State Stat Stars of the Week

Two of this week’s leading state stat stars are Keana Pola of Santa Ana Godinez and Michael Hobbs of Corona. Photos: GodinezAthletics.com & coronapanthersbaseball.net.


There are no-hitters and then there’s what Corona High’s Michael Hobbs did for his no-hitter last week since it wasn’t exactly against some chump opponent. Then already this week, Vacaville Christian’s Lucas Sweany has his second straight playoff no-hitter and we have a baseball slugger in the state named Goldschmidt. For softball, the hits are piling up for Keana Pola of Santa Ana Godinez, Maci Fines of Sacramento Sheldon and Livy Schiele of La Jolla Bishop’s, but it’s hard to imagine a more impressive playoff outing for pitching and hitting than the one enjoyed last week by Mariah Ramirez from Sunny Hills of Fullerton.

Note: We will collect totals from MaxPreps, newspapers, tweets and from those sent in to us. We also will compile single-game highs from this post throughout the season and of course we use our weekly State Stat Stars collection as an aid for the Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book. That is the only state record book anyone has ever done and we have published it seven times with full copyright protection. To report totals to us for this feature and for the record book, email markjtennis@gmail.com or call 209-608-1317. You can also text to 209-608-1317.

For this week’s SoCal/NorCal State Players of the Week, CLICK HERE.

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(All players listed in alphabetical order)
(Writeups by Cal-Hi Sports editor Mark Tennis, contributing editor Paul Muyskens & CIF Central Section historian Bob Barnett)
(For games played through Saturday, May 20 with some games from this week)

BASEBALL

Zach Bushling (Kern Valley, Lake Isabella)
We’ve been doing stat star writeups on Bushling in football, basketball and baseball for three years and he’s no doubt one of the top small school all-around athletes in California. Bushling’s career ended in a 16-4 loss to Sierra of Tollhouse in the CIF Central Section Division VI playoffs, but despite that score he still went 2-for-2 with two doubles. In his previous playoff game, Bushling went 2-for-2 with a homer. He had a .579 batting average for the season and also had five homers and 29 RBI.

J.P. Caldwell (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose)
In a game in which the Monarchs came from a 4-0 deficit to get a 10-4 win over Leigh of San Jose, Caldwell pitched 4.1 scoreless innings and also had two hits, a double, a run scored and two runs batted in. Mitty didn’t make it, though, to the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division championship due to a loss to Valley Christian of San Jose in this week’s semifinals.

Lucas Sweany of Vacaville Christian has two straight playoff no-hitters and will play next season at the University of Pacific. Photo: Twitter.com.


Corey Cater (Valley Christian, Roseville)
He’s from a school that always is near the top of the Sac-Joaquin Section for small schools and last week tossed a no-hitter with 14 strikeouts in a 3-0 playoff win vs. Big Valley Christian of Modesto. Earlier this season, Cater had a 16-strikeout, two-hitter vs. Grant of Sacramento also has been hitting more than .500.

Ethan Cloyd (Dunn, Los Olivos)
It’s really not fair for a school the size of Dunn to playing Santa Maria High in the CIFSS D6 playoffs but that’s what happened and the Earwigs lost 13-4. Still, Cloyd homered twice in the loss and ended the season with eight. The sophomore also finished with a .605 season averaged and 29 RBI.

Robert Cruz (Arrowhead Christian, Redlands)
Sure, it was a ridiculous rout but just have to mention Cruz’s batting line when his team crushed Hamilton of Anza 27-0 in the CIF Southern Section Division VII playoffs. He finished 4-for-4 with six runs scored and eight RBI. He had two doubles and two homers with one of the homers being a grand slam. For the season, Cruz also is now batting .672 with nine homers and 38 RBI.

