Former UR baseball star takes over at Occidental

A former University of Redlands Bulldog is now going to try and beat the Bulldogs.

Luke Wetmore has taken the head coaching job after serving as hitting coach for three years under jason Hawkins, also a former Redlands player who resigned to pursue a Division I position.

Wetmore, a 28-year-old from Santa Cruz, transitions to head coach with the responsibility of returning the Tigers to prominence.

“I’m excited to be apart of a program with such rich baseball tradition,” Wetmore said. “I’m expecting that we’re going to compete right away. You can’t put a number on wins for the next couple of years, but I do know we are going to get better every day and every game.”

Wetmore comes highly recommended by his predecessor, who sees Wetmore as a dynamic coach, capable of taking the team to the next level.

“We created climate conducive to winning. Luke is a part of that and he is going to carry that forward,” Hawkins said. “It’s an attractive job. I think if you were to pool it at the national level you would get great candidates, but I don’t think anyone will do a job like Luke will.”

Wetmore grew up in Santa Cruz and was a multi-sport standout in football, baseball and wrestling at Santa Cruz High School. Later, Wetmore played baseball and football at the University of Redlands from 2004-08.

During his tenure with the Bulldogs, Wetmore won three SCIAC championships, one as a baseball player and two as a football player. He finished his career as an outfielder with a .317 batting average, a .516 slugging percentage, a .412 on-base percentage and 13 home runs.

Wetmore’s only other professional coaching stint resulted in a 2010 Mountain Collegiate League Baseball championship as an assistant with the Cheyenne Grizzlies.

The Tigers are looking to improve on last year’s 13-26 overall record and 9-19 sixth-place finish in the SCIAC.

 

SBVC catcher headed to Biola

Sophomore catcher Wes Cottier of San Bernardino Valley College is headed to NAIA Biola University in La Mirada.
 
Cottier, a Redlands High School greaduate, improved dramatically from his freshman year at SBVC to his sophomore year, in which he went from a .114 batting average in 2010 to a .336 batting average in 2011. He started 11 games in 2010 participating in 20 his freshman year, but in 2011, Cottier started 31 of 36 games and participated in 32. He was able to seamlessly move between catcher and first base throughout his sophomore year.
 
While he finished fourth on the team in batting average, Cottier finished first in slugging percentage with .573, led the team in home runs with 6, and led the team in defensive put outs with 217.
 
Biola went 38-22 overall and 25-11 in conference play last season. The Eagles got to the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament finals, but fell to Concordia. Then, the Eagles were invited to play in the NAIA Opening Round Tournament, but fell to Oklahoma Baptist University in double elimination.

Cal Poly basketballer headed back to Germany to start pro career

When Tobias Jahn starts his first professional season this fall, he won’t be in an unfamiliar overseas atmosphere. In fact, he’ll be right at home.

A native of Germany, Jahn signed a professional contract this week with Erdgas Ehingen of the Basketball Bundesliga’s second league “Pro A.” The team is based out of Ehingen, a town in the southern state of Baden-Wrttemberg.

“Tobias has had a fantastic college career and now we want to help him get started in his professional basketball career,” Ehingen head coach Ralph Junge said. “He is a guy that is difficult to get out of the gym. With this attitude, he is exactly at the right place in Ehingen.”

Jahn completed his four-year career with Cal Poly Pomona in 2011 and helped the Broncos capture the 2010 NCAA Division II title with clutch performances in the March postseason push. In the Elite Eight semifinal win over Bentley, the 6-foot-9 forward scored 11 points off the bench and grabbed six rebounds in 20 minutes. Jahn collected 10 points including his second three-pointer of the season in the title game against Indiana (Pa.).

“I realized after my visit to Ehingen that this was the best place for me to develop,” Jahn said. “I am looking forward to working with Ralph Junge and Felix Czerny.”

Through his time with the Broncos, Jahn totaled 113 games played and 2,358 minutes. He also collected 478 rebounds to go along with a scoring average of 7.3 points per game.

Cal State volleyball team favored in CCAA again

Five-time defending conference champion and NCAA Division II Pacific Region Champion Cal State San Bernardino received the maximum number of votes possible and was tabbed as the conference coaches’ unanimous pick to capture the 2011 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) title.

The Coyotes also open the season ranked third in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division II national poll.

The Coyotes, winners of five straight CCAA titles and eight overall since 2001, totaled 121 points and 11 first-place votes. UC San Diego, which tied for second a year ago, finished second in the poll after collecting 100 points and one first-place vote. Sonoma State was third with 95 points, Cal State L.A. was fourth after garnering 89 points and Cal State East Bay rounded out the top five with 84 points.

