Scott Hong continues to excel for Occidental Tigers

The following are updates on area athletes at the collegiate level.

Scott Hong (Glendale Community College, 2011) senior pitcher/outfielder, Occidental College baseball: Hong has picked right up where he left off last year, when he led the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in saves with five.

Hong, a reigning all-conference selection, and the Tigers recently began the season on the right note in Texas. Hong pitched a scoreless seventh inning, striking out the side, to earn a save in Occidental’s 5-3 nonconference victory against host Austin College on Sunday in Sherman, Texas. The right-hander threw 21 pitches, 12 for strikes. At the plate, he had a double and scored a run after beginning the game in center field.

In a season-opening game against Austin on Feb. 2, Hong collected two run-scoring hits and scored two runs to lead Occidental to a 7-4 win. He had a run-scoring single in the eighth to give the Tigers a 7-2 advantage.

Hong is batting .400 (six for 15) with five stolen bases and four walks for the Tigers, who are 4-0 entering Sunday’s home nonconference contest against La Sierra University.

Alexander Najarian (St. Francis High, 2012) freshman, Occidental College men’s swimming: Najarian, a Glendale native, recently enjoyed a stellar performance to help the Tigers capture a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference home meet against Whittier.

Needing a victory in the meet’s final event — the 200-yard freestyle relay — Najarian and the Tigers pulled through. The Tigers held a slim 123-120 lead heading into the relay.

The Tigers’ A team, featuring Najarian, Jack Sinclair, Will Westwater and Kevin Kuwata recorded a mark of 1 minute 28.83 seconds to best Whittier by three seconds and give Occidental a 136-124 win.

Earlier, Najarian took first in the 100- and 200 butterfly races. He clocked 53.04 in the 100 and 1:59.21 in the 200. Najarian also took second in the 200 backstroke (2:05.33).

Occidental will next partake in the conference finals Feb. 17-19 in La Mirada.

David Yetenikyan (Glendale High, 2012) freshman center, Occidental College men’s basketball: Yetenikyan appears to have made a smooth transition to the collegiate level after standing out for several seasons at Glendale. Though the Tigers have struggled lately, losing six of their last seven contests, the 6-foot-6 Yetenikyan has provided a nice presence in picking up his share of rebounds and points inside the paint.

He’s taken advantage of nailing down a starting role for Occidental (7-14, 2-10 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference). In a conference road game against Caltech on Jan. 30, Yetenikyan finished with 14 points and nine rebounds to power the Tigers to a 70-61 victory.

On Wednesday, Yetenikyan registered eight points, six rebounds and a game-high four blocks in an 80-63 conference road defeat Claremont Mudd-Scripps.

In 21 games, Yetenikyan, a former All-Pacific League honoree, is averaging 5.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest.

Occidental will next compete in conference road game at 7 p.m. Saturday against Redlands.

Stella Ghazarian (Glendale High, 2011) sophomore guard, Pasadena City College: Ghazarian and the Lancers were 17-6 and 7-4 in the South Coast Conference entering Friday’s conference road game against El Camino Real Community College. The Lancers came into the contest having won five of their previous six games.

Ghazarian turned in another quality effort for the Lancers on Wednesday during a conference home game against Compton. Ghazarian had 15 points, including nine from three-point territory, to help the Lancers record an 83-29 victory.

In a conference home game against Cerritos, Ghazarian finished with 11 points and three steals in Pasadena’s 54-51 victory.

In 23 games, Ghazarian is averaging 10.1 points per game. She’s averaging 11.5 points per game in conference. Overall, she’s recorded 27 steals.

Jason Ochart (Glendale Community College, 2011) senior, infielder/pitcher, Vanguard University baseball: Ochart and the Lions have gotten off to a good start.

Ochart, a Hoover High graduate, had two hits and scored a run to propel the host Lions to a 6-3 home win against Oregon Tech on Thursday. He stole a base and had a run-scoring double in the sixth inning to close out the scoring.

Ochart is batting .389 (seven for 18) with three doubles, three walks and four runs batted in.

Vanguard (4-2, 1-2 in Golden State Athletic Conference) had its conference home game against Westmont rained out Friday. The teams will meet in a doubleheader at 11 a.m. Saturday.

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