Tough first game for Mier as 66ers lose in 10

SAN BERNARDINO — It was a rough first game for Pomona resident Jessie Mier.

Mier, a catcher just activated before the game, committed a throwing error to allow two runs to score in the top of the 10th inning as the 66ers fell to the Modesto Nuts 5-4 in the finale of a four-game series before 4,077 at Arrowhead Credit Union Park on Saturday night.

Mier had been the Sixers’ bullpen catcher all season long and never activated, until Saturday, when Kenley Jansen was sent to Triple-A Albuquerque in what is believed to be a temporary assignment.

Mier was activated and started, and Modesto was 7-for-7 stealing bases off of him, although several of them weren’t his fault. Modesto’s one caught stealing didn’t involve Mier as starting pitcher Josh Wall threw out Charlie Blackmon trying to steal in the third.

Mier also had a passed ball and the critical throwing error.

With the score tied 3-3 and one out in the 10th, Matt Repec singled and Mike MItchell walked for Modesto against Marlon Arias (1-1).

Then as Radames Nazario struck out, Repec and Mitchell executed a double steal of third and second, respectively. Mier’s throw to second was more unlucky than it was bad, but it ricocheted off of Mitchell and into left field, allowing both runners to score for a 5-3 Modesto lead.

The fact two runs were scored was especially costly to the Sixers, who came back with one run in the bottom of the 10th against closer Craig Baker, who entered the game having allowed only one run in his previous nine appearances and was a perfect 15-for-15 in saves.

Baker made it 16-for-16 despite Christian Lara scoring on Justin Fuller’s fielder’s choice grounder. Fuller got to second on a wild pitch, but Trayvon Robinson grounded out to second to end the game.

It was a disappointing end to a game that had several positive signs.

Josh Wall, in his first unrestricted start recovering from a groin injury, pitched six innings, allowing one run on four hits while striking out four and hitting two batters. He left with a 3-1 lead but relievers Miguel Sanfler and Jacobo Meque allowed five straight batters to reach base in the seventh with two outs as Modesto scored the tying runs.

Robinson had two hits, including his sixth home run, and made two diving catches in left-center to steal hits away from the Nuts. Scott Van Slyke also hit his sixth homer of the season for the Sixers.

66ers, Quakes fall at home on Thursday

Both the Sixers and the Quakes were tied 3-3 with their opponent at one point Thursday, and it didn’t turn out well for either one of them as the Sixers lost to Modesto 4-3 and the Quakes lost to Lancaster 11-3.

The Sixers (20-27) tied their game with Modesto (28-19) at Arrowhead Credit Union Park 3-3 on Preston Mattingly’s home run to lead off the third inning.

Modesto took the lead for good in the sixth against starter Tim Sexton (1-5). Jay Cox Jr. and Maikol Gonzalez singled and Brian Rike sacrificed them along. Kendy Batista came in to face Wilin Rosario and Rosario’s groundout scored Cox with the go-ahead run.

The Sixers got little going over the final few innings, including only two hits in the final five innings. Joey Williamson (6-0) got the win with 2 2/3 innings of shutout relief and Craig Baker improved to 15-for-15 in save situations by striking out the side in the ninth. The Sixers were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, including hitless in their final nine at-bats.

Charlie Blackmon was 2-for-4 with two runs for Modesto, while Pedro Baez was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Scott Van Slyke was 2-for-3 with an RBI.

The Quakes (19-28) were tied at the Epicenter with Lancaster (14-33) 3-3, before Lancaster scored four runs in the top of the seventh to win going away.

Lancaster’s four runs in the seventh were all unearned, thanks to a throwing error on a bunt by starting pitcher Jayson Miller (1-2).

Eric Suttle, Jonathan Gaston and Jason Castro all had two hits and two RBIs for Lancaster and Nicholas Moresi was 3-for-4 with three runs.

For the Quakes, Hector Estrella was 3-for-4 with a triple, Jeremy Moore drove in two runs and Brian Walker hit a solo homer.

Sierra League will continue D3 softball run

It’s something I thought — but never put down on paper, or in my blog — what is the Sierra League doing in Division III for softball instead of Division II at least?

