Sagehens’ baseball season comes to a close

The Pomona-Pitzer baseball team has fallen one game short of playing for the NCAA Division III West Region championship for a second straight year. The Sagehens were sent home from the 2010 event by a 6-5 loss to Mississippi College Saturday afternoon at Linfield University in McMinnville, Ore.

The disappointing thing is that the decisive run was the result of a Sagehens error in the ninth inning. Coach Frank Pericolosi says defense was an issue the entire tournament. Official scoring was generous, with many hits called as such that should have been ruled errors.

The tournament got off to such a promising start with the Sagehens winning their first two games and being the last team handed a loss in the double-elimination tournament. The wheels started coming off on Friday in a 10-0 loss to host Linfield. Two errors in the first inning led to four unearned runs and the Sagehens were never in the game. 

The Sagehens (31-11) do have a lot to be proud of this season. Last year they were No. 1 in the country heading into the tournament so not winning then was more disappointing than it has to be this season.

Pericolosi started as many as four freshmen and three sophomores this season.So this team will be back. The key losses will be catcher James Brunswick, one of the team’s more underrated players, and shortstop James Kang, who seemed to come up with every clutch hit.

Some players also emerged that few might have expected. Guy Stevens got throw into the fire Friday night after sophomore starter Leo Rosetti struggled. Stevens is just a freshman and had seen little mound time this season, That was a pretty pressure-packed situation. But he threw five scoreless innings before running out of gas and giving up a couple in his sixth inning of work.

The same can be said for senior Lucas Fogarty, the tough-luck loser today.He too had not been called on much but was solid in hs outing.

With three SCIAC titles and regional appearances in the last four years, it is clear that Pomona-Pitzer is the standard by which others in the conference will be measured in coming years.




All-SCIAC selections announced in baseball

The All-SCIAC honors have been doled out in baseball. Not surprsingly, Pomona-Pitzer and Redlands dominate the selections as the teams finished first and second in the conference.

The Sagehens are the lone team left playing.

David Colvin, Jr., Pomona-Pitzer
Derek Johnson, Jr., University of Redlands
Alex Sunderland, Jr., Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

Mike Surina, Sr., University of La Verne

Nick Frederick, Jr., Pomona-Pitzer
John Hattabaugh, Sr., University of La Verne
Chase Tucker, So., University of Redlands
Steve Dannaway, Sr., Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Zach Braband, Sr., University of Redlands

Nate Carlson, Jr., University of Redlands
Erik Munzer, Fr., Pomona-Pitzer
Max Rose, Sr., Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

Designated hitter
K.C. Judge, Jr., California Lutheran

Matt Baudino, Jr., University of La Verne
Robbie Selden, Sr., California Lutheran
James Brunswick, Sr., Pomona-Pitzer
Ian Durhan, Jr., California Lutheran

Jefre Johnson, Sr., University of Redlands

Victor Peinado, Sr., University of La Verne
Eric Schropp, So., Caltech

Matt Martin, Sr., California Lutheran
David Spiller, Sr., Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Jacob Storrer, Fr., Whittier

Designated hitters
Nick Gentili, Fr., Pomona-Pitzer
Brett Sandford, Sr., University of Redlands

Michael Lessig, Sr., University of Redlands


Pomona-Pitzer to open against Texas-Tyler

The SCIAC champion Pomona-Pitzer baseball team is the lone college team left standing. The Sagehens will leave Tuesday morning for the NCAA Division III West Regional to be hosted by Linfield (Ore.) starting on Wednesday.

The Sagehens (29-9) are seeded third in the six-team field and will open up against fourth-seeded University of Texas-Tyler at 7 p.m.

The field looks extremely tough with all six teams ranked nationally.Chapman is the top seed and is ranked the highest at No. 6. Then it’s Trinity (Tex.) at No. 9, Pomona-Pitzer at No. 11, Mississippi College at No. 15 and Texas-Tyler at No. 18.

Tyler is the top team out of the tough American Southwest Conference. Both Tyler and Pitzer were regional qualifiers last year, although they didn’t play each other.

The biggest challenge for the Sagehens will be rust. They haven’t played in three weeks. No matter how much you practice or how many intrasquad games you play, it isn’t the same as seeing live pitching and being in game situations.

Junior David Colvin gets the start. With him on the mound the Sagehens typically don’t need a lot of runs.

The Sagehens have five seniors, two of whom are starters. They have been to the regional three times in the last four years.



Catching up with a former Chaffey College Panther . . .

Former Chaffey College baseball standout Alex Caldera struck out a career-high 11 and allowed just five hits over 7 2/3 scoreless innings in his best start of the season Friday as the Wilmington Blue Rocks, a Carolina League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, edged the Potomac Nationals, 2-1.

Caldera (2-2) did not walk a batter and lowered his ERA to 3.32 through six starts. The 24-year-old right-hander faced 26 batters, inducing seven fly balls and two grounders.

The 11-strikeout effort eclipses his previous best of 10, also against Potomac on May 7, 2009. He’s second in the Carolina League with 45 strikeouts over 40 2/3 innings.

Caldera fanned two in the second, third and fourth innings. He caught Rob Jacobsen looking for his final out in the eighth inning before Buddy Baumann came on in relief and struck out Stephen Lombardozzi to end the frame.

Jamie Romak’s two-out, two-run homer in the fourth was enough for Caldera to pick up his his first victory since April 22.

Caldera survived a rocky 2009 campaign in which he finished 5-10 with a 4.77 ERA in 27 starts for Wilmington. He earned Carolina League Pitcher of the Week honors last Aug. 31.

