Los Angeles Preps: Taylor Edwards

I.E.: Five notes from last week

April, 30, 2012
1. Kyree King of Colony ran the state’s fastest time of the season in the boys’ 100 meters Saturday at the Sacramento Meet of Champions at American River College. King, a senior, finished in a wind-legal 10.54 seconds, which equals the time Khalfani Muhammad of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame produced earlier this month at the Maurice Green Invitational at Oaks Christian. King came back to lose a photo finish to Andre McBride of San Leandro in the 200, but both were credited with a time of 21.21, which also represents the top time in the state this season. The state meets is six weeks away.

2. The Inland Empire has a new single-season home run record in softball after Sierra Romero of Vista Murrieta clubbed three more Saturday at the Corona Santiago Spring Fling tournament. Romero, a senior who has signed with Michigan, hit her 15th round tripper of the season in a 7-5 victory against Carson to tie the record held by former teammate Taylor Edwards and Lauren Sweet of Santiago. She hit two more later that day in a 9-7 loss to Saugus. Her 42 career home runs are also an I.E. record.

3. The J.W. North baseball team improved to 10-0 in Big VIII League play Friday with an 11-4 victory against Riverside Poly. The Huskies, ranked fifth in the state by CalHiSports and seeking their second consecutive Division 1 title, were led by catcher Andrew Saucedo, who went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Gabe Franca, Justin Gheorghe, Jack Johnson and Robert Ortega contributed two hits each. J.W. North can clinch the title outright this week with victories Wednesday against visiting Roosevelt and Friday at Corona Santiago.

4. The Baseline League baseball race is wide open again after Glendora lost its third straight game last week to fall into second place, a game behind Alta Loma. Upland, one of the preseason favorites to win league, bounced back from a 1-4 start to beat Glendora twice last week to move into fourth, three games back of Alta Loma (15-5, 8-3). The Highlanders close out the season next week with two games against the Braves. Also in the mix is third-place Los Osos at 6-5 in league. The Grizzlies play Upland twice this week.

5. The Yucaipa baseball team swept two games from Redlands last week to move into first place in the Citrus Belt League. The second win was a 1-0 victory Friday at Redlands. Tyler Sapp went the distance, allowing four hits and striking out seven with one intentional walk. The Thunderbirds gave Sapp (6-2) all the runs he would need in the first inning on a lead-off double by Greg Espinosa, followed by an RBI-single by Alec Morabito. Yucaipa (15-8, 9-2) sits a half game ahead of Redlands East Valley (15-6, 8-2), which the Thunderbirds play two times next week in the final stretch of the regular season.

I.E.: Five notes from last week

April, 3, 2012
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.

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