Redlands’ Laverty wins 200th game

The No. 19 University of Redlands baseball team rebounded from its loss against Rutgers University-Newark (NJ) from earlier in the afternoon, defeating Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges, 11-4, in non-conference action at The Yard on Sunday.


With the win, Head Coach Scott Laverty earned his 200th victory at the helm of the Bulldog baseball program and became just the third coach in the team’s history to accomplish that feat. Laverty won his first game on Feb. 11, 2000 by a 13-1 score against Whittier College. Jeff Tape ’00 earned the winning decision on the mound in Laverty’s first triumph as head coach.


Both teams scored early as Claremont-Mudd-Scripps posted one run on no hits and two errors in the first while Redlands responded with an RBI single by senior infielder Tony Stutevoss (Portland, OR) in the bottom of the inning.


Redlands took a 2-1 lead due to sloppy play by the Stag infield. Stutevoss singled through the right side to start out the inning, but he ended up advancing to second on an error by the pitcher on a failed pickoff attempt and went home on an erroneous throw by the first baseman.


Claremont-Mudd-Scripps equaled the score in the sixth, but the Bulldogs emerged victorious in the end due in large part to a productive offense in the bottom in the inning.


Senior utility player Will Wetmore (Santa Cruz, CA) doubled to right field with one out, and senior catcher Brett Sandford (Santa Barbara, CA) walked, giving the Bulldogs two men on board. Senior pitcher/infielder Evan Dunn (Portland, OR) grounded out and advanced the two runners, giving Redlands what looked like a dreary situation with two outs. The scoring started when junior shortstop Zack Braband (Alameda, CA) plated Sandford and Dunn with a double to right center, and Braband advanced to third on a passed ball in the ensuing at bat. Senior outfielder/catcher Kyle Rizzo (Redlands, CA) brought in Braband with a single through the right side and then stole second while Stutevoss was at bat. Stutevoss singled to third, which moved Rizzo over, and he lucked out with a botched catch in a steal attempt. Junior catcher Jefre Johnson (Canby, OR) cleared the bases with a single to centerfield, and senior outfielder Cory Vane (Simi Valley, CA) continued the offensive outburst with a single to third. Finally, senior outfielder Matt Goldstein (Lincoln, CA) closed out the fireworks with an RBI triple that scored Johnson and Vane.


The Stags scored once more in the top of the seventh, but the Bulldogs one-upped their opponent with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Dunn reached on an error by the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps shortstop and eventually stole second and third before scoring on a passed ball. Rizzo, who walked after Dunn stole second, came home via Stutevoss in the following at bat.


Rizzo scored an impressive three runs on one hit and two walks and notched one RBI. Batting a solid 4-for-5, Stutevoss fortified the offense with two runs and two RBI. Vane stretched his hitting streak to 12 consecutive games with a  2-for-5 showing while Braband also recorded a multi-hit game.


Junior pitcher/infielder Michael Lessig (Fountain Hills, AZ) pitched solidly for seven full innings, allowing just one earned run while striking out seven. Senior pitcher Kevin Bissell (Orange, CA) and sophomore pitcher Derek Johnson (Canby, OR) held the lead in relief, combining for one strikeout and one surrendered earned run. The Stags’ Kyle Shipley shouldered the loss.


Redlands (15-6) continues on with Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play on Friday when it hosts red-hot Pomona-Pitzer Colleges at 3 p.m.


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Fontana native to play in NABC All-Star game

Fontana High School product Ira Graham has been selected to play in the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division II All-Star Game at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., on Friday. The event is held in conjunction with the Elite Eight.

It will be a nice honor for Graham, whose Western Washington University team lost to Seattle Pacific in a West Region quarterfinal on its own home court. He was visably upset after that loss despite having done his part with 29 points.

Now his last collegiate game doesn’t have to be a loss.

Earlier this month the 6-foot-1 senior guard earned Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors. He also was named to the first-team All-West Daktronics and NABC teams.

He finished his four-year career with 1,465 points, tying him for seventh among school leaders. This season he averaged 19.1 points and 3.2 assists and became the first player in school history with two 500-point seasons.

The all-star game is comprised of teams from the East and West, with at least two players from each of the eight regions competing. The 20 participants in the all-star game were chosen from a pool of 265 teams.

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Tired Broncos prepare for Elite Eight

The Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball team had its last practice today before heading off to the Elite Eight in Springfield, Mass. But not even that came easy. The Broncos were forced out of their own facility due to a sports festival that had the run of the campus.

The Broncos had to relocate to the University of La Verne for their final tuneup. They will leave on Sunday.

It is pretty much impossible not to like this team. Coach Greg Kamansky gets the most out of his team. He doesn’t carry 15 players as most schools do. He typically carries 10-12 and injuries this season have limited him to nine.

They don’t make excuses. They just play hard, play together – and win.

Let’s go back and review how the Broncos got there. They traveled to Bellingham, Wash. on a Wednesday for their regional quarterfinal, beating Cal State San Bernardino in overtime on Friday. Then they beat Seattle Pacific on Saturday, drove 100 miles to Seattle on Sunday, left on Monday to go to Honolulu to get ready to play Brigham Young-Hawaii on Wednesday.

They rally from a 15-point deficit and beat the No. 3 team in the country, which hadn’t lost in two months, on its home floor in front of 4,000 boisterous spectators.

Celebrate! Well just a little. Because now the players have stay up all night cramming for exams, then fly home on Thursday so they can take their tests on Friday, only to turn around and fly across the country two days later. I’m exhausted just thinking about that.

Before it’s over they will have played tournament games in three different time zones in a two-week span.

This team has had a knack for winning close games in dramatic fashion. Odds seem to be against them but that never mattered before. They play Southwest Minnesota State on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

Here’s to hoping that magical run continues.

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