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Monday, April 16, 2012
I.E.: 5 notes from the week

By Dan Arritt

1. A third football player from the Inland Empire committed to a major college program over the weekend. Kylie Fitts, a defensive lineman who will be a senior at Redlands East Valley next fall, committed to USC following the spring game on Saturday at the Coliseum. Fitts, a 6-foot-4, 260-pound pass rusher, had 8 ½ sacks last season and two caused fumbles for the 11-1 Wildcats. He’s the second I.E. recruit to commit to the Trojans this spring. Two weeks ago, Rancho Cucamonga cornerback Chris Hawkins committed to USC, and last week J.W. North tight end Marcus Baugh committed to Ohio State.

2. Paul Martinez continues to string together a sensational senior season for the Arlington baseball team. Through 15 games, the Oregon State-bound shortstop is hitting .627 (32-for-51) with 21 runs scored and just two strikeouts in 59 plate appearances. His batting average is fourth-best in the Southern Section, according to MaxPreps. He had two hits or more in 10 games. Martinez is one of three I.E. players who signed with the Beavers in the fall. J.W. North first baseman Gabriel Clark and Canyon Springs middle infielder Dennis Banks are also headed to Corvalis.

3. The Redlands baseball team remained undefeated in Citrus Belt League play after squeaking out a 6-5 victory Saturday against Fontana in a rain make-up game. Roman Cross, who has taken over at catcher after Jacob Nottingham went down with a season-ending knee injury, drove in the eventual winning run with a run-scoring ground out in the bottom of the sixth inning. Fontana put the Terriers in an early hole by scoring three runs in the top of the first, but Redlands answered with three in the bottom of the inning. The Terriers (17-1, 6-0) face a key home-and-home series this week against Redlands East Valley (11-5, 4-1).

4. The Riverside City track and field championships were held Saturday at M.L. King High School and a couple of meet records went by the wayside. La Sierra senior Edgar Cobian won the “Marshall Mile” in 4 minutes 21.70 seconds to establish a new meet record. The Marshall Mile is named after former J.W. North track coach Earl Marshall. Cobian, a two-time state qualifier, also won the 800 in 1:57.14. Zach Lewis of Ramona, a state finalist in the 300 hurdles last season, set meet records in both hurdle events. He won the 110s in 15 seconds flat and the 300s in 38.13, the sixth-fastest time in the state this season. The other meet record was established in the girls’ shot put. Tanya Sapa of La Sierra finished first with a mark of 45 feet 1 ½ inches.

5. Santiago girls’ basketball coach John Perez told the Riverside Press-Enterprise he’s hanging up the whistle after leading the Sharks to a 108-13 record the last four seasons. The rest of the Big VIII League coaches will be glad to see him go. His teams went undefeated all four years in league play and reached the Division 1AA semifinals last season. The Sharks should be in good shape for the new coach. They’ll return four starters, including Division 1AA first-team selections Chrishae Rowe and Monique Billings. Perez also coaches the softball team at Santiago and plans to remain at the helm, at least through this season, he said.