Jermaine Curtis, above, is a Miller HS and UCLA product, who was originally drafted in the 5th round in 2008 by the St. Louis Cardinals. He had five at-bats in the big leagues with the Cardinals in 2013, and now he is with the Cincinnati Reds. He apparently has done this at several schools and seems honest about wanting to help kids. He even presented Washington High principal Peter Tanaka with one of his game-used bats.
Yucaipa High product Matt Carson has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers. Carson, 33, was a fifth-round draft pick by the Yankees in 2002.
The outfielder played 92 career big-league games in 2009-10 (A’s), 2012 (Twins) and 2013 (Indians). He has hit six home runs, 21 RBIs and batting .237 in his big-league career.Last season, he played for the Indians’ Triple-A Columbus affiliate, batting .259 with 10 home runs, 11 stolen bases and 32 RBIs in 82 games.
Above, San Gorgonio’s Malik James (7) and Nate Meadors (5) celebrate after a touchdown in a 55-7 win over Cajon in the first round of the CIF-SS Inland Division playoffs on Friday.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and meaning to write about the similarities between San Gorgonio’s 2014 football team and the Kaiser baseball team last spring.
I’m not trying to say that I think San Gorgonio will come up short of a CIF-SS championship, like Kaiser did last spring.
But stay with me:
Both teams have been good programs for the last few years, but Kaiser’s baseball class of 2014 and San Gorgonio’s class of 2015 have been their best classes in years: starters as sophomores, Division I talents by their senior seasons.
Both aren’t helped by their league, which they dominated, San Gorgonio outscored San Andreas League opponents by a 327-13 score. Kaiser baseball outscored Sunkist League opponents 155-17.
Both teams upgraded their nonleague schedules to better prepare them for the playoffs.
Both teams are/were good but won’t be nearly as good next year.
Now the difference is that while Kaiser had the difficult task of being the favorite/No. 1 seed in the CIF-SS playoffs, San Gorgonio, 9-1 entering the playoffs, isn’t even seeded. And the Spartans are in a division that they were promoted to presumably because the Spartans made the CIF-SS semifinals last year and new SAL teams Rim of the World and Jurupa Hills won CIF-SS titles in lower divisions the last two years.San Gorgonio doesn’t want to duplicate what Kaiser did in the spring: lose before winning a CIF-SS title, and I’m not saying that they will. But regardless of whether they win or lose, San Gorgonio’s football class of 2015 should be appreciated much like Kaiser’s baseball class of 2014, as a remarkable group with bright futures in college.
San Gorgonio standout pitcher Hazahel Quijada is in the video above talking about his 1-hit, 12 strikeout performance in the County Clash last spring.
Quijada has chosen to play at UC Riverside, according to San G coach Bill Eatinger.
Last year, as a junior Quijada was 8-3 with a 0.98 ERA, striking out 103 in 57 innings while also batting .400 with 15 RBIs.
CITRUS BELT LEAGUE BASEBALL 2014
MVP – Ryan Williams 12 Redlands East Valley
C – Zachary Grande 11 Cajon
1B - Anthony Ochoa 12 Eisenhower
2B - Joseph Ortega Rodriguez 9 Redlands East Valley
3B - Hunter Reade 11 Yucaipa
SS – Zachary Kirtley 12 Redlands East Valley
SS - Breyer Gayle 12 Yucaipa
OF – Tom Lerouge 12 Yucaipa
OF – Casey Sheehan 12 Redlands East Valley
OF – Michael Tillman 12 Redlands
P – David Barela 11 Redlands East Valley
P – Blake Tuthill 12 Redlands East Valley
P – Joey Chapman 11 Yucaipa
P – Matt Acosta 12 Cajon
P – Jerad Davila 11 Yucaipa
UTL - Noah Jones 12 Cajon
UTL - Alexis Castillo 10 AB Miller
UTL - Isaiah Bernal 12 Eisenhower
The first of 4 prep baseball County Clashes at San Manuel Stadium is tomorrow, March 22.
Here is the schedule for each of the series of games:
Arroyo Valley vs. Carter, 1 p.m.
Kaiser vs. Fontana, 4 p.m.
Yucaipa vs. Miller, 7 p.m.
Citrus Valley vs. Jurupa Hills, 1 p.m.
Redlands vs. Eisenhower, 4 p.m.
Rialto vs. San Gorgonio, 7 p.m.
