Rio Hondo slips past Chaffey, tightens grip on first

Two perennial Foothill Conference juggernauts went at it on Thursday and it was Rio Hondo solidifying its top status with an 8-7 win over Chaffey.

The Roadrunners (21-3, 14-0)  now have a whopping five-game lead with 10 left to play. It’s pretty hard to run the table in conference play in any sport, let alone one where you play every other team three times. For Rio Hondo that is probably the only drama left.

Chaffey went 23-1 two years ago when it last won the conference title and that was impressive.

Rio has a game left wioth Chaffey on Saturday, then three-game sets against Antelope Valley, Victor Valley and Mt. San Jacinto. It has made a habit of eeking out one-run games when they need to and that takes a special team.

Chaffey (16-10, 12-5)  is trying to hold off a couple of teams for the second spot. The No. 2 team will make the playoffs too but the better the record, the better the playoff seed. The Panthers could really use a win in the series finale.

In other Foothill Conference action, San Bernardino Valley picked up a 6-5 road win over Barstow.



Local product lands first D1 coaching gig

Former Cal State San Bernardino basketball standout Laura Beeman, a long-time resident of the Inland Empire, has landed her first head coaching job at the Division I level, being named to that position last week at the University of Hawaii.

Beeman led the Mt. SAC women’s program to prominence in her 15 years there. She led the Mounties to 10 conference championships and four California Community College State Championships–including a string of three straight from 2006-08.

Beeman was selected conference Coach of the Year four times and was voted the district and regional coach of the year in 2001. She led Mt. SAC to a school-best 37-1 record in both the 2007 and 2008 season. During her tenure with the Mounties, she produced 80 all-conference selections, 24 all-state selections, and 10 all-region selections. Beeman posted a 390-110 (.780) record during her tenure at Mt. SAC.

As a player, Beeman was an All-American guard at Cal State San Bernardino where she set the career, season and game assist records. She graduated in 1992 with a degree in business administration from CS San Bernardino and later earned a master’s degree in education with an emphasis on counseling from the University of Redlands.

She earned a second master’s degree in education with an emphasis in physical education from Azuza Pacific University.

Beeman was an assistant with the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks before accepting an assistant position at USC where she worked with Michael Cooper. Cooper also heads the Sparks and had her on his staff there.

Beeman, 43, is the eighth head coach since the program’s inception in 1974 and the third female head coach in its history.


Cal Poly Pomona pitcher honored again

Cal Poly Pomona senior right-hander Geoff Broussard has been named the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s (CCAA) baseball Pitcher of the Week for the week of Mar. 19-25. It marks the second time this season he has been honored.

The Alta Loma High School graduate turned in an impressive outing in helping the Broncos’ to their lone win during a four-game series at league-leading Sonoma State over the weekend. In tossing his third complete game of the season, Broussard held the Seawolves to five hits, an unearned run, did not walk a batter and struck out a career-high 12 batters.

Cal Poly Pomona is next in action when it Thursday when it opens a four-game series with Cal State San Bernardino.

Eli Davis of Cal State Stanislaus was named CCAA Player of the Week.

CCAA Baseball Pitchers of the Week:

Jan. 30 – Feb. 5: Geoff Broussard (Cal Poly Pomona)

Feb. 6-12: Kagen Hopkins (Chico State)

Feb. 13-19: Aaron Appino (Cal State Monterey Bay)

Feb. 20-26: Ryan Goodbrand (UC San Diego)

Feb. 27 – Mar. 4: Troy Neiman (Chico State)

Mar. 5-11: Jeff Owen (Cal State Monterey Bay)

Mar. 12-18: Branden Petrangelo (San Francisco State)

Mar. 19-25: Geoff Broussard (Cal Poly Pomona)


SBVC soccer player decides on four-year school

San Bernardino Valley soccer standout Mariela Ortega (Desert Hot Springs) has signed a letter of intent with NCAA Division II University of West Georgia.

Ortega, a sophomore forward, was a first team All-Foothill Conference standout last season with 14 goals, seven coming in conference play.

She earned honorable mention as a freshman in 2010, helping the Wolverines to their first state title in the sport.

West Georgia (7-9, 2, 2-3-2) finished sixth in the Gulf South Conference.

SBVC baseball team loses another close one

The difference between first place and fourth place in the Foothill Conference when it comes to baseball isn’t much.

San Bernardino Valley College lost to Rio Hondo 3-2 on Thursday. It lost to the same school by the same score on Tuesday. So theWolverines have lost ground in their bid for the playoffs.

It was a pretty good game as Rio Hondo scored all three of its runs in the second inning. Four walks were the biggest issue. And there didn’t have to be any damage as SBVC starter Adam Quintana retired the first two batters in the inning.

The next guy singled and looked to be picked off but the first baseman dropped the ball.  Oops! Then came walk, walk, walk (forcing in a run), then a two-run single.

SBVC just managed lone runs in thethird and seventh innings.

Quintana pitched pretty well in all but that one inning and those were unearned.

SBVC had seven hits while Rio had five but the Wolverines stranded seven runners, six in scoring position.


