Southern California's High School Sports Blog

Baseball: All-IE, All-LA, All-OC and All-San Diego Teams

Royce Lewis of JSerra Catholic of San Juan Capistrano. Photo/Nani Strumpf.


So Cal Sidelines baseball writer Manny Alvarez picks the top players from the Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego areas.

Long Beach State-commit Steven Rivas of Etiwanda. Photo/Jon Lofdahl.


ALL-INLAND EMPIRE TEAM


PLAYER OF THE YEAR


OF — Steven Rivas, Etiwanda, 2017

Whenever pitchers wanted to avoid Tyler Freeman, who was always on deck, they paid the price by going up against Steven Rivas, who led the Eagles to a CIF-SS Division 2 title, the first in the program’s history. Rivas batted .477 with 43 runs, 53 hits, 38 RBI, 12 doubles, three triples and nine home runs. Rivas and Freeman were a dangerous duo in the lineup, but it was Rivas that did more damage, including an 11-RBI game against Chino Hills. Rivas will be heading to Long Beach State and that isn’t for sure with the MLB Draft on the horizon. For his offense explosion, Rivas is the So Cal Sidelines Inland Empire Player of the year.

Jeremiah Estrada of Palm Desert. Photo/Jon Lofdahl.


PITCHER OF THE YEAR


P — Jeremiah Estrada, Palm Desert, 2017

Estrada showed everyone why he is considered one of the best prospects in the 2017 MLB Draft this season. Estrada led the Aztecs to a Desert Valley League title and a trip to the CIF-SS Division 2 finals. Estrada can also bat, hitting .370 with 34 hits 26 RBI, nine doubles and five home runs, but it is his pitching that has been all the buzz. Estrada went 6-3 with a 1.13 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 68 innings. Estrada is committed to UCLA, but he’s also expected to go high in the MLB draft. For Estrada’s stellar senior season, he is So Cal Sidelines Inland Empire pitcher of the year.

Matt Bardowell of Etiwanda. Photo/@MBardowell22.


FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR


P — Matt Bardowell, Etiwanda, 2020

With a lineup filled with talented seniors, Bardowell jumped right in and gave the Eagle faithful hope for the future. Bardowell played a huge role in the middle of the lineup with a .381 batting average, 20 RBI, five doubles, two triples and four home runs. Bardowell helped Etiwanda to a CIF-SS title and for that, he is also the So Cal Sidelines Inland Empire Freshman player of the year.

Don Furnald of Etiwanda. Photo/Jon Lofdahl.


COACH OF THE YEAR


Don Furnald, Etiwanda

Furnald had a dangerous lineup, a strong pitching staff and he guided his team to a CIF-SS Division 2 title. The Eagles’ offense was a scary group to play against with three of their hitters possibly skipping college for the Minor Leagues and their ace pitcher, Vinny Mughannam, went 11-0. Etiwanda won its first ever CIF-SS title with a victory over Palm Desert in the Division 2 finals. It has been a very long time since Etiwanda won 20 games, and its 27 wins was a school record. Thanks to the dangerous roster that pushed Etiwanda to not only No. 1 in the Inland Empire and No. 3 in So Cal by So Cal Sidelines, but No. 3 in the State by Cal-Hi Sports. For the best season in the program’s history, Furnald is the So Cal Sidelines Inland Empire Coach of the Year.


FIRST TEAM


Lawrence Castaneda of Chaffey of Ontario. Photo/Paul Luna.

P — Brendan Dixon, Tahquitz of Hemet, 2017

Dixon led the Titans to their first ever CIF-SS title with his near perfect pitching this season. Dixon went 12-2 with a 0.95 ERA and 155 strikeouts in 95.1 innings. Tahquitz will have a couple pitchers back, but it will be difficult for one of them to replace the APU-bound Dixon.

