Conyers, a sophomore left-hander, posted a strong start
against Baylor, helping the Toreros gain a berth in
the Baseball America national rankings. Conyers carried
a no-hitter into the sixth inning against the Bears.
After surrendering a single, Conyers did not allow
another hit for the remainder of this outing, as he
racked up eight strikeouts, in picking up the first
win of the season. Conyers managed to retired 10 of
his final 11 batters he faced.
For the season, USD started 8-1 -- the second-best
start in school history -- gaining a No. 24 rankings.
As a freshman, Conyers was tabbed MVP of the WCC Tournament,
tossing a complete-game shutout over San Francisco in
the championship game, recording nine strikeouts.
CHRISTIAN "CHRIS" FRANCO
It's celebration time
when Chico State captured the school's second
claming the 1999 NCAA Division II baseball
championship in Montgomery, Ala. (Chico State courtesy photo)
CHRISTIAN "Chris" FRANCO, who
just turned 37 on Tuesday, was killed when
his vehicle was struck by another car in
a pileup just before 2 a.m., closing the
northbound lanes for more than five hours.
CHP reported that the left side's of Franco's
Jaguar was completely tore off. A woman
driving another vehicle involved in the
crash was arrested on suspicion of DUI.
Franco was a member of the Chico State University
baseball team which captured the 1999 NCAA
Division II national championship. He also
was a starting left fielder for the San Diego
Stars semipro baseball team, which finished
in third place at the National Baseball Congress
World Series that summer.
"Chris was a reak good ballplayer who
was a happy, go-lucky guy," said Stars
owner/manager MICKEY DUETSCHMAN. "He
was friends with lots of the players, then
remains friends and stayed on contact with
them after he left the ballclun."
A product of Sweetwater High School, where
he served as a team captain as a senior
in 1996, Franco became an all-Pacific Coast
Conference performer at Southwestern College
in 1998, where he gained notice by Chico
With the Wildcats, he became known as a
clutch performer during their title run,
batting .447 with runners in scoring position,
including 9-for-10 with a runner at third
base and less than two outs. After sharing
the starting left field duties with two
others in 1999, he became a full-time starter
in 2000 at left and center field, plus designated
hitter, finishing with a 343 career average
(.497 slugging percentage), with three home
Aztecs pitcher Cederoth
named preseaon All-America
Cederoth is being projected as a top 10 draft pick in
MLB's June draft.
A 6-foot-6 hard throwing right-hander, Cederoth has
been a member of the Aztecs' starting rotation during
his first two seasons at SDSU, was a second-team all-Mountain
West Conference selection in 2013. He led the league
in strikeouts both overall and in conference contests.
His 109 strikeouts last season rank ninth on the SDSU
Cederoth was also named the Mountain West Pitcher of
the Week after tossing eight shutout innings in a 2-0
win over Nevada.
USD pitcher Troy Cnyers named
of the summer collegiate Prospect League. (USD courtesy photo)
Conyers was a dominant, two-way high school player
for El Capitan for four years, and earned acclaim
as the California prep player of the year as a senior
by going 9-2, 1.07 with 131 strikeouts in 82 innings,
while also stinging the ball at a .394-5-26 clip.
Despite those credentials, Conyers was passed over
in the 2012 draft and was also forced to wait his turn,
for the most part, as a freshman at USD by working primarily
in a set-up role. In 17 appearances, he went 3-2, 5.70.
His first real opportunity to showcase his talent beyond
the high school level came this summer in eight starts
for Danville, where he passed with flying colors by
posting a 5-1, 1.53 record with 18 walks and 60 strikeouts
in 41 innings on his way to earning a nod as the leagues
all-star lefthander and No. 1 prospect.
He also managed to get in 22 at-bats, and hit .273-0-5.
For a young lefthander with a strong, physically-mature
6-foot-5, 230-pound build, Conyers was ahead of the
game with his ability to throw three pitches for strikes
in almost any count, including a fastball at 89-91 mph.
By adding strength to his big, physical frame, Conyers
should only throw harder in time.
For now, his most advanced pitch is probably his changeup
because of his ability to throw it with the same arm
speed and from the same arm slot as his fastball. His
slider is his best breaking ball. Conyers gives the
impression of airing out his stuff, but is also construed
as being sneaky quick because of the deception he creates
in his delivery. He hides the ball well and opens up
late, making it difficult to pick up his pitches, especially
for left-handed hitters.
But possibly the quality that stands out most about
Conyers is his mature mound presence. He has an advanced
feel for setting up hitters and adjusting to various
sequences late in games.
The Dans posted the best overall record in the Prospect
League this season, largely on the strength of an outstanding
pitching staff led by Conyers, the leagues No.
1 prospect, but werent able to withstand his early
departure and went quietly in the playoffs, losing two
straight semi-final games to Quincy.
Conyers, who played for the Danville (Ill.) Dans in
the 10-team league was named the Prospect of the Year.
Judish, who played for the Hannibal (Mo.) Cavemen,
was tabbed the leagues Fireman of the Year.
Conyers posted a 1.53 ERA with a 5-1 record and 60
strikeouts in 41 innings for Danville . Judish, meanwhile,
logged a 0.94 ERA with a 3-1 record and 6 saves.
The balloting was done electronically through each
of the Leagues 11 managers. The annual Award Winners:
A week after the West Virginia Miners claimed their
second Prospect League Championship, 2 games to no games
for the Quincy Gems. From Opening Day through the All-Star
Game hosted by the Butler Blue Sox to an exciting finish
to the seasons end, 2013 has been an awesome fifth
season for the Prospect League.
Super Regional Friday
UCLA 5, CS Fullerton 3
(10 inn.) CF
BRIAN CARROLL (Granite Hills) scores winning
run, and makes a great circus catch (at 2:20 mark
on this GAME
DeRosier struck out 41 batters in 45 innings while
posting a 4-3 record with a 4.20 ERA for Southwestern
College this past spring. In two appearances with the
Stars, he had a 1-1 record with 9 K's in six innings.
At El Capitan in 2012, the senior led East County with
a 0.91 ERA while going undefeated in four decisions.
In addition, he posted six saves, the second-highest
total by a Grossmont Conference pitcher this century.
Despite his credentials, DeRosier only gained a second-team
berth on the coaches' All-Grossmont Valley League team,
ranked behind teammates TROY CONYERS (the two-time CIFSDS
player of the year), KEVIN GINKEL and SHANE COLEMAN.
Nesovic, the designated hitter for UC Santa Barbara,
registered a .343 batting average to rank eighth
in the Big West, while notching the conference's
ninth-best on-base percentage at .414.
Following the conclusion of the regular season,
the La Mesa resident ranked fourth on the Gauchos
with 61 hits and tied for third with 33 RBI. The
diaper dandy also contributed on the mound for
UCSB, tossing 51.0 innings with a 4-3 record and
Nesovic was also an honorable mention to the
All-Big West team, as selected by conference coaches.
With the Stars last summer, Nesovic was noted
as the winning pitcher when the ballclub clinched
a National Baseball Congress World Series berth.
He combined with LUCAS WHITMORE on a 5-hit shutout
of defending regional titlist South Bay (Chula
Vista) System to claim the NBC Western Regional
A sophomore designated hitter for Judson University,
Balough led the CCAC in RBI (76), doubles (19),
total bases (118) and walks (40). Batting .376
with a slugging percentage of .554 with 83 hits,
Balough proved to be a tremendous offensive threat.
Nationally, Balough sits at No. 2 in the NAIA
in RBI, \No. 16 in doubles, No. 18 in hits and
No. 20 in total bases.
Balough was a two-time All-East County performer
in 2010-11 for the Sultans.
2013 MLB FREE AGENT DRAFT Day 3 (Rounds
By Mark Meadows
East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (6-9-13) Grossmont College's BILLY FLAMION,
El Capitan High alum MATT DeROSIER and Valhalla High's
RAMSEY ROMANO, all had their names called on Day 3 of
the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft held
Saturday (June 8).
Flamion was selected in the 15th round by the Los Angeles
Dodgers, while De Rosier was picked in the 24th round
by the Washington Nationals. Romano later went to the
Chicago Cubs in the 35th round.
Flamion, a transfer from the University of Oregon,
logged only 7 innings of mound time for the Griffins
while striking out 9. It seemed unlikely that would
be enough to warrant a 15th round pick. But two weeks
ago, Flamion attended a Dodgers' tryout camp featuring
former L.A. manager Tommy Lasorda.
"Lasorda told Billy that he had a major league
curveball 'right now', said Grossmont head coach RANDY
ABSHIER. "He (Lasorda) even asked Billy how he
gripped it, and if he would like to sign with the Dodgers
De Rosier was a freshman for Southwestern in 2013.
The right-hander struck out 41 batters in 45 innings
for the Jaguars posting a 4-3 record with a 4.20 ERA.
Valhalla's Romano was the lone East County high school
player chosen in this year's draft. Tomano, bound fir
the University of Michigan if he doesn't sign, .356
with 2 home runs and 15 RBIs, leading the Norsemen to
the CIF San Diego Sectrion Division 1 semifinals.
Frank, Griffin, selected
in MLB Draft Day 2
By Mark Meadows
East County Sports.com
SEACAUCUS, N.J. (6-8-13) Former East County standouts
TREVOR FRANK and AARON GRIFFIN both pitchers
were the first two players with East County ties
taken in Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft,
held Friday (June 7) from the MLB television studios.
Frank, a product of Valhalla High, was tabbed in the
8th round (No. 231 overall) by the Cleveland Indians.
Griffin, a Grossmont High alum, was selected by the
Tampa Bay Rays in the 10th round (No. 308).
For three seasonsmFrank was a starting pitcher at UC
Riverside before moving into the closing role this past
season as a senior. Frank posted a 4-2 record with 10
saves, striking out 44 hitters in 44 innings.
Griffin spent his first three years as a reliever/starter
for Loyola Marymount of the West Coast Conference. But
in 2013, starting exclusively, he went 4-5 with a 3.07
ERA for the Lions.
Across the County
USD record-breaking slugger Kris Bryant (No. 2 overall)
and Madison High's Ian Clarkin (33rd) were taken in
the first round.
Rancho Bernardo High saw Trevor Williams (currently
at Arizona State) and current Broncos senior Gosuke
vKatoh were taken in the second round, Meanwhile, another
RB product, Cal State San Marcos' James Dykstra, was
selected in the sixth round to become the highest-drafted
player in Cougars history,
Cathedral Catholic's Steven Gonsalves and USD's Dylan
Covey were selected in the fourth round.
The draft continues with Rounds 11-40 on Saturday at
10:00 a.m. with streaming video on MLB.com.
2013 MLB FREE AGENT DRAFT
Few top prospects expected to get the call
Those at the top of the East County list include Granite
Hills pitcher-center fielder TRENTON BROOKS and Grossmont
corner infielder DEREK RUSTICH. Grossmont College shortstop
KYLE HOLDER is also on several ballclubs draft
lists, as is catcher Grossmont High/Southwestern College
catcher CODY SOS.
Christian High/UC Riverside infielder EDDIE YOUNG,
who now starts for the San Diego Stars semipro baseball
team, is also on the draft board.
Other possibles include Steele Canyon/Grossmont College
catcher JESSE JENNER.
Elsewhere, Madison pitcher-center fielder Ian Clarkin
is tabbed to go early in the first round. University
of San Diego power hitter Kris Bryant should make big
money, while Rancho Bernardos middle infielder
Gosuke Katoh will go probably as early as the second
Bonita Vista fireball Matt Ball should draw plenty
of attention as well.
Cathedral Catholics Stephen Gonsalves will sign
if he goes higher than his projected third round slot.
If the money isnt there he says he will attend
Palomar College .
Of course there are always an abundance of surprise
picks, so stay tuned.
Live Draft coverage from MLB Network (Cox Cable 330)
begins at 4 p.m., with the top 73 picks being streamed
on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network, starting with
Houston at No. 1 overall.