He was a 13th round draft pick out of Chaffey in 2007. While pitching for the Panthers he earned Foothill Conference Pitcher of th Year honors.


CMS golfer wins national championship

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps golf standout Tain Lee brought home a national championship today at the NCAA Division III championships in Hershey, Penn. But it gets better than that . . . senior Mitchell Fedorka of the University of La Verne finished second, giving the SCIAC the top two individuals in the country. That is some feat!

Lee led from wire-to-wire which is pretty impressive. Fedorka pulled into a tie with him during Thursday’s third round but he had a triple bogey late in the round that gave Lee the lead back. He never gave it up.

The win was nice for Lee which might be of some consolation to Fedorka, who lost in a playoff for medalist honors last season.

La Verne finished a respectable fifth in the team competition which was won by Methodist University of North Carolina. Had it not been for a bad opening round, the Leopards would have been right in the thick of the team competition too.

The SCIAC is one of the top conferences in the country when it comes to golf. CMS and the University of Redlands were ranked among the top 10 teams in the country all season long but La Verme got the automatic bid. And only three at-large bids are awarded nationwide so both those teams were left at home when they were probably better than some teams that won their conference.

According to CMS coach Bim Jollymour, the rules are changing next year so that six at-large berths will be awarded. That should bode well for the SCIAC.


Three SCIAC softball teams make the playoffs

The announcement of playoff pairing for the NCAA Division III softball tournament were announced and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, La Verne and Redlands are all in, Now let’s hope the teams do a little better than last year when the same three got in to the same six-team regional and they were THE first three teams eliminated.

La Verne got the automatic bid by winning the SCIAC tournament. That looked like it was going to knock Redlands out of the running because few believed the SCIAC was going to get three teams in again this year and CMS seemed like a sure bet because it beat Redlands head-to-head in three of four meetings,. And it should have won the other game too.

Redlands coach Laurie Nevarez seemed to think her team’s chances weren’t good, and said as much after her team lost the SCIAC title game to La Verne.

But after all that the Bulldogs might have the best draw of the three local teams, who are headed to separate venues.

La Verne got the short end of the deal. But then again it was third to the other two in the regular season. The Leopards (27-18) will play at Louisiana College and face the host team in its opener. Louisiana (41-6) also happens to be ranked first in the country. No. 2 Texas-Tyler and No. 10 East Texas Baptist are in the same field. That’s a tall order!

CMS will be off Simpson College in Iowa. The Athenas are seeded fourth and will face fifth-seed Central (Iowa). Going by the rankings, the biggest obstacle looks like No. 8 Linfield, Ore. Central is No. 15 while host Simpson is No. 14.

Redlands will play in an eight-team regional at Wisconsin-Whitewater. The Bulldogs (32-120 will face Augustana, Ill. in its first game. That shouldn’t be an overwhemling task for a team with considerable playoff experience. No. 5 Luther (Iowa) is the highest ranked team in the group.







Catching up with some former Wolverines

Four former baseball standouts at San Bernardino Valley College played together again this season at Mid-American Christian University in Oklahoma.

The quartet is led by junior shortstop James Frederick (Rialto HS), who played third place last year and earned Golden Glove honors for SBVC. He hit .397 in 50 games and led the team in most offensive categories. He had 14 doubles, three triples, six home runs, 39 runs scored and 59 RBI. Among his big hits were two grand slam home runs.

Frederick is now headed to play summer ball with the Watertown Wizards of the New York Collegiate Baseball League.

Junior catcher Adrian Carmona (Riverside Rubidoux HS) played in 29 games. He hit .420 with 12 home runs and 28 RBI.

Junior outfielder Sammy Lewis led the Evangels in runs scored with 49 and hit .321.

On the mound senior right-hander Ryan Vollkommer was 3-5 with an 11.65 ERA in 13 appearances. He did pick up the win in the team’s regular season finale by pitching a scoreless ninth inning of a 5-4 win over Oklahoma Christian

The team went 21-27 overall and 9-19 in the Sooner Athletic Conference.



Former Sagehen starts strong in the Carolina League

Former Pomona-Pitzer baseball standout Drew Hedman is playing for the Salem (Va.) Red Sox, Boston’s High A affiliate in the Carolina League.

 It’s early but his second professional season is off to a better start than the first.He is hitting .340 (16-for-47) in 14 games with eight RBI and eight runs scored. He played first base in college but is now seeing time in right field.

Hedman, who broke several school records his senior season, hit .265 last year in 45 games for the Lowell Spinners of the New York-Penn League. He was a 50th round draft pick by the Red Sox in 2009.




Cal State assistant lands top gig

Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball coach Jeff Oliver is losing his lead assistant to a rival as Paul Trevor has been named the head coach at San Francisco State.

It is a good move for Trevor. Very few aspire to be an assistant their entire career and the older you get the harder it is to make the move. And the fewer offers you get. Trevor and his wife are both from that area so it made even more sense.

It isn’t a bad gig. The program used to be awful but has been built back up to respectability by Bill Treseler who resigned after five years. It has several starters back including Marquel Hoskins, who the Coyotes never did figure out how to guard. A lot of times the coach taking over a new gig has a rebuilding chore on his hands. But that isn’t the case here.Trevor won’t be starting from scratch.

Oliver and Trevor were extremely close. In fact it is hard picturing one without the other. Oliver brought Trevor on board the minute he got the job at Cal State eight years ago. But good programs have good assistants and they move on. It is a compliment to the progam.

It will be interesting when the two match wits from opposite sidelines.