State Stat Stars of the Week

Although his team lost in Thursday's CCS semifinals, there doesn't seem to be any signs that Carlmont of Belmont softball coach Jim Liggett won't be continuing his march toward 1,000 wins next season. Photo: Harold Abend.

Although his team lost in Thursday’s CCS semifinals, there doesn’t seem to be any signs that Carlmont of Belmont softball coach Jim Liggett won’t be continuing his march toward 1,000 wins next season. Photo: Harold Abend.

Coaching milestones also are included in this week’s honor roll for the best individual accomplishments in both baseball and softball. Sophomore Kyle Molnar of Aliso Niguel and senior Stacy Cavazos from Patriot of Riverside among those singled out.

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We collect these individual highlights in support of the Cal-Hi Sports state record book. This honor roll is through games played May 18 and it includes some players from this week as well. To send in a state stat star of your own, send info to Mark Tennis at markjtennis@gmail.com.

Coaching Milestones

Jim Liggett (Carlmont, Belmont)
The former Major League baseball player and the state’s all-time winningest softball coach did not get win No. 937 on Thursday evening when his No. 3-seeded girls lost a heart-breaking 8-7 game in extra innings to No. 2 seed Leland of San Jose in the CIF Central Coast Section Division I semifinals. Liggett, who began his coaching career at Carlmont in 1976, and who is now in his mid-70s, has his eye on 1,000 wins. After his team notched victory No. 936 with a 6-2 quarterfinal win over Salinas last Saturday, the old first-baseman reflected back before the Cal-Hi Sports Caravan. “It would be nice to get a thousand wins, but what’s more appropriate is I’m sticking around as long as I feel good.”

Teri Johnson (James Logan, Union City)
“I’ll never be able to catch Jim Liggett,” lamented the 2010 Cal-Hi Sports State Coach of the Year for softball about the CIFNCS rule that limits teams to 24 games before the playoffs. Still, in her 27th year at the Colts’ helm, Johnson will go for win No. 555 when her girls take the field on Friday night against Danville Monte Vista in the second round of the NCS Division I playoffs. Johnson’s current win total has her moving up the list that Liggett heads in the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book.

Gary Galloway (Saint Vincent de Paul, Petaluma)
The Mustangs’ multi-talented 29-year veteran baseball coach, who also guides the football team, became the 12th Bay Area coach to notch 500 wins when his boys defeated Forestville El Molino last week, 7-5, at home. The NCS Division V No. 4 seed got Galloway No. 501 and the team to 19-4 after a playoff opening 8-3 win over San Francisco University. Last season on the gridiron, Galloway guided the Mustangs to a 10-3 record and a runner-up finish to Ferndale in the NCS Division V playoffs.

Baseball

Luke Asperger (Poly, Pasadena)
He’s been one of the hottest hitters so far in the CIF Southern Section Division VI playoffs. Asperger went 2-for-3 in a 4-1 triumph earlier this week against St. Margaret’s. That follows a 2-for-4 with a triple vs. Bloomington Christian and before that, in the regular season finale against Webb of Claremont, Asperger collected four hits, drove in six and hit his ninth homer of the season.

Hunter Mercado-Hood (De La Salle, Concord)
One of the hottest players in the Bay Area going into the CIF North Coast Section Division I playoffs, where the Spartans are the No. 2 seed, homered in each of last week’s wins over Livermore and California of San Ramon, with the homer against California a walk-off winner in the bottom of the seventh. The University of San Diego commit is 19 for his last 30 during an eight-game hit streak and has three homers in his last four games.

Justin Calomeni (Bellarmine, San Jose)
It isn’t close to making the record book, but the Cal Poly-committed senior right-handed pitcher did finish the season with 23 consecutive scoreless innings after the Bells were eliminated from the CCS D1 playoffs and he wasn’t on the mound. Calomeni is part of a state record team-tying total, however, as Bellarmine’s 15 shutouts for the season ties the record total of 15 set in 1958 by the legendary team at Fresno.

Morgan Earman (Desert Christian Academy, Bermuda Dunes)
Earman has been the pitch man for the state’s top-ranked Division V team. In a 6-0 victory over Southlands Christian of Walnut in the opening round of the CIFSS Division VI playoffs, Earman tossed a one-hitter with eight strikeouts. After that game, he had a 0.22 ERA for the season.

Kevin Franklin (Gahr, Cerritos)
The leading all-state candidate as an infielder crushed his ninth homer of the season and drove in four runs as the Gladiators advanced in the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs with a 6-1 win over La Quinta. Franklin also is hitting .470 with 37 RBIs.

Fernando Galindo (Madera)
He went perfect at the plate, going 4-for-4 and tied a school record with seven RBIs as the Coyotes beat Hanford West 13-4 in a CIF Central Section Division II playoff game.

