional vice president of SCV Bank in Valencia. "Lindsay's incredibly talented, so this is a great opportunity for her. I'm extremely proud and thrilled for her."

SCV Dodger Day pre-game ceremony began at 12:40 p.m., about 15 minutes before game time, with the annual Hart Pony League Homerun Derby, as finalists in three age groups vied to hit the most "home runs" from a tee in center field over the center field wall.

Mustang Division (ages 9-10):
Nathan Elvington
Zachary Preciado
Ryan Kaneshiro

Bronco Division (ages 11-12):
Cody Miller
Austin Preciado
Justin Spurlin

Pony Division (ages 13-14):
Kyle Webster
Sam Applegate
Christopher Devery

The winners' names were not available at press time.

At 12:49, the SCV Youth Parade briefly took the field on the center field warning track, with kids and sponsors representing The Signal as well as KHTS-AM 1220 radio, Boy Scout Troop 222, Canyon Country Little League, Castaic Middle School, city of Santa Clarita Youth Sports, Hart Baseball and Softball, Helmers Elementary School, Leona Cox Elementary School, LETMESAIL, the SCV Boys & Girls Club and Valencia Valley Elementary School.

Two minutes later, the Dodgers announcer introduced representatives from the SCV and the city of Santa Clarita, including Downing and Paul Kraskian from the city; Chris Applegate, Hart Pony Baseball commissioner; Bob Curry, Canyon Country Little League; Jay Harn, publisher of The Signal; Sharon Bronson of KHTS; and Melany Bole of Washington Mutual.

"I am so excited, and excited that all these people showed up," Hough said as she and her mother stood on the warning track behind home plate, waiting for her moment to take the mike to sing "The Star Spangled Banner." "Yes, I've been practicing and keeping myself very healthy, so it should be great."

The L.A. County Sheriff Explorers Color Guard presented the flags, and Hough earned a rousing ovation from the stadium crowd as she hit the final notes and waved her thanks for the reception.

"I was a little shaky at the start, but instead of being nervous, you need to transfer it into energy and make it powerful," she said moments later, on her way off the field.

Some of the SCV dignitaries were scheduled to participate in the game's ceremonial first pitch, but Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa Simpson were in the house promoting a new attraction at Universal Studios, so Homer got to do the honors, and, uncharacteristically, tossed a strike.

The pregame ceremonies were not televised, but seen on the two giant DodgerVision screens in left and right field, and by a stadium about one-third filled with early arrivers.

Asked how SCV Dodgers Day stacks up against other community salutes after 31 years, Shiffman said, "We do a lot of things with a lot of communities, and I'm not quite sure who tops who, but SCV Dodgers Day is probably the longest-running event."

Notes from the field
Russell Martin tied it up with a two-run homer in the sixth inning. Matt Kemp followed in the seventh with a three-run bomb, and the Dodgers posted another two for a five-run inning.

Dodgers starting pitcher Derek Lowe managed to no-hit the Cubs until the fifth, but gave up three runs and Manager Joe Torre took him out in the seventh.

In the bottom of the inning, the Dodgers shelled Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano out of the game.

Lowe ended up with the win, improving his record to 4-5; it's only the second loss of the season for Zambrano, now 8-2.

Lowe's and Kemp's performances were confidence builders for the Dodgers, Torre said after the game.
He conceded some of the players have been frustrated with their performances, but said there have also been signs of growth in the past couple of weeks.

"For Matt Kemp, it was great to get the bloop single and then the home run, because he's been about as frustrated as anybody trying to figure out his approach, and he just dug in today," Torre said.

"He just realized that being frustrated doesn't get you anywhere, and he just went after it. That three-run home run obviously was huge for us, but after what he came back from -- that's certainly a growing-up situation."

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