Cal State signs baseball players

Cal State San Bernardino’s baseball team bolstered its pitching staff for next season by signing three quality community college players to national and CCAA conference letters of intent to play for the Coyotes in 2009-10.

Head Coach Don Parnell said all three figure to be key components of the mound staff for the Coyotes.

The three hurlers are:

Kesler Reifel, a hard-throwing right-hander from Redlands who pitched for Riverside Community College in 2008 and 2009 after transferring from UC Riverside,
Lucas Sanford, a 5-11, 190-pound right-hander from Poway who helped Southwestern College of Chula Vista to a 29-14 record, 15-10 in the Pacific Coast Conference in 2009.

Chris Mieszala, a 6-2, 180-pound right-hander from Las Vegas, Nev., who helped Long Beach City College (30-18 overall, 17-7 conference) win the South Coast Conference championship in 2009.

Mieszala was 4-2 with a 2.95 earned run average in 16 appearances for the Vikings in 2009. He made three starts and had one complete game but it was a big one. He scattered seven hits and struck out 10 as the Vikings defeated Cerritos College, 4-3, to clinch the South Coast Conference title on April 30.

He struck out 25 batters in 39 innings of pitching while walking only four. Opponents hit only .243 against him.

Mieszala played his high school ball at Palo Verde High School in Las Vegas.

Sanford was 5-4 with a 4.28 earned run average for Southwestern College in 2009. He made 18 appearances, 13 of them starts for a total of 88 innings. He recorded 75 strikeouts and was errorless in the field, handling 23 chances flawlessly. The team finished third in the Pacific Coast  Conference. He was a Jaguars teammate of returning CSUSB starter Daniel Stenavich in 2008.

Reifel, a shortstop for most of his prep career at Redlands High School, was a second-team all-Citrus Belt League choice and second-team all-San Bernardino County pick for the Terriers.

He drew attention of pro scouts and college recruiters with his 90 mile-per-hour fastball and was signed as a right-handed pitcher by UC Riverside in 2006 and was on their 2007 roster but did not play..

The 6-1, 185-pounder transferred to RCC and pitched on the 2008 Tigers team. His 2009 season was cut short by arm trouble. He was 0-1 in six appearances, two of them starts with a 6.43 earned run average in just seven innings of work.

Coach Parnell said recent medical tests indicate Reifel’s arm is healthy and he has produced radar gun clockings in the low 90s.

The trio joins returning starters Stenavich, a San Diego resident, and Andrew Schile, a transfer from Chaffey College, both seniors in the fall, along with sophomore Aaron Brooks of San Bernardino (Cajon HS), the CCAA conference freshman of the year in 2009, as Parnell hopes his team will improve on its 23-23 season of 2009.

Erick Carrillo, another starter who had a year of eligibility remaining, passed it up after signing with the Florida Marlins after they drafted him in the 19th round of the June amateur draft.