P — Lawrence Castaneda, Chaffey of Ontario, 2017

Castaneda led the Tigers to the CIF-SS Division 5 finals, losing in extra innings to Katella of Anaheim, but they wouldn’t have gotten that far without their ace. Castaneda went 8-1 with a 0.88 ERA, seven complete games and five shutouts. Castaneda struck out 94 in 80 innings.

P — Michael Hobbs, Corona, 2017

There is no better way to give your team a boost of confidence than to throw a no-hitter in the first round against a top-notch program, and Hobbs did just that against Orange Lutheran and it propelled them to the CIF-SS Division 1 finals before losing to El Toro of Lake Forest. Hobbs went 8-4 with a 1.08 ERA ,76 strikeouts in 71.1 innings, three complete games and two shutouts. Hobbs is headed to St. Mary’s next year.

Michael Hobbs of Corona. Photo/Jon Lofdahl.

P — Armando Duenas, Kaiser of Fontana, 2017

After leading the Cats to the CIF-SS Division 4 Finals, Duenas threw a 0.84 ERA with 81 strikeouts on 75.1 innings with an 8-1 record and four complete games and two shutouts for Kaiser. Duenas will be leaving a legacy at Kaiser.

C — Chris Jimenez, Etiwanda, 2017

Jimenez was part of a potent offense at Etiwanda, helping the Eagles win the CIF-SS Division 2 title. Jimenez batted .374 with 43 hits, 40 RBI, 10 doubles, three triples and seven home runs. Jimenez is committed to Long Beach State or he could go in the MLB Draft next week.

IF — Tyler Freeman, Etiwanda, 2017

Freeman was close to impossible to shut down this season, helping Etiwanda to a CIF-SS Division 2 title. Freeman batted .526 with 51 hits, 36 RBI, eight doubles, four triples and four home runs. Freeman is committed to Texas Christian, but he could also go in the MLB Draft.

IF — Jayden Kiernan, Corona, 2018

Kiernan was clutch in the postseason and without him the Panthers wouldn’t have made it to the CIF-SS Division 1 finals. Kiernan batted .391 with 43 hits, eight doubles, three home runs and 25 RBI. Kiernan will hope to deliver next season and send Corona back to the finals.

Tyler Freeman of Etiwanda. Photo/Jon Lofdahl.

IF — Connor Kostecka, Linfield Christian of Temecula, 2017

Kostecka led the Lions past Woodcrest Christian of Riverside to an Ambassador League title. Kostecka batted .416 with 25 RBI, four doubles, four triples and six home runs. It will be tough for Linfield Christian to repeat as league champs without Kostecka heading to Biola.

IF — Brice Turang, Santiago of Corona, 2018

Turang led the Sharks to a playoff appearance after playing in a tough Big VIII League. The Louisiana State-committed infielder batted .445 with 13 doubles. Turang should be one of So Cal’s top players next season.

OF — Joey Hodapp, Vista Murrieta of Murrieta, 2017

The first team All-Southwestern League selection batted .443 with 35 hits, 22 RBI and two triples to help the Broncos win a Southwestern League title.

OF — Kyle Koontz, Roosevelt of Eastvale, 2017

Koontz led the Mustangs to a much-improved season. Unfortunately, Roosevelt ended up being the best team in SoCal to not make the playoffs. Koontz batted .455 with 24 RBI, nine doubles and two home runs.

OF — Caleb Farmer, Tahquitz of Hemet, 2017

With Brendan Dixon shutting down the opposing bats, Farmer took advantage with his bat for the Titans. Farmer batted .440 with 39 RBI, 14 doubles and two home runs. Farmer’s offense boosted Tahquitz to the CIF-SS Division 4 title.

Brice Turang of Santiago of Corona. Photo/Jon Lofdahl.

DH — Michael Galvan, Paloma Valley of Menifee, 2017

Galvan led the Wildcats to a Sunbelt League title in one of the Wildcats’ best seasons in school history. Galvan batted .430 with 40 hits, 29 RBI, nine doubles and three home runs. Paloma Valley will have a big hole in their offense next season with Galvan moving on to college.