Rounds 3-10 will be streamed live on MLB.com on Friday
(June 7), beginning with a preview show at 12:30 p.m.,
and Rounds 11-40 will be streamed live on MLB.com on
Saturday (June 8), starting at 1 p.m.
Conyers pitches USD to WCC crown USD wins WCC Tourney title with 2-0 win over USF
In his first collegiate start on the mound, Conyers,
a freshman left-hander, tossed a complete-game shutout,
lifting USD to the West Coast Conference tournament
title after stopping San Francisco, 2-0, on Saturday
(May 25) at Banner Island Ballpark.
USD (35-23) now advances to the NCAA regionals, probably
to the site hosted by UCLA. The NCAA selection show
is Monday at 9 a.m. on ESPNU to identify the tournament
Conyers (2-2), in his first collegiate start, completely
dominated the Dons, as he allowed no runs, on just two
hits, while striking out a career-high nine batters.
Conyers is only the second USD pitcher this season to
toss a complete game shutout.
Offensively for the Toreros, Austin Green led the way,
as he went 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI. Kris Bryant
also went 2-for-4 with a double.
Four Toreros earned All-Tournament honors, highlighted
by Conyers being named the MVP of the tournament.
A Grossmont HS alum, Secciani was selected to the Association
of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Conference Championship
Most Outstanding Player after helping the Cougars to
their second A.I.I. title in the past three seasons
on Friday, joining 11 other standouts on the West Coast
in being named Academic All-District.
The 2013 Capital One Academic All-District Baseball
Teams, selected by the College Sports Information Directors
of America (CoSIDA), were released to recognize the
nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances
athletically and in the classroom.
Secciani, a Business major, holds a 3.37 cumulative
GPA over his four years at CSUSM while excelling on
the field of competition. He advances to the Capital
One Academic All-America Team ballot where first-, second-
and third-team All-America honorees will be selected
later this month.
The Cougars' everyday center-fielder the past four
seasons, Secciani is the school's all-time leader in
runs, triples, walks and stolen bases. In addition,
he sits in CSUSM's career top 10 in batting average
games played, hits, doubles, RBI, total bases and fielding
percentage. He's batted over .300 in three of his four
This year, Secciani is hitting .306 with 32 RBI, 30
runs, six doubles, five triples and a home run. In addition,
he's stolen 17 of the 20 bases attempts.
The Cougars have won a school-record 35 games (35-10)
and have been ranked in the Top 25 every week of the
season, reaching as high as No. 3 on March 26.
The Cougars are awaiting their assignment for the NAIA
Baseball Opening Round. The field will be announced
on Monday (May 6).
The Highlanders (13-9) opened Big West Conference action
over the weekend with a 3-game sweep of 21st-ranked
UC Irvine. UCR has now won four straight and seven straight
at home in taking the early conference lead.
UCR shortstop EDDIE
YOUNG (Christian HS) is batting just .229 this season,
yet his on-base percentage tops the ballclub at .471
because he's the runaway leader with 21 walks, including
six over his last three starts.
Meanwhile, pitcher TREVOR
FRANK (Valhalla) is the ace of the bullpen, owning
a perfect 3-0 record with six saves in 12 appearances.
Young and Frank, both seniors, have one remaining collegiate
ballgame scheduled in San Diego on Tues., Apr. 23,
whtn UCR goes to Fowler Park to meet the USD Toreros.
Opening Night at Fowler Park,
the new baseball field at USD. (USD courtesy photo)
gains pitching win in debut of USD's Fowler Park
The sophomore right-hander struck out six batters
and yielded just one earned run over five innings,
leading visiting San
Diego State past the 12th-ranked Toreros, 8-1,
to kick off the 2013 season before a sellout crowd
of more than 1,700 fans Friday (Feb. 15) night.
"I'll always be able to tell my kids and
my grandkids that I won the first game here,"
said Cederoth, a member of the 2011 All-East County
first team. "It's always good to play spoiler."
Junior right-hander Justin Hepner came on in
relief and shut out USD over the game's final
four innings to garner the save.
"My defense was awesome," Cederoth
added. "There were some areas where I needed
some defense and it was there. Ty France 's unbelievable
glove, (catcher) Jake Romanski with his arm. That
was unbelievable. To have those guys back there,
I knew that I could just throw strikes. I didn't
have to do too much. That really helped knowing
those guys were there behind me."
The effort pleased Aztecs coach TONY GWYNN.
"You couldn't help but come into this game
looking at it as a big game, in the sense that,
new ballpark, national TV audience, big crowd,"
said Gwynn. "I thought (Cederoth) handled
it pretty good. And I thought our guys handled
this whole situation pretty good. We came out
and did the things we wanted to do."
UC Riverside answered back with two runs in the bottom
of the 8th, allowing Frank to claim the victory in an
8-7 decision over Utah Valley in Saturday's (Feb. 16)
game at the Palm Springs Baseball Tournament.
Frank needed to pitch an additional inning of relief,
but registered a strikeout to strand a Wolverines runner
at third base to garner the victory.
The Highlanders (1-3) then closed the weekend with
a pair of setbacks to 6th-ranked Oregon State, despite
a 3-for-7 (.429) batting performance by UCR shortstop
YOUNG (Christian High).
In the second game with the Beavers, Young walked in
the 9th he led the entire Big West Conference
in base on balls in 2012 then broke up a double
play at second base which allowed the tying run to score
and force extra innings. Oregon State eventually won,
5-4 in 11 innings.
CSU San Marcos takes opener
with East County assistance
The Cougars scored all four of their runs in the 3rd inning,
sinking the host Eagles' record to 2-2.
Secciani, a transfer from UC Riverside, opened the scoring
with a see-ing, ground single up the middle. Belzer aided
the rally with a clean single to left field to make it
3-0, then Secciani capped the outburst by scoring on a
The ballclubs continue their series Saturday (Feb. 2)
at CSUSM Baseball Field with a doubleheader at 11:00 a.m.
Also on the CSU San Marcos roster is El Capitan alum BROOKS
NOBLE, a transfer from CSU Dominguez HIlls.
Courtesy, San Francisco Chronicle OAKLAND (6-25-12) Derek Norris came to the
big leagues for the first time Thursday. A.J.
GRIFFIN (Grossmont High/ USD) made his major-league
debut Sunday (July 24). Together, the 23-year-old catcher
and the 24-year-old right-hander combined to prevent
the Giants from sweeping the A's in a three-game series
at the Coliseum. MOREPHOTOTV INTERVIEW
Hawksley, who spent his freshman season at USD before
transferring to Palomar College, where he batted .281
with a home run, nine doubles and 34 RBI in 31 games
this past spring.
Parsons, a three-year starter in baseball and basketball
at the prep level, will specialize for the Warriors
in baseball under head coach Jef Field at Midland.
We are excited to have Alex join our baseball
program, Field said. We look forward to
watching him progress as a student athlete in the next
four years. We are optimistic he will develop into the
player we believe he can become in reaching his potential.
Parsons, who batted .354 over his final two Wolf Pack
baseball seasons, was recognized as the West Hills 2012
Senior Male Athlete of the Year. He also participated
in the All-East County Senior All-Star basketball game,
while earning a handful more post-season honors following
his senior season.
On Sunday (May 13) more than a century later
the Rangers finally captured their first RMAC
A pair of former Grossmont High standouts in STEVEN
BRAULT and MATT HEMPHILL contributed, as Regis defeated
tournament host Colorado State-Pueblo (formerly Southern
Colorado), 9-2, at Rawlings Field.
In the VIDEO, watch Brault, the Rangers' starting right-fielder,
throw out a Pueblo runner as the plate in the very first
inning. Meanwhile at the plate, Brault batted 6-for-19
(.315), including multiple hits in each of the final
The victory capped a 4-game sweep through the tournament.
The Rangers also topped Pueblo in the first round, 3-0,
then twice downed New Mexico Highlands, -42 and 3-0.
Regis (32-21) now advances to its first NCAA Division
II Central Regional since 1991. The Rangers will be
the sixth seed, meeting top-seeded Minnesota State in
the first round.
Homecoming at Montezuma Mesa Gwynn returns to Aztecs dugout;
Frank, Young start for UC Riverside
Meanwhile visiting UC Riverside saw two of its ballplayers
starting pitcher TREVOR FRANK (Valhalla) and
shortstop EDDIE YOUNG (Christian) get the start
before family and friends against the hometown Aztecs.
Gwynn, who underwent more than 12 hours of surgery
to remove cancerous growths from his jaw just days before
the college baseball commenced, made his first on-field
appearance of the season. Doctors are still limiting
his workload, but the Hall of Famer was obviously enjoying
a comfortable position on the diamond.
For Frank, it was his first outing at Tony Gwynn Stadium
since capturing the SDCIF Division III championship
In a memorable performance, Frank garnered his third
save of the week to stop Cathedral Catholic, 4-1, for
the San Diego Section crown. Entering the game in the
7th inning, the freshman struck out the side for the
first SDCIF baseball title in Valhalla history.
"That was the last time I ever pitched here
I can't believe it's been almost six years," said
Frank, who tossed three solid innings in his start against
SDSU, leaving with a no-decision in a non-conference
game eventually won by the Aztecs, 7-3. "That was
a big day in my life."
Frank is now a junior at UC Riverside, majoring in
cultural media studies, a newer subject area indicative
with the changing world of media and the internet.
"I was majoring in business, but I've found cultural
media studies to be quite interesting, so I hope to
do something with film," he added. "You always
hope to get drafted, or else I'll come back."
"School is great and baseball is coming around.
I'm starting to get my pitches back, especially my slider."
Frank was not originally slated to pitch against the
Aztecs, but Sunday's rainout pushed his start back two
He's been chewing up innings for the Highlanders over
the past two seasons, ranking second on the ballclub
in innings pitched, third in strikeouts (including a
career-high 10 against Loyola Marymount), and third
in earned run average.
Young, now a junior at UCR, nearly had his career cut
short by an injury which forced him to temporarily leave
school after being struck in the head by an errant baseball
during practice. Young, then a freshman, was left with
a fractured skull.
"It was scary -- I was hit in the temple,"
said Young. "But now I'm healthy it's like
it never happened. I'm just playing ball and trying
to get back into the groove of things."
Young was forced to withdraw from UCR while rehabilitating.
Fortunately, the NCAA gave Young a fifth year of eligibility
because the injury was so devastating at the time.
"Everything is good right now," added Young,
who is now in his second season as the starting shortstop.
"I'm majoring in history, and you get a good education
in the UC system. And I get to play baseball, too, so
it's a win-win."
Young was drafted out of high school, so he's hoping
to get another look by a major league organization.
Young, a member of the All-East County first team and
All-CIF San Diego Section first team in 2008, was a
33rd-round pick of the Chicago White Sox that June.
San Diego State will join UCR in the Big West Conference
in the 2013-14 school year. Hawai'i joins the circuit
After the visiting Broncos assumed a 2-1 lead, USD
(21-6 overall, 3-0 WCC) bounced back with consecutive
basehits by A.J. Robinson and Haar, followed by an Andrew
Daniel double to even the score at 2-2. Kris Bryant
then moved the Toreros in front with a prodigious 3-run
home run to left-center field for a 5-2 lead.
For the contest, Haar went 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI.
This season, Haar ranks among the team leaders in batting
with a .337 average. He leads the Toreros in doubles
(12) and is second in stolen bases.
Jenner, called up as a pinch hitter, blooped a basehit
to left field in the bottom of the 8th inning.
The Titans (2-3) then held on after the Horned Frogs
loaded the bases with no one out in the 9th, but Michael
Lorenzen came out of the bullpen to register a strikeout
and induce a 6-3 double play to escape unscathed.
Fullerton will host San Diego State on Tuesday (Feb.
28) in another non-conference game.
In a six-inning outing, Reed scattered 5 hits and allowed
only one earned run. He walked 3 and struck out 4.