Cal Baptist signs JC basketball duo

California Baptist University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Tim Collins has announced the signing of two junior college standouts–Tom Schumacher (Cuesta College) and Kelly Johnson (Citrus College).
The duo joins prep standouts Luke Evans (El Camino High) and Josh Barrett (Vista Murrieta High) in the Lancers’ 2009-10 recruiting class.
Schumacher, a 6-5 wing and once the leading-scorer of the Luxembourg National Team, became the first player in the history of the Cuesta program to be named Western States Conference North Division Player of the Year after leading the Cougars to a 24-11 mark and a conference title. The Cougars, who were ranked as high as No. 7, advanced to the playoffs, but lost in the opening round.
In his lone season at Cuesta, he was second in the conference in scoring with 18.5 points and also averaged 2.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists. He also shot 40.6 percent from beyond the arc and was second in the state with 115 3-pointers.
He had 13 20-point games, including a season-high 37 points in a win over Santa Barbara. He also added 28 points in a win over Ventura and seven times he led the Cougars in rebounding. Schumacher, whose scoring average increased to 20.1 points per game in conference-play, was also named 2009 All-State.
Schumacher was teammates with former Lancer Peter Rajniak (2005-06) on the Luxembourg National Team. He will have three seasons of eligibility.
“Tom is an excellent offensive player who can pass and score,” said Collins. “We believe he will make an immediate impact. He is a mature basketball player with a positive attitude, and we are excited about his potential to become one of the best wings in the conference.”
Johnson, meanwhile, played two seasons at state power Citrus College. In two seasons, Johnson played in all 69 games, starting 33 of them as the Owls went a combined 63-6, won two conference titles and a state title in his two seasons. As a point guard, he averaged 4.28 points in his career and dished out 225 assists (3.26 avg.), more than any other player on the team.
This past season, Johnson averaged 5.7 points and was second on the team with 120 assists. He also averaged 22.2 minutes per game; second most on a team that had 11 players average double-digit minutes. Johnson also averaged 2.8 rebounds and was second on the tea m with 54 steals. The Owls finished 28-5, won their second straight Western State Conference South Division title and a second straight trip to the State Sweet 16 where they lost to eventual champion Riverside Community College.
As a 2008 freshman, Johnson appeared in all 36 games, starting 21 of them as the Owls won the state title. He averaged 3.0 points and 1.4 rebounds and dished out a team-high 105 assists (2.9 avg.). Johnson prepped at Pomona High.
“Kelly is a true leader and will lead by example,” said Collins. “His work ethic is fantastic, and his explosiveness and ability to see the floor will be obvious the first day of practice. He is a fine Christian young man, coming from one of the top junior college programs in the state and is a quality student and player.”
CBU finished 22-9 overall in 2009, advancing to the GSAC Tournament Semifinals for the second straight year. The Lancers were ranked No. 5 in the NAIA Top 25 Preseason Poll and after a 7-0 start were ranked No. 1 for the first time in program history. It was their third straight 20-win season.

Coleman takes over at Biola

Lorie Coleman has been hired to take over as the Head
Softball Coach at Biola University, BU Athletic Director Dave Holmquist
announced on Monday.

“We are excited to have Lorie join the staff at Biola,” said Holmquist.
“Her Christian character, knowledge of the game, enthusiasm and relational
skills will combine to make her a successful college softball coach.”

Coleman, who becomes the eighth softball coach in school history, takes
over a team which has reached the postseason in each of the last five
years and averaging nearly 33 wins per season over the last decade.

“This is an amazing opportunity for me which I am not going to take
lightly,” said Coleman. “I am thoroughly looking forward to giving it
everything I have. I love this school and everything about it and I want
to pour my heart into this position, this team and this University.”

Coleman will be making her collegiate coaching debut, but is no stranger
to the Golden State Athletic Conference. She has been coaching club
softball for the past 12 years, including the last four seasons as the
Head Coach of the SoCal Spirit 18-Gold team. Numerous players Coleman has
coached in recent years have ended up playing in the GSAC including
current Biola players Leslie and Kristin Larson, and incoming freshman
Sydney Sinner.

Prior to coaching the SoCal Spirit, Coleman coached the Corona Angels club
team under the direction of Club Coordinator Marty Tyson. In 2005, she
guided the 18-Gold team to a second-place finish at the ASA Gold
Nationals. The next year, her 18-Gold team finished as the Runner-Up in
the Western National Championships.

Coleman also spent three years in the high-school ranks, coaching at Apple
Valley Christian from 1999-2000 and spending last season as the assistant
coach at Sultana High School in Hesperia.

Coleman is taking over for Carissa Millsap-Kalaba, who stepped down at the
end of the 2009 season to further pursue educational goals.