Chico State (68) was picked sixth and followed by Cal State Monterey Bay and San Francisco State, which tied for seventh with 54 points each. Cal Poly Pomona (45) was ninth, Cal State Stanislaus (34) placed 10th, Humboldt State (17) finished 11th and Cal State Dominguez Hills (15) rounded out the poll.

Cal State San Bernardino is coming off a 28-2 overall record, including a 21-1 mark, in CCAA play. The Coyotes defeated Seattle Pacific in the Pacific Region final before seeing their season come to an end at the hands of Concordia-St. Paul in the NCAA Championship quarterfinals. It marked the third straight season that Cal State San Bernardino had its season ended by the Golden Bears.

Entering her 21st season at Cal State San Bernardino, head coach Kim Cherniss welcomes back 2010 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Player of the Year Samantha Middleborn and All-American setter Camille Smith.

The 2011 campaign is slated to begin Thursday, September 1 with a trio of tournaments. Cal State San Bernardino will host the Coyote Labor Day Classic, while Sonoma State and UC San Diego compete in the Hawaii Tournament in Honolulu, and Humboldt State hosts the Humboldt State Tournament. CCAA play is slated to commence on Friday, September 9 with a full slate of contests.
 
2011 CCAA Women’s Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll
Rank  – School (First Place Votes) – Points – 2010 Record

1.Cal State San Bernardino (11)  121   28-2, 21-1

2.UC San Diego (1)  100  19-9, 15-7

3.Sonoma State  95  17-10, 14-8

4.Cal State L.A. 89  16-11, 13-9

5.Cal State East Bay  84  20-7, 15-7

6.Chico State  68  14-14, 9-13

T7.Cal State Monterey Bay  54  15-10, 12-10

T7.San Francisco State  54  14-13, 11-11

9. Cal Poly Pomona   45  10-17, 8-14

10. Cal State Stanislaus  34  13-14, 10-12

11. Humboldt State  17  2-24, 2-20

12. Cal State Dominguez Hills  15   3-25, 2-20

Cal State product Aaron Brooks faring well in minors

Former Cal State San Bernardino pitcher Aaron Brooks is spending his first professional season with Idaho Falls Chukars (Gotta love some of those minor league team names!) of the Rookie Pioneer League.

Brooks, a product of Cajon High School, was drafted in the ninth round by the Kansas City Royals last June, following completion of his junior year.

He is 4-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 50 innings. It’s an admirable start. Brooks has appeared in 10 games, eight of those as a starter. He has given up 54 hits with 46 strikeouts. He still has that trademark control – just five walks.

Brooks was named this week’s Pioneer League Pitcher of the Week after hurling five and two-third scoreless innings against Capser in which he gave up six hits and struck out a career-high 10.

 

SCIAC football teams get started this week

Practice begins this week for most area college football teams. It should be quite an interesting season in the SCIAC. There are plenty of story lines.

Cal Lutheran is a heavy favorite. The Kingsmen are looking for a third straight conference title. They return 18 starters and will be playing in a brand-spanking new facility so the program has considerable momentum.

After that it will be a crapshoot. The University of Redlands is always in contention but the Bulldogs did finally graduate quarterback Dan Selway as  well as their “quarterback” on the other side of the ball in defensive back-kick returner extraordinaire in Mike Nicolini.

The Bulldogs open the season a week earlier than usual and will have a tough first-week foe in North Central (Ill.) which is the favorite in its conference. Beating that team might be a tall order with question marks in such key positions.

There are three new coaches – Kyle Sweeney at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Chris Krich at La Verne and Kirk Jellerson at Whittier. Sweeney is in the best situation with a lot of returning starters from a team that went 7-2.

For Krich and Jellerson a three-win season would mean progress.

Then there is Occidental, looking to bounce back from an uncharacteristic losing season.

If that weren’t enough, Chapman joins the SCIAC this year although the Panthers won’t be eligible for a conference title in the first year. They play the SCIAC schools anyway so they may as well be in the conference.

On a sad note - condolences go out to the family and friends of former Occidental quarterback Andy Collins who collapsed and died while running on a treadmill in Florida. He was just 27 and had been married one week earlier. He was a three-time SCIAC Player of the Year.

 

 

CPP’s Colson headed to Iceland

For Reyana Colson, the dream has become a reality.

One of the most decorated players to ever wear the Green and Gold, Colson will begin her professional career in September. She recently signed a contract with KR Reykjavik of the Icelandic League.
 
“I was waiting all summer for the call,” Colson said. “It’s something that I’ve worked hard for and I’m excited to see where it takes me. From what I’ve heard, this league is a sort of stepping stone to better opportunities.”
 
