[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
64°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 19
1945 - Acton Hotel, est. 1890, burns down; arson is suspected [story]


Monte Brooks

Monte Brooks

Coach Monte Brooks wants to know what an encore is like. He knows what it’s not. All he has to do is look back on the 2001 campaign when the Mustangs, one year removed from their first NAIA World Series appearance, dipped below .500 (23-24) and missed out on the postseason completely.

Now, 13 years later, the 18th-year skipper and his band of Mustangs have another opportunity to follow up on the most successful season in program history. It will be a daunting task, one that raises questions about the club’s ability to equal or improve on a school-record win total, the rare double of winning both the GSAC regular-season and tournament championships, earning another Top 25 national ranking, and qualifying for consecutive World Series berths.

Steve Karkenny

Steve Karkenny

Addressing these questions and the skeptics will take place only on the field where the Mustangs return six regulars, including All-American leftfielder Steve Karkenny and middle infielders Jon Popadics and Sam Robison. However, legitimate concerns do exist at first base, behind the plate, and on the mound where the club lost two starters from last year’s elite staff, including all-time wins leader and All-American A. J. Work.

One concern that Brooks doesn’t have is experience with a trio of seniors, most likely, making up the rotation. James Scott, the lone holdover from last year’s rotation, has the experience and stuff to be an ace. Tommy Kister will move to the front of games after an outstanding year as the club’s closer in 2013, setting a school record with 10 saves. The other starter should be Andrew Klausmeier who sparkled in seven starts last year, going 6-1 with a 2.25 ERA.

Taking into account 18 doubleheaders, the need for rest, and possible injuries, Brooks will rely on senior Tucker Richardson and sophomore Dalton Thompson to make spot starts and maybe more. Thompson will be auditioning for a regular spot in the rotation a year down the road along with freshmen Jason Karkenny, Conner Menez, and Hunter Totemeier, who will all pitch in long and middle relief.

With Kister’s move to the rotation, junior transfer Josh Brown has been anointed the closer, a role he should thrive in considering his mental toughness and experience on the JC level.

Brown will not only be counted on to make a difference on the mound he’ll also be the starter at first base where his defense could complete one of the strongest infields in college baseball and his offensive production in the middle of the order will make the lineup even more lethal. Sophomore transfer Collin Nyenhuis will provide depth with power and could move across the diamond to third base, too.

Making those throws from the hot corner will be senior Ryan Shackelford, who will settle into one position for the entire season after moving around during his first three years. He’ll be counted on to flash the leather, make accurate throws, and use his picture-perfect swing in the middle of the order to produce runs.

The linchpins of the infield, however, reside up the middle where shortstop Jon Popadics and second baseman Sam Robison form one of the top double play combinations in the country. Working together since midway through their freshman seasons, the juniors know each other’s tendencies and have grown into peerless fielders as well as productive hitters.

Beyond the actual diamond lies a vast expanse of green that will be patrolled by a trio of talented outfielders, including incumbents Steve Karkenny and Caleb Halverson. Karkenny is among the best leftfielders in the country, displaying top-flight tools at the plate and in the field while Halverson is an elite defensive centerfielder who will hit near or at the top of the order. They’ll be joined by rightfielder Tyler Krahn, a sophomore transfer who’ll display an accurate arm and a solid bat. When Brooks wants to test his outfield depth, he’ll turn to Anthony Leal, who has proven he can hit the ball, or Bryce Clancy for production.

Not to be forgotten in all of this talk of position players is veteran designated hitter Joe Riddle. One of the finest at his post in school history, he’ll be counted on to drive in bunches of runs from his spot in the middle of the order.

The opportunity to produce an encore will be tested during a demanding 51-game schedule that starts in mid-January and runs through April. With 28 of those contests slated for the FieldTurf of Reese Field, the Mustangs are hoping to use that as an advantage, but it will be a daunting task, especially against GSAC opponents who have become accustomed to playing on the Placerita Canyon turf. In conference play, the Mustangs will engage a 36-game slate, highlighted by contests against No. 9 Concordia and 22nd-ranked San Diego Christian, two squads that qualified for the NAIA National Championship Opening Round last spring.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