The Eagles capped the 2009 season with a record of 19-21, ranking third in
the conference with a 1.84 ERA and fourth in offense with a .273 team
batting average. Biola reached the GSAC Tournament thanks to a fifth-place
conference finish, falling to Azusa Pacific University in one of two
first-round, play-in games.

Parker named athletic director at CBU

Dr. Micah Parker has been named the Director of Athletics at California Baptist University, Kent Dacus, CBU Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services, announced Wednesday.
Parker inherits a program that won a pair of NAIA National Championships in 2009, finished an all-time best fifth in the race for the Learfield Sports-NAIA Director’s Cup and will likely have eight programs earn NAIA Scholar Team recognition when the teams are announced later in the week. He begins Aug. 3.
“After a yearlong search, CBU is thrilled with the hiring of Dr. Micah Parker as its next athletic director,” said Dacus. “We feel that Micah is a rising star in athletic administration. He is someone who is deeply committed to his faith and has shown strong integrity and character in his professional history. While he has a strong passion for intercollegiate athletics, he fully understands the bigger picture of university life and operating within the entire university structure.”
Parker returns to the athletic arena after a 17-month hiatus during which time he served as the headmaster at the prestigious Lutheran South Academy in Houston, Texas. Prior to his time at Lutheran South Academy, Parker spent more than 17 years as a collegiate basketball coach.
Most recently, Parker was the top assistant women’s basketball coach at NCAA Division I Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, from 2003-07. He served as the program’s recruiting coordinator in his last year after being in charge of player development and serving as camp director his first three years. He helped lead the Bulldogs to the 2007 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Championship and a subsequent NCAA Tournament berth as well as a pair of Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) appearances.
A 1991 graduate of NAIA-member Concordia University in Seward, Neb., Parker spent eight seasons as an assistant men’s basketball coach at his alma mater immediately after graduation. During that time, Concordia went 178-75, won three conference titles and made six straight NAIA Division II National Tournament appearances, including a Final Four appearance in 1992.
In 1998, Parker moved to the women’s side when he was named head coach of the women’s program at Concordia. After a 14-14 campaign in his first season, Parker led the Bulldogs 66 wins and into the national rankings during the next three seasons. In his final season of 2002, Concordia was 28-6, ranked as high as No. 6 and advanced to the NAIA Sweet 16. The next season, Parker served as the director of operations for the University of Nebraska women’s basketball program.
During his four years at Concordia, Parker’s teams led the NAIA in team GPA three consecutive seasons with a 3.73 and twice led all collegiate levels, according to the WBCA.
Parker is also a Christian motivational speaker, speaking at national youth gatherings, faith-based businesses, school assemblies, church events and banquets and Fellowship of Christian Athletes groups. He also served as an assistant professor during his time at Concordia.
Parker earned his master’s in education from the University of Nebraska in 1994 and then later earned his doctorate of philosophy with an emphasis in educational leadership from Nebraska in 1999. Parker and his wife, Amy, have three children.
“It will be a privilege to serve as the Athletic Director at CBU,” said Parker. “I appreciate Dr. Ellis and Kent Dacus giving me the opportunity to lead this outstanding athletic program. CBU is a great academic school, with a Christ-centered mission, that is blessed with so many talented people in the athletic department. I was very impressed with the support and direction that the school has for athletics and look forward to serving God in this position.” 

SBVC looking for softball coach – again!

San Bernardino Valley College will be posting a vacancy for a women’s softball coach in the coming week, according to Athletic Director Dave Rubio.

Cari Akins, a former standout at Iowa State, lasted just one year. Her successor will be the school’s fifth in as many years.

The turnover could be due to the fact that the position is a walk-on one. So who ever takes the job will have to have another job that pays the bills and has a flexible schedule. No that isn’t easy to find, especially given the current economic climate.

It has been a long time since the program has been competitive but that has to be due in large part to the turnover. The Wolverines improved some last year and should have a lot of returning players so it isn’t an awful situation for the incoming coach, provided the school moves quickly. (Yes that seems to be asking a lot!)

