Etiwanda outfielder Steven Rivas headed to Long Beach State

It has been quite a week for Etwianda baseball standout Steven Rivas. On Monday he was named the Daily Bulletin Male Athlete of Week, then he won the on-line voting as overall So Cal Prep Legends Athlete of Week.

He topped that off over the weekend by committing to Long Beach State.

It was the only school he visited but other such as Division I Texas Christian, Hawaii and San Jose State as well as local Division II powers Cal Baptist and Cal Poly Pomona were also interested.

“I had a great conversation with a counselor there and I heard about everything they had to offer,” he said. “Then as far as baseball, I think I’ll have a chance to go in there and play. I liked the environment and it felt like the perfect fit.”

There is another bonus that goes with that commitment. Teammate Chris Jimenez will also be going there.

“We have known each other since we were 5,” Rivas said. “It will definitely be nice to have someone there with me that I really know and get along with.”

Rivas has helped the Eagles to an 9-2 record thus far. He is hitting .575 with 13 RBI, five doubles, two triples and two home runs.


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Etiwanda wins Rancho Cucamonga baseball tournament

The Etiwanda baseball team collected 17 hits and cruised to a 15-2 victory over Chaffey in the championship game of the Cougar Classic on Friday at Rancho Cucamonga High School.

Etiwanda (8-2) outscored its five opponents in the event 87-10.

The beneficiary of the last offensive outburst was starting pitcher Marcus Johnson, who went four scoreless innings, giving up just one hit. He won two games in the tournament.

Senior catcher Chris Jimenez led the offense, going 4 for 4 with four RBIs, highlighted by a triple and a home run. Junior second baseman Dalton Ponce also came up big going 3 for 4 playing in place of injured starter Cody Freeman,

The outcome was hardly in doubt after Etiwanda pushed across three in the first inning, three in the second and five in the third to take a commanding 11-0 lead.

Chaffey’s two runs came in the fifth inning. The Tigers (6-2) had a good tournament with quality wins over Carter and Rancho Cucamonga to get to the championship game.

The loss of Freeman was the biggest disappointment in the stellar showing. Coach Don Furnald said his sophomore second baseman was hit in the face by an 87-mile per hour fastball in Thursday’s semifinal. He feared Freeman had broken his jaw. That was not the case but Freeman did need oral surgery.

Furnald said he has no idea when Freeman will be able to return.


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Etiwanda pitcher Michael Berg headed to NAIA Trinity

Etiwanda High School pitcher Michael Berg will continue his education and play baseball at Trinity International, just outside of Chicago.

Berg was 6-3 with a 2.31 ERA in 12 appearance (10 starts). He pitcher 76 innings and managed four complete games in helping the Eagles to a playoff berth. He was a first-team All-Baseline League and All-Inland Valley honorable mention selection.

“I like the coaching staff and the atmosphere,” he said. “I thought it would be the best place for me to develop as a baseball player.”

Berg was also considering Biola or going to Grand Canyon University and just focusing on academics. He plans to major in accounting.

Berg hasn’t visited the school but has several friends that are going there so he has gotten a full scouting report on the school. He has another friend in Brady Lange, who just graduated from La Verne Lutheran, who will be going there as well and told the coach there about him.

Trinity went 23-24-1 overall last season and 11-17-1 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

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Etiwanda’s Tyler Freeman selected to all-star game

Etiwanda High School shortstop Tyler Freeman has been chosen to participate in the Perfect Game All-American game to be held at 5 p.m. on Aug. 14 at Petco Park in San Diego.

The event will be broadcast live by the MLB Network.

“It’s an honor to be chosen and I am very excited,” he said. “It’s one of those things you dream about.”

Freeman, who has committed to Texas Christian, just rounded out his junior year with the Eagles. The repeat first-team All-Inland Valley selection hit .388 (33 for 85) with 29 runs scored, 17 RBIs, 11 doubles, 3 home runs and 13 stolen bases.

Freeman was chosen based on his showing in Perfect Game sponsored events. He plays with the California Baseball Academy.

He competed in a recent showcase in Florida and credits his performance in that for helping land him a spot.

There has been no time off since the spring season ended for Freeman. He has a tryout for the Area Code games tomorrow at USC and will be headed to Arizona for another travel ball event later this month.

“I really haven’t had a day off but that’s OK because I love playing the game,” he said. “You don’t need a day off when you love what you do.”

Here is link to rosters of players chosen for the game.

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Etiwanda catcher Chris Jimenez commits to Long Beach State

Etiwanda High School junior catcher Chris Jimenez got an offer he liked so he isn’t waiting. He has made a verbal commitment to Long Beach State.

