Los Angeles Preps: Jacob Nottingham

I.E.: 5 notes from the week

April, 16, 2012
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 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 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.

I.E.: Five notes from last week

April, 9, 2012
1. For the second consecutive season, the Corona Santiago baseball team won the Darryl Kile tournament championship at Norco High. That Sharks (10-6-1) pushed across a run in the top of the eighth inning Saturday night on Cody Bruder’s RBI single and held on to beat Norco, 8-7, for their seventh consecutive victory. The tournament was named in honor of Norco graduate Darryl Kile, a Major League pitcher who died of a heart attack in 2002 while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. Santiago resumes Big VIII League play Wednesday with a key game at J.W. North.

2. Another tournament championship needed extra innings last week after the San Jacinto baseball team scored four runs in the top of the seventh Wednesday to take a 9-8 lead against Elsinore at the Tahquitz tournament in Hemet. The Tigers rallied to tie the score in the bottom of the seventh, then won it in the bottom of the ninth on a walk-off single by Matt Herring. It was a fitting finish for Herring, who finished 4-for-5, including a 375-foot blast in the bottom of the sixth that extended Elsinore’s lead to 8-5. The Tigers had rallied back from a 5-0 deficit after the third inning.

3. The Redlands baseball team is off to a 16-1 start but their hopes of winning a section title took a blow last week when it was confirmed that junior catcher Jacob Nottingham will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, the Riverside Press-Telegram reported. Nottingham, who has already committed to Oklahoma, was injured two weeks earlier while trying to beat out a throw to first base in a 5-4 victory against Citrus Belt League rival Redlands East Valley. He was hitting .341 with 16 RBIs. Roman Cross has taken Nottingham’s spot behind the plate and is hitting .469 with 14 RBIs.

4. Peter Chapman of Murrieta Valley set a Riverside County record while winning the boys’ pole vault Saturday at the Arcadia Invitational. Chapman, a senior who shared the previous county mark of 16 feet, cleared 16-6 to win the prestigious title. The Vista Murrieta boys’ team also captured the distance medley relay, as sophomore Tyler Dain, juniors Omar Solis and Porter Reddish and senior Kevin Gonzalez combined to win in 10:08.52, less than a half-second ahead of Las Vegas Centennial. In the girls’ long jump, Redlands freshman Margaux Jones had the top mark of the meet at 19 feet.

5. The Norco softball team, which entered last week ranked No. 1 in the nation by ESPN, suffered its first blemish when it lost to Orange Lutheran, 2-1, in the second round of the Michelle Carew Memorial Classic at Peralta Canyon Park in Anaheim. After the Lancers scored an unearned run in the first inning Thursday, Norco tied the score in the sixth on a home run by sophomore Ashley Goodwin. Orange Lutheran, which entered the week ranked No. 15 in the nation, scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh on the fourth error of the game by the Cougars.