I can’t say I predicted what’s happened entering play today, but I’m not surprised.

But I’m writing this before Tuesday’s second round games, where four league teams will be playing later today. My prediction: at least 3 (if not all 4) teams will win second round games today.

That may not be a reach after the foursome (Ayala, Glendora, Chino Hills and Chino) demolished the competition in the first round by a combined score of 20-1. Add in wild card wins by Chino Hills and Chino, and they’re a combined 6-0 in the playoffs entering play today by a combined score of 46-4. I think the league will be 9-1 or 10-0 after today’s (Tuesday’s) games.

Steven Johnson pitches gem in 66ers win; Quakes lose

Steven Johnson took a one-hitter into the ninth inning and fell one out short of his first career complete game, settling for a combined three-hitter as the 66ers defeated the San Jose Giants 2-1 at San Jose Municipal Stadium Wednesday night.

Ben Copeland doubled to lead off the first inning for San Jose, but Johnson didn’t allow another hit until the ninth inning. That’s when Copeland led off with another double. With two outs, Copeland was still on second before Buster Posey singled him in, cutting the Sixers’ lead to 2-1. That was the end of Johnson’s night after 105 pitches. He struck out 10 and walked two in 8 2/3 innings. Greg Miller came in to get the final out and record his first save.

San Jose had three erorrs and a passed ball leading to both Sixers runs (in the third and fifth innings), which were unearned. Trayvon Robinson, Pedro Baez and Justin Fuller had two hits apiece for the Sixers.


A night after losing 19-8, the Quakes were much more respectable, but still didn’t come away with a win in Adelant on Wednesday.

Quakes starter Esmerlin Jimenez (2-2) was resepectable, allowing two earned runs in five innings. But reliever Jeremy Haynes allowed three earned runs in 2 2/3 innings, turning a 3-2 Quakes deficit into a 6-2 deficit and making their two runs in the ninth not enough. Julio Perez (2-for-3, run) and Alberto Rosario (2-for-4, run, RBI)  led the Quakes. Juan Diaz was 3-for-4 with an RBI and Jamie McOwen was 2-for-4 with two RBI to lead the Mavericks’ attack.


66ers, Quakes drop road trip openers Tuesday

The 66ers and Quakes both began seven-game road trips on Tuesday. The Sixers allowed three unearned runs in the eighth innning, snapping a 3-3 tie and they went on to lose 6-3 at San Jose. And that was the better of the two games. The Quakes were as close as the Sixers’ final score after their first two innings,  but trailed by as many as 15 runs in an eventual 19-8 loss at High Desert.

First, the Sixers. With the score 3-3 in the eighth,  San Jose’s Nick Noonan reached second base on fielding error by left fielder Elian Herrera to start the inning. With one out, Justin Orenduff replaced Jacobo Meque (0-1) on the mound and Buster Posey hit an  RBI double to score Noonan with the go-ahead run. With two outs, Conor Gillaspie hit an RBI double and Brian Bocock added an RBI single for a 6-3 San Jose lead.

Trayvon Robinson (fifth) and Garett Green (fourth) homered for the  Sixers in the loss. Adolfo Gonzalez had two of the Sixers’ seven hits. Sixers starter Josh Wall allowed one earned run in four innings.

The Sixers had a heartbreaking loss, while the Quakes had a heart crushing loss.

The 19-8 loss might’ve been affected by the hitter-friendly elements at Friendly Stater Bros. Stadium, but home runs were not a big factor. High Desert hit three in the game, all solo shots. But the Mavericks also had five doubles and a triple among their 18 hits. There weren’t a lot of walks — Quakes pitchers walked only four — but the Quakes committed four errors (three by P.J. Phillips) that led to four unearned runs and the Mavericks had nine hits in 23 at-bats with runners in scoring position. It was the most runs allowed by the Quakes since April 19, 2008, in a 21-7 loss at Stockton. Starting pitcher Robert Fish (1-4), a Miller HS alum, took the brunt of the damage, allowing 11 runs (eight earned) on 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings.

