Friday, March 23, 2012
Cal-Hi Sports Boys State Stat Stars
By Paul Muyskens & Harold Abend
We have two weeks full of baseball players to catch up on, including a double no-hitter and a 48-game win streak coming to a close. From this week, a sophomore from Los Alamitos also has cooled off the hot start of state-ranked Huntington Beach.
Note: We’re proud once again to collect weekly writeups of the most significant individual high school baseball totals in California. We use these as the basis for updating the state record book, which has been published seven times, most recently in the spring of 2009. To report a state stat star of your own, please email highlights to Mark.Tennis@espn.com.
(After games of Saturday, March 17; includes some games as of Wedneday, March 21; Contributing: Bob Barnett, Mark Tennis)
Angel Acosta (Gabrielino, San Gabriel)
The junior pitcher already has well over 300 strikeouts for his career since he was a varsity standout two years ago as a freshman. In a 2-1 win earlier this week against Mountain View of El Monte, Acosta went eight innings with a two-hitter and struck out nine. It was not his top extra-inning effort of the season, either. Acosta struck out 18 in a nine-inning game to lead Gabrielo past El Monte, 3-2, one week ago. He also had a two-hitter in that one.
Derek Azzopardi (Woodside)
They threw a party for Azzopardi because he deserved one after what he did to Daly City Jefferson earlier this week. On the mound, the Wildcats’ senior was an error away from a perfect game when he struck out 15 in an 11-0 victory. To add insult to injury, he homered, tripled, drove in three and scored twice with bat in hand.
Joey Beck (Lassen, Susanville)
In a 3-0 triumph against Oroville, Beck hurled a one-hitter and had 14 strikeouts. He also had two hits and an RBI as a batter. In an earlier start, the junior gave up no earned runs and just three hits when Lassen beat Shasta of Redding 2-1.
Byron Buckley (Encinal, Alameda)
Before the rains came, this senior was on fire two weeks ago. In back-to-back shellackings of Bay Shore Athletic League rivals St. Joseph Notre Dame of Alameda and Richmond Kennedy, Buckley left the yard in each game, and went a combined 5-for-8 with two homers, eight RBIs, a double and four runs scored. Prior to that, he tossed a five-hitter with nine strikeouts in a 2-0 win over Moreau Catholic of Hayward.
Taylor Cavazos (Diamond Bar)
The senior catcher for the Brahmas belted a homer, double and drove in seven runs earlier this week to pace an 11-4 triumph against West Covina. Last season, Cavazos hit a game-winning two-run homer in the seventh inning to lift Diamond Bar to a CIF Southern Section playoff win against Baldwin Park.
Chris Clements (Pacific Grove)
From two weeks ago, the Breakers’ sophomore was 4-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored, plus he came on in relief to earn the save, after retiring all six batters he faced in a 10-8 victory over Greenfield.
Robert Daugherty & Thomas Galart (Pioneer, Woodland)
These two combined to throw a no-hitter but it came in a 2-0 loss to Roseville in a game that saw no hits and a rare double no-hitter.
Chase DeJong (Wilson, Long Beach)
The USC-bound All-American candidate spun a one-hitter with 15 strikeouts when the Bruins beat Millikan of Long Beach 2-1 in eight innings earlier this week. Just the day before, DeJong also collected three hits, including a double and a triple, in a 13-2 romp past Cabrillo of Long Beach.
Michael Forney (Gunderson, San Jose)
Pitched a complete game 4-hitter and hit a home run in a 4-2 win over cross-town Andrew Hill.
Anthony Hawkins (Fresno)
Fresno opened the North Yosemite League with a 21-0 shutout 21-0 win over McLane as Hawkins belted his seventh homer of the season and scored four times. Joseph Gonzales also had five RBIs, going 3-for-4 at the plate, which included a triple.
Jack Higgins (Alhambra, Martinez)
This school may no longer have Robbie Stephenson pitching (he was the 27th pick in the 2011 MLB draft), but Higgins is trying to fill the void. He tossed a one-hitter with 10 strikeouts in a 2-0 victory over El Cerrito.
Cody Mashburn (Bakersfield Christian)
He smashed the ball all over the ballpark as he drove in a game-high six runs with his three hits in a 23-1 win over McFarland.
Robbie McInerny (Laguna Beach)
The junior infielder smacked a pair of homers and went 3-for-5, but it wasn’t enough in a 10-6 loss to Estancia of Costa Mesa. McInerny was a key starter last season for the Breakers when they went 27-3 and went to the CIFSS D4 semifinals where they lost to Oaks Christian.
Jake Nix (Los Alamitos)
With a performance this week that will shake up our next state baseball rankings, this sophomore hurler allowed just one hit and pitched a complete game shutout in a 2-0 win over previously undefeated and No. 2 ranked in the state Huntington Beach.
Andrew Perez (Biggs)
He went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and a double in a game earlier this month when Biggs defeated Maxwell 13-10. There’s certainly been better state stat stars than that this season, but Perez did it when Biggs snapped Maxwell’s 48-game winning streak. It is the second-longest win streak in state history and the win by Biggs prevented Maxwell from breaking the state record of 54 set in 2005 by Chatsworth.
Mark Reece (Roseville)
In a game two weeks ago, he threw a no-hitter as the Tigers defeated Pioneer of Woodland 2-0 despite not recording a hit themselves.
Daniel Robertson (Upland)
Ranked as the No. 6 corner infielder in the nation by ESPNHS, Robertson smacked his fifth homer of the season and went 4-for-5 with an additional double in a 11-0 romp past Colton. Robertson, who is headed to UCLA, had a six-RBI game earlier in the season against Sultana.
Brian Ruhm (Redlands)
He was the offensive catalyst for the Terriers in their title-winning trip last week to the Salpointe tourney in Arizona. He went 3-for-4 with two doubles when Redlands beat Yucaipa 10-2 in the semifinals. He then went 3-for-4 in the title game against Mountain View of Mesa, Ariz. In the team’s first game of the season, Ruhm crushed two homers, added a triple and had 10 RBIs against Rancho Verde of Moreno Valley (18-0 win). His RBI total was four short of the state record and one short of getting his name onto the all-time state list.
Brett Seeburger (Vista)
After going 3-for-4 against Grossmont of La Mesa, Seeburger saw the ball well again and went 4-for-4 against Coronado. Vista won both games to end last week and improve to 5-0. The Panthers also have added wins this week and will likely break into next week’s state top 20.
Mike Strem (St. Francis, Mountain View)
The Lancer junior hadn’t done much this season until exploding against WCAL rival Archbishop Mitty of San Jose. He was 4-for-4 with two doubles and six RBIs in a 15-4 victory.
Jake Sweaney (Garces, Bakersfield)
He hit his state-leading eighth and ninth home runs of the season (highest in the state according to MaxPreps) while driving in five runs in a 22-3 win over South of Bakersfield.
Hunter Virant (Camarillo)
Softball or baseball the Scorpions have talented pitching as this lefty allowed just two hits and struck out 13 in a 1-0 win over Channel Islands of Oxnard. Virant, headed to UCLA, is the nation’s No. 3-ranked left-hander according to ESPNHS.