Chaffey player, seven others head to Oklahoma

Seven volleyball players from Southern California, six of whom competed in the Foothill Conference, will be taking their games to a little-known town in Oklahoma in the fall.

The contingent headed to Bacone College in Muskogee, Okla. is headed by Chaffey College libero Emilie Shewmaker and Citrus College setter Janelle Martinez who are close friends.

Rounding out the group are outside hitter Riley Collins of conference champion College of the Desert and outside hitter Dorinda Cherry, outside hitter Amy Mulcock, rightside hitter Jewel Robinson and middle blocker Kami Speir, all out of Mt. San Jacinto.

The fact that eight athletes from the area are headed to a town of 38,000 located a half hour out of Tulsa didn’t happen by accident.

The Bacone program is directed by Indio native Bianca Oakley, who played volleyball and softball at Desert, continued her playing career at Bacone and just completed her first year as head coach.

“She wanted to recruit a lot of California players,” said Shewmaker, who has visited the school twice. “It should be fun with all of us going out there together.”

Shewmaker said had talked to Collins at some tournaments but didn’t know any of the girls from Mt. San Jacinto until meeting one of them on her first visit. Now she is trying to arrange a beach day for the eight to get together before they head off to college.

“It would be nice to get to know each other a little bit before we get there,” she said.

Shewmaker (Don Lugo) played in 61 games and recorded 294 digs for the Panthers, who finished 6-12 overall and 5-7 in Foothill Conference play.

Martinez, a native of Rancho Cucamonga who played at South Hills High School, chalked up 478 assists in 52 games for an average of 9.19 per game for the Owls (10-15, 4-6), who were fourth in the Western States Conference South Division.

Still no hoops coach at SBVC

Here it is mid June and San Bernardino Valley College still has not named a men’s basketball coach. That formality was supposed to be taken care of today at the monthy meeting of the school’s Board of Trustees but that regular meeting has been pushed back two weeks.

Before the season was even over Gerry Wright was told he was not getting the nod yet the process has dragged on.

School administrators aren’t making it easy on whoever steps in. Recruiting must be done and kids want to know who their coach is going to be. And there aren’t many quality players still available this late in the process.

Who ever gets the nod will be the school’s fourth coach in as many years. The most likely successor is Quincy Brewer, Wright’s assistant last year. The school’s trend in that stretch has been to elevate the assistant rather than to go outside and that appointment would follow suit.

SBVC is also looking for a women’s softball coach. although there isn’t quite the sense of urgency since that season doesn’t start until February. That search is still in the early stages.

Women’s soccer coach Kristin Hauge took over that program last season when the previous coach bailed in Ocotober. She did an admirable job. If it weren’t for her the school probably would not have been able to field a team.

Cal Poly doles out monthly awards

Track and Field competitors Joaquin Ortiz and Jasmine Winn have been named the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Male and Female Athletes of the Month for May at Cal Poly Pomona.

            The awards are voted upon by the student-based Bronco Athletics Association.

            Ortiz, who competed in the 800 meters, qualified for the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships that was hosted by Cal Poly Pomona in May. The Woodland native ran a personal-best 1 minute and 52.27 qualifying time at the Occidental Relays on May 10. He then ran 1:52.31 in a qualifying heat at the NCAAs. He did not race in the finals.

            For the season, Ortiz dropped his personal best time in the 800 by more than two seconds in a little more than a month.

            Winn, a junior from Pomona, became the only Bronco athlete – male or female -  this year to earn all-American honors. She finished third in the long jump at the NCAA meet. She jumped 18 feet, 7 inches. She held the nation’s best jump for roughly a month and a half this season when she jumped 19-3 at Cal State Los Angeles on March 1.

Former Sagehen still running

Former Pomona-Pitzer track and cross country standout Will Leer is living in Eugene, Ore. running professionally.

Over the weekend he competed in the prestigious Prefontaine Classic in Eugene and finished ninth in the mile (3:58.16). The event was won by Shedrack Korir of Kenya in 3:50.49.

Leer graduated from Pomona-Pitzer in 2007 after winning the NCAA Division III national title in the 800 and 1,500 meters.

SBVC football player decides

Freshman defensive lineman Fred Solaita of San Bernardino Valley College has signed with NAIA Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Mo.

The 6-foot-1, 265-pounder played six games in 2007, recording 10 tackles and two sacks.