The Foothill Conference isn’t overly strong in that sport either so the Wolverines should be able to compete.

SBVC’s Emerson has a tough task ahead

So Kevin Emerson is the heir to Pat Meech as head of the San Bernardino Valley College football program. It is going to be very interesting to see how this plays out.

Emerson, the former coach at Citrus College, is taking over a program in free fall. A program that has lost 15 straight games dating back to the midway point of the 2007 season. Not only did the Wolverines lose – they lost big. They weren’t even close in a dozen of those 15 contests.

And he gets the job in July, meaning he is already behind when it comes to recruiting an area that he can’t be that familiar with. While Citrus had many players over the years from the San Gabriel area and the West end of the county, it had very few from the East end of San Bernardino County which is now his target area.

Emerson also has to assemble a coaching staff and how many quality coaches are still available this time of year. There might be a few he wants to bring over with him from Citrus but he got the job late enough even some of those might have made other plans.

Meech has decided to stay on in an assistant role. That could be a good thing and might help ease the transition. It could also be very awkward.

With the schedule the Wolverines face, it won’t be easy. Wins will likely be few and far between. Just being competitive would be a sign of progress.

Redlands women earn academic honors

Sophomore Kortney Watring and sophomore Mackenzie Smith of the University of Redlands track & field team earned NCAA Division III U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Women’s All-Academic honors as a result of their academic and athletic success.
Requirements for the USTFCCCA All-Academic distinction include a minimum of a 3.30 cumulative GPA and an automatic or provisional qualifying mark for either the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships or the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Watring, an English major, boasts an impressive 3.96 GPA and has exemplified the consummate student-athlete. A two-time Redlands Scholar-Athlete, she garnered ESPN The Magazine/College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Women’s Academic All-District VIII Track & Field/Cross Country Second-Team honors for the College Division in the first year that she was eligible for the award this past season. She experienced similar success in the jumps, notching a provisional qualifying mark for the 2009 NCAA Championships in the Triple Jump (37′ 8 “) at the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Multi-Duals. This is Watring’s inaugural selection to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team.
After earning All-America status for the second time in as many years, Smith continues to rake in recognition for her talents. Smith enjoys a 3.726 GPA as a Math major and has twice graced the list of Redlands Scholar-Athletes. Her NCAA Championship provisional-qualifying toss of 139′ 4″ in the Javelin Throw at the SCIAC Top-4 Meet punched her ticket to the 2009 NCAA Championships, where she took third with a mark of 140′ 7″. A two-time SCIAC Champion in the Javelin Throw, she also finished sixth in the event at the 2008 NCAA Championships. This is Smith’s second USTFCCCA All-Academic citation.
The Redlands women’s track & field team placed sixth at the 2009 SCIAC Championships and tied for 41st overall at the 2009 NCAA Championships.

Biola softball coach steps down

Carissa Millsap-Kalaba, head softball coach at Biola
University for the past five years, has announced her resignation.

Millsap-Kalaba, the seventh softball coach in the school’s history, will
be leaving to pursue a Master’s Degree. During her tenure with the Eagles,
she has compiled an overall record of 143-93 (.606 winning percentage),
averaging just under 29 wins per season.

“Carissa did a wonderful job and I am thankful for the five years she
served Biola as the softball coach,” said Biola University Athletic
Director Dave Holmquist. “Upon completion of her graduate studies, I am
confident that she will resume her coaching career with great success.”

While at Biola, Millsap-Kalaba guided the Eagles to five consecutive
playoff appearances, the longest such streak in the program’s 17-year
history. Her teams also finished no lower than fifth in the always-tough
Golden State Athletic Conference, posting an overall mark of 59-61.

The Eagles capped the 2009 season with a record of 19-21, ranking third in
the conference with a 1.84 ERA and fourth in offense with a .273 team
batting average. Biola reached the GSAC Tournament thanks to a fifth-place
conference finish, falling to Azusa Pacific University in one of two
first-round, play-in games.