WATCH NOW
Loading...
LOCAL SPORTS HEADLINES
Thursday, Oct 19, 2017
The CSUN women's volleyball team (10-9, 4-3 Big West) opens the second half of the Big West season this week as the Matadors head up the coast this week for road tests at No. 23 Cal Poly (17-2, 7-0 Big West) and UC Santa Barbara (4-15, 3-4 Big West). CSUN, coming off a tough five-set loss to Hawai'i at home, is 3-4 in seven road matches this season but has won two of three Big West road contests.
Thursday, Oct 19, 2017
No. 5 College of the Canyons defeated L.A. Mission College 3-0 on Wednesday to earn its eighth consecutive match and fifth straight sweep. Set scores were 25-15, 25-11, and 25-20.
Thursday, Oct 19, 2017
CSUN Women's Soccer (7-4-5, 3-1-1 BWC) looks to move up in the Big West standings this week as it hosts UC Irvine on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Oct 19, 2017
Behind Julio Rubio's goal in the 11th minute CSUN defeated UC Riverside 1-0 in Big West Conference men's soccer action Wednesday night.
Thursday, Oct 19, 2017
The College of the Canyons Athletics department is inviting all players, coaches and cheerleaders associated with a Santa Clarita Valley youth sports league or cheer organization to attend Saturday's Cougar football game free of charge.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
CHESTERFIELD, MO — NewGround, a St. Louis-based experiential design-build firm, recently teamed up with Logix Federal Credit Union to work on a large scale facility project, a new corporate headquarters building for the full-service credit union in the Burbank, California area.
Valencia Will Soon be Home to Logix Federal Credit Union Headquarters
The CSUN women's volleyball team (10-9, 4-3 Big West) opens the second half of the Big West season this week as the Matadors head up the coast this week for road tests at No. 23 Cal Poly (17-2, 7-0 Big West) and UC Santa Barbara (4-15, 3-4 Big West). CSUN, coming off a tough five-set loss to Hawai'i at home, is 3-4 in seven road matches this season but has won two of three Big West road contests.
Matadors Volleyball Testing Their Skills on the Road
No. 5 College of the Canyons defeated L.A. Mission College 3-0 on Wednesday to earn its eighth consecutive match and fifth straight sweep. Set scores were 25-15, 25-11, and 25-20.
Cougars Volleyball Earns Fifth Straight Sweep
CSUN Women's Soccer (7-4-5, 3-1-1 BWC) looks to move up in the Big West standings this week as it hosts UC Irvine on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
Matadors Get Ready for Big West Matchups
Behind Julio Rubio's goal in the 11th minute CSUN defeated UC Riverside 1-0 in Big West Conference men's soccer action Wednesday night.
Matadors Lone Goal Enough to Hold Off UC Riverside
Northridge, CA – CSUN Athletics officially opened its new satellite athletic training facility on Thursday at an event featuring Athletic Director Dr. Brandon Martin, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Steven Grech, student-athletes, coaches, staff and campus partners.
Matadors Student-Athletes Welcome New Training Facility
Want unique gifts and a shopping experience unlike any other?
Nov. 18-19: City’s Annual Two-Day Fine Craft Show
City officials gathered Wednesday for the Grand Opening of "Three Oaks," the first 100 percent affordable family development in Santa Clarita.
Affordable Housing Comes to Santa Clarita
The Gibbon Conservation Center will celebrate Halloween for the first time on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 28: Gibbon Conservation Center Celebrates First Halloween
California State University, Northridge is partnering with the California State University Entertainment Alliance to host a morning of workshops designed to offer students and members of the public advice on building successful careers in the entertainment industry.
Oct. 23: CSUN Workshop; Succeeding in Entertainment Industry
Spotlight Arts Center, a local non-profit that provides free performing and visual arts classes to children in the Santa Clarita Valley, will hold its Fall Festival, Sunday, Oct. 22 from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Oct. 22: Fall Festival Spotlight Arts Center
The College of the Canyons Athletics department is inviting all players, coaches and cheerleaders associated with a Santa Clarita Valley youth sports league or cheer organization to attend Saturday's Cougar football game free of charge.
Oct. 21: SCV Youth Teams Invited to Free COC Football Game
College of the Canyons freshmen Joanna Roecker and Cassandra Lee both turned in scores of 79 to lead the Cougars to a second place team finish at the Western State Conference (WSC) event hosted by Glendale College at Brookside Golf Course on Monday.
COC Falls Short at WSC Glendale
Beginning Monday, October 23, 2017, the city of Santa Clarita will increase the frequency of street sweeping throughout all areas of the City.
Oct. 23: City Begins Increased Street Sweeping Frequency
In a battle for Western State Conference, East Division supremacy, it was College of the Canyons that came out on top Tuesday night, as the Cougars scored two second half goals to secure a 2-0 win against visiting Antelope Valley College. Justine Hoeft and Jennifer Roney collected goals for the Cougars (11-2, 2-0).