Trey Lomax (Mira Mesa, San Diego)
The San Diego State football recruit struck out seven and pitched the Marauders to an 8-1 triumph against Ramona earlier this week in the CIF San Diego Section Division I playoffs. Lomax, who recorded his first win of the season despite sporting a 0.97 ERA, also had a two-run single as a batter with another single and run scored in another inning.

Tucker Mendonca (Mt. Whitney, Visalia)
He pitched a seven inning no-hitter with seven strikeouts in a 7-0 win over East Bakersfield in a CIF Central Section Division II playoff game.

Josh Meyer (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM)
Already with three hits, he saved his best for last as his fourth hit of the game left the ball park for a walk-off solo home run as the Eagles defeated state-ranked Fountain Valley 3-2 in the CIFSS Division I playoffs.

Jack Mikolaycik (St. Michael’s Prep, Silverado)
The Pioneers have a record under .500 but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the final score of their win against Shalhevet of Los Angeles. He went 4 for 4 with a double, triple and eights runs batted in during their 30-0 win. Michael Gates and Michael Howard each drove in five runs.

Kyle Molnar (Aliso Niguel, Aliso Viejo)
Already with a commitment to UCLA, this talented sophomore not only pitched six innings to get the win but he also hit two home runs while driving in three runs as the Wolverines defeated Claremont 7-1 in the opening round of the CIF-S Division II playoffs.

Danny Perez (Firebaugh)
A sterling season continued for Perez in a 3-0 win over Cesar Chavez of Delano in a CIF Central Section Division IV playoff game. He ran his season to 12-0 in the seven-inning game with five strikeouts and has 92 Ks for the season.

David Ross & Danny Nilsen (Drake, San Anselmo)
A no-no is a no-no even if it’s only a five-inning affair and even as in the case of a 12-0 NCS D3 win over Concord Ygnacio Valley, two pitchers combine to do it as the Pirates’ pair did.

Paul Sardo (Crean Lutheran, Irvine)
In just their fourth year of having a program, the Saints had history made by this sophomore earlier this week. He pitched the school’s first ever no-hitter during a 4-1 win over Tarbut V’Torah in the CIFSS Division VI playoffs. He had nine strikeouts and walked eight batters leading to giving up the run.

Michael Strem (St. Francis, Mountain View)
They’ve had some great players and pitchers in particular come out of the Lancers’ program over the years, but until this Boston College-committed right-hander did it with eight strikeouts in a CCS Division I opening round 2-0 victory over Cupertino Monta Vista, no one had ever pitched a perfect game in St. Francis history. After getting a win over Palo Alto this week in the semifinals, Strem is 11-1 with a 1.30 ERA, 79 strikeouts, and only 16 walks in 80.2 innings pitched. He didn’t get a hit in the perfecto, but he’s also leading the team in hitting at .413, and hits and doubles with 43 and 12, respectively. Against Palo Alto, he also had five RBIs on three hits.

Softball

Taylar Byrne (Ayala, Chino Hills)
Coming up clutch in the seventh inning, her two-run single helped the Bulldogs defeat No. 1 in the state Mission Viejo by a 3-2 final score on Tuesday. Mission Viejo had won 21 games in a row.

Stacy Cavazos (Patriot, Riverside)
This UC Santa Barbara-bound standout has been red-hot so far in the CIF Southern Section Division IV playoffs. On Thursday, she belted her 15th homer of the season, added another hit, and drove in four runs as her team beat Oak Hills of Hesperia 13-4. Earlier in the playoffs, Cavazos homered in a 3-2 win against Loara of Anaheim and crushed two to lead the girls past Arroyo of El Monte 15-5. In addition to the 15 homers, she will enter next week’s semifinals with 59 RBIs. Both totals will get Stacy’s name into the Cal-Hi Sports state record book.

Nicole Curry & Kylee Perez (Alhambra, Martinez)
Going into last week, the junior duo had been tied for the Bulldogs’ lead with eight home runs. Then Curry blasted three to get to 11 in a shellacking of Orinda Miramonte. Trying not to be outdone, UCLA-committed Perez went deep twice this week in an NCS Division II opening round 11-1 win over Walnut Creek Northgate. With 10 home runs so far this year, an NCS record 15 last year (now tied with Alyssa Ross of Terra Linda), and nine homers as a freshman, Perez now has 34 career home runs, a number that gets her on the list for Most Home Runs (Career) in the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book.

Raeann Garza (James Logan, Union City)
Garza shut out Amador Valley in the CIFNCS Division I title game last year and the senior warmed up for this year’s D1 action by acting like a one-girl wrecking crew in a 17-0 mercy-shortened win over Mission San Jose. She pitched a no hitter with a walk and seven strikeouts, and at the plate she had three hits including a home run, and four RBIs and three runs scored.