He is rated the 23rd-best freshman in college baseball
by Baseball America.
The rookie was selected in the 40th round (1,221 overall)
of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox. He helped
Helix to a 25-9 record and its first CIF San Diego Section
Division II Championship since 1988. He was named to
the Max Preps All-State second team, Cal-Hi Sports third
team, the San Diego Section first team, the All-East
County.com first team, and the Grossmont Hills League
As a senior, Reed logged a 9-1 record, 0.63 ERA and
90 strikeouts in 67 innings.
Nothing fishy about Pond
Six-foot-6 Cal State- San Bernardino senior right-hander
JOSH POND, a product of Santana High, is preparing for
a big season after being named a National College Baseball
Writers Association (NCBWA) third-team All-American
as a junior.
Pond set a Cal State-San Bernardino record and led
all NCAA Division II pitchers in saves with 16 in 17
opportunities. Although did not win a game he posted
a 1.54 ERA in 23 appearances.
Brault enjoys Rocky Mtn.High
A sophomore standout for the Regis University (Colo.)
Rangers, Grossmont High graduate STEVEN BRAULT began
the season with some added pressure. Brault was named
the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Preseason Baseball
Player of the Year as voted on by the eight conference
The RMAC Freshman of the Year posted a .369 batting
average while starting 28 games at 1st base and 10 in
the outfield. He also chalked up a 3-7 record with one
shutout, 54 strikeouts and a 6.05 ERA.
Strasburg won't be AWOL from Nats camp San Diego State to retire his No. 37 this Friday
Don't worry, Strasburg will be okay there's
something else on his agenda.
This Friday (Feb. 17), when San Diego State opens its
baseball season against Washington (The University of,
not the Nats), the former Aztecs All-America pitcher
will have his number retired (37) in pregame ceremonies
at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
The ceremony will get underway at 5:45 p.m., with the
Aztecs-Huskies game starting at 6 p.m. All tickets for
this special night are priced at just $6.00.
In 2009, Strasburg was a consensus All-America selection
after posting a 13-1 record, including a no-hitter over
Air Force, with a 1.32 earned run average. That season
he struck out 195 batters in just 109 innings while
walking only 19.
Strasburg, a product of West Hills High, was the recipient
of the 2009 Golden Spikes Award as the nation's top
collegiate player. He was also named the National Pitcher
of the Year by the College Baseball Foundation and was
presented the Dick Howser Trophy as the nation's top
player. In addition, he was selected the National Player
of the Year by both Baseball America and Collegiate
Griffin emerged as a dominant Sunday starter over the
course of the year, finishing the season with a 7-3
record and a 2.99 ERA over nine starts and 19 appearances.
The 2.99 ERA ranks 10th in LMU's single season record
book. He dealt a pair of complete games, including one
complete-game shutout en route to 72.1 innings of work
on the hill. He struck out 47 hitters while holding
opponents to a .264 batting average against. In his
nine starts alone, Griffin sported a 2.89 ERA and a
Thomas needs 72 hours to breakthrough
in pro debut
After batting just 1-for-14 in his first three games
as a midseason signee, Thomas erupted with a 3-for-5,
three RBI performance to fuel the Cats' offense against
the South Division rival El Paso Diablos in Wednesday's
(Aug. 24) American Association ballgame.
On three occasions with a runner in scoring position,
Thomas, a centerfielder, delivered a run-scoring basehit
in a 12-3 triumph. The contest opened a season-ending,
8-game homestand for the Cats at LaGrave Field.
Thomas signed on Sunday (Aug. 21) following an MVP
performance for the Roswell (N.M.) Invaders of the collegiate
Thomas' career includes stops at Grossmont College
and Texas A&M Kingsville , along with semipro/summer
collegiate league stops with the San Diego Stars, the
Brazos Valley (Texas) Bombers, and the Invaders.
At ECVHS, Thomas established school and Grossmont Conference
records by stealing 50 bases as a senior in 2006, one
short of the CIF San Diego Section mark set by current
MLB standout Eric Chavez (Mt. Carmel, 1995).
Brault led the Lunkers in batting average nearly wire-to-wire,
hitting .330 with 2 home runs and 31 RBI. The freshman
out of Regis College in Denver also posted a 1.65 ERA
in five appearances on the mound this summer.
In Thursdays (July 21) Brooklyn Cyclones 13-0
New York-Penn League rout of the Aberdeen (Md.)
Ironbirds, the Granite Hills High graduate fell
a triple short of hitting for the cycle, finishing
4-for-4 with five RBI. His major stroke was a three-run
home run in the latest victory.
East County hurlers Karstens, Correia pitch Pittsburgh
into NL Central Division lead
Funny, now, how they are now teammates at baseballs
highest level. Fact is, the duo has combined for 19
wins thus far this season which has helped the Pittsburgh
Pirates move into a tie for the National League Central
Division lead with the St. Louis Cardinals heading into
Saturdays (July 16) action.
Karstens, a 28-year-old right-hander, needed only 83
pitches to propel the Pirates into first place for the
first time this late in the season since July 17, 1997.
The veteran of parts of six major league seasons, Karstens
masterfully and efficiently wove through the Houston
Astros lineup on the way to his second career shutout
in a 4-0 Pirates win at Minute Maid Park.
It's one of the best pitched games I've seen,
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told MLB.com. You
take into account the pitches thrown, 21 out of 30 first-pitch
strikes, and then you get the leadoff hitter six out
of nine innings, just a couple three-ball counts, 10
ground balls for 12 outs. Defense helped him a couple
times, but that was a masterful outing.
That effort hoisted Karstens career-high win
total to 8 against 4 losses while lowering his ERA to
2.34 in 107.2 innings.
Karstens, who won his fifth straight decision, became
the first Pirate to accomplish the feat since Matt Capps,
who won eight straight from June-Oct. 2006. His 83 pitches
are the fewest among all Major League pitchers in a
nine-inning complete game this season.
A one-time New York Yankee, Karstens pitched a complete
game and dominated the Astros as he allowed only five
hits and really wasnt ever in danger of losing
control of the game.
It was the 12th time in his last 13 starts that Karstens
was charged with two earned runs or less and over that
stretch he has allowed only 16 earned runs in 81 innings
My whole goal when I'm on the mound is to get
my team off the field as quick as possible, get them
back in to hit," Karstens told MLB.com. A
lot of times when you do that, you look up and it's
the sixth inning. When you try and worry about what's
going to happen the rest of the game, a lot of times
you get yourself in trouble.
Three of Karstens' last six starts have come against
the Astros, all resulting in victories. He has surrendered
just one run in 22 2/3 innings against Houston this
The Astros managed just one hit through the first five
innings off Karstens.
Karstens' only other complete-game came on Aug. 6,
2008, when he blanked Arizona on just two hits.
"I think that game in Arizona is pretty hard to
compare to, but tonight it felt good, just to come out
and get us back on the right track where we were before
the All-Star break," Karstens said.
Correia finished the first half of the season 11-7
with a 4.01 ERA, a 1.28 WHIP and 59 strikeouts in 116
2/3 innings. His 11 victories rank second in the NL,
but he owns a pedestrian 4.6 K/9 ratio which limits
his value. The 31-year-old right-hander's ERA has hovered
below 4.00 all season, but after yielding five runs
in his final start before the All-Star break, Correia's
ERA ballooned a quarter.
Griffin pitched the first seven innings for the win
and Brault, who is batting at a .353 clip (42-for-119),
toiled the final two innings to log the save. It was
Griffin s second win in as many decisions. He
owns a 2.79 ERA and has posted 22 strikeouts in 29 innings.
On Thursday (July 8), the Lunkers (21-11) split a doubleheader
against the River Bats at St. Cloud , taking the first
game 2-1 before falling 4-3 in the nightcap.
Grossmont alum BRYAN HAAR slugged a solo home run
his team leading 4th of the summer for St. Cloud
in the first game loss. The University of San Diego
third baseman is batting at a .348 clip (16-46) for
the River Bats.
He carried that prowess over to the NCAA Division I
level as a freshman outfielder at San Diego State University
Smith was named to the 2011 Louisville Slugger Freshman
All-America squad by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper
of Tucson, Ariz. He earned second-team all-MWC accolades
this past season, batting .320 with 11 doubles, four
triples, two home runs, 30 RBI and 27 runs scored. He
was successful on 15 of 16 stolen base attempts while
leading the Aztecs in that category.
SDSU pitcher Cole Swanson of Torrey Pines, a second-team
all-Mountain West conference selection, was also named
to the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper team. He posted
a 4-2 record with a 3.23 ERA over 15 appearances including
Smith and Swanson are the first Aztecs to earn the
honor from Collegiate Baseball since Brock Ungricht
A 5-foot-10, 185-pounder, Smith batted .302 with six
doubles, a pair of triples, 14 RBI and 14 runs scored
in MWC play. He did not commit an error in 24 MWC contests
and currently sports a .299 overall average with 11
doubles, four triples and 28 RBI. He has also been successful
on 14 of 15 stolen base attempts.
Wilson (Cathedral Catholic), who earned his award as
an outfielder, hit .315 in conference play with 10 doubles,
four home runs, 19 RBI and 15 runs scored in 24 contests.
Three of his homers came in a contest against Air Force
and tied the school single-game record. Overall, Wilson
is batting .255 while leading the team in doubles (16)
and home runs (5). His 32 RBI ranks second on the squad
San Diego State (21-34) opens play in the 2011 Mountain
West Conference tournament on Tuesday (May 24), with
a contest against UNLV scheduled for a 7 p.m. start
at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
Loyola Marymount University
right-handed pitcher Aaron Griffin. (LMU courtesy photo)
Gay turned in easily the best pitching campaign
of any William Penn hurler, going 4-3 with team
bests in ERA (1.63), shutouts (3--1 complete,
2 shared), saves (3), innings pitched (66 1/3),
strikeouts (43), and opponent batting average
(.170). Nearly untouchable during the league slate,
opposition hit just .150 against the junior. In
13 total appearances this spring, Gay allowed
no runs or one run nine times.
Griffin made two starts last week, tossing 6 1/3 innings
and leaving with a 2-1 lead on Monday versus Cal State
Bakersfield. A Grossmont High graduate, Griffin allowed
an unearned run on three hits and two walks while striking
out a career-high eight batters.
On Sunday (May 15) at Saint Mary's, Griffin tossed
his second career complete game, and his first career
complete-game shutout, to improve to 6-3. The right-hander
threw 116 pitches, allowing six hits and one walk while
striking out six hitters. He retired 12 straight hitters
from the third out in the second through the second
out in the sixth.
Overall on the week, Griffin posted a 0.00 ERA and
a 1-0 record with a shutout and a complete game over
15.1 innings of work. He allowed just nine hits and
one unearned run over the two starts, allowing three
walks and striking out 14.
The selection from the WCC is the second in Griffin's
career, and it marks the seventh time that a Lions player
has been selected either Pitcher or Player of the Week
Whitmore dodged a couple of jams early, and then
got into a groove, retiring 16 straight Coyotes
batters. He retired KWU in order in the fourth,
fifth, sixth and seventh innings. The southpaw
went the distance allowing a pair of earned runs
in nine innings, striking out seven and not walking
any batters. He improved to 9-2 on the season.
LCU (46-12) qualifies for the NAIA World Series
for a tenth time in program history.
Whitmore, a junior at LCU, played center field
as well as pitched for El Capitan in his senior
A 6-foot-2 center fielder, Taijeron is at the top of
the league for most major offensive statistics, including
slugging percentage (.731 - 1st), on-base percentage
(.516 - 1st), homeruns (14 - 1st) and total bases (122
- 1st). His 14 home runs also ranks 18th nationally.
A former catcher and first baseman, Taijeron helped
the Broncos (30-19) secure a spot in the CCAA Tournament
by batting .459 in the final month of the regular season
Two other East County products earned All-CCAA honors.