Jimenez made an  unofficial visit to the school and also took trips to UC Riverside, Tennessee and Texas A&M. The fact that Long Beach is close to home and has a solid were bonuses.

“The campus was nice and I really fell in love with it,” he said. “They made me a really good offer and I couldn’t pass it up.”

Jimenez helped the Eagles to a 19-7 record and 10-5 mark in the Baseline League which was good enough to tie for first place with Chino Hills. He hit .267 with 5 doubles, a home run and 18 runs and is also noted as a good defensive catcher.

Jimenez plans to major in something business related.

Athletic talent runs in the family as sister Julia has committed to Michigan for softball.



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Bailey Falter leads Chino Hills to a 4-3 win over Etiwanda

VIDEO: Baily Falter talks about his outing vs. Etiwanda

Bailey Falter returned from a nearly one-month layoff and pitched the Chino Hills Huskies to a 4-3 win over Etiwanda on Saturday in the second game of the Battle of the Baseline at LoanMart Field.

The win moved Chino Hills (15-8, 8-5) into a first-place tie with Etiwanda (16-6, 8-5), whom it beat for the second time in as many tries.

The three games between the teams this season were decided by a total of four runs.

Falter went the distance on the mound and struck out nine, including the side in the seventh. He gave up four hits, two of those coming in the third when Etiwanda manufactured two of its three runs.

Chino Hills went ahead for the first time with three in the bottom of that inning. Justin Bardwell doubled home a run and Elijah Greene got home another
with a sacrifice fly.

Jason Wallace stroked a towering home run to left for Etiwanda to tie it again in the sixth.

That tie was short-lived as Chino Hills got the decisive run in the bottom of the frame on a bunt single by Just Chavez.

VIDEO: Etiwanda’s Jason Wallace talks about his monster home run.

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Battle of Baseline baseball games loom huge

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It is once again it is time for the big Battle of the Baseline League with all six teams playing on the same day in the same venue – LoanMart Field in Rancho Cucamonga.

It is always a memorable experience for the players involved but the fact that these games are so important in the league race will make for an even better day.

Here’s the schedule and a look at each game:

Damien (8-13, 6-6) vs. Los Osos (9-13, 6-6), 11 a.m.
These two teams are currently part of a three-way tie for third. Few probably expected Damien to be in this position after the Spartans got off to a 3-11 start on the season but the Spartans have won five of the last seven games to surge into contention.

Sophomore right-hander Isaiah Paige will be on the mound for Damien which has wins this season over Los Osos by scores of 3-1 and 1-0.

The Spartans have also gotten steady production from sophomore third baseman Harrison Spohn, senior catcher Andrew Garcia and junior outfielder Daniel Benedict.

Senior Kyle Robeniol (.440) has been the top hitter and pitcher for Los Osos and will be on the mound. Senior third baseman Niko Navarro (.323) is the other big contributor.

Etiwanda (16-5, 8-4) vs. Chino Hills (14-8, 7-5), 2 p.m.

The Eagles are in first place, one game ahead of the Huskies so this one will either give Etiwanda a two-game lead or allow Chino Hills to pull even with two games left.

Chino Hills will have ace Bailey Falter (4-1, 0.93) on the mound for the first time since April 15. He has been away from the team for disciplinary reasons.

Senior right fielder Chris Ceballos (.379, 14 RBI, 6 HR) and senior designated hitter Konnor Zickefoos (.500, 6 HR, 21 RB) have been the catalysts of the offense.

Etiwanda will have Aaron Sheridan (3-2, 4.14) on the mound. Sophomore Tyler Freeman (.400) and senior Kyle Isbel (.381, 24 RBI).

Chino Hills beat Etiwanda 6-4 in eight innings on Wednesday while Etiwanda won the first game between the teams 10-9.

Upland (14-9, 6-6) vs. Rancho Cucamonga  (13-11, 3-9), 5 p.m.
Upland is the third team in the three-way tie for third while Rancho is the only team not playing for anything but pride. The Cougars did pull the 6-4 upset on Wednesday while Upland won the first game between the two 1-0.

The biggest problem for the Cougars has been offense. Junior Tyler Lawson (4-5, 2.29) will be on the mound though and he doesn’t need much when he is on.

Upland will also have its top pitcher on the mound in senior Jeff Kross (4-4, 3.76). Connor Shepherd (.468, 17 RBI) and junior Skyler De Los Reyes (.358) are catalysts of the offense.


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Two Baseline basketball coaches get state honor

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),


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Etiwanda grad Matt Clark named best in PCL for week

Matt Clark

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.


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Etiwanda baseball player Tyler Freeman commits to TCU

Tyler Freeman

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.

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