High-SchoolBaseball: ESPNHS Baseball Players of the Week

ESPNHS Baseball Players of the Week

June, 7, 2012
6/07/12
10:01
AM ET
(After games of Tuesday, June 5)

One player is chosen from each region of the country. These are the final ESPNHS Player of the Week honorees for the 2011-12 school year.

EAST

Alex Godzak, Westhill (Syracuse, N.Y.)

The senior left-handed pitcher was dominant in an 8-1 win over Cazenovia (N.Y.) in the Section III Class B championship game. Godzak allowed only one hit -- a sixth-inning double -- while striking out 13 batters and yielding only one walk to avenge a regular-season loss. Godzak, a Canisius recruit who had a perfect game through five innings, improved his season record to 10-1 with an earned run average under 1.00. The win advances the Warriors to the state tournament this week. Westhill won state crowns in 2009 and 2010.

SOUTHEAST

Jimmy Boyd, Middle Creek (Apex, N.C.)

A four-year varsity starter, Boyd led the Mustangs to the Class 4A state title, which also is the first state title in any sport for the school. Boyd pitched a one-hitter with eight strikeouts in a 2-0 win against Hough (Cornelius, N.C.) in the first game of the best-of-three title series. Middle Creek then won the second game 10-4. In addition to pitching, Boyd also reached base four times in the two games. For the season, Boyd went 8-1 with a 0.86 ERA. He also batted .450, including .550 in the playoffs.

MIDWEST

Kevin Ruff, Minooka (Ill.)

The right-handed senior pitcher was perfect in a 9-0 victory over O'Fallon (Ill.) in the Class 4A sectional tournament final. Ruff retired all 21 batters in his first career no-hitter. Ruff struck out just four batters, but allowed only five balls hit out of the infield and depended on team defense in the playoff game. Earlier in the season, Ruff -- who also plays third base and the outfield -- had a one-hitter against Romeoville (Ill.).

MIDLANDS

Turner Larkins, Arlington Martin (Arlington, Texas)

He’s the only sophomore on the roster for Martin’s No. 7 FAB 50 squad, but Larkins pitched like a seasoned veteran when the team topped Southlake Carroll (Southlake, Texas) 5-2 in the third game of a best-of-three playoff series. Larkins keyed the win by striking out 13 batters and pitching out of jams. He improved to 10-0 for the season with a 1.25 ERA. Martin advanced to the Class 5A state tournament for the first time since 1993.

WEST

Luke Eubank, Newbury Park (Calif.)

He didn’t get his fourth no-hitter of the season, but this senior will gladly take a three-hitter at Dodger Stadium and leading his team to the CIF Southern Section Division I title. Eubank, who had eight strikeouts and no walks, was the difference in Newbury Park’s 3-1 victory against Corona (Calif.). Earlier in the week, he closed out the Panthers’ 5-2 win over previous FAB 50 No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) with two scoreless innings of relief. For the season, Eubank finished 11-0 with two saves and an ERA of approximately 1.01.

ESPNHS Baseball Players of the Week

May, 31, 2012
5/31/12
9:30
AM ET
(After games of Tuesday, May 29)

One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.

EAST

Max Banks, Northwest (Germantown, Md.)
The senior outfielder-pitcher was a major cog in the first state championship won by the Jaguars. Northwest capped the run with a 7-6 Class 4A finals' victory over Arundel (Gambrills, Md.) in 12 innings, the longest final in state history. Northwest had to rally in the 7th and 10th innings to remain alive. In the postseason, Banks went 3-0 on the mound with a 1.22 earned run average. At the plate, he batted .600 with seven runs batted in, seven stolen bases and eight runs scored.

SOUTHEAST

Matt Olson, Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.)
Parkview’s two victories over Brookwood (Snellville, Ga.) in the Class AAAAA state championship series were both sparked by Olson. The Vanderbilt recruit was the winning pitcher and hit a two-run homer in the first game. He then hit a two-out, two-run homer in the seventh inning in the second game. For the season, Olson batted .407 with 11 homers and 51 RBIs. He also had a 12-1 mound mark with a 1.64 ERA. Parkview won its second straight state title and at 31-6 was moved up to No. 19 in this week’s FAB 50.