COC Secures Win Against AVC With Two Second-Half Goals
The upcoming 10-year anniversary of the Buckweed Fires offers Santa Clarita residents a reminder of the ever-present fire danger in Los Angeles County, as blazes ravage the northern half of the state, as well.
County, City Officials Reflect on 10-Year Anniversary of Buckweed Fires
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, with help from a Smartphone GPS system, were able to locate a lost hiker Wednesday night at Towsley Canyon.
Smartphone GPS Locates Lost Towsley Canyon Hiker
Dreamation Craft Guild will be hosting a boutique at Canyon High School, Nov. 18, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. to benefit the family of John Phippen, the Santa Clarita resident who was killed in the Las Vegas shooting.
Nov. 18: Holiday Marketplace Benefiting John Phippen Family
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – To ensure drivers, passengers, and children are properly restrained while traveling California’s roadways, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) has partnered with the California Office of Traffic Safety on a new traffic safety campaign entitled, “California Restraint Safety Education And Training” (CARSEAT).
CHP’s New Traffic Safety Campaign Focuses on Saving Lives, Reducing Injuries
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Speed and aggressive driving, the main causes of traffic collisions in California, will be the focus of a year-long education and enforcement campaign by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) that started Oct. 1, 2017.
CHP Grant Aims to Reduce Fatalities, Traffic Injuries; Addresses Street Racing
1945 - Acton Hotel, est. 1890, burns down; arson is suspected [story]
The fall 2017 Star Party at College of the Canyons' Canyon Country campus on Friday, Oct. 27 will focus on the pathways to space exploration that exist for star-gazers who are captivated by the many mysteries of the universe.
Oct. 27: Star Party at COC Canyon Country Campus
Determined to transform the deeply troubled Los Angeles County Probation Department, the Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted unanimously to consider an independent entity that would provide guidance, oversight and accountability.
Supes Consider Entity for Probation Reform Guidance, Oversight, Accountability
Alexia Cina of Canyon Country was arrested Wednesday in connection with the death of a mother of six children in a head-on crash on Golden Valley Road on October 6.
Woman Charged with Manslaughter, DUI in Death of Mother of 6
The 22nd annual Santa Clarita Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, November 5, 2017, following the Santa Clarita Health and Fitness Expo on Saturday.
Nov. 4-5: 22nd Annual Santa Clarita Marathon Events
The Los Angeles Dodgers jumped to a 3-0 lead in the best of seven series following Tuesday night’s 6-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 of the NLCS at Wrigley Field.
Dodgers Out to Sweep Cubs in NLCS Game 4
The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's 2017 Medal of Valor Awards were held Tuesday in Los Angeles, and SCV Sheriff's Station Deputy Dmitry Barkon was recognized for his bravery and heroic actions.
SCV Sheriff’s Deputy Dmitry Barkon Earns Medal of Valor
Now is the time for all good college-bound high school seniors to join the 'Race to Submit' applications for FAFSA and CADAA grants to help cover college expenses.
High School Seniors: ‘Race to Submit’ is on for 2018 College Financial Aid
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies interrupted a smash-and-grab burglary on The Old Road early Friday morning, arresting one suspect and seeking two alleged accomplices still at large.
SCV Deputies Catch Window-Smash Burglars in the Act
Pukúu Cultural Community Services, founded in 1971 by members of the local Fernandeno-Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, will host its 13th Annual scholarship gala fundraiser, "Night with the Stars," in Sunland on Saturday, November 4 starting at 6 p.m.
Nov. 4: Local Tribe Honors 3, Celebrates Native American Heritage Month
California's Attorney General today filed a motion to compel the federal government to follow the law and pay the subsidies that millions of Americans rely on to lower the out-of-pocket costs in their insurance plans.
California AG Fights to Keep ACA Cost-Sharing Subsidies
Santa Clarita business owners are encouraged to take the city's broadband feasibility study online survey and participate in the next phase of the study -- in-person focus groups scheduled for October 30.
Oct. 30: Focus Groups in Next Phase of City Broadband Study
The $17 billion "California WaterFix" project reached a tipping point Tuesday after a Silicon Valley water district voted against Gov. Jerry Brown’s approach in favor of a less expensive, scaled-back version.
Silicon Valley Water Board Wants Delta Tunnels Downsized
Maryama, a band led by CalArts alumna Maryama Mirbagheri (Music MFA 17), was recently nominated for a 2017 Hollywood Music in Media Award in the World Music category.
Maryama Nominated for Hollywood Music in Media Award