The Baseline League proved its meddle this season as Damien won the league and went on to win the Division III state championship.
Chino Hills got to the Division I state final and Etiwanda likely could have but was in the Big Boy Division, also known as the Open and lost a SoCal Regional semifinal.
But coaches Dave Kleckner of Etiwanda and Matt Dunn of Damien have been recognized for their team’s showing.
CalHi Sports picks a statewide coach in each division and has chosen both Kleckner (Division I) and Dunn (Division III).
It’s pretty elite company to say the least and to think that the Inland Valley had two coaches honored is quite the compliment.
Dunn directed the Spartans to a 29-5 mark that included a first-place finish in the school’s first year in the more competitive Baseline. The season was capped off with the state championship win over Campolindo.
Kleckner’s Eagles went 24-9, finishing second to Damien in the league. But Etiwanda advanced to the Open Division final before falling to Bishop Montgomery. That run also included a semifinal win over Mater Dei at Mater Dei.
In the state portion of the playoffs Etiwanda remained in the Open division and ended up losing to another perennial power in LA Fairfax.
The overall state honor went to Chuck Rapp of San Mateo Serra. He was the Division II nominee. Other winners were Russell White of Crespi (Division IV) and John Maffucci of Carlsbad Army-Navy (Division V),
Nashville Sounds infielder Matt Clark, a graduate of Etiwanda High School, has been named the Pacific Coast League’s Batter of the Week for Aug. 18-24.
Clark, 27, posted a .536 average (15-for-28), recording multiple hits in each of last week’s contests, with three home runs and nine RBIs in seven games over the stretch.
Clark clubbed his 13th homer of the year on Sunday night at Greer Stadium to extend his current hitting streak to 14 games. The 14-game hit streak, during which the California-native is batting .482 (27-for-56), is the 2nd-longest by a Sounds player this season.
In the month of August, Clark leads the Sounds with nine home runs, 32 hits, 20 RBIs, 21 runs and 13 multi-hit games.
Overall, Clark is batting .333 (55-for-165) with 13 home runs and 33 RBIs in 45 games since joining the team on July 4.
Clark’s award is the second accumulated by a Sounds player during the 2014 season (also Mike Fiers, April 28-May 5) and the first PCL honor given to a Nashville batter since Caleb Gindl in 2012 (August 20-27 period).
The award is the fourth weekly honor of Clark’s seven-year career. He was previously honored three times by the Texas League in 2010.
Etiwanda baseball standout Tyler Freeman saw the college he liked and he jumped on the chance to cast his lot with that school.
The Eagles shortstop made a verbal commitment to Texas Christian University today, while on campus for a baseball camp.
He has been familiar with the school since he was young because he has a set of grandparents and an uncle who live near the school.
“I have wanted to go here since the first time I set foot on the campus,” he said. “It just felt like home.”
Freeman is one of the top young players in the area, having competed on the Eagles varsity last year as a freshman and earning second team All-Baseline League honors.
He played in all 25 games and hit. 276.
Freeman said he has been to several other schools unofficially, most notably UC Santa Barbara, UCLA, USC and Indiana. He didn’t feel the need to drag out the recruiting process.
“When I was little I used to tell my dad this is where I wanted to go when I was older,” he said.
Etiwanda High School infielder Kyle Isbel has made a verbal commitment to UNLV
He also visited a number of Division I schools including USC, Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge but decided he’d take the option out of state.
“I like the atmosphere there and the new facilities,” he said. “I spent a lot of time with the coaches and got to talk to some of the players and it seemed like a great fit.”
It helped that Isbel has another good friend going there in Austin Pritchard of Riverside J.W. North who has also committed to the school.
Isbel hit .347 with seven doubles and 14 RBI as a junior for the Eagles, earning second team All-Baseline League honors. He plans to major in business or sports medicine.
UNLV finished first in the Mountain West Conference last year. The team was 36-25 overall and 20-10 in conference play.