First team recognition went to Santana High graduate
POND, a 6-foot-6, 245-pound right-handed junior
closer at Cal State-San Bernardino. He finished with
16 saves that not only earned a school record, but tied
the single-season CCAA mark. He was successful in 16
of 17 save situations. Pond also posted a 1.54 ERA and
struck out 37 in 23 1/3 innings.
Receiving honorable mention was another former Santana
standout pitcher BRANDYN
BELL, who racked up a 6-2 record with a 3.33 ERA
at Cal State-East Bay. The 6-foot-3 junior right-hander
topped the Pioneers with 44 strikeouts.
As a junior in 2010, Taijeron earned American Baseball
Coaches Association (ABCA) All-West Region Second Team
honors as an outfielder. He was also selected to the
All-CCAA Second Team after establishing the Broncos
season record for home runs with 16. He also logged
48 RBI and topped CPP with a .345 average.
At Grossmont College as a freshman, Taijeron paced
the Griffins in hitting .378 and registering an on-base
percentage of .483.
In three varsity seasons at Granite Hills, Taijeron
clubbed 33 home runs, notched 116 RBI and batted .345
MAY 23 UPDATE: Former Granite Hills slugger TRAVIS
TAIJERON finished his record-setting two-year Cal Poly
Pomona career with a .369 average, 34 doubles, 32 homeruns,
99 runs batted in, 78 walks and a .989 fielding percentage.
After matching his single-season program record with
16 home runs in 2011, he stands at second all-time with
his career mark of 32.
As great as his numbers read, Taijeron a senior
outfielder who earned a berth on the All-NCAA West Region
team could not carry the Broncos to a victory
in the NCAA Division II West Region title game that
would have led Cal Poly into the DII Championship Tournament.
Cal Poly Pomona suffered an 8-5 loss to Sonoma State
Sunday (May 22) in the West Region title game to end
a remarkable and record-setting season for the Broncos.
CPP finish the 2011 campaign with an overall record
of 36-23, the largest win total for the program since
1985 and the highest winning percentage (.610) since
Brault, a graduate of Grossmont High, threw the second
complete game of his career and improved to 3-4 on the
season. He allowed just four hits but didn't allow more
than one hit in any given inning. He walked just one
Oredigger and struck out a career-high seven batters.
On the season, Brault, a dual-threat for the Rangers,
has a 5.87 ERA and is third on the team throwing 38
1/3 innings. He leads the Rangers with 31 strikeouts
and has nearly a 3-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio. Brault,
who also plays first base and outfield, is third on
the team with a .360 batting average and is second with
six doubles and third with 36 hits.
After the Statesmen dropped the first game to snap
a 5-game winning streak, Gay, a junior right-hander,
responded with the team's best pitching effort of the
season. Following just six appearances in relief, Gay
tossed a complete-game 2-hitter, walking just one in
allowing just three baserunners all contest.
Over the weekend, Young was instrumental in leading
the Highlanders to a 3-game sweep of Sacramento State
. Included in Youngs efforts was a leadoff single
in the 6th, eventually scoring the tie-breaking run
in Sunday's (Feb. 27) series-ending, 4-2 triumph.
In his last six starts, Young has lifted his batting
average to .346 during the stretch for UCR (4-4 overall).
The sophomore also collected a hit and a run scored
against USC during his hitting streak.
Young was originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox
in the 33rd round of the 2008 MLB draft after leading
Christian High to the 2007 Central League crown, when
he was named the league's player of the year, then was
tabbed San Diego CIF Division IV player of the year
as a senior in 2008.
Less than 48 hours following his first MLB victory
in a year, O'Sullivan, 22, was one of two pitchers
traded to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for
third baseman Alberto Callaspo, who was sent packing
to the Los Angeles Angels.
O'Sullivan currently owns a career record of
5-2, the same mark as former West Hills High and
San Diego State product STEPHEN STRASBURG.
Of course, the majority of the audience, including
the 47,775 fans at Yankee Stadium, was focused on seeking
a New York knockout.
After surrendering two runs and two hits in the first
inning, OSullivan a product of Valhalla
High and Grossmont College settled in to hold
the Yankees hitless over five innings to gain his first
pitching decision of the season as the Angels prevailed
He doesn't get rattled," Angels manager
Mike Scioscia said of O'Sullivan. "That's a tough
lineup. I thought Sean made some good adjustments as
the game went on."
O'Sullivan, who spoke with his parents Paul
and Dina before the game, said his 11th Major
League start had a different feel at the outset.
"As a kid, the Yankees are the biggest team,"
O'Sullivan said. "To get to pitch here, on their
mound -- the loneliest place on earth, they say -- it's
Filling in for injured starter Scott Kazmir, OSullivan
walked three and struck out four, while throwing 85
I didn't know I was starting until I got here
today," O'Sullivan said. "Butch [pitching
coach Mike Butcher] said he gave me a call yesterday,
but I didn't get it.
O'Sullivan arrived in the Bronx from Triple-A Salt
Lake with reliever Trevor Bell, who ended up pitching
the ninth inning after O'Sullivan went six.
O'Sullivan, who had made four relief appearances for
the Angels while spending most of the season at Salt
Lake, held the Yankees to two runs on two hits and three
walks (one intentional) across six innings, striking
out four. He is 1-0, his ERA a sparkling 2.08.
The 22-year-old right-hander, who won his Major League
debut with a superb effort in San Francisco on June
16 of last year, pitched a no-hitter for Triple-A Salt
Lake earlier this season.
trots the bases
following his first
professional HR. (Howard Owens The
Longmire's fast pro start
Special to East County Sports.com
BATAVIA, N.Y. (6-28-10) Although the Batavia
Muckdogs (4-6) are off to a so-so start in the Class
A New York Penn League, former Grossmont High slugger
NICK LONGMIRE is on a hitting rampage.
The Muckdogs center fielder and No. 5 pick of
the St. Louis Cardinals, Longmire leads the league in
six offensive batting categories through 10 games. That
includes hits (15), triples (3), home runs (3) and RBI
(16). His .405 batting average is No. 2 in the circuit.
Longmire takes first step in pros
Special to East County Sports.com
BATAVIA, N.Y. (6-21-10) Fresh off signing a professional
baseball contract as a 5th round draft choice of the
St. Louis Cardinals, former Grossmont High standout
NICK LONGMIRE has made an immediate impact for the Class
A Batavia Muckdogs of the New York Penn League.
Batavias fans fell in love with the East County
center fielder instantly.
In the Muckdogs home opener on Saturday (June
19), Longmire clubbed a home run, two doubles, and had
a sacrifice fly to drive in six runs as Batavia edged
the Auburn Doubledays, 7-5. Phillips picks-up Padres
A 10th round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2002,
Phillips will now pick up his paychecks from the San
Diego Padres organization. The left-hand-hitting third
baseman was traded by the Toronto Blue Jays from their
Pacific Coast League Triple-A farmclub in Las Vegas
to the Padres PCL Triple-A ballclub in Portland on Friday
Although Phillips is expected to finish the season
playing for the Beavers, the continual transactions
made by the major league ballclub leaves the door open
for a possible call-up.
Phillips, who batted .300 with 8 home runs and 29 RBI
a year ago at Las Vegas , was hitting only .258 for
the same team this season. He is the brother of former
major league JASON PHILLIPS, also a product of El Capitan
High as well as San Diego State.
Brian Longpre in action
for CSU Northridge. (CSUN photo)
Longpre, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound right-hander, toiled
for the Griffins as a redshirt sophomore during the
2008 season after bouncing back from San Diego State
as a freshman. He struck out 37 batters in 31 1/3 innings
while compiling a 4.31 ERA.
Longpre concluded his CSUN career by appearing in 25
games in the 2010 season, finishing the year with a
2-1 record and a 4.54 ERA. The La Crescenta native struck
out 27 batters, walked just 12, and finished with three
pick-offs, good for the third-highest total in the Big
In addition to excelling on the baseball diamond, Longpre
graduated in May with a degree in finance.
At the top of the list is University of Pacific junior
outfielder and Grossmont High alum NICK
who was selected in the 5th round by the St. Louis Cardinals
with the 169th overall pick. He is the highest player
drafted out of the Stockton-based university since 2007.
Longmire is no stranger to the stage of the MLB Draft.
As a high school senior, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound then-first-baseman
was drafted by Oakland in the 37th round of the 2007 MLB
Amateur Draft. His choice to attend college first will
definitely pay off should he decide to turn pro this summer.
This season at Pacific, Longmire finished as the top hitter
in the Big West Conference games with a .354 average.
He hit .327 overall.
In his senior year at Grossmont, Longmire led the Foothillers
with a .514 batting average, 15 home runs, 19 stolen bases,
36 RBI and a 1.010 slugging percentage. He was also named
the San Diego CIF Division II Player of the Year.
Other Inlanders selected were: Valhalla (University
of Hawai'i) product and middle infielder GREG GARCIA
(7th round, St. Louis); Grossmont alum and USD senior
right-handed pitcher AJ GRIFFIN (13th round, Oakland
As); Grossmont Colleges CAMERON SELIK (22nd
round, Washington Nationals), who is now a junior at
Kansas; and 6-foot-8 Grossmont College freshman KEVIN
KLEIS (27th round, Pittsburgh Pirates).
Twenty-nine rounds were completed on Tuesday. The final
20 rounds will be conducted on Wednesday (June 9).
The Cardinals used the 229th pick to select Garcia,
who led the Rainbow Warriors with a .358 batting average.
Garcia earned first team all-WAC honors in 2010 after
being named to the second team in each of his first
two seasons at Hawaii .
A 6-foot-2, 234-pound senior right-handed pitcher and
the 656th pick in the draft, Selik posted a 6-4 record
in 15 starts for the Jayhawks this season with a 5.06
ERA and 72 strikeouts in 90 2/3 innings. Selik earned
wins in his first four starts of the season, becoming
the first Jayhawks pitcher to accomplish that since
Pete Smart opened the 2000 with six-straight wins. He
tossed one of two complete games by a Kansas pitcher
this year, and held his opponents to a .277 batting
Griffin, a first-team All-West Coast Conference performer,
was the 395th player selected in the draft. The 6-5,
215-pound right-hander registered a 5-0 record in league
games with a 57-13 strikeout to walk ratio and had an
ERA of 3.26.
Overall, Griffin was 8-3 with a 4.47 ERA and was second
on the team in strikeouts with 113. Griffin picked up
a win in the Tempe Regional after a dominating performance
against Wisconsin-Milwaukee in which he allowed no runs
on two hits in 5.0 innings.
A virtual unknown at Grossmont High, the 6-8 Kleis
earned the closers role as a Grossmont College
freshman this season. He compiled a 1-2 record with
three saves, 5.51 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings.
After 30 rounds in this years draft, Grossmont
College is the only San Diego community college to have
a player chosen. The Griffins, in fact, had two. Thats
right. Pacific Coast Athletic Conference champion San
Diego City College and runner-up Palomar had none between
Watch the Clifton Thomas interview
on Javelina Television.
Thomas' career end with record numbers
Courtesy, Texas A&M-Kingsville media relations
ABILENE, TEXAS The 11th-ranked Abilene
Christian baseball team ended the season of Texas
A&M-Kingsville on Sunday (May 2) afternoon
at the Lone Star Conference Tournament with a
16-7 win at Abilene Christian University's Crutcher
The Javelinas (28-25) took an early lead when
CLIFTON THOMAS (Grossmont College//El Cajon Valley
HS) led off the bottom of the first inning with
a single and stole second and would later score.
The loss ended the Javelinas season, finishing
with a school record with 24 conference victories.
Thomas concluded his career in grand fashion with
one of the most prolific seasons in school history
hitting .388 with 63 runs, 21 doubles, nine triples,
10 homers, 46 RBI, 154 total bases and 27 stolen
bases. He is the only player in school history
to have at least 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases
in back-to-back seasons. He also set a school
record with 139 outfield putouts this season,
including nine against the Wildcats, earning an
all-tournament team berth.
