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Tuesday, April 3, 2012
I.E.: Five notes from last week

By Dan Arritt

1. Chris Hawkins of Rancho Cucamonga became the first I.E. football recruit from the class of 2013 to commit to a major college program. Hawkins, a lock-down cornerback, pledged to USC during the L.A. Nike Camp on Sunday at Cerritos College. Hawkins, who earned MVP among the defensive backs during the camp, chose the Trojans over Stanford, but his recruiting doesn’t figure to slow down, especially with schools such as LSU and Penn State extending offers in recent weeks. The most dominant lineman at the camp also hails from the I.E., Upland defensive end Joe Mathis, who is being recruited by many of the same schools as Hawkins. His latest offer came via a phone call last week from Nick Saban, coach of the defending BCS champion Alabama.

2. The J.W. North baseball team came into last week ranked No. 1 in the state by ESPN HS, but the Huskies will surely drop after losing their first two games Saturday at the Anaheim Lions tournament. The Huskies were shut down by Aliso Niguel freshman pitcher Kyle Molnar in the opener. Molnar allowed two unearned runs in 6 2/3 innings of the 3-2 victory. J.W. North still had a chance to win after taking a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh. Aliso Niguel stormed back, winning on a two-run base hit by sophomore Anthony Sommer, who also recorded the final out of the seventh to earn the victory. J.W. North came back Saturday afternoon and lost to JSerra, 7-6.

3. If there was any doubt which Inland Empire baseball team has the deepest pitching, Alta Loma put that to rest in the last 10 days. The Braves received three straight masterful pitching performances, beginning with a three-hitter by senior right-hander Nolan Sheridan in a 5-1 victory March 24 against Palm Desert, the top-ranked team in Division 4. Four days later, senior right-hander Cortland Cox fired a five-hitter in a 3-0 win at Etiwanda in a Baseline League game. Finally, senior left-hander Bryan Conant tossed another complete game in a 6-1 victory Thursday at Upland, moving the Braves to 9-2 overall and 4-0 in the league play. They face another tough road test Tuesday at Los Osos.

4. Angelo Lingos of Great Oak carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning Wednesday before settling for a one-hitter in a 2-1 victory against Chaparral in a Southwestern League. The Wolfpack are 4-0 in league play and have opened up a two-game lead on the next-closest teams. After the Pumas tied the score in the bottom of the fifth, Great Oak pushed across the go-ahead run in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by A.J. Harris. The Wolfpack are competing in the Anaheim Lions tournament this week before resuming league play the following week.

5. Delaney Spaulding, a junior shortstop on the Etiwanda softball team, hit the 19th and 20th home runs of her high school career last week, helping the Eagles go 2-0 and keep pace with Los Osos in the Baseline League race. Spaulding, who has committed to UCLA, is 18 home runs short of the Inland Empire record, set by Taylor Edwards of Vista Murrieta from 2007- to '10.