The Mavericks were led by Jamie McOwen, who was 3-for-6 with two runs and two RBI, Alex Liddi, who was 3-for-4 with five runs and two RBI, and Kuo Hui Lo, who was 3-for-4 with three runs and four RBI. Liddi and Lo each homered.

Offensively, the Quakes were led by Matt Sweeney, who was 3-for-4 with two RBI. Clay Fuller, Jeremy Moore, Anthony Norman, C.J. Bressoud and Carlos Colmenares each had two hits in the Quakes’ 15-hit attack.




Ed Taylor steps down at Colony

Ed Taylor, who won CIF-SS titles each of the last two years as the girls basketball coach at Colony High School, has resigned.

Taylor cited the changing sports landscape, and the fact he felt his program wasn’t getting the recognition it deserved from the school. That story is in Saturday’s paper.

Colony athletic director Jaime Sandoval returned my call too late for the article, but here are some comments from him:

“The thing that struck me (from a conversation with Taylor) is that no one wants to stop, but at a certain point, you have to go.”

“We definitely wanted him to stay. He’s done so much here.”

“I think it takes a while, but when they were in their playoff run, everyone (on campus) was paying attention.”

Taylor’s assistant, Vince Spirlin, an off-campus coach, is interested in the position, according to Taylor.

Sandoval he would be considered, but first they have to fly the position in-district before Spirlin could be considered.

“He’s been with Ed, and he did a great job over at Diamond Ranch,” Sandoval said.

Sandoval’s hope is to hire someone within the next “two or three weeks.”

Sierra League track finals wrap-up

It started off as a hot day, then evolved into a comfortable evening for the Sierra League track finals at Diamond Bar on Thursday.

Here are the results that won’t appear until Saturday’s paper.

I wasn’t able to review all the league records before writing the story, and there was one set: by Chino Hills’ Melissa Keltner. Her triple jump of 38 feet, 7 3/4 inches shattered the old mark set by Diamond Bar’s Julie Stevenson in 1998 at 37-11 1/2. She also just missed on a long jump record. She jumped 18-6 1/2, a quarter inch shy of  the league record set by Glendora’s Madeline LeDuc in 2007. It’s an impressive feat to set a league record, considering the oldest varsity league record was set in 1978 (boys shot put). Ayala’s Spencer Doolittle set the only league finals record in 2008, in the 1600 meters. Other than Doolittle, all boys league records date from 1998 or earlier.


Thursday’s Results
at Diamond Bar HS
All listed are CIF qualifiers
1. Taylor Herrera (Damien) 10.73, 2. Jacob Vowels (Da) 10.94, 3. Patrick MacMullen (Da) 11.04; 200: 1. Herrera (Da) 21.52, 2. Josh Mance (Chino Hills) 21.75, 3. Vowels (Da) 22.27; 400: 1. Mance (CH) 48.61, 2. Jacob Chevers (CH) 49.96, 3. Desmond White (Ayala) 50.88; 800: 1. Christopher Ramsey (Glendora) 1:58.25, 2. Austin Goodheart (G) 1:59.35, 3. Robert Tanner (A) 2:00.73; 1,600: 1. Corey Bullock (G) 4:31.72, 2. Anthony Castro (G) 4:35.73, 3. Goodheart (G) 4:35.76; 3,200: 1. Tyler Reed (A) 9:38.28, 2. Bullock (G) 9:47.16, 3. Castro (G) 9:59.99; 110 HH: 1. Dean Landeros (Da) 15.35, 2. Jonathan Levin (CH) 15.37, 3. Jarrett Gonzales (Da) 15.40; 300 IH: 1. Alex Ostroswki (G) 40.83, 2. Levin (CH) 40.90, 3. Gonzales (Da) 41.02; 4×100 relay: 1. Damien 42.22, 2. Diamond Bar 43.44, 3. Glendora 43.87; 4×400 relay: 1. Damien 3:25.31, 2. Chino Hills 3:25.38, 3. Chino 3:29.28. LJ: 1. Aaron Stockham (G) 21-6 1/4, 2. Kevin Kho (Da) 21-2, 3. Sylvester Stewart (Diamond Bar) 21-0; TJ: 1. Obum Gwacham (A) 46-10 1/2, 2. Yonas Kebede (A) 44-1, 3. Jonathan Brown (Da) 42-5 3/4; HJ: 1. Sam Rockwood (DB) 6-8, 2. Gwacham (A) 6-8, 3. Greg Greenwell (Da) 6-1, 4. Yonas Kebede (A) 6-1; PV: 1. Jordan Villalobos (A) 12-6, 2. Ian Davis (Da) 12-0, 3. Marvin Raymundo (A) 12-0; SP: 1. Joel Baez (DB) 51-10, 2. James Grigorian (DB) 46-10, 3. Reynaud Farve (Da) 45-5 1/2; DT: 1. Baez (DB) 175-3, 2. Brandon Zarif (DB) 138-9, 3. Justin Mathews (G) 135-4.