Thomas is expected to join the San Diego Stars
semipro baseball club for the Western Baseball
Association summer season.
Thomas was tabbed to the Daktronics All-South Central
Region, the Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association
(ABCA) All-South Central Region team, then was named
to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association
All-South Central Region team. On all three, he gained
Thomas led the Javelinas to a 28-25 record and a trip
to the Lone Star Conference Tournament this year. Each
player also earned First Team all-LSC honors this year,
while Thomas also gained an LSC All-Tournament berth.
Thomas posted one of the best seasons in Kingsville
history. He batted .388 with 63 runs, 21 doubles, nine
triples, 10 home runs, 46 runs batted in and 27 stolen
He is the first player in school history with at least
20 doubles, 10 homers and 20 stolen bases in one season.
He tallied 154 total bases and a .703 slugging percentage
en route to becoming the first player in school history
with two seasons of at least 100 total bases.
Thomas is expected to join the Barona-San Diego Stars
semipro baseball team this summer if he doesnt
Thomas has been the mainstay to the offensive production
after putting together one of the most exceptional seasons
in school history. Thomas batted .381 with 59 runs,
20 doubles, 9 triples, 9 home runs, a .690 slugging
percentage and 26 stolen bases, all while playing outstanding
defense. In fact, all but one Kingsville starter batted
more than .300 this season (the lone exception batted
Thomas, who was a second-team honoree in 2009, helped
the Javelinas (28-23) gain the fourth seed to the conference
event, with the winner gaining an automatic berth to the
NCAA Division II South Central regional. The Hoggies will
meet Cameron University in Saturday's first-round contest.
The Javelinas have won eight of their last 10 games and
enter the tournament on a scoring binge having scored
at least 10 runs in seven of their last nine contests.
Since March 5, the Javelinas are hitting .363 as a team
and seem to be getting better and better as the year goes
Right now, it does not even bother us if we are
down by five runs, said head coach Jason Gonzales.
We think that we can get that back and still win.
It was a remarkable turnaround for Kingsville, who
placed four players on the first team after being completely
shutout last season.
Following a Final Four appearance at the California
state community college championships for Southwestern
College, Krause continued his excellence with the Statesmen,
earning Pitcher of the Year award in the Midwest Collegiate
A three-time MCC Pitcher of the Week, the junior finished
2010 with an 8-1 record and a 2.76 earned run average
in 75 innings of work. Krause tallied 87 strikeouts
with only nine walks and opponents hit just .229 against
He was especially dominant in the league, owning a
5-1 mark with a 1.95 ERA, striking out 60 with only
three base on balls.
In addition, the 2010 MCC Gold Glove Team featured
Krause and his battery mate, catcher Eddie Sobczak.
Courtesy, William Penn Media Relations
OSKALOOSA, Iowa (5-12-10) ERIC KRAUSE, a graduate
of Granite Hills High and Southwestern College, concluded
his junior campaign with another solid performance,
netting him Midwest Collegiate Conference Pitcher of
the Week laurels, the league office announced Monday
Krause picked up his third league award of the spring
as the Statesmen won the game he started on Friday,
but lost later that day to end their 2010 season at
The junior finished the week 1-0, helping Penn to an
11-2 win over Clarke. In seven innings of work, he gave
up two runs (both earned) on four hits, striking out
seven with two walks.
For the year, the staff ace was 8-1 with a 2.76 ERA
in 75 innings pitched. He struck out 87 with only nine
walks (9.7-to-1 K-to-BB ratio) and opponents hit just
.229 against him.
After gaining berths to the All-Lone Star Conference
team and the LSC All-Tournament teams, Thomas,
a product of El Cajon Valley HS and Grossmont
College, was named recipient of the Gil E. Steinke
Award as the college's Male Athlete of the Year
for all Javalinas sports teams.
Thomas shared the honor with football player
Billy Garza, and senior softball player Cassie
Anderson, the program's Female Athlete of the
McCoy finally standing tall with Blue Jays
By John Lott, National
TORONTO (5-4-10) Looking at MIKE McCOY, you would
not imagine a kid who once had hoop dreams.
But during his final year at Grossmont High School
(1999), he honestly thought he had a future on the hardwood.
"I had a really good senior year in basketball
- 23 points a game, six or eight assists a game, 86
three-pointers," he said. "But no recruiters."
To everybody but McCoy, the reason was obvious. Even
his father had to call him on it.
"I was short," he said with a chuckle.
He still is. But that was less a barrier in the sport
that gave him a long-term job and finally, at age 29,
a spot on the opening-day roster of the Toronto Blue
McCoy stands 5-foot-9, weighs 175 pounds and plays
six positions, which is why the Jays rewarded him for
a sizzling performance in spring training. He is the
proverbial 25th man on the roster, which means he will
not play much and may not even stick around for long,
once the inevitable Las Vegas shuttle begins.
For now, however, he fits the stereotypical description
of the scrappy big-league utility guy whose performance
belies his size. And after a breakout season at Triple-A
last year - .307 average, 40 stolen bases, .405 on-base
percentage - he figured he might have turned some heads
in the front office of his employers, the Colorado Rockies.
Instead, the Rockies placed him on waivers and the
Jays claimed him. Primarily a shortstop, McCoy also
can play second, third and all three outfield spots.
His versatility and 2009 numbers made him attractive,
even more so after he batted .400 with a .486 on-base
mark in spring training.
So for the first time in his career, McCoy stood along
the third-base line alongside major-league teammates
during pre-game ceremonies on Opening Day on Monday
After seven years in the minors and a brief September
call-up with the Rockies last year (where he played
in 12 games), he had to pinch himself.
"Big crowd, big ceremony," he said with a
smile. "Just to be here in the big leagues on Opening
Day, it was awesome. For me to make an Opening Day roster
as a 34th-rounder, I was pretty happy."
Yes, the St. Louis Cardinals waited that long before
drafting McCoy in 2002. He spent six years in the Cardinals'
system before he was traded to Baltimore, then to the
His minor-league career was patchy and there were times
when he worried it might end before he ever sniffed
the big leagues. "I've had some struggles in my
career," he said. "There have been times when
I was like, Whoa, am I going to be able to get
a job next year?' I remember in '08, I was hitting,
like .200, and I'm wondering, What's going on?
What's going to happen to my career?' "
Then, suddenly, he snapped out of his slump, hit .343
in his last 39 games and kept up the beat for the full
He says his turnaround actually started in 2007 when
he was still in the Cardinals' system. One of his coaches
was Rick Eckstein, the brother of former Jay David Eckstein
and currently the hitting coach for the Washington Nationals.
Eckstein gave McCoy a curt message.
"He basically told me I'd never make it to the
big leagues with my swing, trying to guide the ball
and stuff," McCoy recalled. "He got me to
focus on getting on top of the ball and getting more
of a straight line to the ball with my swing."
The lesson stuck. "Something just clicked for
me in my approach. I kind of matured as a hitter, understanding
that I'm not going to drive the ball that much. I just
need to get on base and steal bases."
Now his challenge is to stay sharp. Tony LaCava, Toronto
's assistant general manager, says McCoy's approach
is ideal for his reserve role. "Everything he does
is very compact," LaCava said. "He should
play off the bench very well."
McCoy has maintained his major league status for at
least a month as he has remained a Blue Jay through
Monday (May 3).
Mats Mattson (UNO photo)
Mattson produces landmark triumph New Orleans stuns national champion LSU
Backed by a strong relief pitching stint by Grossmont
High product MATS
MATTSON, the Privateers rallied with four
runs over the final two innings to stun 15th-ranked
and defending national champion LSU, 7-4, before
a Tigers crowd of 10,584 at Alex Box Stadium.
While Mattson shut down the Bayou Bengals, UNO
senior Nick Schwaner belted his club-leading 15th
home run in the 8th inning for the go-ahead runs
to snap the ballclub's 9-game losing streak in
one of biggest Division I upsets in the nation
Mattson struck out two Tigers in 1 1/3 innings
of relief to garner the victory. Mattson, a junior
left-hander, has been one of the few bright spots
for the Privateers (11-29).
Despite being a middle-reliever, Mattson now
leads the pitching staff in victories (3), now
owning a 7-2 overall record in his past two seasons
with New Orleans. He is averaging nearly one strikeout
per inning (30 Ks in 32.0 IP), while issuing just
The ballgame featured 11 homers, including 7
by the Red Storm (30-13).
Spears, who was named the conference top shortstop
as a junior in 2009, continues stroking a hot
bat. The senior is now averaging .425 for the
Meanwhile, Spears' pair of homers gives him 13
for the year, matching West Hills High alumni
STONER for the club lead. Stoner leads all
Southern Nazarene batters with a .479 batting
average, while is just one behind Spears for the
RBI lead with 56.
Also playing for SNU is RYAN
BROSNAN (Santana), who is batting .285 after
missing half of his freshman season at Grossmont
College with a broken hand after hitting .321
for the Griffins.
The Granite Hills High alum hurled eight scoreless
frames for William Penn (Iowa) University last week,
including a complete game six-hit, 7-inning shutout
with nine strikeouts in beating Iowa Wesleyan.
Krause raised his season record to 7-1 while lowering
his ERA to 2.45. The junior right-hander has 66 strikeouts
in 56 innings for the Statesmen (22-13).
Krause picked up his first career league award as the
NAIA Statesmen (20-12, 10-4 MCC) went 5-1 last week.
The junior right-hander went 2-0 during his week of
honor. He gave up just one run (earned) on nine hits
in 13 2/3 innings while striking out 16 with only one
walk. Opponents hit only .188 against him.
For the season, the Statesmens ace is 6-1 with
a 2.81 ERA. His six wins and 57 strikeouts in 48 innings
lead all MCC pitchers.
Clifton Thomas (TA&MK photo)
Thomas was named LSC Player
of the Week for this effort.
Thomas singled in the 1st inning, led off the 5th with
his seventh homer, began the 6th with his sixth triple
and doubled in the 7th.
In the 7th, it looked like Thomas would not have a
chance to hit for the cycle when the first two Hoggie
batters made outs. Trent Wagner was then hit by a pitch
to give Thomas a chance and the senior center fielder
came through with a double to complete the cycle.
The Javelinas finished the game with 15 hits. Thomas
went 4-for-5 with four runs and two RBI.
Facing powerful Cal State Fullerton, Griffin, a freshman
right-hander, tossed his first career complete game,
leading the Lions past the Titans, 4-2. Griffin carried
a shutout into the 9th, then hung on to defeat a team
which owns three College World Series titles.
He used 119 pitches (73 strikes) to record the triumph.
He faced 34 hitters and retired 15 of 16 batters from
the second through the seventh, including 10 straight
from the fourth into the seventh.
Griffin (2-1) allowed seven hits, a walk and two runs
while striking out five. The complete game was the first
for LMU since Lee Roberts tossed nine against Gonzaga
on May 15, 2009.
Included was a doubleheader sweep on Sunday (Mar. 21),
when Thomas ignited a late comeback after trailing 6-2
in the 6th inning of the opener. The senior registered
the first of several consecutive run-scoring basehits
with two outs to tie the ballgame for the Javelinas
Earlier, Thomas smacked a home run in a 2-for-4 outing.
He then capped the twinbill with a 4-for-4 outing to
stun the visiting Riverhawks. He added three runs, two
stolen bases and a pair of RBI to cap the series with
totals of eight runs and four stolen bases to go along
with his dozen basehits.
When the history of Urban Knights baseball is penned,
it will be former Helix High standout ALEX
ROSENTHAL who will be denoted as gaining the first
win after AAU
downed host Grand Canyon University, 5-4, in the
second game of a Pacific West Conference (NCAA Division
II) doubleheader held March 12 at Brazell Stadium.
Rosenthal (1-4) pitched five strong innings with four
strikeouts, with only two of the runs allowed earned.
