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PHCC finds backup in Ridgewood pipeline

One former Ridgewood player's career at PHCC is finished while another former Ram is stepping in as a replacement.

Sophomore second baseman Derek Kuryliw, who broke his right leg while trapping a Southeastern College baserunner in a rundown during a 12-2 win on Feb. 26, is out for the season.

David Hancox has filled in admirably since, PHCC coach Steve Winterling said.

"David Hancox is filling in at second and doing an outstanding job for us," Winterling said. "Actually, Dave's probably our best infielder."

Kuryliw batted .159 with two home runs and 16 RBIs in 15 games this season. As a freshman, he hit .294 in 24 games.

Kuryliw has the highest batting average (.467) in Ridgewood history and was the Times All-Pasco County and Sunshine Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 2001.

Hancox, a right-handed reliever who leads the Conquistadors with two saves, has a 2.78 ERA and is 0-2. He also hits .278.

ON THE REBOUND: Despite winning seven of their past eight games, PHCC is 13-11 thanks to a slow start. More important, the Conquistadors are 2-1 in the Suncoast Conference.

Following a 5-3 loss to Manatee in its conference opener, PHCC avenged that defeat with Monday's 11-2 win. On Wednesday, the Conquistadors went above .500 in the conference with a 1-0 win over Polk.

Both conference wins came in spectacular fashion. PHCC banged out a season-high 17 hits in the win over Manatee, and Lee Cruz (Pasco) led off the ninth inning with a homer in the Polk game.

Chris Langlois (River Ridge), a right-handed sophomore, improved to 3-1 with five hits and nine strikeouts in seven innings against Manatee. Cruz and Orlando Rosales (Pasco) each had four hits, and Matt Reed belted his team-leading sixth homer.

Cruz's third homer in the Polk game backed Shawn Barrett's two-hit shutout. Barrett, a sophomore left-hander from Indiana, struck out nine and did not walk a batter.

Sophomore left-hander Bobby Sindelar (Springstead) was scheduled to start Thursday's home game against Lincoln Land (Ill.).

The Conquistadors travel to Winter Haven today to play Polk at 6 p.m. in their fourth conference game. Left-hander Ronnie Lowe, a freshman from Ridgewood, will start.

Langlois gets Saturday's start when PHCC plays host to Polk at 2 p.m.