Briefs: 'Eaters bring on Bibona


'Eaters bring on Bibona

Former All-American, 24, recently released by Cards, will be named UCI pitching coach today.

Danny Bibona, who was twice named Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year and a two-time All-American for UC Irvine, will be announced Thursday as the Anteaters' pitching coach.

Bibona, 24, replaces Jason Dietrich, who left UCI last month to become pitching coach at Cal State Fullerton.

Bibona posted a 31-7 record in four seasons, including 30-6 with a 2.74 earned-run average in his final three years at UCI. He signed with the St. Louis Cardinals organization after being drafted in the eighth round in 2010. The Cardinals also chose him in the 16th round after his junior season in 2009.

Bibona was released by the Cardinals on June 28, one day after he made the second of two appearances this season, in which he allowed five earned runs and nine hits in six innings for the Batavia Muckdogs, a Single-A team in the short-season New York-Penn League.

Bibona was 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA for Quad Cities of the Midwest League in 2010, before injuring his left pitching arm and undergoing surgery.

UCI Coach Mike Gillespie, for whom Bibona played in 2008, 2009 and 2010, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

— Barry Faulkner

Eagles' Long alternate

Dustin Long said in the last four years he has gone through two knee injuries, a concussion and testicular torsion.

The last setback, which is the twisting of the spermatic cord, cutting off blood supply to the testicle, he said, hurt the most.

None of the setbacks are stopping Long from coming out for the varsity football team in his senior year at Estancia.

Long said he's working out with the Eagles this summer after undergoing emergency surgery last month to repair his testicles. With all the obstacles Long has overcome, he longed for good news.

He got some recently.

Long is an alternate to be a part of the NFL's mentoring program, which includes a trip next month to Canton, Ohio for the NFL's Hall of Fame game and induction ceremony of the latest members into the Hall of Fame.

"If that would happen to me, that would be a life-changing opportunity," Long said of the NFL mentoring program in which the Legacy Leadership Project has partnered with the Newport Sports Museum and the Pro Football Hall of Fame to pair high school players with Hall of Famers. "Being mentored by an ex-professional player that I can call whenever I want and I can have as a good friend to bond with would be unbelievable."

If Long doesn't become the second Estancia player in as many years to travel to Canton, he said he would be OK.

Long said he's received much support at Estancia. He transferred to the school from Newport Harbor the summer going into his junior year.

Long said Jim Fitz, a big fan of Estancia Coach Mike Bargas and his program, has reached out to him.

"He's helped me out a lot, just being there for me because I also haven't had my true biological dad in my life," said Long, adding that his mother, Jennifer, is always there for him.

— David Carrillo Peñaloza

BYC among leaders

The Balboa Yacht Club, led by skipper Ryan Davidson, is among four teams that have compiled a 5-1 record through Wednesday in round-robin racing at the Governor's Cup regatta in Newport Beach.

BYC has lost only to the San Diego Yacht Club, which is also 5-1, as are the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

Racing continues through Sunday.

— From staff reports

UCI alumna on TV

Former UC Irvine women's golfer Selanee Henderson will compete in the finale of the Golf Channel's Big Break Atlantis, to be aired on Monday at 6 p.m.

Henderson and Marcela Leon advanced from a cast of 12 and will compete in an 18-hole final round to determine the winner. The winner receives a spot in the LPGA Kingsmill Championship (Sept. 6-9) and $50,000, one of the biggest prizes in the series' 17-season history.

In addition to the tournament exemption and cash, the winner will also receive an endorsement contract from Adams Golf, which includes an additional $10,000; a $10,000 shopping spree fromDick's Sporting Goods; a $10,000 car-rental credit courtesy of Avis Car Rental, full exempt status and all entry fees waived for a Symetra Tour season and an all-expense paid return trip for two to Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Henderson competed for the Anteaters from 2004-2008, helping UCI to a Big West Championship all four years. She was named Big West Golfer of the Year in 2006 and is tied for the most tournament wins in school history with six.

— From staff reports

Invitations extended

UC Irvine women's volleyball players Aly Squires and Mackenzi Campbell have been invited to train with the USA U21 beach national training team, while Anteater alumna Juliane Piggott, will train with the U26 beach team.

Squires, an outside hitter, led UCI with 355 kills as a sophomore in 2011. She was second on the team in digs (329) and third in blocks.

Campbell, a Newport Harbor High product, played in six games in 2011 as a sophomore transfer from Montana State.

Piggott, a Corona del Mar High product, played at UCI in 2009 and 2010, collecting 606 kills, 47 aces and 416 digs. She was a first-team All-Big West Conference performer in 2009.

Practices for the beach teams will run through August and rosters will be pared down in late July to between nine and 12 athletes. Selected athletes will compete in the High Performance Championships, Saturday and Sunday in Hermosa Beach.

— From staff reports

Seminar at UCI

An NCAA college recruiting workshop, hosted by Jennifer Noonan of College Sports Quest, will take place Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. at UC Irvine.

There is no cost to attend, but reservations are required for the event, which will provide information on the recruiting process, scholarships, eligibility and financial aid.

Register at A return email will confirm the reservation and provide details about the location of the seminar on campus.

Noonan is a former athlete and coach at Corona del Mar High.

— From staff reports

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