East County Sports

Stars ‘jam’ Clippers in WBA sweep



ECS staff report

LAKESIDE — Roller Derby, a popular sport in the 1950s until the mid-70s, saw skaters attempt to lap opposing skaters to score points. One of those teams was the original teams was the San Diego Clippers, not to be confused with the National Basketball Association team of the same name that represented the city from 1978-84.

The present-day Clippers are an amateur baseball club. And the San Diego Stars did laps to squash the Clips, 13-2 and 5-3, in Saturday’s Western Baseball Association doubleheader.

The Stars utilized late surges to jam the Clips. Included were seven runs in the eight inning to trigger the run rule in the opening game romp. Game Two saw the Stars rally with five unanswered runs to complete the sweep.

The high closing inning in Game One was a paper-cut rally, all coming with two down and no one on base.

A double was sandwiched around six singles, a pair of wals and a hit batter so sen the Clips to a slow death.

The first two runs came on a double by Trevor Begg (Santana ’22), followed by a series of three  RBI singles — by Jason Gonzalez, Mateo Medina and Ethan Wright. Two walks forced in a run, then the Stars closed out the run-rule triumph on run-scoring basehits from pinch-hitter Andrew Ritayik and Joey Krug.

Thus, Stars pitcher Luke Gentry needed to go just eight innings for his complete-game triumph. He yielded just one earned run while striking out seven Clippers batters.

Just like in the “Roller Games” league — a rival circuit which featured the L.A. T-Birds — they once played before a crowd of more than 52,000 at Chicago'[s Comisky Park — the Stars “some how” rallied from a 3-0 deficit to register a last-season victory.

While Ryan Culp (win) and Jonathan Marshall (save) each tossed two innings of shutout relief, the Stars scored in each of their final three team at-bats to rally.

Included was a two-run home runy Brady Joslyn in the fourth, which followed a walk to Luke Arias.

In the fifth, Marshall clouted a lead homer to left field to tie the contest, Wught later added a two-out triple, scoring on an error for the go-aheadrun.

Finally, another two-out rally sap Christopher “Kip” Famolano slug a triple to the terrace in center field, coming home and yet another late RBI single by Ritayik.

The Stars (13-6 overall, 13-5 WBA overall) take Sunday off to allow their stadouts to participate in the WBA All-Star Game, slated for Palomar College in San Marcos at 4 p.m.

The Stars return to action Tuesday, traveling to Poway to meet the San Diego Crush in an attempt to sweep the season series. Game time is slated for 4 p.m. at Poway High School.

“Little” Ralphie Valladares, the “Guatemalan Flyer,” is best-know as t star skater for the L.A. T-Birds in a Hall of Fame career that spanned 30 season with three teams, including the L.A. Braves.

Note: It is believed the Roller Derby Clippers only played a handful of games in the county. Most were held at the old Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino at the National Orange Show fairgrounds. The building later needed to be torn down following a small- plane crashed into the 10,000-seat facility, making the building unsafe for occupancy. In its later years,Swing Auditorium was known as a showplace for music, featuring the first American tour of The Rolling Stones (June 5, 1964) and The Grateful Dead *February 26, 1)977.


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