MIDWEST

Brian Burkhart, Moeller (Cincinnati)
The senior pitcher hurled his first career no-hitter as the Crusaders (24-5) blanked Anderson (Cincinnati) 3-0 in a Division I regional semifinal. Burkhart allowed only three base-runners -- two on walks and one hit batsman, while striking out six. Moeller's ace improved to 9-1 on the season with a 0.82 ERA and 53 strikeouts entering this week's state semifinals.

MIDLANDS

Derik Beauprez, Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village, Colo.)
A 6-foot-4 junior known mostly for his hitting, Beauprez took the ball as the pitcher for the Bruins in their Class 5A state championship game last weekend against Legend (Parker, Colo.). The result was a nine-strikeout, one-hitter as Cherry Creek prevailed 6-0 and earned the eighth state crown for longtime coach Marc Johnson. Beauprez also hit a two-run homer earlier in the day when Cherry Creek ousted defending champion Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.) in the semifinals.

WEST

Cameron Stewart, Valley Christian (San Jose, Calif.)
With the CIF Central Coast Section Division I championship on the line, this 6-foot-9 senior right-hander pitched a no-hitter and struck out six in a 3-1 win for the Warriors over San Benito (Hollister, Calif.). Stewart, who will play next year at Fresno State, was a hitting-pitching standout all season for Valley Christian and is a candidate for numerous postseason honors. In 62 innings this season, he allowed just 10 earned runs while striking out 70.

ESPNHS Baseball Players of the Week

May, 24, 2012
5/24/12
10:10
AM ET
(After games of Tuesday, May 22)

One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.

EAST

Ben Hartz, Shady Side Academy (Pittsburgh)
The senior pitcher-first baseman led the Indians on the mound and at the plate in a 4-3 Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League Class AA first-round 4-3 playoff victory over Waynesburg (Pa.). Hartz struck out 14 batters in a four-hit effort and helped his own cause with two hits and a pair of RBIs. The four-year starter has been impressive his last three seasons with a combined .520 batting average, 77 RBIs, 16 pitching wins and 150 strikeouts.

SOUTHEAST

Blaine Crain, Spanish Fort (Ala.)
Crain was named MVP of the Class 5A state championship series after going 3-for-6 with two RBIs to help Spanish Fort defeat Southside (Gadsden, Ala.) in a two-game sweep. It was Spanish Fort's third straight state title. Crain, who had a game-winning RBI in the team’s victory that sent them to the state finals, played despite very difficult personal circumstances. Six weeks ago, his father, Kurt, a former All-American linebacker at Auburn and an assistant football coach at South Alabama, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

MIDWEST

Eric Veglahn, La Crescent (Minn.)
The senior left-handed pitcher had an inning to remember in a 4-1 victory over Hayfield (Minn.), striking out five batters to close out the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. He fanned the first two batters, but the next two strikeout victims reached base on passed balls by the catcher. He then wrapped up the victory with his fourth and fifth strikeouts of the inning plus the 12th and 13th of the game.

MIDLANDS

Tate Matheny, Westminster Christian (Town & Country, Mo.)
The son of new St. Louis Cardinals’ manager Mike Matheny is in the midst of a monster senior season. Earlier this week, in Westminster’s 3-0 win over Orchard Farm (St. Charles, Mo.) in the Class 3 sectional tourney, Matheny belted a two-run homer, his 11th of the season. Last week in a 11-1 romp in five innings against MICDS of St. Louis, Matheny went 3-for-3 with a double and homer. Prior to the game against Orchard Farm, he was batting .614 with 10 homers, 10 triples, 52 runs scored and 47 RBIs. Matheny’s team also improved to 26-3 after that win and upped its winning streak to 23 games.