Then the bullpen maintained the advantage with 1-hit
relief to defeat the Antelopes, a former NCAA Division
Im happy for the kids, said head
coach Brian Guinn. Theyve been battling
really hard throughout the year and last year. To get
that first victory takes that weight off their shoulders.
Now they can go out and play baseball and do what theyre
capable of doing. Theyre pretty excited.
Rosenthal, a sophomore transfer from Grossmont College,
also got it done with the bat as well. He went 2-for-4
(.500) in two of the 4-game series split against Grand
Canyon, with a run and a double. He also posted a .750
The University of Kansas right-hander collected
three quick victories to open the season, posting
a 1.40 earned-run average in 19 1/3 innings. Included
were a pair of victories in the Week 1 to
share the Big 12 citation with Texas right-hander
Selik allowed an unearned run and two hits over
six innings in the second game of a doubleheader
against Eastern Michigan at the Metrodome in Minneapolis,
Minn. He struck out five without issuing a walk,
as the Patrick Henry High alum just missed a career
high for strikeouts, set last season against both
San Diego State and Northern Colorado.
Then on Feb. 27, Selik scattered six hits and
one run over 7 1/3 innings to top Sacramento State
in a contest held at the Peoria (Ariz.) Sports
Complex, the spring training home of the San Diego
Selik was tendered his Jayhawks scholarship after
making a comeback playing summer ball in the semipro
Western Baseball Association with East County's
Barona-San Diego Stars, who participated in the
NBC World Series.
Clifton Thomas (TAMK courtesy photo)
Special to East County Sports
RICHARDSON, Texas (3-10-10) Texas
A&M-Kingsville senior centerfielder
CLIFTON THOMAS was named the Diamond Hitter
of the Week by the Lone Star Conference
Thomas, a Journalism major, flashed his
power stroke last week as he had seven extra
base hits in a four game series with Eastern
New Mexico. After driving in one run and
scoring another in the series opener he
caught fire. He went 3-for-6 in Game 2 with
three runs and two RBIs. He missed
hitting for the cycle by a single. In Saturdays
first game he went 3-for-4 with two doubles,
a triple, two runs and two RBIs. He
finished the series with a 2-for-5 performance
that included two runs, an RBI and a triple.
He went 1-for-5 with a run scored on Tuesday
against A&M-International. He finished
the week with three doubles, three triples
and a home run. He is currently on a seven-game
hitting streak and has scored in a run in
each of his last six games.
Over the weekend, Thomas batted .474 (9-for-19)
with seven extra-base hits during a trio of top-notch
performances, leading the Javalinas to a 3-game
sweep of Eastern New Mexico.
On Friday (Mar. 5), Thomas, the starting center
fielder for the Hoggies (12-9, 8-8 Lone Star Conference),
missed hitting for the cycle by a mere single,
registering a double and a triple after hitting
his second home run of the season to lead-off
Thomas threw out an ENMU runner attempting to
stretch a single into a double, nailing the Greyhounds
batter by more than 10 feet according to a school
A day later, Thomas batted 5-for-9 with two doubles
and a pair of triples during a doubleheader sweep.
In all, the senior collected three doubles, three
triples, a homer and six RBI in the series. For
the season, Thomas is now hitting .358 with 20
runs and 13 stolen bases through 21 contests.
TAMK opens a 10-game homestand at Nolan Ryan Field
on Tuesday (Mar. 9), hosting Texas A&M-International.
Making his debut at CSUF, Tanida scored the go-ahead run
in the 5th inning after leading off with a double. Tanida
scored two runs for the Titans (1-2). He spent the first
two years of his college career at San Diego Mesa College.
Tanida will make an appearance in
San Diego from Mar. 11-14 when the Titans participate
in the San Diego State Tournament. CSF will meet Fresno
State (Mar. 11), the host Aztecs (Mar. 12), USD (Mar.
13 at USD) and Alabama-Birmingham (Mar. 14).
In Mondays (Feb. 22) makeup game at Saddleback,
Stevens pitched the last four innings in relief
as the visiting Comets clipped the Gauchos, 4-1.
Stevens gave up one run (unearned) to record the
save. He has an ERA of 0.00 for seven innings
pitched on the season.
O'Sullivan, on just his 12th pitch of the evening,
walked off the mound with severe elbow pain and
was removed from a game eventually won
by the Sooners, 9-5, to complete a doubleheader
According to SDSU media relations to an email statement,
"It's something with (O'Sullivan's) right elbow
but they're not sure of the extent of the injury.
He was supposed to start at shortstop tomorrow,
but that won't happen now."
On the potentially plus side, O'Sullivan was found
sitting along the rail of the Aztecs dugout late
in the contest, yet without ice or any other medical
device to support his pitching arm.
The statement also noted that O'Sullivan, a sophomore,
will be further examined by the medical staff on
Eddie Young (left) and
Trevor Frank (Courtesy, UCR Highlanders)
Young, who missed most of the 2009 season following
a head injury after getting struck in the head
by a line drive during practice, has bounced back
strongly. The sophomore has gained starts at second
base and designated hitter for the undefeated
He elected to sign with the Highlanders after
getting drafted out of Christian by the Chicago
Also on the UCR roster is freshman pitcher TREVOR
FRANK, who was on Valhalla High's 2006 SDCIF
championship team under then head coach STEVE
PERDUE, who now heads the program at Foothills
UC Riverside hosts Bethune-Cookman on Monday
(Feb. 22), then visits Tony Gwynn Stadium on Tuesday
for a 6 p.m. ballgame against SDSU.
Aztecs drop opener to No. 22 Sooners O'Sullivan makes '10 debut Saturday
Thomas, the starting centerfielder, equaled a school
record by stealing four bases in the season opener,
lifting the Javelinas to a doubleheader sweep of University
of Houston-Victoria, 8-2 and 10-0, on Friday (Feb. 5)
at Nolan Ryan Field.
Thomas batted 3-for-5 in the opener, including a pair
of RBI, aiding a pair of scoring rallied with his thefts.
He jump-started the offense in the 3rd inning when he
reached via bunt single, stole second and third before
registering the first run of the season.
In the 7-inning nightcap, Thomas added two more steals
against the Jaguars, placing him on pace to top his
personal best of 26 steals in a season set last spring;
the Hoggies' school mark is 28.
Former Kingsville star and current San Diego Padres
pitcher MIKE ADAMS tossed the ceremonial first pitch.
Former Grossmont College standout ROSS BLONDIN not
only landed a first-team berth along with his Lubbock
Christian teammate R.L. Eisenbach, the defending national
champion Chapparels gained the No. 1 ranking in the
2010 NAIA Baseball Coaches Preseason Top 25 Poll.
The Chaps, who finished last year with a 52-8 record
and its second NAIA World Series title, gathered 23
of the possible 24 first-place votes and 684 total points.
National runner-up Point Loma Nazarene captured the
No. 2 ranking with 649 total points, followed by Oklahoma
City, Southern Poly State (Ga.) and Lee (Tenn.).
The Preseason All-America team was chosen by the NAIA
All-America Selection Committee.
2009 SEASON O'Sullivan named "general manager" for
inaugural SDSU Red-Black World Series Free events includes complimentary car wash
The series, which completes the fall practice session,
will consist of a trio of nine-inning contests over
three days and is open to the public free of charge.
The three-game series will commence on Thursday (Nov.
19) at 2 p.m. at Tony Gwynn Stadium. Subsequent contests
are schedule for Friday (Nov. 20) at 6 p.m. and Saturday
(Nov. 21) at 1 p.m. The team will have full batting
practice and infield before each of the first two games
with no batting practice prior to Saturdays contest.
An autograph session will be held after the final game
of the series on Saturday and fans will also have a
chance to meet the 2010 Aztecs squad during a free car
wash that is open to the public on Sunday from 9 a.m.1
p.m. at the stadium.
Each team in the series has been appointed an owner
and general manger who will preside over
the Series draft which will take place on Wednesday
(Nov. 18). O'Sullivan, a sophomore, and junior CORY
VAUGHN ("owner") serve one team as the GM
and owner, while senior Pat Colwell and sophomore Brandon
Meredith are the GM and owner of the other ballclub.
Rosters and pitching rotations will be available following
Following the Red-Black World Series, the team will
be idle until it resumes practice in February. The Aztecs
will open their 2010 campaign on Friday, February 19,
against Oklahoma at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
Krause, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound right-hander, was named
to the All-Grossmont South League team in 2005, 2006
and 2007 and was also a three-time honoree to the All-EastCountySports.com
team during that period. He established a Granite Hills
record for career wins with 32, leading the Eagles to
the San Diego CIF Division I championship in 2007.
William Penn finished as Midwest Classic Conference
champions and advanced to the regional NAIA Regional
playoffs last season.
Krause just finished a summer campaign with the San
Diego Force that included a trip to the NBC World Series
in Wichita, Kan. While on the Force, he compiled a record
of 5-1, and was named the team's pitcher of the year
in leading the semipro ballclub to the Western Baseball
Association crown. At Southwestern College, Krause compiled
a 6-3 record with a 4.66 ERA in 2009.
Mazzola, a 23-year-old first baseman for the San Francisco
Giants South Atlantic League (Class A) affiliate
Augusta Greenjackets, is proving to be a big time RBI
man. While compiling a .270 average in 381 at-bats,
Mazzola, a product of Santana High, has driven in 82
runs with 103 hits. Included in his totals are 13 home
runs and 25 doubles.
Kaufman, a 6-foot, 185-pound right-hander out of Santana
High, also began the season pitching for the Greenjackets
before receiving a promotion to the Giants Eastern
League (Double-A) farmclub, the Connecticut Defenders.
Hes posted a combined 4-1 record with a 5.11 ERA.
A product for the Cincinnati Reds, Janke was dominating
the Midwest League as a member of the Dayton Dragons
before he was recently promoted to the Class A Florida
State League Sarasota ballclub. Janke, who played two
seasons (2005-06) for the Griffins, posted a 5-5 mark
and a 4.06 ERA for Dayton before joining Sarasota.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Lowe, a right-handed draftee
in the 6th round by the Chicago White Sox in June 2007,
has made rapid progress up the organizational ladder.
Lowe posted a 7-5 record in 20 outings for the Double-A
Birmingham Barons earlier this season. Lowe has since
moved over to Double-A Winston-Salem of the Central
League, where he has lost his only decision.
Five collegians from East County high schools are participating
in The Northwoods League, a 14-team wood-bat circuit
comprised of franchises from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan
Granite Hills alum and current Pepperdine sophomore
outfielder BRIAN HUMPHRIES along with Grossmont High-Pacific
outfielder NICK LONGMIRE are playing for the St. Cloud
(Minn.) River Bats. Humphries recently earned player
of the week honors with a 3-for-6 batting effort, including
a game-winning single in a 9-8 victory over the Brainerd
(Minn.) Lakes Area Lunkers.
Other Inlanders playing in the Northwoods League include
left-handed pitcher ERIC JULIENNE (Valhalla-Cal State
San Marcos), who toils for the Waterloo (Iowa) Bucks;
sophomore infielder BRYAN HAAR (Grossmont-Pacific) who
is a member of the Mankato (Minn.) Moondogs; and 6-foot-7,
195-pound pitcher MATS MATTSON (Grossmont High-New Orleans),
who plays for Brainerd.
ON TOP OF THE CASCADES
Senior designated hitter/catcher DANE PONCIANO (Mount
Miguel High) and junior third baseman AUSTIN COLEMAN
(Granite Hills), both products of Cal State San Marcos,
have been named to the All-Cascade Conference baseball
team and then repeated the honors by being selected
to the All-NAIA West Region team.
Despite batting .344 (11-for-32) with two home runs
and eight RBI in 14 games, Conrad found himself without
a position when Atlantas veteran second baseman
Kelly Johnson was activated from the 15-day disabled
list on Thursday (July 23).
Thus, Conrad was sent to the Braves AAA farm club in
Gwinnett. Serving as Gwinnetts designated hitter,
Conrad went 0-for-3 in a 5-1 win over Norfolk, Va.