Missouri Valley College, located about 90 miles east of Kansas City, MVC plays in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. In the 2007-2008 season the Vikings went 8-2 and were one game away from the NAIA title game.

Cal State’s Hann signs with Mariners

Peoria, Ariz., on Saturday.

, Fla., a rookie league club later this week.

State Monterey Bay on April 6. He was honored as a CCAA conference pitcher of the week.

City College earning all-conference honors. He was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2005 but did not sign.

Christian High School in Santa Clara, his hometown, graduating in 2003. He signed with San Jose State. After one year with the Spartans he transferred to San Jose City College.

Birosak starts pro career

Dustin Birosak may not have gotten drafted, but the 6-foot-2 left-hander is starting a professional career any way. He signed with the Seattle Mariners as a free agent after the completion of the draft.

Birosak spent last season at Division II Cal State Los Angeles, helping the Eagles to a 29-22 record that included a 23-12 mark in CCAA play. He appeared in 14 games, starting nine of those, He went 3-2 with an ERA of 6.47 but struck out 56 hitters in 57 innings.

Birosak attended Fullerton College for his first two years, then transferred to Cal State Fullerton where he helped the Titans earn a spot in the College World Series.

Nine CCAA players go in MBL draft

Cal State Dominguez Hills’ junior shortstop Cody Puckett led a group of nine California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) players that were selected on Day 2 of the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft that concluded on Friday.

Puckett was an eighth round pick (239th overall) of the Cincinnati Reds. Sonoma State, which captured the CCAA Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division II Championships, had a conference-high four players selected. Seawolves who had their names called were Travis Babin (New York Mets – 16th round), Konrad Thieme (Florida Marlins – 23rd round), Kevin Asselin (Chicago White Sox – 30th round) and Matt Means (San Diego – 37th round).

The list of CCAA players drafted also included Cal State Stanislaus’ Marquis Fleming (Tampa Bay – 24th round); Cal State L.A.’s Henry Contreras (Seattle – 24th round), Chico State’s Kyle Woodruff (San Francisco – 27th round) and Cal State San Bernardino’s Matt Long (Tampa Bay – 34th round).

The following are capsules on each player taken Friday:

Cody Puckett, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Jr., SS (Cincinnati Reds; 8th round; 239th overall): Puckett was a first team All-CCAA selection after batting .337 with 17 home runs, 49 RBI and conference-leading totals of 61 runs scored and 26 stolen bases. The Toros’ shortstop also ranked second in the CCAA in home runs and walks (42), and tied for second in total bases (130). He was sixth in slugging percentage (.644) and eighth in on-base percentage (.462).

Travis Babin, Sonoma State, Jr., RHP (New York Mets; 16th round; 494th overall): Babin played a utility role for the Seawolves as he saw time on the mound and as an infielder. He batted .329 with six home runs and 20 RBI. Babin was named the CCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after batting .428 (6-for-14) with four runs scored, six RBI and three home runs in three games. All six of his home runs came during the postseason. On the mound, Babin posted a 4-0 record, 4.25 ERA, and a team-high four saves in 29.2 innings. He had 33 strikeouts and limited opponents to a .277 average.

Konrad Thieme, Sonoma State, Sr., C (Florida Marlins; 23rd round; 688th overall): Thieme garnered second team All-American honors and was a first team All-CCAA and All-West Region selection after batting .317 with team-high totals of 19 home runs, 64 RBI and 15 doubles. He led the CCAA in home runs and was second in RBI and slugging percentage (.710). Thieme’s 19 home runs in 2008 rank fourth on Sonoma State’s single-season list and 27 career round trippers are fourth all-time in Seawolves history.

Marquis Fleming, Cal State Stanislaus, Sr., RHP (Tampa Bay Rays; 24th round; 713th overall):
Fleming turned in an outstanding senior campaign as he was named both CCAA and West Region Pitcher of the Year after posting an 11-5 record, 2.50 ERA and eight complete games. He logged 115 innings, struck out a single-season school-record 118 and walked just 45 while limiting the opposition to a .187 average. Fleming led the CCAA in innings pitched, opponents’ batting average and strikeouts. He was named CCAA Pitcher of the Week five times.

Henry Contreras, Cal State L.A., Sr., C (Seattle Mariners; 24th round; 732nd overall):
Contreras batted .310 with three home runs and 28 RBI while playing in 50 games as a senior this past season. He also scored 25 runs for the Golden Eagles.