Cal State’s Chapman earns baseball honor

Cal State San Bernardino outfielder Ethan Chapman has been named the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s (CCAA) baseball Player of the Week for the week of Mar. 5-11.

Chapman, a junior from Upland, had a big offensive weekend while helping the Coyotes win three of four games against Cal State Los Angeles. During the four-game series, the Coyotes leadoff hitter batted .667 (12-for-18) with eight runs scored, four doubles, two triples and an RBI.

Chapman collected multiple-hits in all four games, including a 4-for-5 performance in game two of the series, and had at least two runs scored in three of four games.

Cal State Bernardino is off until Mar. 29 when it begins a four-game series at Cal Poly Pomona.

Bungled score at CCAA Tournament now an afterthought

The CCAA administrators fell down on the job yet again. Why is that not surprising?

This time a controversy came up in the men’s semifinal between Cal Poly Pomona and Humboldt State on Friday that the CCAA braintrust chose to ignore.

The Broncos were up 61-58 when DeRonn Scott hit a long jumper with 4:21 to play. Two referees clearly signaled that it was a 2-point bucket but it was posted on the scoreboard as a 3-pointer, the announcer called it that way so it went down in the stats column that way as well.

So now its 64-58, although it should have been 63-58.Sure enough Humboldt comes back and it looks like it’s going to be a back and forth game the rest of the way.

About 30 or so seconds later the half a dozen or so CCAA administrators sitting courtside seem to realize there’s an issue. At one point one appeared to say something to one of the referees . . . Houston we have a problem here! But they do nothing. Two timeouts come up moments after the errant score and yet still nothing is done.

So let’s just stick our head in the sand and hope it goes away!

Well Humboldt comes back and wins 74-70 so maybe everything is right with the world.

It’s a four-point margin and it may not look like a critical error. Still, a lot of game strategy and management depends on the score at the time. Do you go for a two-pointer or a 3-pointer? Do you need a time out to set up a certain play? Do you foul? Do you not?

Cal Poly and Humboldt went into the event ranked seventh and eighth in the region respectively so they were both on the bubble. That point could have made the difference in a win or a loss and thus one team getting in the playoffs and one not.

It wasn’t all that different than a women’s tournament game last year between Cal State San Bernardino and Monterey Bay in which the difference was a putback by Monterey at the buzzer that clearly came late.

At least in this case, the right team won the game.

In  these games a television replay was available. Why not use it?

If you’re going to have a conference tournament to decide your automatic qualifier, you owe to the athletes and coaches to get it right.

Cal Poly women the lone team left standing

Well college basketball season has pretty much come to an end.

The lone team left standing for a second straight season is the Cal Poly Pomona women.They got the No. 6 seed for the NCAA West Region Tournament which begins on Friday at UC San Diego and will be taking on No. 3 Grand Canyon.

It will be a rematch of last year’s title game won by the Broncos. It should be an entirely different game with each team having graduated the centerpiece player from their team a year ago – Reyana Colson of Cal Poly and Samantha Murphy of Grand Canyon.

Five CCAA teams made the women’s a field, a contrast to the men’s side where only two got in.

Here’s Friday’s schedule:

First Round – Friday, March 9
Game No. 1: No. 6 Cal Poly Pomona (19-8) vs. No. 3 Grand Canyon (23-3) – 12:00 p.m.
Game No. 2: No. 7 Cal State L.A. (18-11) vs. No. 2 Alaska Anchorage (27-4) – 2:30 p.m.
Game No. 3: No. 5 Cal State Monterey Bay (21-8) vs. No. 4 Western Washington (21-7) – 5:00 p.m.
Game No. 4: No. 8 Chico State (18-10) vs. No. 1 UC San Diego (28-2) – 7:30 p.m.

Semifinals – Saturday, March 10
Game No. 5: winner of game No. 1 vs. winner of game No. 2 – 5:00 p.m.
Game No. 6: winner of game No. 3 vs. winner of game No. 4 – 7:30 p.m.

Regional Championship Game – Monday, March 12
Winner of game No. 5 vs. winner of game No. 6 – 7:00 p.m.

If you’re heading down, give yourself plenty of time. Finding parking on campus in the middle of the day can be a challenge. It also costs $8 to park so be prepared for that as well.

Neither of our teams made the cut on the men’s side but here is that rundown for those who are interested.


Western Washington University - Bellingham, Wash.

Friday - 12:30 p.m. - No.3 Seattle Pacific (21-7) vs. No.6 Dixie State (20-6)

2:30 p.m. - No.2 Alaska Anchorage (22-6) vs. No.7 Montana State Billings (18-11)

5:30 p.m. - No.4 Humboldt State (22-7) vs. No.5 Chico State (24-7)

7:30 p.m. - No.1 seed Western Washington (25-5) vs. No.8 Grand Canyon (19-7).

A thought here – the middle two games will be rematches of conference finals played on Saturday. Billings and Grand Canyon were the last two in anyway so those teams could easily have been flipped to avoid a rematch which will make for a fourth meeting this season between those teams.