WEST

Troy Conyers, El Capitan (Lakeside, Calif.)
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound left-handed pitcher struck out 16 and pitched a four-hitter in El Capitan’s 7-1 win last week against Monte Vista (Spring Valley, Calif.). Conyers also went 1-for-3 with a double at the plate. He pitched a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts in his previous start and has led the Vaqueros to a 27-5 record and No. 37 FAB 50 national ranking. Heading into this week, Conyers was batting .395 with 24 RBIs and had an 8-1 mound record with 114 strikeouts and a 0.72 ERA. He was the San Diego Union-Tribune Player of the Year as a junior and has signed with the University of San Diego.

ESPNHS Baseball Players of the Week

May, 17, 2012
5/17/12
10:08
AM ET
(After games of Tuesday, May 15)

One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.

EAST

Jeremy Ake, Hunterdon Central (Flemington, N.J.)
The junior second baseman impressed in a 3-0 week for his team, including an 8-5 victory over previously unbeaten Immaculata (Somerville, N.J.). In that win, he went 3-for-4 with a home run, two stolen bases and three RBIs. Overall, he was 7-for-10 with two homers, a double, a triple, seven runs, six RBIs and three stolen bases during the week, in which he also celebrated his 17th birthday. The three-game effort boosted his season batting average to .490 with eight extra base hits, 24 runs, 19 RBIs and 13 stolen bases.

SOUTHEAST

Kyle Marsh, Spruce Creek (Port Orange, Fla.)
Just a sophomore, Marsh has been spectacular so far in the Class 8A state playoffs. Although he had a perfect game and a no-hitter in his previous two starts, it’s what Marsh did against POWERADE FAB 50 No. 1 Olympia (Orlando, Fla.) in last week’s regional final that was even bigger. His two hits allowed in six innings helped the Hawks beat Olympia 8-1 and knock that team from the nation’s No. 1 ranking. Olympia came into that game at 29-0. Marsh, who has committed to Central Florida, had a perfect game with 13 strikeouts two weeks ago in a 4-0 win over Seminole (Sanford, Fla.). Next came a no-hitter with 13 strikeouts as the Hawks beat Flagler (Palm Coast, Fla.) 1-0. Entering this week’s state semifinals against Timber Creek (Orlando, Fla.), Marsh has just two hits allowed in his last 20 playoff innings.

MIDWEST

Steve Duby, Maumee (Ohio)
The junior right-handed pitcher/shortstop hurled a 4-0 no-hitter against Perrysburg (Ohio) in a Division 1 sectional tournament title game. He struck out 10 batters and allowed only two base runners -- one on a hit batter and the other on a walk. He also helped his own cause by going 4-for-4 at the plate and knocking in a run. Duby has committed to West Virginia.

MIDLANDS

Zane Gurwitz, Churchill (San Antonio)
Already committed to Texas, this junior infielder/pitcher led the Chargers to a sweep of King (Corpus Christi, Texas) in last week’s Class 5A state playoffs. In the first game, Gurwitz slugged a homer and went 2-for-3 in a 3-1 triumph. In the second game, he pitched five no-hit innings and went 2-for-5 with a run scored in a 3-2 victory. Heading into this week’s regional semifinals, Gurwitz has gone 9-for-20 in his last five games and has pushed up his season batting average to .520. He also has 41 runs scored, 42 RBIs, five homers and 21 stolen bases. Last year as a sophomore, Gurwitz was named to the San Antonio Express-News Super Team with a .412 average and 54 runs scored.

WEST

Quintin Torres-Costa, Waiakea (Hilo, Hawaii)
The senior pitcher, who has signed with the University of Hawaii tossed six no-hit innings in leading the Warriors past Baldwin (Wailuku, Hawaii) 5-2 in the Division I state championship. Torres-Costa had to come out of the game due to a state pitch-limit rule. His dominant outing featured 13 strikeouts, including one stretch of 12 in a row. Torres-Costa also had a six-hit shutout in Waiakea’s 5-0 triumph over Castle (Kaneohe, Hawaii) in the semifinals. Waiakea won its first state baseball title in the first state final that didn’t involve a school from Oahu since 1984. The Hawks also ended with a 20-0 record in their league and playoff games.