Kelsey Goodner (Woodland)
Her performance was more then good against Bear River of Grass Valley as she pitched a no-hitter and struck out 11 but keeping it from being great was the fact that the Wolves lost the game 2-1 in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.

Johanna Grauer (Amador Valley, Pleasanton)
It’s pretty hard for the Arizona State-committed junior pitcher’s ERA to shrink, but at this point it’s as close to evaporated as it can get. She had been close a couple of times this season but she finally got a perfect game, albeit in a mercy-shortened five-inning 11-0 win at cross-town arch-rival Foothill, a win that wrapped up another East Bay Athletic League title. Earlier in the week she had 14 strikeouts and tossed a three-hitter in a 11-0 win at Danville San Ramon Valley. On the season, Grauer is now 22-2 and has a 0.08 ERA with only two earned runs given up and 39 hits allowed in 152 innings pitched that’s seen her strike out 274 batters. Besides the perfecto last week, she’s pitched three no-hitters and eight one-hitters.

Kristen Koller (Riverside Christian)
In a 12-7 triumph against Faith Baptist of Canoga Park during Thursday’s CIFSS Division VI quarterfinals, Koller collected four hits and crushed a homer. She has helped her team score 63 runs in its first three postseason games.

Rebecca Lee (Pacifica, Garden Grove)
Helping the Mariners extend their winning streak to 18 games, she went 4 for 4 with three home runs and nine runs batted in during their 11-0 win over Murrieta Valley in the CIFSS Division I playoffs earlier this week.

Alyssa Palomino (Mission Viejo)
The sophomore star set a new Orange County record for home runs when she hit No. 18 in a CIFSS Division II opening round win over Aliso Viejo Aliso Niguel. That broke the total of 17 homers hit in 2010 by Lauren Chamberlain of Lake Forest El Toro. Since she didn’t go deep in the ensuing loss to Ayala of Chino Hills, that’s what she ends up with for the season, and also finishes currently tied for the state lead.

Baylee Robben, Sydni Scott & Kacie Burnett (Vintage, Napa)
After going 0-for-3 and looking lost in the Crushers’ only loss to Pleasant Grove in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs, sophomore Robben, the daughter of head coach Rick Robben, came back with a vengeance in the double-elimination format, hitting three of her five home runs this season in the four games following the setback. Her biggest homer, a three-run blast that tied the game at 4-4, came in the title game 14-7 victory over Pleasant Grove. Besides the three round-trippers, Robben had 23 RBIs in eight playoff games. Scott had just as big a role in the championship game when the girls fell behind 7-6. The senior smoked two doubles that plated five runners as Vintage scored eight unanswered runs to close the game. Burnett got on base in the loss to Pleasant Grove, but was thrown out stealing for the only time this season. In the championship game, she stole bases No. 52 and 53 and scored three times.

Megan Stacy (Cordova, Rancho Cordova)
Striking out five, this sophomore pitched a six-inning perfect game as the Lancers defeated River Valley of Yuba City 10-0.

Claire Stucker (Bullard, Fresno)
Stucker went 3 for 4 at the plate and tied her own school record by hitting her eighth home run of the season in a 6-0 win over Clovis East in a CIF Central Section Division I playoff game.

Dana Thomsen (Petaluma)
With the Cal-Hi Sports Caravan playing homer six blocks from the pad, Thomsen padded her stats, after striking out a season high 15 in a 7-0 NCS Division II opening round win over San Lorenzo.

Ashley Torres (Valley Academy, Granada Hills)
This small school senior star came on late, and when she hit three home runs in a blowout win over Los Angeles de La Hoya Animo last week, Torres actually led the state in home runs for two days until she was tied at 18 by Alyssa Palomino of Mission Viejo. Torres didn’t go deep in the Vipers’ first LA City Section Division III playoff win, and like Palomino, she didn’t homer in a season ending loss the following game, leaving the two girls tied for the state lead.

Jade Vecvanags (Lutheran, Orange)
Not only did she pick up the win in the circle while striking out six, but she also smoked a two-run home run as the Lancers defeated M.L. King of Riverside 2-0 in the second round of the CIFSS Division I playoffs.

Miranda Viramontes (Chino)
Just a junior, she made sure the Huskies’ season didn’t come to an end as she pitched a no-hitter and struck out six in a 2-0 win over Trabuco Hills in the second round of the CIFSS Division II playoffs.

Note: Mark Tennis & Paul Muyskens contributed to this post.

Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at marketingharoldabend@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend


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  1. […] Cal-Hi Sports Stat Stars include De La Salle’s Hunter Mercado-Hood, Bellarmine’s Justin Calomeni, Drake’s David Ross […]

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