Oh sure, he had a brief stint 19 at-bats
with the Oakland s As during the 2008 season.
But then, a .158 batting average is obviously not a
high enough caliber to keep one in the big leagues.
The As gave Conrad his release following last
season and the Atlanta Braves signed him as a free agent
on Nov. 18, 2008.
Atlanta manager Bobby Cox sees a positive upside for
the switch-hitting Conrad, whose primary position is
Fans will love this kid," Cox told MLB.com.
He's all-out all the time. He's one of those gritty
old-timers. He's not old, don't get me wrong, but he
plays like the old-timers."
The 29-year-old Conrad was batting an unspectacular
.259 (67-for-259) with 9 home runs and 38 RBI at Triple-A
Gwinnett, Ga. Yet, Cox had a feeling Conrad was ready
to have a breakout year. The first step of that opportunity
came earlier this month when Conrad was called up to
the major league club.
The veteran skipper wasted little time putting Conrad
in the hot seat, dispatching him as a pinch hitter.
responded with a three-run home run that gave Atlanta
a 9-8 nod over the Nationals in Washington.
"[It was a] huge thrill," Conrad told MLB.com.
"Obviously, [it's] the best experience I've ever
had in the big leagues. It just feels awesome to come
up and contribute right away like that."
Conrad has hit safely in eight of 10 games since joining
the Braves, batting at a .355 clip with a pair of homers
and eight RBI.
An eighth-round pick of the Houston Astros out of ASU
in 2001, Conrad signed as a six-year Minor League free
agent with the A's in December and opened some eyes
with a strong spring, earning a trip to Tokyo for Oakland
's season-opening series against the Red Sox.
He was inactive for the games against Boston and opened
the season with Triple-A Sacramento, where he was batting
.242 with a .321 on-base percentage, 21 doubles, 21
homers and 67 RBI in 93 games for the River Cats.
"It's been a roller coaster," Conrad said,
But I'm just floating right now."
The Panthers (30-15) take on St. Thomas (Minn.) with a
36-12 record in the opening round of the eight team tournament
on Friday at noon.
Seeded No. 6 in the eight-team West Region, the Panthers
(30-15) won four of five games in the double elimination
event that concluded with a 7-4 victory over George Fox
(Ore.) Sunday in McMinnville, Ore.
That victory catapults Chapman into the Division III final
eight for the fifth straight season.
Phillips: An independent man
Phillips was selected Independent Player of the Year and
Panthers' head coach Tom Tereschuk was named Coach of
the Year for the fifth consecutive season. It's Phillips'
second All-Independent selection of his career.
A 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior, Phillips earned the award
after leading Chapman with a .436 batting average and
60 RBI in 40 regular season games. He also had eight
home runs and 14 doubles and compiled a .952 fielding
percentage at third base.
Phillips torrid batting has carried over into
the NCAA Division III West Regional Playoffs in McMinnville,
Ore. where he and the Panthers are only one victory
short of qualifying for the Division III World Series
in Grand Chute, Wis. (May 22-26).
But first things first. Chapman (29-14), which has
swept to regional wins over Tyler ( Texas ) 16-2, Cal
Lutheran 7-6, and Pomona-Pitzer 5-2, needs to beat George
Fox ( Ore. ) on Sunday (May 17) at noon. If the Panthers
win that game, a second contest between the two clubs
will follow 40 minutes following the conclusion of game
Phillips is batting at a .538 clip (7-for-13) with
a pair of doubles and three RBI in the regionals.
His production numbers have been some of the best in
Chapman history. His batting average currently ranks
second all-time in school history and only two players
have had more RBI in a single season.
Although the Chapman Panthers (26-14) are the four-time
defending champs, they are seeded No. 5 in the six-team
bracket, making them an underdog for a change.
Rounding out the six-team first round bracket are No.
1 Pomona-Pitzer (35-5), No. 3 Cal Lutheran (31-9), No.
4 George Fox (33-9) and No. 6 Hendrix (22-21). The Panthers
are 2-4 against the field this season, having been swept
in a three-game series by Pomona-Pitzer, splitting a
pair of games with Cal Lutheran and defeating Hendrix
( Ark. ) in March.
Nobody has stopped Phillips, however. The Panthers
are led by an offense that is averaging over 8.6 runs
per game and batting .343. Phillips is the leader of
the pack with a .436 batting average, with 8 home runs
and 60 RBI.
Phillips is on track to establish several career batting
Temperatures in the McMinnville area have been in the
high 30s, which certainly will be no advantage to Chapman.
Powell, a senior catcher who transferred from Cal State
Fullerton to Southern Nazarene (Okla.), batted a career-best
.451 for the Crimson Storm (37-15), including 12 homers
and 65 RBI, starting in all 52 ballgames.
Powell is currently a member of the Barona-San Diego
Stars semipro baseball club.
Meanwhile, Blondin helped Lubbock Christian (Texas)
NAIA national championship. The junior third baseman
batted .437 with 25 homers this season, finishing second
to teammate Will Stramp (26 HRs) nationally.
Blondin also aided the Chapparals (51-8) in defeating
Point Loma Nazarene, 5-1
for the school's second national crown at the NAIA World
Series, held in Lewiston, Idaho.
In the first game, Blondin slugged a solo homer, then
went 2-for-4 with three RBI in the playback final.
Notes Former El Cajon Valley High standout
CLIFTON THOMAS, who spent this past baseball season
with Texas A&M-Kingsville, has been signed to play
summer ball with the Brazos Valley (Bryan, Texas) Bombers
of the Texas Collegiate League.
Known for his exceptional defensive ability, Thomas
has also been a terror at the plate this season for
the Javelinas. In 50 games, the center fielder has hit
.330 with 12 doubles, 10 home runs, 37 RBI and 20 stolen
Thomas was selected in the 46th round of the Major League
draft by the Texas Rangers. He earned First-Team All-San
Diego CIF honors during his senior season after setting
an East County record with 50 stolen bases. Thomas also
earned First-Team All-San Diego honors in football his
senior season after catching 92 passes.
Lubbock Christian Universitys third baseman ROSS
BLONDIN, and Southern Nazarenes shortstop NICK
SPEARS and catcher MATT POWELL all received first-team
Powell, a senior catcher from La Mesa, was one of two
First Team All-Conference catchers after finishing regular
season play with an average of .463, which is second
best on the SNU squad. Powell had 12 homers during the
regular season and hit 62 RBIs, while finishing
with a slugging percentage of .815 and a school record
on-base percentage of .556. Powell also earned the SACs
Golden Glove Award as the top defensive catcher in the
Spears, a junior from West Hills, was chosen the SACs
top shortstop this year and is third on the team in
hitting with a .424 average. Spears has 13 homers on
the year, which is second best on the team, and 67 RBI,
which is second best on SNUs squad thus far this
season. Spears has scored 63 runs heading into post-season
play and has a slugging percentage of .762 and an on-base
percentage of .507.
Blondin, a 6-foot-3 junior third baseman, leads the
LBU Chaps with 84 RBI and 22 home runs. He ranks second
in the NAIA in RBI per game (1.7) and is fourth in total
bases per game (3.6) and slugging percentage (.942).
UPDATE - Chaps alone in First Place
LUBBOCK, Texas (4-5-09) The only thing
close in No. 1 Lubbock Christians ballgame
at No. 21 University of Science & Arts of
Oklahoma was the program records the Chaparrals
nearly set Saturday (Apr. 4).
The Chaps were a home run shy of tying a school
single-game record for homers, as they used seven
home runs to
defeat USAO 20-1 in a game shortened to seven
innings by run rule in sweep a 3-game Sooner Athletic
Conference road series at Bill Smith Ballpark.
The Chaps are now in sole possession of first
place in the SAC because No.2 Oklahoma City University
lost at home to Oklahoma Baptist University 7-5.
Blondin opened his cycle sequence with a 1st-inning, 2-out
solo homer, his team-leading 16th of the season.
He later added a line double off the top of the right-centerfield
wall to drive home two more runs in the 3rd. An inning
later, he went down the right-field line for a triple,
then completed the feat with a lead single in the 8th.
For the contest, he produced four runs and three RBI.
Blondin, who has started in all 34 games at third base,
is second on the team with
a .446 batting average and a massive .962 slugging
The Chaps (30-4), ranked first in the nation in the
NAIA, have now won four straight contests. They are
tied for lead in the Sooner Athletic Conference with
a 13-2 record. FULL STORY HERE.
Spears found firm footing at Poway High as a junior
and senior, and finally locked in at Grossmont College
last year as a sophomore. At present Spears, a junior
shortstop, is tearing it up at Southern Nazarene University.
Spears is batting at a .600 clip (27-for-45) for the
Crimson Storm, an NAIA team that boasts a 13-1 record.
He was named Sooner Athletic Conference Player of the
Week for Feb. 16-21, when he hit .667 (12-for-18) with
12 runs, two doubles, a triple, four home runs and 12
Temple infielder Tony Jusino. (Courtesy, Temple Owls)
Following a pair of All-Pacific Coast Conference berths
with the Griffins in 2007-08, Jusino ranked third on the
Temple Owls with a stellar .363 batting average, also
ranking among the ballclub's leaders in nearly every offensive
category, including hits (73, 2nd) doubles (19, 2nd) and
RBI (39, 4th).
Jusino's top performance of the season came in an Atlantic
10 Conference game against
Xavier on Apr. 24. Playing at third base, Jusino
batted 4-for-5 with 5 RBI, including a grand slam for
a 13-9 victory at the Owls' home of Skip Wilson Field
in Ambler, Penn.
Unfortunately for Temple, following a 10-5 start in
conference play (16-20 overall), the Owls lost 12 of
their final 13 contests to finish at 17-32 (11-15 in
Jusino, who played his high school ball at Rancho Bernardo
before joining Grossmont College, just completed his
junior year. He is a criminal justice major. MORE
With the win, Utah improved to 26-29 while the Aztecs
saw their record drop to 40-21.
San Diego State will now have to wait until Monday
(May 25) when the NCAA hosts in annual tournament selection
show to see if it will receive an at-large bid to the
postseason. The show will be telecast live on ESPN at
9:30 a.m. (PT).
Freshman RYAN OSULLIVAN was roughed up by the
Utes on the mound and was saddled with his 4th win in
eight decisions. However, the Valhalla High graduate
paced the Aztecs with three hits, an RBI and one run
The Utes took control of the contest when they sent
10 men to the plate and scored six times in the top
of the 3rd against OSullivan. After striking out
the first two batters, the Aztec right-hander gave up
five hits and a pair of hit batters including a two-run
double by Austin Jones and two-RBI single by Rick Cornu.
Two Aztecs were named to the all-tournament team at
the conclusion of the contest. That twosome included
third baseman/catcher Erik Castro along with starting
pitcher STEPHEN STRASBURG. Castro hit .400 (8-for-20)
over five games with four doubles, four runs scored
and four RBI. Strasburg made one start, throwing 7.2
scoreless innings with six strikeouts in the win over
Aztecs go crazy in 8th SDSU advances to MWC Tournament finale
Former Valhalla High standout RYAN O'SULLIVAN opened
the bottom of the 8th with a single, the first of 13
San Diego State batters in the frame, as the Aztecs
rallied to shock the Utes, 9-8, at TCU's Lupton Stadium.
The victory advances SDSU to its first tournament championship
contest since 2004, as the Aztecs (40-19) reached the
40-win plateau for the first time since the 2002 season
and staging their biggest rally of the season. Utah
fell to 23-29.
The 8-run outburst started when O'Sullivan led off
with a basehit, was bunted over to second base, then
a pair of walks loaded the bases.
Then it all unraveled for Utah
Erik Castro made it an 8-3 contest with a 2-run single.
A walk to Cory Vaughn re-loaded the bases before Mitch
Blackburn and Matt Parker singled to drive in a run
apiece and pinch hitter Chris Wilson walked to bring
in another and make it 8-6.