ESPNHS Baseball Players of the Week

May, 10, 2012
5/10/12
10:14
AM ET
(After games of Tuesday, May 8)

One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.

EAST

Rob Kaminsky, St. Joseph (Montvale, N.J.)
The junior left-handed pitcher recorded his third no-hitter of the season in a 5-0 shutout of Paramus (N.J.). Kaminsky fanned 16 batters and walked three in his gem and has 67 strikeouts in 34 innings for the regionally ranked Green Knights. Kaminsky, who is being recruited by several Division I programs, is on fire with three no-hitters and a one-hitter in his last four starts. He's 6-0 on the season.

SOUTHEAST

Toby Thomas, Fairhope (Ala.)
The senior standout led Fairhope to a sweep of Baker (Mobile, Ala.) in last week’s Class 6A state playoffs. In the first game, he pitched a four-hitter with 10 strikeouts and went 1-for-3 as the Pirates won 2-0. In the second game, he went 2-for-3 with a double in a 3-0 shutout. Earlier in the season, Thomas won the Jake Peavy MVP award at the BayBears High School Classic. He also went 2-for-3 with three RBIs in his team’s previous playoff game. For the season, Thomas began this week hitting .366 with 36 runs scored and 36 RBIs. On the mound, he was 10-0 with a 0.22 ERA.

MIDWEST

Josh Baker, University School (Milwaukee)
The senior left-handed pitcher/first baseman helped the unbeaten, regionally ranked Wildcats to four wins last week with his arm and bat. He hurled a no-hitter and one-hitter while allowing only one run with 23 strikeouts in 10 innings. The no-hitter was an 18-0, five-inning gem versus St. John's Northwest Military Academy (Delafield, Wis.). At the plate during the week, he went 9-for-12 with three homers and 13 runs batted in. He’s also an all-state infielder and was the Midwest Classic Conference Co-Player of the Year as a junior.

MIDLANDS

J.P. Seifried, Claremore (Claremore, Okla.)
In last week’s Class 5A regional tournament, Seifried led the Zebras to the title by going 9-for-14 with four doubles and six RBIs in three games. The three wins improved Claremore’s record to 30-4 and put the team on the bubble in this week’s Midlands Region rankings. According to the Tulsa World, Seifried dedicates every game to the memory of his mother, Brenda, who died four years ago from cancer.

WEST

Alex Jackson, Rancho Bernardo (San Diego)
Not happy with just a regular hitting streak, this talented sophomore catcher has now homered in three straight games. Jackson started the streak last week in a win against Westview of San Diego and then homered again later in the week against the same team. He hit another home run earlier this week as the Broncos beat Poway. Jackson, who has 11 homers for the season and is hitting .378, was the ESPNHS Cal-Hi Sports State Freshman of the Year last season. He is the latest in a long line of top prospects to play for Rancho Bernardo coach Sam Blalock, who recently won his 800th game.

ESPNHS Baseball Players of the Week

May, 3, 2012
5/03/12
9:59
AM ET
(After games of Tuesday, May 1)

One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.

EAST

Clark Siebels, York (Yorktown, Va.)
The senior right-handed pitcher helped the Falcons improve to 13-1 for the season in a 6-1 win over rival Poquoson (Va.). Siebels ran his record to 7-0 this season by allowing only two hits, after yielding no hits the first five innings, and struck out 11 in 6.2 innings. Siebels also went 3-for-4 at the plate. He had only pitched one game before this season, but it was a no-hitter last spring against Churchland (Portsmouth, Va.)

SOUTHEAST

Kyle Miller, Estero (Fla.)
The 6-foot-3 senior pitcher/shortstop has been a main reason why the Wildcats have risen to No. 35 in this week’s POWERADE FAB 50. In a 12-0 win last week over Lely (Naples, Fla.) that gave Estero a Class 5A district title, Miller went 2-for-3 with a homer and also pitched a one-hitter with seven strikeouts. The shutout lowered his ERA to 0.27 for the season. He also enters this week’s regional quarterfinals against Cape Coral (Fla.) with 91 strikeouts and just six walks allowed. Miller has signed with Florida Atlantic University.