UT — Nate Mendoza, Oak Hills of Hesperia, 2017

Mendoza led the Bulldogs to a Mojave River League title and a trip to the CIF-SS Division 5 semifinals. He batted .396 with 42 hits, 32 RBI, eight doubles and a home run. If that doesn’t impress you, Mendoza also went 11-1 with a 1.26 ERA and  100 strikeouts 78 innings.

UT — Jonathan Cuevas, Palm Desert, 2018

Cuevas and Jeremiah Estrada led Palm Desert with one of the best 1-2 pitching combos in the Inland Empire, which is why the Aztecs made it to the CIF-SS Division 2 finals. Cuevas went 10-4 with a 1.86 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 86.1 innings. He also batted .400 with 38 hits, 27 RBI, 12 doubles, three triples and four home runs for Palm Desert. Thankfully, the Aztecs will have Cuevas back to make another run at a CIF-SS title next season.

Hunter Greene of Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks. Photo/Jon Lofdahl.


ALL-LOS ANGELES TEAM


PLAYER OF THE YEAR


P/IF — Hunter Greene, Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, 2017

You can’t blame pitchers for throwing away from Hunter Greene. All the talk all season was about what Hunter Greene can do now and in the future when he is a star in the Major Leagues. The only debate was if he will be the top pick in the draft. Whoever gets him, will have a superstar on their hands. Greene batted .327 with 28 RBI, six doubles and six home runs. Greene is mainly a pitcher, but was shut down mid-season. Greene went 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA and  43 strikeouts on 28 innings of work. Greene has been compared to former Notre Dame star Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins and that is high praise. Greene’s next stop will be in the minor leagues with the Cincinnati Reds as he went No. 2 in the MLB Draft, but first, let’s name him the So Cal Sidelines LA Player of the Year.

Arizona-bound Matt Sauer of Righetti of Santa Maria. Photo/@redsauers.


PITCHER OF THE YEAR


P — Matthew Sauer, Righetti of Santa Maria, 2017

If you got a base hit off of Matt Sauer, you were lucky. Heck, if your bat made contactwith the ball, you were lucky. Sauer was unstoppable as he helped the Warriors to the PAC-8 League title. He went 9-1 with a 0.98 ERA, four complete games and 142 strikeouts in 78.1 innings. That’s 1.8 strikeouts per inning. For his fantastic season on the mound, Sauer is the So Cal Sidelines LA Pitcher of the Year.

Lucas Gordon of Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks. Photo/Jon Lofdahl.


FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR


P — Lucas Gordon, Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, 2020

Gordon was just supposed to be the No. 2 guy in the rotation, but when top MLB prospect and teammate Hunter Greene was shut down from throwing, it was the freshman’s turn to take over as the ace of the Knights staff and the kid nailed it. Gordon went 10-1 with a 1.21 ERA and 77 strikeouts on 69.1 innings. Notre Dame should be fine without Greene now that they have three more years of Gordon, who is the So Cal Sidelines LA Freshman of the Year.

Don Barbara of St. John Bosco of Bellflower back in his playing days.


COACH OF THE YEAR


Don Barbara, St. John Bosco of Bellflower

Bosco wasn’t much of a baseball school, normally ending its season right above average, average or below average. It’s tough to win in the brutal Trinity League, but this season was very different as Barbara coached the Braves to a 27-8 record, the most wins in school history. St. John Bosco also won its first ever Trinity League title and ended up a game away from the CIF-SS Division 2 finals. For his historic season at Bosco, Barbara is the So Cal Sidelines LA Coach of the Year.


FIRST TEAM


P — Thomas Gutierrez, Chatsworth, 2017

Gutierrez kept the winning tradition alive and very well at Chatsworth, leading them to the CIF-LACS Division I finals for the second straight season. Despite being only 5-foot-9 and 140 pounds, Gutierrez threw like a giant with a 10-1 record, including seven complete games and six shutouts.

Thomas Gutierrez of Chatsworth. Photo/Jon Lofdahl.

