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Teevan enjoys Sacramento City’s championship ride

Steve Yingling

Starbuck Teevan learned that his nearly unbeatable Sacramento City College baseball team was just as punishing in a postchampionship celebration.

The former standout South Tahoe High infielder happened to be in the worst possible place when the Panthers dogpiled following their come-from-behind 10-9 California state championship win Monday in Fresno.

“I was on the very bottom and I got a pretty good-sized bruise on my left leg. But it was worth it,” said the Sacramento City reserve infielder.

Teevan played sparingly during the regular season and didn’t see any action during the postseason. However, he wouldn’t trade his role with the 44-2 Panthers for anything.

“They were fun to watch. I worked hard every day and if my opportunity came about, I’d go with it. But it didn’t, so I just stepped back and enjoyed the ride,” he said.

With a 9-5 lead in the eighth inning, Saddleback was on the verge of forcing a second championship game in the double-elimination tournament.

“I was nervous there for a while because being four runs down to the No. 1 team from the South is pretty hard to come back from. But I knew we still had a chance because we have a pretty potent offense,” Teevan said.

Sure enough, the Panthers used a homer to touch off a five-run eighth-inning rally to take the lead for good, 10-9.

Sensing the title, the Panthers put the ball in undefeated ace Mike Neu’s hands and he responded by blanking Saddleback over the final two innings. Neu finished with a 15-0 record.

“They’re saying this is coach Jerry Weinstein’s best team of all, but there is no best,” Teevan said. “We finished number one in the nation and the state, so you can’t complain.”

After being a reserve second baseman on the state runner-up Panthers the preceding season, Teevan reveled in his first championship.

“It was pretty hard watching the other team dogpile then and this year we got to do our thing. It was really gratifying,” he said.

Any chance Teevan had of playing a more substantial role for the Panthers ended in the preseason when he broke his hand. Still, Weinstein thought Teevan was invaluable.

“He was an important part of the team. He came off the bench and worked his butt off,” Weinstein said. “We used him primarily for late-inning defense or to advance a runner.”

Teevan is one of few South Lake Tahoe baseball players who tasted success in high school. During his junior year in 1994, the Vikings made their only postseason appearance since joining the Northern Nevada League.

“Compared to Tahoe baseball it’s extraordinary to experience something like this. Tahoe coaches are good and all, but Jerry taught you every single thing about the game,” Teevan said.

Teevan’s junior college eligibility is exhausted, but he still hopes to continue his baseball career. UC-Davis and San Diego State have expressed interest in him.

“If the opportunity doesn’t present itself, I’ll finish school. But I would like to play a couple more years,” he said.

According to Teevan, seven of the Panthers’ nine regulars have already received scholarships.

“One thing about Jerry is that if you’re a low-maintenance player that he doesn’t have any problems with, he’ll look at hooking you up with a college. He won it all, so he wants to help everybody out,” Teevan said.

Maybe Weinsten can put Teevan on another championship team. But next time he’ll pile on top.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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