Former Cal Poly Pomona pitcher Cody Ponce got a late start to the season due to some “forearm fatigue.” But Ponce, also a product of Damien High School, has rebounded quite nicely and is having a stellar season.
Ponce, the Brewers’ No. 8 prospect, tossed a pair of scoreless outings last week, lasting 11 innings in total, while striking out 17 and walking none for Class A Advanced Brevard County to capture the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week award.
The award is Ponce’s first as a pro since he was taken in the second round of the 2015 Draft out of Cal Poly Pomona.
“I think it came down to whatever was working that day,” Ponce said. “But really in that sense, it was all [catcher Dustin Houle]. I don’t think I shook him maybe more than once or twice. He was just great behind the dish for two great games. I have to give it up to him. And then I had some great guys behind me making all the plays. I couldn’t have done this without them.”
Ponce’s first gem of the week came last Monday when he fanned five batters and allowed only two hits over five scoreless innings against Dunedin in what had been his longest start of the season up to that point. He one-upped himself five days later by lasting six frames, while fanning a career-high 12 and scattering only three hits. His 17 strikeouts were tied for third-most in the minors for the week of July 4-10 and were more than his dozen strikeouts over his five starts (14 innings) combined.
As impressive as the strikeout numbers were last week, the 6-foot-6 right-hander was happier with his zero in the walks column.
Khallifah Rosser of Cal State Los Angeles has already won a national championship, tied a long-running school record and won an elite race at the legendary Mt. San Antonio College Relays in 2016.
Now he is in Oregon ready to take his shot at the grandest goal of all: a spot on the United States Olympic Team.
Rosser, also a product of Summit High School and Chaffey College, will compete in the first round of the 400-meter hurdles at the U.S. Olympic Trials today at 6:53 p.m., hoping to advance to the semifinals on Friday wit the final slated for Sunday.
He has the seventh-fastest qualifying time entering the Trials and needs to finish among the top three to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team.
“I feel good; I’m real confident that I can reach my goal, but right now I am focusing everything on the first day and doing what I need to do to make it out of the first round,” Rosser said. “If I execute the plan like I should, I should do well.”
Rosser’s qualifying mark of 49.04 came in winning an NCAA Division II championship in May.
He is also buoyed by a break-through performance at the Mt. SAC Relays in April when he achieved a then-personal best mark of 49.27, while beating an elite field that included Olympic Trial participants like Jeshua Anderson, C.J. Allen and Michael Tinsley. “
Sophomore JaCardo Hawkins of San Bernardino Valley College has signed with Tennessee Tech University.
Hawkins, a 6-foot-8 forward, was a first-team All Foothill Conference selection, averaging 13.2 points per game and shooting 65.4 percent from the field. He ranked third in the state with 254 rebounds and 42 blocks.
His best game of the season came against Glendale when he scored 24 points, with 11 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals.
Hawkins helped the Wolverines to a 28-3 overall record and a 9-1 conference record.
Tennessee Tech University is located in Cookeville, Tenn., 80 miles east of Nashville and 45 miles south of the Kentucky-Tennessee border. It competes in Ohio Valley Conference (OVC).