Tyler Andersen then came on to pitch, but he fared little
better than his three predecessors. OSullivan
promptly singled up the middle to bring home a pair
of runs and tie the score before Colwell doubled to
left center to complete SDSUs amazing comeback.
During the inning, the Aztecs had nine consecutive
hitters reach base on five hits and four walks.
San Diego State closer Addison Reed was then called
upon in the ninth and he shut down the Utes to record
his nation-leading 19th save in 19 opportunities.
The winner of the challenger (losers) bracket finale
between TCU and Utah, will play the Aztecs in the championship
round, to be held Friday (May 22) at 5 p.m. (PT). If
SDSU falls, a playback final will be played Saturday
(May 23) at 1 p.m. (PT).
While older brother SEAN O'SULLIVAN was tossing seven
innings of no-hit ball for the Class AAA Salt Lake Bees
of the Pacific Coast League, younger bro' RYAN O'SULLIVAN
had a career game with a pair of home runs and recording
the save in relief for San Diego State.
King Bee stings Iowa Cubs
Sean O'Sullivan flirted with a no-hitter, while his
teammates pounded out 19 hits as the Salt Lake Bees
routed the Iowa Cubs 16-7 on Saturday night. O'Sullivan
(3-1) allowed only one batter to reach in the first
6 1/3 innings and that was when he hit Jake Fox with
a pitch in the 1st inning. Ironically, it was Fox who
broke up the no-hitter with a clean single up the middle.
Sean, a 21-year-old right-hander, fanned a season-high
nine batters in seven innings with one walk. He was
a standout performer at Valhalla High and Grossmont
College before signing as a third round pick of the
Los Angeles Angels in 2006.
Younger OSullivan is double threat
Earlier in the day, a half-hour drive north along Interstate
15, freshman Ryan O'Sullivan lifted the Aztecs from
deficits of 4-1 and 7-3 to stun Utah, 10-9 in 12 innings,
in the teams' final ballgame prior to the Mountain West
Ryan, the starting shortstop, batted 3-for-5 with three
runs, accounting for four RBI with his two home runs.
The first-year shortstop initially torched the fences
at Lindquist Field with a solo homer in the 8th inning,
then added his second bomb in as many innings
a 3-run shot with two outs on a 3-2 pitch tying
the game at 7-7.
In the 12th, SDSU scored three times, but the drama
was far from over though as Utah would score twice in
its half of the inning and eventually load the bases
with two outs.
At that point, OSullivan was called to the mound
and got the final out. He did so by inducing C.J. Cron
to ground into a fielders choice to nail down
the victory and pick up his first collegiate save.
San Diego State (37-19) now heads to Fort Worth, Texas,
for the annual Mountain West Conference Tournament hosted
by TCU. As the No. 4 seed, the Aztecs will open play
against UNLV on Tue., May 19, at 7 p.m. (CT) at Lupton
Senior Jon Berger was honored with the start in the
final home game of the season for SDSU (35-18), which
won for the sixth time in seven outings.
Following a shaky start which included a 3-run homer
by Dons second baseman Stephen Yarrow, Berger settled
in and retired 14 batters in a row. Meanwhile, the Aztecs
bats rallied from a 4-2 deficit with a series of homers.
Erik Castro's 2-run homer tied the game, then Chris
Wilson added another 2-run bomb, as State scored four
times in the 3rd inning to take a 6-4 lead.
In the 4th, O'Sullivan launched his fourth homer of
the season his second in two days as the
Aztecs went on to score 12 runs for the second straight
San Diego State will hit the road for its final Mountain
West Conference series at Utah. The 3-game series will
be played in Ogden, Utah, at Lindquist Field, the home
of the minor league Ogden Raptors, a Rookie affiliate
of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
O'Sullivan: Strasburg's future replacement? National leader Reed equals Ring's save record
The Aztecs may have another East County product in
line following Saturday's (May 9) victory.
Former Valhalla High standout RYAN O'SULLIVAN captured
his third straight victory, striking out a season-high
six batters in the Aztecs 5-2 win over Air Force
at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
O'Sullivan, a freshman, tossed the first seven innings,
then relievers GOLDY SIMMONS (Monte Vista) and Addison
Reed limited the Falcons to a pair of unearned runs
on three hits for the team's fifth win in six outings.
Reed, who tossed a perfect 9th inning, recorded the
final two outs of the game on strikeouts. The save was
his nation-leading 17th of the season as he tied the
San Diego State single-season record set by former Monte
Vista High standout ROYCE RING during the 2002 campaign.
The Aztecs (33-13, 12-8 MWC) and Air Force (14-33,
3-14 MWC) conclude their three-game weekend series with
a contest at 1 p.m. Sunday (May 10) in SDSU's final
home game of the season.
The Aztecs close the regular season next weekend at
Utah (May 14-16), then the Mountain West Conference
Tournament will be hosted by TCU in Fort Worth, Texas
O'Sullivan allowed just seven hits during his stint
on the mound, then sophomore closer Addison Reed recorded
his nation-leading 13th save of the season for the Aztecs
(27-15). The 49ers fell to 17-19.
O'Sullivan was staked to an early lead with three SDSU
home runs, including a pair by sophomore outfielder
Cory Vaughn, who went 3-for-4 for the contest. It was
Vaughn's first multiple-HR game as an Aztec. Junior
center fielder Josh Chasse also homered.
OSullivan, a 10th round draft pick of the San
Francisco Giants last June, turned down the professional
teams offer to accept a baseball scholarship to
We put a number (desired signing bonus) out there
at the beginning of the summer, OSullivan
said. The Giants finally made an offer close to
what we wanted a day or so before the final signing
date. But by then my feelings had changed.
OSullivan shunned the Giants and instead will
play shortstop and occasionally pitch for the Aztecs
for a minimum of the next three years.
Shortstop is my first love, said OSullivan,
who noted the Giants drafted him as a pitcher. I
want to get myself known as an everyday player. I want
to work on getting stronger... perfecting my game. Ill
be able to do that at SDSU.
OSullivan spent the majority of his summer playing
wood bat baseball in the Northwoods League. He hammered
five homers and logged 24 RBI in 146 at-bats.
I dont regret my decision to choose college
over pro ball at this time in my life, he said.
I feel in my heart that I made the right decision.
Hell look into his pro future some time before
OSullivan enjoys banner night
Special to East County Sports.com
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (8-4-08) Valhalla Highs
RYAN OSULLIVAN put together one of the best statistical
lines of any Northwoods Collegiate League (NWL) player
this summer in the Eau Claire Express 19-0 destruction
of the Madison Mallards on Sunday (Aug. 3).
It started with a three-run home run in the 1st inning,
O'Sullivan's fourth consecutive game with a homer. He
added three more hits, all doubles, in his next four
at-bats to go with a walk in his other plate appearance.
Overall, O'Sullivan finished 4-for-5 with six RBI and
three runs scored.
OSullivan topped off the evening by tossing three
innings and allowing just two hits while striking out
three. O'Sullivan, a 10th round draft pick of the San
Francisco Giants, is an incoming freshman to San Diego
Top o' of the mound O'Sullivan: 7 shutout innings for first collegiate
That combination was a perfect fit for San Diego State
freshman right-hander RYAN OSULLIVAN, who picked
up his first collegiate victory as the Aztecs blanked
Kansas 1-0 Tuesday (Mar. 17) night at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
Making his fourth collegiate start, OSullivan
turned in his best performance of the season as he allowed
just three hits over 7 innings with a walk and a strikeout.
After giving up a pair of hits in the 1st, OSullivan
a Valhalla high graduate settled in and
retired 12 batters in a row from the 2nd through 5th
frames before giving up a leadoff single in the 6th.
His excellence was rewarded with a victory as he evened
his season record at 1-1.
The Aztecs improved to 12-6, while Kansas fell to 10-6.
Starting all but one of the Tigers 51 games as
a freshman and leading the team in batting average (.323),
triples (3) and RBI (31), Longmire is once again at
the head of the class.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Longmire leads Pacific (18-28)
with a .390 batting mark. He also has four home runs
and 31 RBI with a half-dozen games remaining in his
He earned All-Big West Conference honorable mention
as a freshman and should be recognized with even higher
postseason praise this year.
Longmire came to Pacific already having proven his
ability to hit the long ball as he led the state of
California with 15 bombs in 2007. Drafted by the Oakland
Athletics in the 37th round of the 2007 MLB Amateur
Draft, Longmire chose instead to pursue his degree and
play for the Tigers.
The Grossmont North League and Division II Player of
the Year in 2007, Longmire led the Foothillers
with a .514 batting average, 56 hits, 15 home runs,
19 stolen bases, 36 RBI and a 1.010 slugging percentage.
In addition, Longmire struck out only nine times during
his senior season.
Thomas, a junior centerfielder, had an outstanding
year at the plate and in the field en route to
earning second-team honors. He batted .330 with
a team high 49 runs, .574 slugging percentage,
10 home runs and 20 stolen bases, becoming the
first player in school history to hit at least
10 home runs and steal at least 20 bases in a
But they did enjoy a somewhat memorable season thanks
to El Cajon Valley High/Grossmont College alum CLIFTON
On Saturday (Apr. 25), Thomas clouted a home run in
the second game of a doubleheader against visiting Angelo
State University, becoming the first Javelinas ballplayer
to ever reach the 10/20 Club for homers and stolen bases.
His leadoff shot to open the 3rd inning allowed Thomas,
a junior, to finish the year with a solid .330 batting
average and a school-high .574 slugging percentage,
Thomas also stole 20 bases in 27 chances this season
to reach the Barry Bonds type figures in 50 starts for
the Javs (20-35).
Former ECVHS standout Clifton
Thomas (2) jogs
around the bases following his second home run
of the ballgame against Tarleton State. (Texas A&M-Kingsville courtesy photo)
Former ECVHS standout Clifton
celebrates yet another home run on Mar. 29 for
the Javelinas of Texas A&M-Kingsville. Thomas
batted 2-for-4 with six RBI. FULL STORY HERE.
Nevertheless, Thomas slugged a pair of home runs in the
first game of a doubleheader Saturday (Apr. 4), powering
A&M-Kingsville to a split with Lone Star Conference
rival Tarleton State at Nolan Ryan Field.
In the first inning, Thomas struck for a leadoff home
run to right field. An inning later, who went to right-center
with a 2-run shot.
In the second game, Thomas "returned" to his
high school ways, when he registered a stolen base and
a sacrifice fly. The centerfielder finished the doubleheader
batting 5-for-9, with four runs and four RBI for the Javelinas.
For the season, Thomas is batting a solid .338, leading
the ballclub with 8 homers. He also is tops in extra-base
hits, second in RBI, and third in doubles. Oh, yeah,
he also leads in stolen bases, too.
Thomas topps the list, keying an early rally with a
towering 2-run homer and also slugging a double, powering
Kingsville to an 11-3 triumph over East Central University
in a Lone Star Conference contest at Nolan Ryan Field.
Thomas' double came in the 1st, scoring on a basehit
by Philip Johnson. An inning later, Thomas hit his homer
to straightaway centerfield for a 5-0 lead. In the third,
Luis Diaz (Cypress College) hit a sacrifice fly, followed
by an RBI triple by Will Mettlach.
Later, Thomas Miller (Western Nevada CC) slugged a
lead home in the 5th for a 7-0 lead.
For the contest, Thomas scored three runs and drove
in a pair for the defending conference champions. He
ranks second on the ballclub in extra-base hits, while
leading the conference with a perfect 5-for-5 in stolen
Thomas earned First Team all-East County honors as
a junior and senior. He was named First Team all-San
Diego during his senior year. He set an East County
record for stolen bases in a season (50) and led the
county in batting average. He was drafted in the 46th
round by the Texas Rangers in 2006.
In addition, Thomas earned First Team all-East County
and all-San Diego honors in football as a senior with
92 pass receptions.