Sagehens secure SCIAC title

Pomona-Pitzer (33-5, 17-1) locked up the SCIAC baseball title with its 8-5 win over Cal Lutheran in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader in Thousand Oaks. The Sagehens are three games up on Cal Lu with three games to go and own the tiebreaker by beating them in two of out of three in the recently concluded series.

That is reason for celebration but the Sagehens have loftier goals. In 2007 they won a SCIAC title and earned the right to play in the West Region tournament where they went 1-2.

This season the team is ranked No. 1 in Division III with a load of players who were on that team. Just getting to the regional won’t be good enough. This is a team with national championship aspirations.

As to the rest of the teams in the SCIAC, the conference has a possibility of getting another team in the regional as an at-large qualifier. Redlands, La Verne and Cal Lutheran are in the hunt so the last weekend of games will still mean something.

La Verne has the unenviable task of finishing with Pitzer. Cal Lutheran has Whittier and Redlands has Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

Stay tuned!

SBVC could be adding a sport

San Bernardino Valley College Athletic Director Dave Rubio said despite the budget crunch the school could be adding a sport for the 2009-2010 school year.

The sport being discussed is women’s tennis. The move would be one way the school can address the gender equity inbalance the school is facing with an enrollment growing on the female side.

The sport wouldn’t be a very expensive one to add and the school already has courts at the school that are pretty much going unused right now.

Five schools in the Foothill Conference currently field teams – Victor Valley, College of the Desert, Mt. San Jacinto, Rio Hondo and Antelope Valley. Several other schools in close proximity also field teams so it wouldn’t be that hard to fill a schedule.

SBVC currently offers six sports for women – volleyball, cross country, soccer, basketball, softball and track.

La Verne’s Padilla hits two grand-slam homers

Lynsey Padilla capped off her final home appearance at Wheeler Park with not one but two grand slams in the second game of a doubleheader sweep over Cal Lutheran Friday as the Leopards earned mercy-rule wins over the Regals by scores of 8-0 and 10-2.

Padilla, one of five seniors honored prior to the opening contest, erased a 2-0 Cal Lutheran lead in the bottom of the third with a bases-loaded homer off pitcher Lizzy Chacon over the centerfield wall to give the Leopards a 4-2 advantage. She repeated the feat in the bottom of the fifth with her second grand slam over the leftfield wall to propel the Leos to an 8-2 advantage.

The two homers briefly tied Padilla for the team lead in homers this season with her fifth and sixth round-trippers of the year, but senior Melissa Carlson closed out the contest with a walk-off blast in the bottom of the sixth to end the game 10-2. The homer allowed Carlson to re-claim the team lead in home runs with seven.

All told, Carlson went a combined 6-7 at the plate in the two games with 6 runs scored.

La Verne improves to 26-12 and 15-7 in conference play heading into its final regular season doubleheader tomorrow at Occidental.

Sabrina Garcia allowed two runs on four hits to earn the win on the mound for the Leopards and improve to 7-1.

Coyotes split games with Humboldt

Freshman Courtney Wilhelms pitched a complete game and helped her own cause with two hits, driving in a run and scoring one Friday as Cal State San Bernardino knocked off Humboldt State, 4-2, in the opener of a CCAA conference softball doubleheader.

        The Lumberjacks, ranked No. 8 in the nation, No. 1 in the West Region and sitting in first place in the CCAA, came back to win the nightcap 3-2 on a two-run homer by Nikki Ketteringham and a run-scoring sacrifice fly by Marissa Slattery.

        The Coyotes are 22-32 on the season and 13-17 in the CCAA while HSU is 34-15 overall and 21-9 in the CCAA. The same two teams play the final conference doubleheader of the conference season at 11 a.m. Saturday at Coyote Softball Park on campus.

        In game one, HSU took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI single by Geneva Perrine, but the Coyotes responded with two runs off Lumberjacks pitcher Gracie Perez (16-5) on  RBI singles by Priscilla Curiel and Wilhelms.

        HSU tied the game in the fifth as pinch runner Sammi Gilbert scored on an error, but CSUSB regained the lead 3-2, in the bottom of the fifth as the Coyotes loaded the bases and Tori Beaudette scored on a wild pitch by Perez. CSUSB added an insurance run in the sixth on a double by Wilhelms who then scored on a single to left by Maggie Karros.