MIDWEST

Jake Flemmer, Orono (Long Lake, Minn.)
The sophomore catcher became only the third reported state player to record a six-hit game in a 14-8, eight-inning victory over Dassel-Cokato (Cokato, Minn.). The left-handed hitter also had finished his previous game with a single to give him seven straight hits -- all singles. Flemmer's record-tying effort boosted his season average to .639.

MIDLANDS

Eric Gutierrez, Sharyland (Mission, Texas)
As a junior, Gutierrez was Sharyland’s MVP as he hit .566 with 58 RBIs and had a 0.98 ERA for a 28-1 team. It’s hard to imagine a higher batting average, but after he stayed hot by going 2-for-2 with a run scored in last week’s Class 5A playoff win over McAllen (Texas) his batting average stood at .632. In his previous game, Gutierrez went 2-for-3 with four RBIs and another recent game saw him go 3-for-3 with six RBIs. As a pitcher, Gutierrez entered this week’s playoff matchup against Winn (Eagle Pass, Texas) with a 6-1 record and 1.42 ERA. With Gutierrez leading the way, Sharyland also has piled up a 25-3 record and was No. 15 in this week’s Midlands Region Top 20.

WEST

Joey Gallo, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
Rated the nation’s No. 1 third baseman in the ESPN 100, Gallo has been rounding the corners frequently on home runs in recent weeks. Gallo capped last week by homering in a 13-1 win over Sierra Vista (Las Vegas). He also hit one homer with four RBIs in a 10-0 triumph against Western (Las Vegas) and started the week with two homers and five RBIs when the Gaels beat Spring Valley (Las Vegas) 9-5. Over a six-game stretch entering this week, Gallo had hit nine home runs, which includes his epic total of four in one game on April 18 against Clark (Las Vegas).

ESPNHS Baseball Players of the Week

April, 26, 2012
4/26/12
9:49
AM ET
(After games of Tuesday, April 24)

One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.

EAST

John Miraglia, Wilmington Friends (Wilmington, Del.)
The senior right-handed pitcher/shortstop got off to a bad start against St. Andrew's (Middletown, Del.) when the Saints loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning. Miraglia then fanned the next three batters to start a 19-strikeout performance. He also ended with a three-hitter in leading the Quakers to a 1-0 victory. The other two outs were recorded by routine, infield grounders to Miraglia and the first baseman.

SOUTHEAST

Zach Wall, Hayesville (Hayesville, N.C.)
In a game played earlier this week, Wall hit three homers and also went 4-for-4 with eight RBIs to lead Hayesville past Swain County (Bryson, N.C.). The 6-foot-2, 175-pound junior shortstop and pitcher also had a six-RBI game last week and had raised his season home run total to 10 in just 13 games after the monster outing against Swain County. Wall, who also allowed three hits in five innings of pitching in that same game, pitched a no-hitter earlier this season against Murphy (N.C.). He was a Class 1A all-state pick last year and was a preseason all-state choice by ESPNHS.

MIDWEST

Zack Silerzio, Crete-Monee (Crete, Ill.)
The senior right-handed pitcher recorded consecutive no-hit victories last week over Kankakee (Ill.) 10-0 and Rich East (Park Forest, Ill.) 7-0. In the two gems, he struck out 20 batters and walked five while tossing 13 consecutive hitless innings. In his next outing, Silerzio (4-3) allowed five hits in five innings of a 7-3 victory over Bloom (Chicago Heights, Ill.). A Bloom single in the first inning halted Silerzio's no-hit streak.

MIDLANDS

Austin Bentlage, Union (Mo.)
After missing all of last season with a sore arm, Bentlage is making up for lost time. The 6-foot-3, 270-pound senior set a Missouri state record last week by striking out 18 batters in a row during a 3-0 no-hitter against New Haven (Mo.). Bentlage was making only his fifth start of the season. He walked the third batter of the game, then whiffed 18 in a row for the record before the last batter laid down a bunt and was thrown out at first. Bentlage broke the previous state mark of 15 straight strikeouts set in 2007 by Ryan Austin of Hume (Mo.).

