April 12, 2009

Sean Lynch: Double Impact -- Merced College stars shine in Division II hoops

Having enjoyed their time together at Merced College so much, Leslie Malone and A'Daeron Duncan decided to reunite at Northern Kentucky for their senior seasons.

Record Breakers

With three victories in Southern California last week, the Merced College baseball team became the first team in the state to reach 30 wins this season.

According to the MC baseball media guide, that leaves the Blue Devils just four wins of the school's single-season record. The Blue Devils have twice won 34 games, doing it in 1974 and most recently in 1995. MC's chances of breaking the record look good with seven regular-season games left on the schedule and the playoffs looming.

Minor Disappointment

Opening the 2009 season on the 40-man rosters of the Detroit Tigers and Milwaukee Brewers, former Merced College stars Dusty Ryan and Omar Aguilar both had outside chances of making their team's big league rosters coming out of spring training. Unfortunately, neither player saw much action in the spring and will start the season in the minor leagues.

Ryan opened the year at Triple-A Toledo, while Aguilar is starting the year on the disabled list at Double-A Huntsville.

Grin and Bair It

Merced College athletic director Steve Cassady preached patience with Mallory Bair. The former She-Devil softball coach knew it was simply a matter of time before the former MC star played her way into the San Jose State lineup.

Cassady was correct.

Bair's big bat and stellar glove at first have earned her starts in 11 of the Spartans' last 12 games. Hitting in the heart of the San Jose State order, Bair has a .281 average with a pair of doubles and 12 RBI on the season.

View From the Top

Brock Floro and Wes Borba have a solid shot of seeing Omaha, Neb. this season. The former MC baseball stars joined one of the elite baseball programs in the nation in Cal State Fullerton.

As one might imagine, playing time has been tough to come by on a team that was recently ranked No. 1 in Division I. Floro has been dealing with arm problems and hasn't pitched this season and Borba's only gotten into three games, going 1 for 2 on the year.

The Titans have fallen to No. 6 in the nation after opening up Big West play just 5-4, but remain one of the favorites to win a national championship.

QB Option

Reid Herchenbach is on the move after one year at Alabama State. The former MC quarterback led the Hornets with 1,083 passing yards and eight touchdown passes in 2008, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes.

Unfortunately, Herchnbach said the school changed offensive coordinators after a disappointing 3-8 season and will be switching to a more run-focused offense. That prompted Herchenbach to transfer to Texas A&M Commerce for his senior season

Sean Lynch is a sports reporter at the Sun-Star. He can be reached at

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