        The Lumberjacks loaded the bases in the top of the seventh with one out but Wilhelms got out of the jam on two fly ball outs to left. The Jacks stranded 12 runners and out-hit the Coyotes 8-6.

        In game two, CSUSB jumped on top 1-0 in the bottom of the first on Ashley Collinwood’s sixth home run of the season off HSU starter Nichole Parada and made it 2-0 in the second on Jacquelyn Holtzclaw’s RBI single. Perez came in to relieve Parada in the inning with the bases loaded and got Collinwood to hit into a force play at home to end the inning.

        Perez then pitched solidly, allowing just one hit while striking out six in 5.1 innings to earn her 16th win of the season against five losses. Debbie Shisler went 4.2 innings, giving up Ketteringham’s two run blast that tied the game.

        Humboldt pushed across the winning run in the sixth on singles by Caitlin Klug and Ashley Oltjenbruns, a wild pitch that advanced both runners and a sacrifice fly to left center by Slattery that brought home Klug. Perez retired the side in order in the sixth and struck out Curiel with two out and a runner on in the bottom of the seventh to end it.

        Natalie Galletly and Francesca West each had two hits in an 11-hit Jacks attack and HSU stranded 11 runners, running the two for the two games to 23. The Coyotes stranded nine runners. Collinwood was two-for-three for CSUSB.

        Brianne Godfredson (1-4) took the loss after coming on in the top of the sixth.

Broncos fall to Cal State L.A.

Cal State L.A.’s baseball team made sure its final California Collegiate Athletic Association home game of the season was a successful one.

The Golden Eagles stormed back from an early 4-0 deficit and beat Cal Poly Pomona, 10-5, Friday in a CCAA contest at Reeder Field. Cal State L.A. (29-14, 20-10 CCAA) stretched its winning streak to five games with its second victory in two days over the Broncos (24-19, 14-16 CCAA). The Golden Eagles were 13-3 in their 16 conference games at Reeder Field in 2009.

Cal State L.A. will conclude CCAA play with two games at Cal Poly Pomona and four games at Sonoma State next week.

Nathan Pickett overcame a rocky second inning and went seven strong innings to pick up the win. He allowed all four of his runs in the second inning and also hit five batters in the first three innings before settling down. Pickett (3-2) hit three batters and walked another in the second inning alone, but he was able to leave the bases loaded and then blanked the Broncos on just four hits over the next five innings.

The Golden Eagles were held scoreless by Cal Poly Pomona freshman Geoff Broussard through the first five innings, although Broussard had to work hard and left eight Cal State L.A. runners on base during his five-inning stint. The Golden Eagles then struck for three runs in the sixth inning to make it 4-3 and erupted for seven runs in the seventh inning to take the lead for good.

Brian Dearth worked the final two innings for Cal State L.A. and allowed just one run on three hits.

Cal State L.A. had 15 hits in the game, while Cal Poly Pomona had 10. The two pitching staffs also combined for eight walks and seven hit batters.

Matt Miraldi and Brendan McQuaid had three hits each for the Golden Eagles, while Richard McDowell, Jeff Ringholm and Marcus Makia had two hits each for the Broncos.

The Broncos struck first in the second inning when they threatened to break open the game. Cal Poly Pomona did all its damage with two outs. Ringholm singled and Frank Klopp was hit by a pitch. Makia then hit a sharp grounder up the middle that eluded shortstop Jesus Campos and resulted in a two-run double. Villa and Erik Riedel were both hit by pitches to load the bases and Chris Brehm drew a walk to force in another run. Nick Tanos then picked up an infield single to drive in the fourth run.

The Golden Eagles trailed 4-0 into the sixth inning, but got a big break when Danne Quiroz reached on an infield error to lead off the frame. He took second on a wild pitch and Campos drew a walk. Chris Lloyd doubled in one run and Miraldi followed with a two-run single to make it 4-3.