WEST

Dylan Cozens, Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
As we were finishing this week’s honors, Chaparral grad Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox was hitting his 400th career homer and had just moved to No. 48 on the all-time major league list. It’s just one reason we couldn’t resist choosing a player from his high school. Cozens, in fact, just broke Konerko’s school record after smashing a pair of homers last week for the Firebirds in their 19-0 romp past Camelback (Phoenix). Cozens’ two blasts upped his season total to 14 and moved him past Konerko’s previous record of 13. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Cozens is a transfer from Desert Mountain (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and was MVP earlier this season at the Cleats Sports Classic. He hit two homers in the title game to lead Chaparral past Cactus (Glendale, Ariz.). Cozens also is a defensive end in football and had 7.5 sacks last season. He has signed a football letter of intent with Arizona, but could be coming up the charts quickly as a prospect for the upcoming MLB draft.

ESPNHS Baseball Players of the Week

April, 19, 2012
4/19/12
7:42
AM ET
Here are this week's high school baseball players of the week. One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.

(After games of Tuesday, April 17)

EAST

Randy Rodriguez, George Washington (New York)
The Trojans' leadoff hitter had a monster week as GW captured the annual George Washington Tournament crown with a 5-1 record and avenged an early-season loss to rival Cardozo (Bayside, N.Y.) 6-0 in the title game. Rodriguez, a senior veteran, was selected the tournament MVP after going 12-for-18 in the six games, driving in eight runs and playing stellar defense at short.

SOUTHEAST

Emerson Gibbs, Jesuit (New Orleans)
The senior pitcher, who got the save for the Blue Jays in last year’s Class 5A state final, posted the equivalent of a seven-inning perfect game within the team’s 2-1 victory in 18 innings last week over Archbishop Rummel (Metairie, La.). Gibbs retired 21 straight batters after the sixth inning of the marathon matchup. He ended up throwing 15 innings and 193 pitches. Those totals are legal in Louisiana, but would make the heads spin of many coaches around the country. Gibbs has signed with Tulane.

MIDWEST

Alex Darr, University Liggett (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.)
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior right-handed pitcher/infielder is off to an impressive start for the defending Division 4 state champions. Last week, he struck out 30 batters in two wins, including a no-hitter in a 4-0 blanking of Clarenceville (Livonia, Mich.). In Liggett's home opener, Darr fanned 15 and allowed only two hits in a 13-0, five-inning win over Parkway Christian (Sterling Heights, Mich.). He also helped his own cause with a three-run first-inning homer. Later in the week, he fanned 15 in the win over Clarenceville for his second no-hitter of the season.

MIDLANDS

Sean Rubalcaba, Grand Junction (Colo.)
A familiar name for anyone who follows Colorado prep sports, Rubalcaba continued his hitting tear in a Tuesday game this week by going 4-for-5 with two doubles in a 19-12 victory over Montrose (Colo.). Rubalcaba, a three-sport athlete who was the winner of the prestigious Gold Helmet Award by the Denver Post, kept his season batting average at a hard-to-believe number (.673) and also raised his season total for doubles to 12. He had his fourth four-hit game of the season and in one of those games all four hits were doubles. Rubalcaba, who has a 3.9 GPA and totaled 2,449 yards of total offense last fall as Grand Junction’s quarterback, has signed to play football at Northern Colorado.

WEST

Kyle Twomey, El Dorado (Placentia, Calif.)
Pitching no-hitters is one thing, but doing it at the Hard 9 National Classic and for a third straight shutout is something else. Twomey tossed his no-hitter and struck out 14 for the Golden Hawks in a first-round game against Galena (Reno, Nev.). They eventually went on to win the tourney title with Twomey getting the save in a 4-2 victory over El Toro (Lake Forest, Calif.). He was named the tourney’s MVP. Earlier this week, Twomey pitched a three-hitter with nine strikeouts when El Dorado topped Esperanza (Anaheim, Calif.) 2-1 in a matchup between two state-ranked squads. The 6-foot-3 senior has signed with USC.

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