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Monday, May 9, 2011
Inland Empire: Five things from the weekend

By Dan Arritt

1.  Heading into this final week of the regular season, a number of baseball teams are still in the hunt for league titles (we'll take a closer look at that in the next post). One race that deserves special recognition is in the Mt. Baldy League. Chino entered last week ranked No. 7 in Southern Section Division 4, but was upset for the second time this season by Ontario Colony, 8-3, creating a tie for first place. Colony (18-6, 8-2) would own the tiebreaker for playoff seeding due to head-to-head results against the Cowboys (22-5, 8-2). All the Titans need is to beat fourth-place Montclair today and sixth-place Ontario on Wednesday and they'll be co-champions and the No. 1 seed out of their league.

2.  The baseball team to watch heading into the Division 4 playoffs is No. 1 Palm Desert. The Aztecs won three games last week by a combined score of 50-0. Of course, two of those games were against Coachella Valley (1-18, 0-12), but then Palm Desert pounded out 17 runs Saturday against Riverside Arlington (12-14, 7-5) in a pool-play game at the Corona Centennial tournament. Leading the way last week was Ryan Garvey, the son of former Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey, who was 8-for-12 with two home runs and eight RBIs. Garvey, who signed with USC, has nine homers on the season, tied for fifth-best in the state.

3.  Bloomington Christian softball player Tyler Hernandez swiped 10 more bases last week, giving her a state-leading 63 on the season and 122 for her career. Hernandez, a junior middle infielder, should make a run at the Southern Section career stolen base record next season. With two regular-season games and the playoffs still remaining this season, Hernandez is 80 stolen bases behind the section record set by Jenny Pahl of Temecula Linfield Christian in 1995-98.

4. The Eastvale Roosevelt girls’ track and field team dominated the Big VIII League championships Thursday at Riverside King High. The highlight of the Mustangs’ performance was their 400-meter relay team, as Chasity Ducre, Akia Armstrong, Kaelynn Greene and Iris Chijioke won the one-lap race in 46.54 seconds, the second-fastest time in the state this outdoor season. Roosevelt should only get faster as the postseason continues. If the Mustangs can avoid dropping the baton, look for them on the starting line at next month's state championships at Buchanan High School in Clovis.

5. The Vista Murrieta boys’ track and field team won the Southwestern League title Thursday, but the best news was Jovonte Slater and Bernard Quinn were back on the track after missing the last month with injuries. Slater has the best long-jump mark in the state this season at 24 feet-1 ˝ inches, and is No. 2 in the 100-meter dash (10.62). Quinn is second in the state in the 400 (47.71) and third in the 200 (21.22). Together, they have the potential to provide the Broncos huge points in defense of their Southern Section Division 1 team title and a run for for state championship.