Mark Saatzer on a tear for Chapman University baseball

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

Mark Saatzer (St. Francis High, 2010) junior infielder, Chapman University baseball: As good a start as Saatzer got out to this season, his numbers have only ballooned as the season's gone on.

While Saatzer is coming off a near-perfect game, the Panthers are looking to snap a two-game losing streak that's brought them back down to .500 (11-11, 9-6 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference).

Chapman dropped two of three games to Pomona-Pitzer Friday and Saturday and then dropped consecutive games in a nonconference matchup with Ithaca, 9-7, Sunday. Saatzer put together one of his finest games of the year in the loss to Ithaca, as he went three for four with two runs scored and a run batted in.

Not only does it put Saatzer on a four-game hitting streak, it’s a four-game multi-hit streak. He's gone seven for 15 with two RBI and three runs scored in the past four games to pad his stats.

The former Golden Knight and All-Mission League honoree is now batting a team-high .359. His 28 hits are second-best on the squad, but his seven doubles, 15 RBI, 40 total bases, .517 slugging and .458 on-base percentages are team-highs.

Chapman was scheduled to play another nonconference game with Rutgers-Newark Thursday night before beginning a three-game conference set with Redlands March 29.

Matt McCallister (Glendale Community College, 2012) junior infielder, UNLV baseball: The former Vaquero has carved out a starting spot for himself in his first year at UNLV, which is in the middle of a successful season with a 16-5 record.

He's appeared in all 21 games and started 20, while hitting .261 (18 for 69) at the plate. The shortstop has scored 13 runs, driven in seven and hit two doubles this year. Most recently, McCallister went one for two and scored in the Rebels’ 10-3 win over BYU Monday.

McCallister has recorded a hit in four of his last five games and has six multi-hit games this season with his finest performance coming March 3 in a 12-4 win over Hawaii to wrap up the Rebel Classic championship. McCallister went two for five with a run batted in and another scored in the game.

Another season highlight for McCallister and UNLV was when he scored the walk-off run to end a 14-inning game with Tennessee Feb. 17 for a 3-2 victory.

UNLV just kicked off the Mountain West Conference season and is 1-2 so far with a three-game trip to San Diego State beginning Friday and ending Sunday. The Rebels opened conference play with New Mexico on March 15 and won the middle game of the three-game homestand.

It was a bit of a reunion for McCallister and another former Vaquero, Erik Suarez — a catcher/first baseman, for the Lobos (9-11, 2-1). Suarez has seen limited action in his senior year, appearing in just six games. Suarez has made the most of his four at-bats this year, cracking a triple for his one hit of the year and two RBI. He also has a perfect fielding percentage in 10 chances this year.

Cory Popham (Glendale Community College, 2012) junior pitcher, University of Pacific baseball: The 2012 Western State Conference Pitcher of the Year hasn't disappointed for the Tigers this year.

Popham holds the second-lowest earned-run average (2.18) and second-most innings pitched (33) for the University of Pacific, He's made five starts and is 2-0 with a shutout on his resume so far. The junior is holding opposing batters to a .268 batting average, having given up 33 hits, eight runs (all earned) and walked 11, while striking out 14 batters this season.

Popham picked up his second win of the season Saturday in a 5-2 win over Creighton. The junior allowed nine base runners (six hits, three walks) but just one run to go along with four strikeouts in five innings. His best performance came Feb. 22 when he shut down UNLV and McCallister for a 3-0 win. Popham allowed just five hits, a walk and struck out five in all nine innings. It remains the Tigers’ only complete game and shutout this year.

The Tigers are 7-12 this year and will open Big West Conference play March 28 at Cal State Fullerton.

Sooren Derboghosian (Glendale Community College, 2010) junior center, UCLA basketball: While Derboghosian is only averaging 1.8 minutes a game this season, the former Vaquero has been living his dream with the Bruins.

The big man hopes it won’t be interrupted anytime soon as UCLA (25-9, 13-5 in Pac-12 Conference) begins the NCAA Tournament Friday at 6:57 p.m. The sixth-seeded Bruins, who won the Pac-12 Conference regular season title but fell to Oregon, 78-69, in the conference’s tournament championship Saturday, will face No. 11 Minnesota in the South Region bracket.

Derboghosian has rarely seen the floor in his junior season. He’s logged seven minutes, two points, a block, offensive rebound and assist this year.

Still, Derboghosian has achieved his longtime goal of wearing the gold and baby blue uniform. In an article in the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s student newspaper, the former All-Western State Conference player at GCC revealed being a Bruin has been a dream of his since he saw UCLA basketball on TV in Iran, his home country.

“I had the dream to be a Bruin before I even came here,” Derboghosian said. “I saw the opportunity to and I was really excited.”

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