In addition to Brady Aiken, statewide honors also are going out to Joe DeMers from College Park of Pleasant Hill (juniors), Mickey Moniak of La Costa Canyon (sophs), Tommy Palomera of Chatsworth (frosh), Chris Mathewson of Fontana Kaiser (medium schools) and Nico Hoerner of Oakland Head-Royce (small schools).
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Congratulations to the following five players who also have been selected this week as Cal-Hi Sports State Players of the Year.
Joe DeMers (College Park, Pleasant Hill)
While he didn’t win our Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year honor over an impressive senior-filled class, DeMers was a finalist and he does win our junior of the year award to add to his impressive baseball resume that continues to grow.
Leading the Falcons to the CIF North Coast Section Division II championship, he hit .371 with 32 runs batted in while going 12-2 with a 0.65 ERA. As a pitcher, he also struck out 94 in 86 innings.
Committed to Washington, he has been part of USA baseball since 2010 when he played on the 14U National Team and just two days ago he was one of the headliners of the 44-man roster for the 18U National Team Trials. DeMers will try to make his fourth USA Baseball national team.
The State Sophomore Player of the Year for last season, DeMers becomes the first top junior in the state from the East Bay since Brian Johnson from Skyline of Oakland in 1985.
Mickey Moniak (La Costa Canyon, Carlsbad)
The talent in the CIF San Diego Section for baseball was amazing this year and yet another honoree for this year is Moniak among the sophomores.
The standout outfielder led the Mavericks’ offense during a season that saw them capture the Avocado-West League championship and reach the San Diego Section Open Division championship game after knocking off Rancho Bernardo of San Diego.
Playing in all 33 games, Moniak led the team with a .461 batting average while also leading the team in runs scored with 34 and runs batted in with 27. He also tied for the team lead with 10 doubles.
Helping him earn this honor was being the only sophomore selected to the first team in San Diego while our State Freshman of the Year from last season, Conrado Diaz of San Ysidro, was named to the second team. Moniak also played on last summer’s U15 national team for USA Baseball.
In addition to Diaz, another sophomore strongly considered for this honor was outfielder Brady Shockey from JSerra of San Juan Capistrano.
The last San Diego player to be chosen Sophomore State Player of the Year was Alex Jackson of Rancho Bernardo from just two years ago.
Tommy Palomera (Chatsworth)
While the Chancellors’ hopes of a 10th L.A. City Section championship ended one win short, they have to like their hopes of winning it soon in the next three years with Palomera on hand.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder started in this year’s final at Dodger Stadium, retiring the first nine batters and allowing just two hits in 5 1/3 innings.
For the season, Palomera went 8-2 with an ERA of 0.95, including a streak of 25 straight scoreless innings. He not only was named to the All-L.A. City Division I first team as a freshman, but also was chosen as Newcomer of the Year by the L.A. Daily News.
Yet another San Diego player, infielder Nick Allen from Francis Parker, was strongly considered for this honor as well.
Chatsworth had the State Freshman of the Year in 2004 when Matt Dominguez (now on the Houston Astros) edged teammate Mike Moustakas (now on the Kansas City Royals).
Chris Mathewson (Kaiser, Fontana)
Winning the San Bernardino Sun Player of the Year award for the second year in a row, Mathewson dominated at the plate and on the mound, which is why he has been named as our medium schools state player of the year.
Starting the season with a perfect game, he finished 9-2 with a 0.79 ERA while striking out 105 and walking just five in 62 innings. At the plate, Mathewson hit .511 with three home runs while driving in 33 runs and scoring 37 times.
Although Kaiser fell short in the CIF Southern Section Division IV playoffs with a second-round loss, Mathewson nonetheless led the Cats to a 25-2 record and No. 1 state ranking in Division III until that loss.
Mathewson will play next at Long Beach State despite being chosen in the 28th round of the recent MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers.
The last two from the Inland Empire to be named as Medium Schools State Player of the Year have been Kyle Skipworth from Rubidoux of Riverside for 2008 and Tyrone Hill of Yucaipa for 1991.
Nico Hoerner (Head-Royce, Oakland)
Showing why he has played for Team USA and is committed to Stanford, this talented junior ended the season by allowing just two hits and striking out 10 in six innings as the Jayhawks captured their third straight North Coast Section Division V championship with a 5-0 win over St. Joseph Notre Dame of Alameda.
On the season, Hoerner was 8-1 with a 0.33 ERA while striking out 71 batters in 42 1/3 innings. Not only did he lead the way on the mound, but he also led the offense with a .593 batting average while driving in 37 runs and scoring 43 times.
While there have been several from the CIF North Coast Section to be chosen for this honor in previous years, including Robb Woodcock of Marin Catholic in 2011 and Brett Wallace from Justin-Siena of Napa in 2005, Hoerner is the first to win it from the East Bay.
Thanks to Stockton office assistant editor Paul Muyskens for contributing to these selections and writeups.
Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports