Cal Baptist adds basketball players

California Baptist University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Tim Collins has announced the final four pieces to the Lancers’ 2009-10 recruiting class.
The final pieces include two NCAA Division I transfers in Andre Gilbert (Kansas State) and Clint Amberry (San Jose State), a junior college transfer in Justus Von Wright (L.A. Pierce College) and the return of a former Lancer (Cesar Menjivar).
Gilbert, a 6-7, 205-pound senior and native of Brooklyn Park, Minn., played the 2007-08 season for the Wildcats averaging 3.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists while being named to the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team. He started 15 of his 27 appearances alongside eventual NBA players Michael Beasley and Bill Walker for the 21-12 Wildcats that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Gilbert’s best game came in an 82-69 win over Rider in the finale of the Old Spice Classic when he scored a game-high 22 points, going 4-for-6 from beyond the arc, to go along with five rebounds in 28 minutes. Four nights later, he played a season-high 32 minutes and had 16 points and four rebounds in a narrow 80-77 overtime loss at home to No. 17 Oregon. He later had seven points in a win at Colorado and then started in back-to-back games against Top 10 teams Texas (No. 5) and Kansas (No. 6) near the end of the season in nationally-televised games on ESPN, scoring six points and grabbing five rebounds against Texas.
Gilbert was one of Frank Martin’s first signings when Martin replaced Bob Huggins prior to the 2007-08 season. He played in just 14 games due to a shoulder injury, averaging 7.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists at Mt. San Jacinto College in 2006-07. He played his 2005-06 freshman season at South Dakota State, averaging 8.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in 20 games.
“Andre will be one of the GSAC’s premiere athletes this season,” said Collins. “He is the athlete that we needed to get to replace the seniors we lost to graduation. He possesses strength, jumping ability and rebounding tenacity to go with his quickness and agility, and he is a quality defender who can also fill the lanes and get to the basket.  His experience will contribute to the growth of our young team this season.”
A 6-10, 205-pound sophomore, Amberry played his 2007-08 freshman season at San Jose State. He played in 11 games (5.7 minutes), scoring 11 points and grabbing eight rebounds for the 13-17 Spartans. He scored three points in 13 minutes in a win over San Diego.

Amberry prepped at Los Alamitos (Calif.) High where he earned all-state first team honors by CalHi Sports as a junior after averaging 14.1 points and 8.3 rebounds. He averaged 16.0 points and 8.0 rebounds, was named Sunset League Co-Most Valuable Player and was rated among the top-200 high school seniors by several national recruiting services as a 2007 senior.
“Clint is going to be a difficult match-up in our conference,” said Collins. “He plays well in the post and has a good set of skills, and his trademark is being a good passer and playmaker. His former coaches have been impressed with his basketball IQ, which is something that is extremely important in our system. For a big man, he has good hands and a nice perimeter shot, and he is someone that we can build our program around for the next three years.”
Von Wright, a 6-3 wing, transfers after just one season at L.A. Pierce Junior College. He played in 25 games and averaged 14.3 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists in earning Western State Conference North Division honorable mention. Von Wright had 20 double-digit scoring games and six 20-point games, including a season-high 28 points against Los Angeles City. He also had 25 points against Santa Barbara. Von Wright prepped at Van Nuys (Calif.) High.
“Justus brings quickness at the defensive end of the floor and will likely earn a lot of quality minutes this year,” said Collins. “He is very athletic on the offensive end and can really get to the rim. He has shown himself to be a strong leader, and we are excited about his ability and his positive attitude toward life. We feel we’ve recruited a fine player and a young man committed to excellence.”
After sitting out last season, Menjivar returns to the court providing the Lancers with quality depth at point guard as he joins junior Kris Corso and junior college transfer Kelly Johnson. In two seasons at CBU, Menjivar played in 63 games, starting four, and has averaged 4.1 points and 2.0 assists in 16.4 minutes while playing in two national tournaments. He has 124 career assists against just 59 career turnovers and has shot 43 percent (40-for-93) from the 3-point line. As a 2008 sophomore, Menjivar appeared in 33 games, averaging 5.0 points and 2.4 assists in 21.3 minutes.
“Cesar is a campus favorite and a coach’s dream,” said Collins. “He is a good leader and a cerebral player, which makes him extremely valuable. Our staff is excited about his return to the court.”
Gilbert, Amberry, Von Wright and Menjivar joins a class that already includes junior college transfers Johnson (Citrus) and Tom Schumacher (Cuesta) as well as prep standouts Luke Evans (Oceanside-El Camino HS) and Josh Barrett (Vista Murrieta HS).
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.

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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.” 

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Cal Baptist announces baseball signees

California Baptist University baseball head coach Gary Adcock has announced an additional six pieces for the 2009-10 recruiting class. 

We are extremely excited to add these quality young men in our program,” said Adcock. “In this late signing period we have been able to address some of the issues we encountered during our season and supplement an already top notch recruiting class.”


The impressive class already includes prep stars Jesse Arreola (Patriot HS), Kody Sepulveda (Paloma Valley HS) and twin brothers Luke and Zach Esquerra (La Habra HS), all of whom recently participated in their respective county all-star games, as well as Eric Zaragoza (Ontario Christian HS) and junior college transfer Braden Schaidt (College of the Desert).


Arreola was 8-5 this year with a 1.50 ERA. In 74.2 innings, he had 108 strikeouts and was an All-CIF second team selection. Sepulveda hit .446 with 29 runs, 21 RBIs, 15 doubles and four home runs. Zach Esquerra hit .375 with nine home runs and 32 RBIs, while his brother, Luke, hit .329 with 22 runs, 14 RBIs and three home runs.