Quiroz led off the seventh inning with a single and Campos reached when his sacrifice bunt was thrown errantly to first by pitcher Keith Powers, allowing pinch runner Michael Vinyard to score all the way from first to tie the game. Matzner followed with a double to score Campos and give the Golden Eagles their first lead at 5-4. Matzner went to third on an error and scored on a sacrifice fly by Lloyd to make it 6-4. Miraldi then tripled and scored on a double by McQuaid to make it 7-4. After Mario Ramirez was intentionally walked, Max Moya walked to load the bases. Travis Tartamella singled in one run and a second run scored when the ball was misplayed in left field, resulting in Cal Poly Pomona’s third error of the inning. Vinyard drove in another run with a groundout to make it 10-4.

Cal Poly Pomona scored its final run in the eighth on a run-scoring single by Makia.

Cal State L.A. will conclude the four-game series with a doubleheader at Cal Poly Pomona on Saturday.

Tritons surge past Coyotes 13-1

UC San Diego exploded for 12 runs in the seventh and eighth innings Friday en route to a 13-9 pasting of host Cal State San Bernardino in a CCAA conference baseball game at Arrowhead Credit Union Park.

The victory kept the Tritons – 28-11 overall and 22-8 in the CCAA – in sole possession of first place in the conference and evened the series with the Coyotes at 1-1 after CSUSB had won  Thursday’s series opener 4-1. The Coyotes are now 19-21 overall and 13-16 in the conference.

The two teams will wind up their four-game series with a doubleheader at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Tritons ballpark.

Friday’s game was 1-0 pitcher’s duel for six innings as CSUSB starter Erick Carrillo allowed only one run on four hits entering the seventh but the Coyotes were being shutout by the combined offerings of Matt Rossman, the CCAA pitcher of the week, and Ryland MacFadyen.

Rossman had allowed four hits and struck out four in 3.1 innings before leaving the game after being hit by a batted ball in the face. The extent of his injury was not immediately known. MacFadyen then pitched 5.2 innings of relief, allowing only one run and one hit for his first victory of the season. Carrillo (3-6) took the loss.

The Tritons, ranked No. 6 in the nation and No. 1 in the West Region, went ahead 1-0 in the fourth on an RBI triple by Brandon Gregorich then scored three times in the seventh on two hits and an error to take a 4-0 lead.

UCSD then scored nine times in the eighth off three CSUSB pitchers. Tim Mort had a two-run double while Kellen Lee, Robert Sedin and Josh Tanner had RBI hits and Gregorich  continued the scoring with a bases-clearing double that produced three runs. Kyle Saul drove in Gregorich to conclude the scoring.

The Coyotes got their loan run in the ninth as Andrew Tapia walked advanced to third on a single by Jesus Beltran and scored as UCSD turned a double play. McFadyen retired the Coyotes on a ground ball to shortstop to end the game.

Gregorich and Tanner each had three hits in the game and Gregorich drove in four runs. Johnnie Haas had two of CSUSB’s five hits.

Redlands clinches SCIAC softball title

The University of Redlands softball team won both games of its doubleheader against Whittier College in walk-off fashion,  9-1 and 11-3. With its win in the second game, the Maroon and Gray captured its fifth straight Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) championship.

 

Prior to the start of game one, the Bulldogs recognized senior second baseman/shortstop Dory Baga (Aiea, HI), senior outfielder Roxy Lambert (La Jolla, CA) and senior outfielder Jennie Fregoso (Bloomington, CA) for their years of service to the program.

 

Redlands wasted little time getting on the board as the team hung three runs on the Poets in the first inning. Junior outfielder Kayla Peterson (San Jose, CA) scored on a single by freshman catcher/third baseman Lindsay Henry (Lake Elsinore, CA) through the right side, and junior pitcher/designated player Amanda Doeppel (Monrovia, CA) pushed two across with a two-run single to right.

 

The Bulldog defense held in the top of the second before the Maroon and Gray overwhelmed Whittier in the bottom half of the second with five runs on six hits. Junior catcher Nicky Neumann (Fremont, CA), freshman shortstop Kai Masutani (Honolulu, HI), Peterson, sophomore first baseman/outfielder Lizett Casillas (Pomona, CA) and Baga accounted for Redlands’ run total in the frame.