P — Trevor Beer, Crescenta Valley of La Crescenta, 2017

It was a huge year for Beer as he helped the Falcons to a Pacific League title and a 25-3 record. Beer went 9-1 with a 0.77 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 73 innings.

P — Jonathan Guardado, Nogales of La Puente, 2017

Guardado was nearly impossible for opposing hitters to figure out. If you scored a run off him, I hope you kept the ball. Guardado went 14-0 and with a 0.33 ERA, 135 strikeouts in 84.2 innings, 10 complete games and three shutouts. Guardado also hit .488 with 36 RBI and 13 doubles. Guardado also led the Nobles to the semifinals of the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs.

P — Travis Weston, Moorpark, 2017

Weston had a big year for Moorpark, leading them to a Coastal Canyon League title. Weston went 8-3 with a 0.92 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 68.2 innings.

Jayson Gonzalez of Bishop Amat of La Puente. Photo/@jaygonz40.

C — Daniel Zakosek, Chatsworth, 2017

Zakosek kept the winning tradition alive at Chatsworth and was named the West Valley League MVP. Zakosek batted .390 with 23 RBI while leading the Chancellors to the CIF-LACS Division 1 Finals.

IF — Juan Guardado, Nogales of La Puente, 2018

The younger Guardado brother put up big numbers just like his big bro, helping Nogales to the semifinals of the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs. Guardado batted .446 with 40 hits, 32 RBI seven doubles, four triples and three home runs. He has some big shoes to fill, good thing those shoes are down the hall from his bedroom.

IF — Jayson Gonzalez, Bishop Amat of La Puente, 2017

Gonzalez’s power bat helped lead the Lancers to a Del Rey League title. Gonzalez batted .375 with three triples and five home runs. If he doesn’t go pro, it will be good news for USC, which is where he has committed.

IF — Jake Miller, Newbury Park, 2018

The MVP of the Marmonte League led the Panthers to a league title. Miller batted .382 with eight doubles. Newbury Park is going to get even better next season with Miller back for one more year.

IF — Zach Rudd, Righetti of Santa Maria, 2017

Rudd helped lead the Warriors to a PAC-8 League title and a trip to the CIF-SS Division 3 finals. Rudd batted .352 with 33 RBI, seven doubles and six home runs.

OF — RJ Schreck, Harvard-Westlake of Studio City, 2018

Schreck led a young Wolverines team to a Mission League title. He batted .480 with 21 RBI, nine doubles and two home runs. Harvard-Westlake is going to be very dangerous in 2018 with Schreck back.

RJ Lan of La Mirada. Photo/La Mirada Baseball.

OF — RJ Lan, La Mirada, 2017

Lan led the Matadors to a Suburban League title thanks to a .429 batting average and four home runs.

OF — Jake Palmer, El Segundo, 2017

Palmer led the Eagles to the Ocean League title and a trip to the CIF-SS Division 3 quarterfinals. Palmer batted .548 with 41 RBI, eight doubles, three triples and five home runs.

DH — Charles Nasuti, St. John Bosco of Bellflower, 2017

Nasuti led the Braves offense to a Trinity League title, which is not easy to do. Nasuti batted .421 with 30 RBI and 40 hits. Nasuti was a big help for Bosco with their trip to the CIF-SS Division 2 semifinals.

UT — Danny Zimmerman, Redondo Union of Redondo Beach, 2017

Zimmerman lost his supporting cast from the back-to-back CIF-SS championship team, but he still put up some big numbers for the Seahawks. Zimmerman batted .412 with 25 RBI, six doubles and 10 home runs.

UT — Ben Fariss, Valencia of Magic Mountain, 2017

Fariss had a big year for the Vikings, leading them to the Foothill League title. Fariss batted .368 with 33 RBI, seven doubles and five home runs. Fariss also went 6-3 on the mound.

Hagen Danner of Huntington Beach. Photo/Jon Lofdahl.


