Former player to be remembered at home opener

Cal State San Bernardino will honor former baseball player Jake Pilkerton at its home opener against Cal Baptist at 1 p.m. on Feb.8 at Fisacalini Field.

Pilkerton, an infielder, played for the Coyotes in 2012 and 2013. He played the previous two seasons at San Bernardino Valley College and is a graduate of Rim of the World High School.

He was killed in an automobile August last August. A foundation has been set up in his named with the proceeds going toward all three programs for which he played.

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Coyotes move into national top 10

Lacy Haddock drive vs CSUMB

An 11-game winning streak has propelled the Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball team into this week’s NABC Division II Coaches poll top 10.

The Coyotes (11-1, 8-0 in CCAA) moved up five places to No. 9. It is the first appearance in the top 10 in six seasons for coach Jeff Oliver’s program and their third consecutive week in the top-25 poll. CSUSB opened at 19th on Dec. 31 and moved to 14th last week.

The last time the Coyotes appeared in the top 10 was Jan. 15, 2008.

CSUSB is the top-ranked team in the West Region. Five West teams are in this week’s poll: the Coyotes, No. 12 Dixie State, No. 18 Cal Baptist, No. 19 Western Washington and No. 25 Chico State.

The Coyotes are on the CCAA road for the first time since Dec. 16 when they take on San Francisco State (7-4, 5-3) on Friday and Sonoma State (1-11, 0-8) on Saturday.

West Liberty and Bellarmine remain one and two, and Florida Southern moved up to third as a result and Metropolitan State, which beat then-No. 11 Colorado School of Mines, rose to fourth. Indiana (Pa.) and Tarleton State also moved up to fifth and sixth, respectively, while Drury, which lost at Bellarmine last Thursday, dropped to seventh.

Cal Poly Pomona received votes but didn’t quite crack the poll.

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Cal State women finding a groove

Renee Jimenez

Sometimes it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when your hard work isn’t manifesting itself in the win-loss column. That has been the case with the Cal State San Bernardino women’s basketball team.

But first-year coach Renee Jimenez and her Coyotes had a breakthrough the past weekend, chalking up wins over Cal State Monterey Bay and Cal State East Bay.

The win over the Otters was an emotional one since that’s the program Jimenez and lead assistant Tina Samaniego directed to prominence in their five years there before moving to SoCal.

Then 24 hours later the Coyotes rallied from a 19-point second half deficit to defeat an East Bay team that started the night tied for first in the competitive  CCAA. A win over a first-place team surely will go a long way to bolster the confidence of a team that was 0-6 in conference and 1-8 overall before the weekend. Now they know they can play with anyone.

Jimenez came was handed the job too late to recruit so this basically is the previous coach’s team. That’s not to say they’re players she wouldn’t want but a new coach always brings new offensive and defensive schemes, practice routines, etc. It takes awhile for players to adjust. But now they appear to be adapting quite nicely.

Jimenez has proven herself to be one of the top coaches in the conference, maybe THE best. She did a lot with a little at Monterey Bay. Now she has resources, a fine facility and a great talent pool in the Inland Empire with which to work.

It will only be a matter of time before the women’s program is on par with that of the men which are currently ranked in the top 10 nationally. Let’s hope area basketball enthusiasts take note.





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