The team is based out of Reykjavik, the capital and largest city in Iceland. Last year’s squad featured Chazny Morris, a former Division I star from Missouri-Kansas City. Colson’s contract has her joining the team in mid-September and competing in Iceland for eight months.

“Hopefully I can stay healthy and continue playing professionally as long as possible,” she said. “To be able to travel the world and play the game I love has been my ultimate goal.”
 
In talking about her summer search in trying to land a professional contract, Colson thanked Broncos’ head coach Danelle Bishop and CPP professor Dr. Renford Reese for their help. While Bishop helped her continue her basketball training and build contacts overseas, Reese assisted Colson in finding an agent and creating a player profile package with video.
 
“From the time that I started college at Cal Poly Pomona, I’ve gained a lot of confidence in myself and I’ve been able to crawl out of my shell,” Colson said. “On the court, I learned to be a leader and also to appreciate everything that I’ve been given.”
 
The 5-foot-6 guard earned NCAA Division II All-American honors in March after leading the Broncos to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2002 and through her career, she totaled 1,931 points. Her academic success was just as remarkable, as she received Academic All-American mention in 2011 as well.

UC San Diego gets CCAA basketball tourney in 2012

The 2012 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships have been awarded to UC San Diego.

The 16-team event will be contested February 28 – March 3 with the semifinals and championship games slated for RIMAC Arena (5,000) on the campus of UC San Diego in La Jolla.

The championship format calls for eight men’s and eight women’s teams to compete in first-round games at campus sites on February 28 with the winners advancing to the semifinals on March 2 in La Jolla. The championship games will be played on Saturday, March 3.

“Through a vote of the CCAA’s Executive Council, UC San Diego was chosen as the championship site over Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State San Bernardino,” Hiegert said. “Since the return of the CCAA Basketball Championships in 2008, the event has continued to grow and last year’s tournament provided tremendous competition and dramatic finishes.

“By electing UC San Diego as the 2012 host, southern California fans, and in particular those in the San Diego area, will have an opportunity to watch outstanding Division II college basketball,” Hiegert added. “UC San Diego has a tremendous athletics staff and the conference is confident that Director of Athletics Earl Edwards and his staff will put on an outstanding event in an excellent facility.”\

UC San Diego will be the fourth different institution to host the tournament since 2008.

“UC San Diego is extremely pleased to serve as the host site for the CCAA basketball championships this season,” Edwards said. “We are excited to showcase CCAA basketball and all it has to offer in our community and look forward to welcoming the participating student-athletes and coaches to San Diego.”

Since its return in 2008, the CCAA Tournament has been held at Cal State San Bernardino (2008 and 2009), Humboldt State (2010) and Cal State East Bay (2011).

Cal State Dominguez Hills is the defending men’s champion while Cal Poly Pomona captured the women’s title in 2011.

 

Pomona-Pitzer graduate excelling in the Appalachian League

Former Pomona-Pitzer baseball standout David Colvin is in his first year as a professional and is now pitching for the Seattle Mariners Rookie-League affiliate in Pulaski, Va.

Colvin, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound right-hander, is coming out of the bullpen for the team which is 19-22 overall. He has appeared in nine games, eight of those as a reliever. In 18 innings he has given up 16 hits, two earned runs and five walks with 17 strikeouts.

Colvin was drafted in the 27th round by the Seattle Mariners. He finished his career as the Pomona-Pitzer leader in wins with 35, strikeouts with 302, innings pitched with 369 and highest winning percentage at .833.

He also holds the single season record for strikeouts with 107 and shares the single season win record with 10 in 2010. He was named Second Team All-SCIAC in 2008 and First Team All-SCIAC in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He was named First Team All-West Region in 2010 and Second Team All-West Region in 2009 and 2011 and named Second Team All-American in 2010.

 

Former Cal Poly baseball standout honored

Former Cal Poly Pomona baseball standout Travis Taijeron has earned New York-Penn League Player of the Week honors.

Taijeron, who led the Broncos to the NCAA Division II West Region championship game in May, plays for the New York Mets Short-A affiliate the Brooklyn Cyclones. He was an 18-th round draft selection by the Mets in June.

For the week Taijeron hit 435 (10-for-23) with two doubles, three homeruns and six RBI. After lifting a solo shot against State College last Sunday, he went 3-for-4 with a homer, a double and four RBIs in Monday’s 9-5 win over the Spikes. He had at least one hit in his remaining six games, including solo blasts against Connecticut on Thursday and Vermont on Sunday. The 22-year-old outfielder is tied for third in the league with seven homers and is sixth with 28 RBIs.