SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week are junior Tanner Cunha from Christian Brothers of Sacramento & freshman Jessie Fontes from Grace Brethren of Simi Valley, shown above pitching last summer in the PGF national championships. Photos: Twitter.com & FloSoftball.tv.


Both of this week’s baseball honorees — Tanner Cunha of Sacramento Christian Brothers and Josh Landry of Cypress — had no-hitters last week and one of those had a perfect game. The other one missed a perfect game by issuing a leadoff walk. Our two softball honorees are from Simi Valley and Manteca.

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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

Josh Landry (Cypress) Jr.

Pacifica of Garden Grove had to feel that the game was off to a great start when its leadoff batter reached base on a walk but that was the last batter that the Mariners would have reach as this junior left hander retired the next 21 in a row for a no-hitter during a 13-0 Empire League win.

Known as “The Crane” due to being 6-foot-5 and weighing not much more than 150 pounds, Landry’s no-hitter was the first one that he had ever thrown at any level and it came one day after he celebrated his 17th birthday. Striking out five, he also improved to 5-1 with a 1.09 ERA.

The last no-hitter thrown in Cypress history before Landry’s last week was by current Oregon pitcher James Acuna, who pitched a no-hitter last season in the first round of the CIFSS Division I playoffs over Edison of Huntington Beach.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Jessie Fontes (Grace Brethren, Simi Valley) Fr.

She’s not just the player of the week, but also will have to be strongly considered for State Freshman Player of the Year.

Fontes has committed to Arizona after starring on the travel ball scene last summer and although she goes to a small school program that went only 2-15 last season her presence has completely turned around Grace Brethren’s fortunes.

In a game already played on Monday of this week, Jessie tossed a two-hitter with 14 strikeouts and had three hits with an RBI and run scored in a 5-0 win over Nordhoff of Ojai, which features Purdue-bound pitcher Sidney Wimpee. Last week in a 6-0 win against Villanova Prep of Ojai, Fontes had a one-hitter with 13 strikeouts and went 3-for-3 with three runs scores.

After the Nordhoff win, Grace Brethren improved to 13-0 for the season and looks like the team to beat in the CIF Southern Section Division VII championships. It’ll be one case where competitive equity divisions (since Grace Brethren obviously wasn’t very good last season) may not work that well. Fontes will head to the playoffs with four no-hitters and 184 strikeouts in 82 innings already on her resume.

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Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Tanner Cunha (Christian Brothers, Sacramento) Sr.

After coming close to a no-hitter earlier this season, the senior standout finally was able to throw one last week during a 10-0 six-inning win over Rio Americano of Sacramento.

Cunha did even better than that, though, since he pitched a perfect game. Not allowing a batter to reach base, he faced just 18 batters and recorded a season-high 11 strikeouts. For the year, he also improved to 8-1 with a 1.25 ERA while averaging more than one strikeout per inning with 59 strikeouts in 44.2 innings.

As part of another strong week, Cunha’s outing also enabled Christian Brothers to move up from No. 16 to No. 15 in this week’s state rankings. The team has just one loss but also wins over other bubble teams like Vacaville and Franklin of Elk Grove.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Softball Player of the Week

Lindsay Walljasper (Sierra, Manteca) Sr.

If you are a softball fan, the last name of Walljasper should be a familiar one as this Nebraska-committed junior has been a standout since her freshman year both at the plate and in the circle.

Hitting her first home run of the season, she also doubled and drove in four runs during a 6-1 win over Kimball of Tracy last week that also saw her earn the win by pitching five innings allowing just two hits and an unearned run while striking out nine. It also was her third win in the circle for the week as she also pitched nine shutout innings allowing just one hit and two walks with nine strikeouts during a 1-0 win over Manteca and two days later she allowed just one hit and one walk with 13 strikeouts during a 2-0 win over Oakdale.

After winning 10 games in each of her first two years, Lindsay is 8-3 this season with a 0.23 ERA. Her older sister Allie also went to Sierra and is currently a junior at LSU where she leads the Tigers’ pitching staff this season with 14 wins.

Paul Muyskens is the Stockton office editor 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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2 Comments

  1. Raul
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Estrada from Rio Mesa is a freshman pitcher on the softball team , she has better numbers and plays in a higher division, will she be considered for freshman player of the year?

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Both of them seem pretty outstanding. One has higher division. The other is committed to Arizona.

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