The Fresno State Bulldogs completed a Cinderella season Wednesday night, beating the other Bulldogs- the Georgia Bulldogs – 6-1 at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha to clinch an improbable College World Series championship. It was the first championship in the history of the program out of a men’s sport.
Fresno fought off elimination time and time again. They were only the fourth seed in what was probably the toughest regional and emerged as the lowest seeded team to ever go on and win the title.
Local product Erik Wetzel had a big hand in that championship. The junior second baseman out of Don Lugo High School went 14-for-32 in seven games with 11 runs scored and five RBI.
Now he will have the tough decision of whether to return for a senior season to help defend that title or turn pro. He was drafted in the 13th round by the Colorado Rockies earlier this month.
Two other locals also factored for their teams. Norco product Toby Gerhart went 4-for-14
for the Stanford Cardinal who went 2-2 in the event. He had three hits including a home run in a 16-5 thrashing of perennial title contender Florida State.
Junior first baseman Matt Clark went 2-for-8 with three walks in three games for LSU. Both of the hits for the Etiwanda High School graduate were home runs. He ended up with 28 on the season, leading the country in that category. He too was drafted, in the 12th round by the San Diego Padres.
It was an exciting event and the showing by the local players made it all the more memorable.
UC Riverside Head Men’s Soccer Coach Junior Gonzalez today announced the hiring of Peter Boyer as the team’s new assistant coach. Boyer will work primarily with the team’s goalkeepers in addition to playing a vital role in the development of the Highlanders’ field players.
“Peter is a great addition to our program,” said Gonzalez. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to coaching collegiate student athletes that compliments the rest of the coaching staff’s perfectly.”
Boyer comes to the Highlanders staff after two years with the University of Redlands where he worked primarily with the defenders and goalkeepers. He also earned his maser of arts in counseling while at Redlands through the School of Education.
Prior to joining the Bulldogs staff, Boyer was the assistant men’s soccer coach for the United States Military Academy (ARMY) during the 2005 season. A New Jersey native, Boyer graduated from Drew University (Madison, NJ) with a degree in political science. He also competed on the Rangers men’s basketball and men’s soccer teams during his undergraduate career.
During his four years on the pitch, Boyer helped the team reach the 2003 NCAA Championship game while earning NSCAA All-American First Team honors. As the team’s top goalkeeper, he also gained NSCAA All-Region honors during his junior and senior seasons. To wrap up his career, he was named Freedom Conference Player of the Year in 2003.
Following graduation, Boyer stepped into the coaching ranks by serving as the assistant boys’ varsity soccer and basketball coach at his alma mater of Dwight-Englewood School.
Junior colleges are good for a lot of reasons. Some students aren’t ready to move away to a four-year school. Many need help academically and a two-year school makes for an easier transition.
And athletics also prove to be a good stepping stone. Few programs do as good a job moving their players along as the Mt. SAC women’s basketball program led by San Bernardino native Larua Beeman and her top assistant Brian Crichlow.
Not only do the Mounties advance their players, they win too. How about three straight state titles and four in the last five years!
And it isn’t just the marquee players moving on, it is the role players and reserves also getting a chance to continue their careers.
Three players are headed to Division I schools – Jazlyn Davis (Arizona State), Etiwanda High graduate Safiyha Brown (Long Beach State) and Kendra Calvin (Cal). ZsaZsa Lawson (BYU-Hawaii) and Janae White (San Francisco School of the Arts) are going the Division II rout.
The lone sophomore yet to decide is 6-3 Carmen Deal. Academics are the likely issue here because she would have been snatched up by a Division I long ago had that not been the case.
But the Mounties track record is good. And it keeps getting better.