Former Yucaipa High baseball stars are in the news lately.
Taijuan Walker’s name popped up recently, in connection with the off-field troubles of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer. A reporter asked New York Mets manager Luis Rojas if he is relieved not to have landed Bauer as a free agent during the off-season, according to msn.com.
“You know what I’m happy for? That we signed Taijuan Walker,” Rojas told MSN. “I’m really excited for that.
“He’s been one of those guys who has let us have that camaraderie, and he’s an outstanding person. From the first day he set foot in our complex, he’s had an impact. I can’t talk about what was or wasn’t done, but I’m excited for what (Walker) has done.”
Walker pitched Saturday, July 3 for the Mets against the New York Yankees. He no-hit the Yankees through five innings before yielding a home run to Aaron Judge in the sixth. He pitched 5 2/3 innings in all and gave up two hits and two runs and struck out five, improving to 7-3 with a 2.44 earned run average for the season. Walker has struck out 87 in 84 innings.
The Dodgers’ Bauer is 8-5 with a 2.53 ERA but missed a start Sunday, July 4, as Major League Baseball looked into allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman in Pasadena.
--Yucaipa High grad Tyler Wells has impressed since being taken by the Baltimore Orioles in the second round of the Rule 5 Draft. Wells struck out two in the seventh inning of an Orioles’ win on Monday, June 28, against the Houston Astros. The effort lowered his earned run average to 3.79.
The 6-foot-8 rookie pitcher has appeared in 23 games – not bad for a guy who missed the 2019 season with Tommy John surgery and the 2020 minor league season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
--Another former Yucaipa High baseball star, Matt Davidson, hit a three-run home run on Thursday, July 1, to lead the Class AAA Oklahoma City Dodgers to a 6-4 victory against Sugar Land. Davidson had a season-best four runs batted in. Davidson also slugged a three-run home run a day later to lift Oklahoma City to an 11-8 victory against the Salt Lake Bees and still another HR on Sunday, July 4.
Davidson was the Citrus Belt League Player of the Year as a freshman at Yucaipa. Seems like yesterday.
--The Yucaipa High football team has a new defensive coordinator in Jake Henderson, according to social media posts.
“We are extremely fortunate to have hired Jake as a teacher and coach,” said a post from the Yucaipa High football Twitter account. “The community will embrace him as our own.”
Henderson was the defensive coordinator at Aquinas High for four years. He is the brother of former Aquinas and Simi Valley Grace Brethren coach Josh Henderson.
-- Yucaipa’s Jacob Reimer and Owen Egan have made the All-CIF-Southern Section Division I baseball team. Reimer, a rising senior, hit .440 with seven home runs and 33 runs batted in leading Yucaipa to a 21-10 record and the Citrus Belt League title. He was the CBL Player of the Year. Egan, a rising junior, hit .384 with one home run and 26 RBI.
--The Yucaipa High football schedule is set. The Thunderbirds have away games against Inland Empire opponents Silverado (Aug. 27),
Temescal Canyon and Hesperia, followed by an interesting home game Sept. 17 against San Diego University City.
Yucaipa opens Citrus Belt League play at Redlands on Oct. 1, followed by league games against Cajon, Citrus Valley, Beaumont, and Redlands East Valley.
Temescal Canyon has a new coach in Cody Roelof. Gavin Pachot is the new coach at REV.
John Murphy may be reached at email@example.com