Thursday’s Results
at Diamond Bar HS
All listed are CIF qualifiers
1. Brea Buchanan (Ayala) 12.24, 2. Candice Battel (Chino Hills) 12.79, 3. Ugo Ofo (Chino) 12.85; 200: 1. Buchanan (A) 25.40, 2. Alexis Brown (St. Lucy’s) 26.14, 3. U. Ofo (Chi) 26.22; 400: 1. Rachael Ofo (Chi) 59.38, 2. Brown (SL) 60.44, 3. Sarah Pacheco (SL) 62.49; 800: 1. Marissa Horton (SL) 2:23.44, 2. Danica Ceballos (SL) 2:25.30, 3. Johannah Murray (Glendora) 2:27.10; 1,600: 1. Horton (SL) 5:21.33, 2. Lauren Justus (G) 5:23.33, 3. Aracely Rojas-Garcia (CH) 5:27.75; 3,200: 1. Taylor Khan (A) 11:52.36, 2. Justus (G) 11:54.62, 3. Heather Wright (A) 11:56.39; 100 IH: 1. Buchanan (A) 14.95, 2. Melissa Keltner (CH) 15.26, 3. Tara Buffum (SL) 16.62; 300 LH: 1. Lindsay Crawford (CH) 46.66, 2. Randi Ryan (A) 46.68, 3. Alex White (SL) 47.84; 4×100 relay: 1. St. Lucy’s 49.50, 2. Ayala 49.98, 3. Glendora 50.08; 4×400 relay: 1. Ayala 4:06.99, 2. St. Lucy’s 4:08.79. LJ: 1. Keltner (CH) 18-6 1/2, 2. Sarah Barnum (SL) 17-11 3/4, 3. Ngozi Agwuenu (A) 17-2 1/4, 4. Emma Vanderhoorn (SL) 16-9 3/4; TJ: 1. Keltner (CH) 38-7 3/4, 2. Barnum (SL) 36-2 1/2, 3. Jenna Nordschow (A) 35-10 1/2, 4. Emily Schmidt (A) 35-5 1/4, 5. Ngozi Agwuenu (A) 35-3 1/4; HJ: 1. Megan Chenoweth (SL) 5-1, 2. Nordschow (A) 4-9, 3. Maisie Johnson (SL) 4-9; PV: 1. Melissa Nguyen (G) 9-0, 2T. Samantha Strong (CH) 8-6, 2T. Savannah Andre (SL) 8-6; SP: 1. Ifeoma Kpaduwa (Diamond Bar) 34-5 1/2, 2. Linda Rueff (Chi) 33-8 1/4, 3. Alexa Tickemyer (CH) 32-9 3/4; DT: 1. Rueff (Chi) 130-9, 2. Catherine Chidester (G) 109-4, 3. Ashley Carter (G) 107-1.

A new twist for Mt. SAC Area releaguing

Four appeals were heard by the CIF-SS appeals commitee on Wednesday regarding the releaguing proposal passed April 21 for the Mt. SAC Area.

Two schools had their appeals upheld: Glendora and West Covina South Hills, while Covina Charter Oak and Rowland were denied. I’m not sure how Charter Oak was denied while South Hills was upheld (they were placed in the same league, yet South Hills has a stronger athletic program).