 

After a coach’s visit at the pitcher’s circle by Whittier, Poet pitcher Amanda Webster calmed down, holding the Bulldogs scoreless in the third and fourth. Whittier scored one run in the third, putting Redlands just out of reach of downing the Poets by means of the eight-run rule.

 

Baga led off the fifth and ended the game with a walk-off bomb over the leftfield fence, putting the team one step closer to SCIAC glory.

 

Peterson, Casillas, Baga and Henry all accumulated two hits while Baga completed the hardest half of hitting for the cycle with a home run and a triple.

 

Junior pitcher Olivia Ellis (Colfax, CA) pitched brilliantly, allowing just one run to cross in a five-strikeout, complete-game victory.

 

Webster surrendered nine runs, all of which were earned, in four full innings of work for the Poets.

 

The back end of the doubleheader started off with Redlands exploding offensively, as the Bulldogs scored one in the first and seven in the second.

 

Neumann doubled to start the bottom of the first, advanced to third on a stolen base and scored on a Peterson groundout to put the Maroon and Gray up early. A costly error by the Poet third baseman gave way to seven unearned runs as the Bulldog base runners capitalized on the extended inning, taking extra bases at will. Freshman outfielder Kirstie Bender (Lakewood, CA), senior outfielder Roxy Lambert (La Jolla, CA), freshman pitcher/outfielder Breanna Ruelas (Brawley, CA), Neumann, Casillas, Peterson and Baga all touched home plate during the seven-run inning.

 

Whittier answered with one run in the third on two hits, but Redlands returned the blow with a two-run home run by Neumann.

 

Once again, the Poets fought to keep the game at seven innings as Kellie Canida launched a two-run blast over the centerfield fence to pull Whittier within seven.

 

After two scoreless innings, the Bulldogs took advantage on an opportunity to put the game away. Neumann walked to start off the sixth, and Peterson singled to the shortstop to place two on for Casillas. Casillas ripped a shot to the gap in right centerfield, giving Neumann plenty of time to score the winning run.

 

Neumann headlined game two with four runs and four RBI on three hits. Peterson also paced the offense with a 3-for-4 performance at the dish, driving in two runs while scoring once. Also providing multi-hit outings were Casillas and Ruelas.

 

Ellis got the ball in the second bout as well, pitching a complete game. She struck out four and allowed three runs, all of which were earned.

 

Heather Dady shouldered the loss for the Poets despite giving up just one earned run.

 

Redlands (25-10, 18-4) rounds out its regular season with a doubleheader against Pomona-Pitzer Saturday afternoon in Claremont. Game time is set for 12 noon.

Hedman leads surging Sagehens

By Michelle Gardner

Staff Writer

Pomona-Pitzer senior Drew Hedman sprints to third base, where Frank Pericolosi is watching from the third-base coach’s box. The Sagehens are about to score another run and they’re already comfortably ahead.

“When you’re done, there’s a scout here to see you,” the coach says to the player, then turns his attention back to the matter at hand.

It might not have been the best time to mention such a thing, but Pericolosi knows that his player can handle it. He’s been doing so all season and it hasn’t provided the least bit of distraction.

The Sagehens (31-3, 15-0), winners of 12 straight games, are nearing their second SCIAC title in three years but face a formidable challenge today against Cal Lutheran (27-7, 13-2).

The Sagehens are ranked No. 1 in one national poll and No. 3 in another. The contribution of Hedman has been a huge factor. The Redding native is hitting a whopping .533, but his other numbers are equally impressive.

He leads the SCIAC in runs scored (53), hits (72), home runs (21), RBIs (70) and total bases (152). His slugging percentage is a robust 1.126 and his on-base percentage is .605. He has more than twice as many walks (23) as strikeouts (9). The 21 home runs are a school single-season record.

Hedman knows he is being watched, but he doesn’t let that get in his head.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to get drafted, but it doesn’t change how I approach the game,” he said during a break in a recent practice. “I don’t even think about that when I’m on the field.”

Hedman’s numbers warrant the attention, but getting drafted isn’t a given when you play for a Division III school.

Pericolosi, in his seventh year, has had two players drafted during his tenure — catcher Jose Cortes by the Phillies in 2003 and Jase Turner, Hedman’s predecessor at first base, by the Cubs in 2005.