ALL-ORANGE COUNTY TEAM


PLAYER OF THE YEAR


P/C — Hagen Danner, Huntington Beach, 2017

Danner did it all for Huntington Beach with what might have been the best 1-2 combo in the country, Nick Pratto and himself. Danner went 11-1 with a 1.22 ERA and that’s not all. Danner also hit 12 home runs with 40 RBI while batting .350. Huntington Beach was No. 1 in So Cal for a majority of the season and they were on their way to a national championship until a hiccup in the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs. Danner is committed to UCLA, but he will most likely sign with the Toronto Blue Jays after being picked 61st in the MLB Draft, which might be a little low. Danner will likely prove the teams that passed him up wrong. He is the So Cal Sidelines Orange County Player of the Year.

Jake Jackson of El Toro of Lake Forest. Photo/Jon Lofdahl.


PITCHER OF THE YEAR


P — Jake Jackson, El Toro of Lake Forest, 2017

El Toro lost some good pitchers from last year’s team to graduation, but the Chargers got back even better ones. Jackson led the way for the Chargers and they jumped on his back en route to a CIF-SS Division 1 title. Jackson went 12-1 with a 0.61 ERA, 11 complete games, four shutouts, 89 strikeouts in 73 innings with only seven walks and eight earned runs allowed. Jackson is headed to Nevada. For leading El Toro to a CIF-SS title in the toughest division in the state, Jackson is our So Cal Sidelines Orange County Pitcher of the Year.

Nate Petrutis of Pacifica of Garden Grove. Photo/Tracy Foreman.


FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR


1B — Nate Petrutis, Pacifica of Garden Grove, 2020

It was a tough year for the Mariners, but there is a lot of hope for the future after watching Petrutis in action during his freshman season. Petrutis was an easy first team All-Empire League selection. Petrutis batted .329 with 27 hits, 19 walks, six doubles, a .455 on-base percentage and just one error at first base where he started every game. There will be high hopes for Pacifica for the next three years after Petrutis picked up the So Cal Sidelines Orange County Freshman Player of the Year award.

El Toro of Lake Forest coach Mike Gonzales with pitcher Jake Jackson. Photo/@j_jackson_9.


COACH OF THE YEAR


Mike Gonzales, El Toro of Lake Forest

Gonzalez lost some top players from last year’s team, but returned some key players as well and he made the best of it as their coach. Gonzalez guided the Chargers to a 27-7-1 ecord, which came with the program’s first CIF-SS title since 2008. What is more impressive is that the Chargers started the season with a 4-4-1 record, then proceeded to win 23 of their final 26 games. For the fantastic championship season, Mike Gonzalez is the So Cal Sidelines Orange County Coach of the Year.


FIRST TEAM


P — Hans Crouse, Dana Hills of Dana Point, 2017

Crouse was unstoppable on the mound and beating heavily favored Harvard-Westlake of Studio City in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs proved that. Crouse went 7-3 with a 0.88 ERA, allowed only eight earned runs and struck out 99 in 63.1 innings. Crouse is committed to USC like his brother, but he could also go to the Texas Rangers, who selected him in the MLB Draft.

Cal State Fullerton-commit Tanner Bibee of Mission Viejo. Photo/Lori Spillane.

P — Skyler Johnson, Katella of Anaheim, 2017

Johnson not only led the Knights to a Orange League title, but to a CIF-SS Division 4 championship. Johnson went 11-2 with a 0.38 ERA, allowed only five earned runs and struck out 103 in 93.1 innings.

P — Tanner Bibee, Mission Viejo, 2017

Bibee led the Diablos on the mound and was huge with the bat too en route to another 20-win season for Mission Viejo. Bibee went 7-3 with a 0.75 ERA, allowed seven earned runs and struck out 68 in 65.1 innings.

P — Brett Super, Sage Hill of Newport Beach, 2017

Super was, well super on the mound and with the bat for the Lightning. Super went 9-3 with a 0.77 ERA, allowed nine earned runs and struck out 104 in 82.1 innings. Super also batted .418 with 25 RBI, eight doubles and five triples.