Arrowhead Christian vs. Colony, 1 p.m.
Tahquitz vs. San Jacinto, 4 p.m.
Colton vs. Bloomington, 7 p.m.
Hemet vs. Beaumont, 1 p.m.
Redlands East Valley vs. Eisenhower, 4 p.m.
Cajon vs. Yucaipa, 7 p.m.
Signings from San Bernardino County from the early signing period, either have already signed or are expected to sign.
Erin Clark, Portland State
Uzo Owuama, Grand Canyon
Derrick Jones III, Grand Canyon
Chino Hills baseball
Aaron Dominguez, Mississippi St
Izzy Fuentes, San Diego State
Cody Sporrer, UC Riverside
Jake Taylor, New Mexico St
Kyle Wade, Iowa
Josh Walker, Grand Canyon
Chino Hills softball
Shianne Brannan, Cal State Fullerton
Patricia Parks, Arizona
Alyssa Mendez, Nevada
Chino Hills volleyball
Mallory Beard, Hampton University (Va.)
Etiwanda girls basketball
Alyssa Anderson UNLV
McKynzie Fort, Oregon
Cherice Harris, Arizona
Amy Okonkwo USC
Deaja Smith, Cal State Fullerton
The summer of change at Eisenhower High School has continued, with the naming of a new athletic director, football coach and baseball coach.
Gilbert Pulido, who has been at the school coaching baseball for the last eight years, takes over as athletic director. He takes over for Steve Johnson, who was asked not to return as A.D. Johnson was shot in a park in San Bernardino in January and had already stepped down as boys basketball coach.
Pulido has been the head baseball coach at the last five years, going 3-22 last year in the rugged Citrus Belt League.
Even though Johnson served as both basketball coach and athletic director, as a novice athletic director, Pulido thought it best to resign as baseball coach.
So Angel Arratia, who had been Pulido’s assistant the last four years, takes over as head baseball coach.
Taking over as head football coach is Mike Clark, who was an assistant for Vinny Fazio, last season takes over for Fazio. Fazio left to coach at Murrieta Valley after there was no teaching job guaranteed for him.
Clark was the obvious choice. He has been an assistant coach from 2000-06 and again from 2009-12. He was the only one of Fazio’s assistants who was on-campus. With teaching jobs at a premium, he was the obvious choice. He was also running the summer program in Fazio’s absence. He will also be bringing along veteran coach Jeff Strycula, who was on Fazio’s staff. Strycula is a former head coach, but is not on campus.
Cajon, one of the more successful and stable athletic programs in San Bernardino County, has had to hire three new head coaches in recent months.
Two down, one to go.
Cajon hired Robert Grande, an assistant last year, as its new head baseball coach. Grande replaces Jon Austin, who stepped down after after 16 seasons and a 259-165 record. Athletic Director Rich Imbriani had indicated after Austin resigned that there were several candidates already on the coaching staff.
Previously, Imbriani hired John Anderson to replace John Chamberlain to coach water polo, after Chamberlain left Cajon to take the athletic director job at Indian Springs, Anderson’s former job. Anderson previously coached water polo at Arroyo Valley.
One position remains open: softball, after Jerry Tivey resigned after the season to pursue other interests.
“I’m still taking applications,” Imbriani said.
Two former Yucaipa High teammates, Taijuan Walker and Matt Davidson will be teammates again, albeit for one day as they were both named to the U.S. squad for the Futures Game on July 14 in New York, a minor-league precursor to MLB’s all-star game.
Walker a 2010 Yucaipa grad and Davidson, a 2009 Yucaipa grad, are two hot prospects in baseball.
Walker, 20, who is ranked as the No. 5 overall prospect by MLB.com, just made his debut for the Seattle Mariners’ Triple-A Tacoma affiliate on Tuesday, and he pitched six innings, allowing three hits, no runs, two walks and struck out four and earned the win vs. Fresno. Prior to the promotion, he was 4-7 with a 2.46 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 84 innings with Double-A Jackson. Walker was also selected for the Futures Game last year and pitched one shutout inning in relief in the U.S.’s 17-5 win over the World team.
Davidson, 22, is a third baseman with the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Triple-A Reno affiliate. There, he is batting .301 with 10 home runs, 46 RBIs, and a respectable 14 errors in 73 games at third base so far. This is Davidson’s first Futures Game selection.