The University of Redlands and University of La Verne have been among the top of the heap in the SCIAC in recent years, but they haven’t had much luck in the draft department.

Redlands hasn’t had a player drafted in coach Scott Laverty’s 10 years, and the last player drafted out of La Verne was pitcher Scott Lindeen, the SCIAC Player of the Year in 2005. He played just one year in the minor leagues and never made it out of rookie ball.

The most prominent player to come out of the SCIAC in the last decade is pitcher Jason Hirsh, who was drafted out of Cal Lutheran in the second round by the Houston Astros in 2003 and made his major- league debut in August of 2006.

Pericolosi certainly thinks his top player is worthy.

“I have to think someone will give him the chance,” he said. “His hitting numbers speak for themselves, but his fielding is outstanding and his foot speed is above average for a first baseman. He has all the tools.”

Pericolosi added that the Diamondbacks have shown the most interest, although that is hardly an indication of what might happen on draft day.

Other teams have turned out too, and they say the evaluation process isn’t different than it is for a Division I player.

“You’re looking at a lot of things,” said one scout who took in the Sagehens against Chapman last weekend.  “Bat speed, mechanics, how frequently the batter is making solid contact — those things don’t change.
“About the only thing that is different is that these guys aren’t facing as good a pitching game-in, game-out.”

Hedman set the stage for his senior season by competing for the Green Bay entry of the prestigious Northwoods League, a summer wood-bat college league that starts in early May and runs through August.

That gave him the chance to play with the top players throughout the country in all divisions and show that he can play without the aid of the aluminum bat. He responded by hitting a respectable .305 in 59 games.

“That was a great opportunity,” Hedman said.  “I was happy with how I played there, and it gave me a lot of confidence to hold my own against those guys.”

While the draft is a definite goal, Hedman’s priority right now is helping the Sagehens to the postseason. Pitzer won the SCIAC and advanced to the West Region in 2007, his sophomore year, but they went just 1-2 in that tournament. They’re a more seasoned team this time around, though.

“Most of us have been there before and we know what it takes,” he said.
“We’re more experienced and we have more depth. Hopefully that will pay off.”

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Chaffey surges past SBVC

The Chaffey College baseball team scored five unearned runs and went on to beat San Bernardino Valley College 8-3.

The Panthers are closing in on another Foothill Conference title and winning the first in the three-game series was a big step.

The game featured quite a huge bruhaha in the first inning. Chafffey’s Gerry Hernandez singled home a run but got caught between first and second and was tagged out. The ump missed the call and Hernandez was called safe.

That brought SBVC coach Bill Mierzwik out of the dugout to dispute the call. After the umpires talked a few minutes they overturned the original call and said Hernandez was out, which was the right call.

But overrule a call and you’re guaranteed a visit from the other coach, which is what happened. Chaffey coach Jeff Harlow went out to argue and argue he did. It only took a few seconds for coach and umpire to be full throttle mode, chest to chest.

The two went at for a couple of minutes before Halrow left the field – without being tossed. I can’t say that I have ever seen a baseball game with that heated of a dispute where someone wasn’t tossed.

Harlow said the ump bumped him first which it did appear. But these days if you breath in the wrong direction you get tossed. Don’t know how Harlow lived to see the rest of that one.

The teams play again Saturday at Chaffey – doubleheader at noon. With four teams jockeying for position the Wolverines need to play witha sense of urgency.

Sagehens move up to No. 1

The Pomona-Pitzer baseball team is the newly minted No. 1 team in the country.

The Sagehens moved from first to third in the Collegiate Baseball poll released earlier in the week. They are No. 3 in the D3 baseball poll.

They are a sparkling 31-3 with 12 straight wins, the most impressive three in a row coming against a Chapman team that traditionally challenges for the Division III national title.

Sometimes that No. 1 ranking isn’t a good thing because it tends to put a target on your back. But this Pitzer team is a pretty composed bunch that seems like it will be able to handle that sort of thing.

The Sagehens do face a formidable foe next in Cal Lutheran which is ranked 16th in one poll and 13th in the other. Pitzer has a two-game lead over the Kingsmen in the SCIAC so it should be a great series. Game time Friday is 3 p.m. at Pomona-Pitzer.