That leaves an alternative proposal out there now: Glendora from the Baseline back to the Sierra and South Hills from the Sierra to the San Antonio/Miramonte. The first one was NOT overturned. That initial proposal, voted by the committee on April 21, will be the first one presented to league reps on Oct. 23. If that one gets four of the seven votes, it will pass. If it doesn’t, the second proposal will be considered. Other appeals can still be heard May 20 by the executive council, which could impact any proposals considered in October.

Even with four appeals, two of which were upheld, ad hoc releaguing committee chairman Denis Paul, wasn’t frustrated at the outcome.

“As the area chairman, the process was served. It’s a very thorough process. It’s not perfect, (but) no one challenged the process, which I feel good about. People could certainly see it was a difficult area to come up with proposals,” Paul said.

66ers, Quakes, drop openers of 4-game series

Because of internet problems, 66ers and Quakes stories did not make it into Saturday’s paper. Here they are:


SAN BERNARDINO – As good statistically as Kendy Batista was for the
first four innings, he didn’t look like he was in much of a rhythm.
Because he had thrown 80 pitches through four innings and he’s not really a starter, he didn’t make it out for the fifth.
Then, things really unraveled for reliever Luis Vasquez, who after he retired the first two batters in the sixth with the score tied, Lake Elsinore rallied for three runs and went on to rout the 66ers 10-4 at Arrowhead Credit Union Park on Friday night.
The Sixers (8-14) lost their third straight game, while the Storm (13-9) won their fourth straight and improved their road record to 9-2.
With the score tied 1-1 in the sixth, Batista got the first two outs and had No. 8 hitter Robert Perry down 0-2 before walking him.
Luis Martinez then doubled to right to score Perry with the tie-breaker and Batista hit Brad Chalk with a pitch, ending Batista’s night.
Reliever Miguel Sanfler walked Andy Perrino and Lance Zawadzki blooped a two-run single to right and the Storm led 4-1.
Batista, the former Rangers Triple-A pitcher who was signed by the Dodgers in spring training and joined the Sixers out of extended spring training, struck out 11 in 5 2/3 innings, but walked four and hit two batters. He retired the Storm in order only once, in the fifth, and allowed eight runners to get into scoring position.
The Sixers cut into a 5-1 deficit with Scott Van Slyke’s third homer of the year, a two-run shot in the seventh.

“It was still a close game then they scored four in the eighth and it got out of hand,” Sixers manager Carlos Subero said. “These kids still have to learn.”

Those four runs put the game out of reach.

The Sixers also had some trouble in the third when they failed to score after having runners on first and second with no outs. Garett Green bunted into a force play and then Kenley Jansen was doubled off second on Trayvon Robinson’s soft liner to end it.

“We’ve got to get that bunt down,” Subero said. “And we teach them to freeze on those line drives. That could’ve been a big inning.”

Lake Elsinore scored first in the first inning without benefit of a hit, or an error.
With one out, Andy Perrino was hit by a pitch, Lance Zawadzki walked and the two moved up on a wild pitch. When Felix Carrasco swung and missed for strike three, the ball was in the dirt and Perrino scored from third.
The Sixers tied it up in the fourth, when Preston Mattingly hit the first pitch of the inning into the batting cages in left for his second home run of the season, making it 1-1.

Like the 66ers, the Quakes are enduring an abysmal homestand against the top two teams in the South Division.

On Friday, the Quakes opened a four-game series with the first-place High Desert Mavericks and came up on the short end of a 6-5 loss at the Epicenter. The Quakes are now 0-4 on the homestand.

The game got out of control in the seventh when the Mavericks scored four runs, snapping a 2-2 tie. Travis Scott’s homer started the rally, but the back-breaker was three consecutive walks, the last two with the bases loaded to force home two runs.

The Quakes cut into the 6-2 deficit with three in the eighth on Julio Perez’s two-run triple and Efren Navarro’s sacrifice fly, but never got the tying run on base.

The Quakes made a roster move on Friday, as reliever Cephas Howard was sent to extended spring training.
Howard and fellow reliever Andrew Taylor were removed from Thursday’s game in the middle of Lake Elsinore at bats.
“Something didn’t look right,” Johnson said after the game.
Taylor has a pulled muscle in his side but was not placed on the disabled list Friday.