In her previous four seasons, Millsap-Kalaba averaged 31 wins per year. In
2005, she led the Eagles to a 34-16 mark and the team’s first NAIA Region
II appearance in three seasons. She followed that up with a 32-14 record
in the 2006 season, the third-best season in the program’s history.

                  Overall                    GSAC
Coach   Year    W       L       Pct.    W       L       Pct.    Finish  Postseason
Carissa Millsap-Kalaba  2005    34      16      .680    14      10      .583    T-4th   Region II Playoffs
Carissa Millsap-Kalaba  2006    32      14      .696    13      11      .542    4th     Region II Playoffs
Carissa Millsap-Kalaba  2007    32      17      .653    12      12      .500    4th     Region II Playoffs
Carissa Millsap-Kalaba  2008    26      25      .510    11      13      .458    T-3rd   Region II Playoffs
Carissa Millsap-Kalaba  2009    19      21      .475    9       15      .375    5th     GSAC Tournament (0-1)
TOTALS  5       143     93      .606    59      61      .492

Redlands’ Nicholson signs pro contract

University of Redlands baseball’s Nolan Nicholson signed a professional contract with the Texarkana Gunslingers of the Continental Baseball League last week, according to Bulldogs coach Scott Laverty.
The Continental Baseball League, which is independently affiliated, is a six-team league that includes clubs based in Louisiana and Texas. According to the league’s Web site, players are “given the opportunity to improve their skills, expose and parlay their unique baseball talents to scouts… and if they desire and qualify, move into positions with Major League Baseball affiliated organizations.”
Nicholson enjoyed a stellar career while pitching for the Bulldogs, serving as the staff ace his junior and senior seasons. This three-time All-Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) honoree amassed a 3.41 ERA in his four years donning the Maroon and Gray while striking out 155 and holding opposing batters to a .276 average. He holds the program’s single-season record in victories at 12, which he achieved during the 2008 campaign.
“I feel blessed to be given the chance to go out and play and to have been given the opportunity to represent the university and the baseball program,” Nicholson said. “It shows that we have good players and hard workers and can be successful at the next level.”

Redlands track athletes earn academic honors

Junior Jake Baechle (Aurora, OH) and junior Richard Valenti (Palm Desert, CA) of the University of Redlands track & field team received NCAA Division III U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Men’s All-Academic laurels as a result of their academic and athletic success, according to an announcement made today by the USTFCCCA.
Requirements for USTFCCCA All-Academic distinction include a minimum of a 3.30 cumulative GPA and an automatic or provisional qualifying mark for either the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships or the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships.
As a Business major, Baechle has compiled a 3.347 cumulative GPA and has become one of the most talented 800m runners in program history. A two-time Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Champion in the event, he has qualified for the NCAA Championships in each of his two seasons running for the Bulldogs. In 2009, he barely missed the cutoff for finals at the national championship meet, placing ninth with a time of 1:51.38. Baechle’s season-best standard of 1:51.28 is the third-fastest in program history. This is Baechle’s second USTFCCCA All-Academic citation.
Valenti, a History major, owns a 3.476 cumulative GPA and is not a stranger to receiving awards recognizing his talents both in and out of the classroom. He is a two-time Redlands Scholar-Athlete and earned a spot on the ESPN The Magazine/College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District VIII Track & Field First Team for the College Division just one month ago. His first-place heave of 157′ 5″ in the Discus Throw at the SCIAC Top-4 Meet cracked the provisional qualifying mark for the 2009 NCAA Championships. He competed at the 2008 NCAA Championships in the Discus Throw, placing 11th. This is Valenti’s second USTFCCCA All-Academic recognition.
The Redlands men’s track & field team took second at the 2009 SCIAC Championships and provisionally qualified four for the 2009 NCAA Championships.