SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Gianna Mancha (left) from Central of Fresno had a game for the record books last week vs Clovis West. One of our baseball POWs, Santa Cruz soph Javier Felix, made first start of season memorable as well. Photos: Courtesy family & Dan Coyro/Santa Cruz Sentinel.

One of this week’s honorees, Gianna “Gigi” Mancha from Central of Fresno generates national headlines by striking out 21 batters (every out) in a seven-inning no-hitter against Clovis West. We have details in her writeup about where that ranks in state history. Our other selections this week are from La Puente, Cerritos and Santa Cruz.

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Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To find out how your business could benefit by sponsoring these honors each week or to nominate someone by 12 noon on most Mondays, email markjtennis@gmail.com.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Blake Archuleta (Bishop Amat, La Puente) Soph.

If this sophomore’s name sounds familiar to you, it’s likely because before he showed off his arm initially as a starting quarterback for Bishop Amat’s football team, which annually plays one of the toughest schedules of any team in the state. Archuleta got better and better as the season progressed and finished with 1,400 yards.

Archuleta is now pitching for the Lancer varsity in baseball. Last week, he tossed a one-hit shutout with seven strikeouts during a 13-0 win over St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs in Del Rey League play. For the season, prior to this week, he was 3-1 with a 2.85 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 27 innings.

There’s a good chance that Blake will fall into line with some of Amat’s other recent football-baseball standouts, including Rio Ruiz, who made his MLB debut late last season.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Alyssa Kumiyama (Gahr, Cerritos) Sr.

Starting to heat up at the plate for the unbeaten and state No. 4 Gladiators, she went a perfect 3-for-3 with three home runs and four runs batted in last week when Gahr defeated Los Altos of Hacienda Heights 6-4.

For the 11 games she had stats for on MaxPreps, she was hitting .545 with 17 runs batted in and six home runs. A four year varsity standout, Kumiyama hit 11 home runs her freshman year and through her four years (again at the start of this week) she had a .474 batting average with 87 runs batted in and 24 home runs.

A highly-recruited catcher/first baseman from the SoCal Athletics travel ball squad, Kumiyama had to be stoked during the recent NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tourney since her future school (South Carolina) got to the Final Four in both.


Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Javier Felix (Santa Cruz) Soph.

There aren’t too many sophomores with D1 offers, but Felix also is a member of the USA Baseball 14U National Team Developmental Program and he displayed his pitching skills in a big way by leading the Cardinals past Los Gatos 1-0 in a 10-inning nail-biter last week.

Making his first start due to a transfer prior to the school year from Scotts Valley, Felix pitched 6 2/3 no-hit innings against a Wildcat squad that was in the State Top 20 twice earlier this season and despite the loss still looks like one of the top teams in the CIF Central Coast Section. Felix finished with a five-hitter and 12 strikeouts over nine shutout innings, but Santa Cruz didn’t push across the game-winning run until the 10th. Felix had a hand in that as well with a single to get on base, enabling a pinch-runner to score on a two-out single by Alex Williams.

Felix, who got his first D1 offer last year from San Diego State, was a varsity performer last season at Scotts Valley. He’s also a top shortstop and according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel batted .361 (first on the team) with seven doubles and 20 runs scored.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Softball Player of the Week

Gianna “Gigi” Mancha (Central, Fresno) Sr..

Both at the plate and in the circle, this Boise State-bound senior is having a senior season to remember and with her performance last week she will make sure others remember her as well.

Mancha will go into the Cal-Hi Sports state record book after striking out 21 batters in seven innings against Clovis West of Fresno. Pitching her third no-hitter of the season in the 5-0 win over the Golden Eagles, she allowed just three walks while recording every out with a strike out. She improved to 9-2 on the season with a 0.46 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 75.2 innings. When not pitching, she also plays shortstop and she was hitting .489 with 11 runs batted in on the year.

Gianna’s outing set a CIF Central Section record for most strikeouts in a seven-inning game, according to section historian Bob Barnett. It’s one off of the state record of 22 set in 1983 by Blenda Selvey of Ontario Chaffey (who got an extra one due to one of her strikeout victims reaching base on a passed ball). There are 13 others with 21 and there also are four who have thrown 21-up, 21-strikeout perfect games, including one girl, Linden’s Katie Cotta in 2005, who did it twice. Cal-Hi Sports also has recognized a 27-up, 27-strikeout perfect game in softball from 1939 in nine innings by Los Angeles Garfield’s Dolores Frieze. Girls weren’t in the CIF obviously in those days, but the game between Garfield and Los Angeles Poly was widely reported at the time.

While some of the 21-strikeout, seven-inning performances are from small schools and in small-school competitive situations, most had more to do with the pitcher than anything else. Others on the 21-strikeout list include USA Softball all-time greats Michele Granger (Placentia Valencia), Lisa Fernandez (Lakewood St. Joseph) and Monica Abbott (North Salinas).

Paul Muyskens is the assistant editor at the Stockton office of Cal-Hi Sports. Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports


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