C — Blake Hunt, Mater Dei of Santa Ana, 2017

Hunt kept the Monarchs in the hunt in the Trinity League title race and they came close with a second place finish. Hunt batted .394 with 39 hits, 25 runs scored, nine doubles, six home runs and 28 RBI. Hunt was selected by the San Diego Padres in the MLB Draft .

IF — Nick Pratto, Huntington Beach, 2017

Pratto had a big year and that was thanks to his go-to guy, Hagen Danner, as the Oilers were one of So Cal’s best teams this season. Pratto batted .330 with nine home runs while going 5-1 on the mound with a 0.99 ERA. Pratto is committed to USC, but was also selected 14th by the Kansas City Royals in the MLB Draft.

Nick Pratto (No. 32) of Huntington Beach. Photo/Jon Lofdahl.

IF — Royce Lewis, JSerra of San Juan Capistrano, 2017

With the buzz all on Lewis, it was hard for him to get a good pitch to hit this season, but he made the best of it for the Lions. Lewis batted .388 with 31 hits, 24 walks, 25 stolen bases and four home runs. Lewis has committed to UC Irvine, but we are pretty sure he will skip college since he was the No. 1 pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. We’ll see Lewis in a Minnesota Twins uniform very soon!

IF — Dustin Angus, Laguna Beach, 2017

Angus led the Breakers to an undefeated record in the Orange Coast League and a trip to the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs. Angus batted .441 with 49 hits, 41 RBI, 14 doubles, seven triples and two home runs.

IF — Matt McLain, Beckman of Irvine, 2018

McLain was the key to the Patriots staying alive in a tough Pacific Coast League. If it weren’t for a walk-off home run in extra innings in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs, maybe Etiwanda wouldn’t have won their CIF title and the blame would have been on McLain playing spoiler. McLain batted .471 with 41 hits, 12 doubles, 33 runs scored, 17 stolen bases, 18 RBI and two home runs. McLain is committed to UCLA, but he still has another year of high school left and that makes Beckman fans very happy.

OF — Kyle Ashworth, Foothill of Santa Ana, 2019

Foothill battled in the Crestview League and reached the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs and their offense was led by a sophomore. Ashworth batted .453 with 39 hits, 22 RBI and six doubles. The Knights have Ashworth for another two years, which will keep league-rival El Dorado of Placentia on its toes.

Preston Hartsell of Corona del Mar of Newport Beach. Photo/Corona del Mar Athletics.

OF — Preston Hartsell, Corona del Mar of Newport Beach, 2018

Hartsell led a young Sea Kings’ team to a Pacific Coast League title. Hartsell batted .427 with 22 RBI, 38 hits, 28 runs scored, six doubles, three triples and six home runs. Hartsell will be back next season and so will a majority of CdM lineup, which is bad news for the PCL.

OF — Riley Kasper, Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo, 2017

Kasper was definitely someone you relied on to get on base and he did just that and more in the postseason, helping the Cougars to the CIF-SS Division 2 semifinals. Kasper batted .416 with 47 hits and six doubles.

DH — JT Schwartz, Corona del Mar of Newport Beach, 2018

Schwartz was a key bat for the Sea Kings in their Pacific Coast League-title run. Schwartz batted .459 with 24 RBI, 39 hits, 28 runs scored, 11 doubles, four home runs and 24 RBI. CdM will have Schwartz and many others back. 2018 is going to be a fun one at CdM.

UT — Kyle Luckham, El Dorado of Placentia, 2018

Luckham had a pretty good year for the Golden Hawks, well a great year when you knock Huntington Beach out in the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs. Luckham went 7-0 with a 1.35 ERA while striking out 62 in 67.1 innings. Luckham also batted .324 with 33 hits, eight doubles, two home runs and 29 RBI. Luckham will be back next season and hopefully no one sleeps on El Dorado in the playoffs or they will pay.