Kyle Woodruff, Chico State, Sr., RHP (San Francisco Giants; 27th round; 807th overall):
Woodruff compiled an 8-4 record, 5.85 ERA and five saves in two seasons at Chico State. He went 1-3 with a 6.13 ERA while appearing in 18 games and starting four. Woodruff worked 47 innings, struck out 42 and walked 11. As a junior, he went 7-1 with a 5.67 ERA while making 16 starts and logging 73 innings.

Kevin Asselin, Sonoma State, Sr., RHP (Chicago White Sox; 30th round; 900th):
Asselin earned second team All-CCAA and All-West Region honors after posting a 9-3 record and 3.55 ERA. He ranked third on the Seawolves with 75 strikeouts and led the club with three complete games. In two seasons at Sonoma State, Asselin went 11-5.

Matt Long, Cal State San Bernardino, Sr., RHP (Tampa Bay Rays; 34th round; 1,013th overall): Long posted a 6-7 record and 3.13 ERA as a senior in 2008. He pitched 100 2/3 innings, struck out 117 and walked 40 while starting 15 games and crafting three complete games. Long ranked second in the CCAA in strikeouts, fourth in innings pitched and fifth in opponents’ batting average (.233).

Matt Means, Sonoma State, Sr., LHP (San Diego Padres; 37th round; 1,125th overall): Means was named first team All-American, All-West Region and All-CCAA. He registered a 10-2 record and 1.85 ERA while starting 17 games as a senior. Means struck out 93 in 102 innings pitched. He led the CCAA in ERA, was third in opponents’ batting average (.223), innings pitched, strikeouts and tied for third in wins. He concluded his four-year Sonoma State career with a 15-9.

Apple Valley native Puckett taken in draft

Cal State Dominguez Hills shortstop Cody Puckett (Apple Valley, CA/Hesperia HS), arguably one of the most dangerous offensive players in the CCAA this season, this morning received the call that all little leaguers dream of when they first pick up a ball and a bat … the call that he was drafted with the seventh pick in the eighth round by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, making him the 239th pick overall and first amongst all West Region players chosen.

    “When they called me this morning I was actually playing video games,” begins the 2008 1st-Team All-CCAA honoree.  “After the call I went straight to my computer to check the internet to make sure it was real, and then I had to buy a bunch of Reds gear.  It really hasn’t hit me yet, but I think that later tonight when I am celebrating, I will feel it.”

    The Apple Valley, CA native was an offensive force for the Toros this season, leading the CCAA at the end of the regular season in home runs (17), stolen bases (26), total bases (130), runs scored (61), walks (42), and steal attempts (29), while finishing in the top 10 in assists (158), RBIs (49), slugging percentage (.644), at bats (202), on-base percentage (.462), and hits (68).

    Despite being overlooked for all the all-region teams, Puckett, the first player drafted amongst the entire West Region (CCAA, GNAC, PacWest), follows former Toros Mateo Marquez (2007, 47th round – St. Louis Cardinals) and Ryan Owen (2006, 16th round – Tampa Bay Rays) in the current streak of Toros drafted.

    “I am really excited for him because is something that he has really worked hard for,” begins CSUDH baseball head coach Murphy Su’a.  “Going inside the top 10 is a big honor and being number 239 out of tens of thousands of hopefuls across the country is amazing, and he deserves it.  I think with his talent he is going to prove that he may have been deserving of a higher draft pick, but regardless of when he was taken I think he is going to play this game for a long time.  He came to us as an outfielder/pitcher, and I believe that he could be one of the premier outfielders at the pro level with all the tools he has.”

    Still waiting for all the details and to sign his contract later tonight, it looks like Puckett will report to the Billings Mustangs in Billings, MT, which is the Reds’ minor league affiliate.  The Mustang roster already is familiar with the CCAA with first baseman Eli Rimes (Sonoma State, 2007, 25th round) and pitcher Anthony Romero (Cal Poly Pomona, 2007, non-drafted free agent) already there.

    Overall the draft was a bright spot for the CCAA with nine players being selected in Travis Babin (Sonoma State – 16th – Mets), Konrad Thieme (Sonoma State – 23rd – Marlins), Marquis Fleming (Cal State Stanislaus – 24th – Rays), Henry Contreras (Cal State L.A. – 24th – Mariners), Kyle Woodriff (Chico State – 27th – Giants), Kevin Asselin (Sonoma State – 30th – White Sox), Matt Long (San Bernardino – 34th – Rays), Matt Means (Sonoma State – 37th – Padres).