The lone transfer in the new crop is Anthony Simmons from national junior college power Central Arizona College. This past season, Simmons hit a team-best .437 with 58 RBIs, 20 doubles, five triples and seven home runs on a team that had seven players sign national letters of intent with NCAA Division I programs, including two to Arizona State. The middle infielder led the Vaqueros, who were ranked No. 7 in the nation, to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Western District Finals where they lost to Western Nevada, which finished third at the World Series. Simmons, who prepped at Chino High, was second in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference in hitting and was in the top 40 in the nation. He was All-ACCAC and NJCAA All-Region I.


“Anthony will be an immediate impact player,” said Adcock. “He is an above average fielder with plus arm strength and he hits for a high average with power. The numbers he put up in junior college are staggering. Central Arizona consistently puts out terrific players, and we are fortunate to have Anthony in our program.”


All-CIF Matt Marnati (Yucaipa HS) hit .456 with 27 RBIs, 10 doubles, five triples, four home runs and 14 stolen bases this past season leading the Thunderbirds to the Citrus Belt League title and the third round of the CIF Playoffs. Marnati was a two-time All-San Bernardino County and All-CBL selection. The outfielder hit .460 with 16 stolen bases as a 2008 junior.


A two-sport star, Marnati also played football, starting 33 straight games as a defensive back. He was a three-time All-CBL pick and was all-county as a senior when he was also named one of the top players in the county by the San Bernardino Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. He was also named Yucaipa High Scholar-Athlete of the Year.


“Matt is an electric player and a gifted 2 sport athlete and will excite Lancer fans instantly,” said Adcock. “Along with being a plus runner (6.8 60-yard dash), he also brings a potential power left handed bat to the lineup. Having played and been a leader for a top 10 high school team this year we look forward to Matt competing at CBU.”


A two-way player, Matt Daugherty (Temecula Valley HS) hit .344 with 22 runs, 31 RBIs and nine home runs this past season, leading the Southwestern League in home runs and RBIs. Selected to the Riverside County All-Star Game, Daugherty was a prep teammate of Brooks Pounders, who was selected in the second round (53rd overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates. TVHS won the Southwestern League title and advanced to the second round of the CIF Playoffs where it narrowly lost, 3-1, to Norco High, which was led by Matt Hobgood, the No. 4 overall selection in last week’s draft.


“Another 2 way player, Matt has tremendous power potential as a collegiate hitter,” said Adcock. “A true ‘gamer’ and clutch player, Matt flourishes when the RBI opportunities present themselves. He is a diligent worker who has a chance to make an impact on the mound and at the plate immediately.”


Orange County standout Daniel Warwick (Villa Park HS) was 6-2 with a 1.58 ERA. In 57.2 innings, he had 74 strikeouts, leading the Century League. He was also second in the league in ERA and was named All-CIF second team and All-Century League. A four-time Scholar-Athlete with a 4.44 GPA, Warwick recently played in the Ryan Lemmon Foundation Century League vs. South Coast League All-Star Game.


“An outstanding left-hander, Daniel will make an immediate impact on the mound,” said Adcock. “With a quality three-pitch mix as well as a superior mound presence, Daniel should develop quickly in our system.  He loves to compete, and attacks hitters–two things we look for and stress with our pitching staff.”


Omar Cedeno and Javier Martinez were prep teammates at Hemet West Valley High and will both be teammates at CBU. Martinez possesses a solid changeup and should add quality depth to the bullpen as a lefty. He had a 3.14 ERA in 58 innings pitched. Meanwhile, Cedeno is noted for his work ethic and should push for time on the infield. He hit .451 and led his team with 17 RBIs and seven doubles.


“Both Omar and Javier love to compete and should flourish in our program with that positive attitude,” said Adcock.


Local product Jesse Santana played a key role in Riverside-Poly High’s run to the CIF Semifinals. He hit .318 and started at third base in the semifinal game.


“The entire coaching staff has done a tremendous job putting together this class,” said Adcock. “Seeing the success our freshman players had last year, we decided once again to focus in on high school players in this class. Add in a couple tremendous transfer players and the buzz around the area is that this is the best group of student-athletes we have accumulated since I’ve been here, and we agree. We look forward to helping them develop in their Christian walk, academic endeavors and pursuit of athletic excellence. Recruiting, though, is a never-ending process, and we still will look to make a couple more additions this summer.”


2009-10 Recruiting Class

Jesse Arreola (Patriot HS) – 8-5, 1.50 ERA, 74.2 IP, 108 K, All-CIF

Omar Cedeno (West Valley HS) – .451, 7 2B, 17 RBI

Matt Daugherty (Temecula Valley HS) – .344, 22 R, 31 RBI, 9 HR

Luke Esquerra (La Habra HS) – .329, 22 R, 14 RBI, 3 HR

Zach Esquerra (La Habra HS) – .375, 9 HR, 10 2B, 32 RBI

Matt Marnati (Yucaipa HS) – .456, 27 RBI, 10 2B, 14 SB, All-CIF

Javier Martinez (West Valley HS) – 3.14 ERA, 58 IP

Jesse Santana (Poly HS) – .318, started at 3B in CIF Semifinals

Braden Schaidt (College of the Desert) – .412, 31 R, 37 RBI, 9 2B, 12th in state in hitting as 2008 frosh

Kody Sepulveda (Paloma Valley HS) – .446, 29 R, 21 RBI, 15 2B, 4 HR

Anthony Simmons (Central Arizona) – .437, 58 RBI, 20 2B, 7 HR, NJCAA All-Region

Daniel Warwick (Villa Park HS) – 6-2, 1.58 ERA, 57.2 IP, 74 K, All-CIF

Eric Zaragoza (Ontario Christian HS) – .344, 26 R, 26 RBI, 4 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR


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