UT — Erik Tolman, El Toro of Lake Forest, 2017

Tolman was part of a fantastic rotation with Jake Jackson and was even better with the bat. Tolman batted .359 with 10 doubles, 19 runs, 25 RBI and four home runs. Tolman also went 8-3 with 1.43 ERA. Tolman was a big reason why El Toro won the CIF-SS Division 1 title.

Grant Holman of Eastlake of Chula Vista. Photo/Eastlake Athletics.


ALL-SAN DIEGO TEAM


PLAYER OF THE YEAR


P/1B — Grant Holman, Eastlake of Chula Vista, 2018

Eastlake was hoping to finally get a CIF-SDS title after falling short the previous two seasons. The Titans ended up jumping on the back of the junior right-hander and it worked. Holman led the Titans with his bat and his arm en route to a CIF-SDS Open Division title. Holman batted .381 with 32 RBI, seven doubles and 12 home runs while going 10-0 on the mound with a 1.00 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 78 innings. Holman will try to lead Eastlake to another CIF-SDS title next season and hopefully have his name called in the 2018 MLB Draft, but in 2017 Holman is the So Cal Sidelines San Diego Player of the Year.

Kevin Abel of Madison of San Diego. Photo/@KevAbel9.


PITCHER OF THE YEAR


P — Kevin Abel, Madison of San Diego, 2017

Madison snuck into the CIF-SDS Open Division bracket, which can be a burden for some if you have a low seed, but Madison had Kevin Abel on the mound to shut down some of the best offenses in So Cal. The Warhawks got past Eastlake of Chula Vista in the first round and Rancho Bernardo in the second round before the Titans ended the amazing run by Madison. Abel went 9-1 with a 1.30 ERA, five complete games, three shutouts and 120 strikeouts in 81 innings. Abel will definitely be missed when the Warhawks need someone to take down some monsters in future playoff runs. For his leadership in the postseason, Abel is the So Cal Sidelines San Diego Pitcher of the Year.

Fisher Pyatt of St. Augustien of San Diego. Photo/St. Augustine Baseball.


FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR


SS/IF — Fisher Pyatt, St. Augustine of San Diego, 2020

The Saints went 16-17 on the season, but that should improve with Pyatt back for three more seasons. Pyatt batted .301 with 25 hits, 16 runs scored, four doubles, two home runs and 17 RBI. He helped St. Augustine reach the semifinals of the CIF-SDS Division 1 playoffs. St. Augustine will be in good hands with Pyatt, who is the So Cal Sidelines San Diego Freshman Player of the Year.

David Gallegos of Eastlake of Chula Vista. Photo/Eastlake Athletics.


COACH OF THE YEAR


David Gallegos, Eastlake of Chula Vista

For Eastlake, the third is the charm. After falling in the CIF-SDS Division I finals in 2015 and the CIF-SDS Open Division finals in 2016, Gallegos and the Titans got to see what the other side feels like after they defeated Helix of La Mesa, 8-3, to win the CIF-SDS Open Division title. A 32-4 record with a title pushes Eastlake to No. 1 in So Cal by So Cal Sidelines and No. 1 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports and Gallegos has the San Diego Player of the Year coming back next season. Eastlake figures to be even stronger next season, but for now Gallegos is the So Cal Sidelines San Diego Coach of the Year.


FIRST TEAM


P — Michael Mercado, Westview of San Diego, 2017

Mercado was huge on the mound for the Wolverines, leading them to the CIF-SDS Division II playoffs. Mercado went 9-1 with a 0.69 ERA and 97 strikeouts.

P — Blake Zeleny, Brawley, 2017

Zeleny led the Wildcats all the way to a CIF-SDS Division III title. He went 11-1 with a 1.39 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 65.2 innings. You were pretty much guaranteed a win for Brawley with Zeleny on the mound.

Jordan Jackson of Helix of La Mesa. Photo/Helix Baseball.

P — Jordan Jackson, Helix of La Mesa, 2017

Jackson’s pitching was a big reason why the Scotties made it to the CIF-SDS Open Division finals. With an ERA below 1.00, it will be tough to get back in the finals without the Nevada-bound right-hander on the mound next season.

P — Noah Nunez, Santana of Santee, 2017

Nunez helped lead the Sultans to the CIF-SDS Division II finals. Nunez went 10-3 with a 1.22 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 89.2 innings. Nunez also batted .417.

C — Connor O’Brien, Rancho Bernardo of San Diego, 2018

O’Brien was one of many underclassmen that helped the Broncos compete with the best of the best in San Diego. O’Brien batted .383 with 31 RBI, 33 runs scored, six doubles and three home runs. Next season is going to be a fun one with O’Brien behind the plate.

IF — Ben Ramirez, Eastlake of Chula Vista, 2017

Ramirez added on to the powerful Titans’ offense that won the CIF-SDS Open Division title. Ramirez batted .440 with 15 doubles, 40 runs, 34 RBI and four home runs.

IF — Zack Prajzner, San Marcos of San Marcos, 2018

The Notre Dame-commit helped lead the Knights to a perfect run to the CIF-SDS Division II title. Prajzner batted .350 with 12 doubles and 28 RBI. Prajzner also saved 11 games, helping San Marcos to reach 29 wins.

Notre Dame-commit Zack Prajzner of San Marcos. Photo/@zprajzner27.

IF — Jacob Blas, San Marcos of San Marcos, 2017

Blas batted .368 with three home runs, 34 runs scored and 18 stolen bases. The infield was one of many reasons why the Knights won the CIF-SDS Division II title.

IF — Marcus Alazard, La Costa Canyon of Carlsbad, 2017

Alazard led the Mavericks to the CIF-SDS Open Division playoffs this season. He batted .394 with 39 hits, 33 runs scored, 10 doubles and four home runs.

OF — Calvin Mitchell, Rancho Bernardo of San Diego, 2018

Mitchell put some big number up in his junior year for the Broncos, batting .369 with 34 RBI, 39 runs scored, six doubles and 11 home runs. Rancho Bernardo is going be dangerous with Mitchell back next season.

OF — Zach Hogueisson, Christian of El Cajon, 2017

Hogueisson’s bat was a big reason why the Patriots made it to the CIF-SDS Open Division playoffs. Hogueisson batted .348 with 25 RBI and 11 home runs.

OF — Jayden Lombardo, Grossmont of El Cajon, 2017

If you look at the Foothillers’ record, you would think they had an average season, but thanks to Lombardo they can flash their CIF-SDS Division I championship rings to prove otherwise. Lombardo batted .357 with 28 RBI, six doubles and five home runs.

Westmont-commit Jayden Lombardo of Grossmont of El Cajon. Photo/Grossmont Athletics.

DH — Mac Bingham, Torrey Pines of San Diego, 2019

Bingham pretty much carried the Falcons’ offense and he’s only a sophomore. Bingham batted .364 with 43 hits, 15 doubles and five home runs. With two years left, it should be a sure thing to see Torrey Pines will be back in the CIF-SDS Open Division playoffs.

UT — Bryce Roe, Ramona of Ramona, 2018

Roe’s offense was better than his pitching, but the two weren’t that far off. Roe batted .473 with 52 hits, 32 RBI, nine doubles, four triples and four home runs and he went 7-1 with a 2.24 ERA and 53 strikeouts on 59.1 innings. Roe will be dangerous to face on the mound and at behind the dish next season.

UT — Casey Schmidt, Eastlake of Chula Vista, 2017

Eastlake had a big year and it was thanks to the offense of Casey Schmidt, who batted .396 with 40 RBI, 11 doubles and eight home runs. The kid can also pitch, saving 10 games with a 0.79 ERA and 45 strikeouts.

(NOTE: Report news and notes to So Cal Sidelines baseball writer Manny Alvarez via email (mannyalvarez02@gmail.com), text (714-234-8506) or Tweet (@SoCalSidelines))

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