Brandon Dieter (South Hills, Covina)
Allowing just three hits and walking two, the junior ace struck out four to earn his ninth win of the season and lower his ERA to 0.71 on the year as the Huskies advanced in the CIFSS Division I playoffs with a 4-0 win over Damien of La Verne. Dieter won’t pitch again for South Hills until next season since the team fell earlier this week to J.W. North of Riverside.

Dominick Goldschmidt (St. Anthony, Long Beach)
Doing his best to resemble major leaguer Paul Goldschmidt at the plate. Dominick he hit two home runs and drove in four runs during an 11-7 win over St. Margaret’s of San Juan Capistrano in the CIF-SS Division VI playoffs.

Bubba Gomez (Fremont Christian)
The sophomore stat fiend had another hit-pitch bonanza in a 20-0 win by Fremont Christian last week vs. California School for the Deaf (Fremont). He not only pitched a no-hitter with 16 strikeouts but also went 4-for-4 with a double and four RBI. Gomez also pushed his season reported state-leading RBI total to 61.

Michael Hobbs (Corona)
For the second year in a row, Hobbs opened the postseason with a no-hitter as he pitched a no-hitter last week in the opening round of the CIF-SS Division I playoffs during a 7-0 win by the Panthers over Orange Lutheran. It’s perhaps the most impressive no-hitter in the state this season since Orange Lutheran is a team that earlier this season won the National High School Invitational title. He has signed with St. Mary’s College in Moraga.

Charles Middleton (Lincoln)
Playoff opposition hasn’t slowed down Middleton one bit in his terrific season. In a 14-4 victory vs. Ceres this week in the SJS D4 playoffs, Middleton went 4-for-4 with two homers and five RBI. He’s going to enter the state record book with 57 hits (and counting) for the season and raised his batting average to an even .600. Middleton also was reported with 53 RBI and 18 doubles.

Kanoa Pagan (Leigh, San Jose)
Despite it being a CIF Central Coast Section Open Division matchup, Pagan still came through for the Longhorns in the 6-0 victory vs. Capuchino of San Bruno by tossing his third no-hitter of the season. Pagan struck out 10 in the no-hitter and should be in line for some top postseason honors.

Jake Saum (St. Bonaventure, Ventura)
In the opening round of the CIF-SS Division II playoffs, this sophomore left hander was the comb. Saum got the start and pitched a three-hit shutout with eight strikeouts during a 5-0 win over Thousand Oaks.

Lucas Sweany (Vacaville Christian)
Make it back-to-back no-hitters for Sweany in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI playoffs. He had his first one last week vs. Ripon Christian and this week fired another one to lead his team past Orestimba of Newman 4-0. Sweany struck out 15 and walked just one. Vacaville Christian plays Bradshaw Christian of Sacramento in Monday’s title game. We’ll have to go through the list of those with back-to-back no-hitters (or more) that have been reported to us over the years to see how many if any did it in playoff games.

Zach Zamborelli (Valley Christian, San Jose)
It was an upset as far as seeding goes when the No. 13 seeded Warriors defeated No. 5 Santa Cruz 1-0 in the CCS Open Division playoffs, but anytime a West Catholic Athletic League team wins in the CCS playoffs it’s never an upset. Zamborelli pitched a complete-game shutout for the Warriors with four strikeouts. They will play Serra of San Mateo on Saturday for the CCS championship.

SOFTBALL

Alexis Erich (East Union, Manteca)
In her team’s 11-0 triumph over Bethel of Vallejo to start the SJS Division III playoffs, Erlich slapped her seventh homer of the season and ended 4-for-4 with four RBI. She’s completely back from an injury that sidelined her for most of 2016 and was hitting .624 for the season with 48 RBI entering this week. Erich will play next for softball legend Dot Richardson, the head coach at Liberty University in Virginia.

Alexis Erich helped East Union win a section title two years ago, but missed most of last season with an injury. Photo: SportStars.


Alicia Estrada (Rio Mesa, Oxnard)
Making her first postseason start, the State Freshman of the Year candidate pitched a no-hitter with 17 strikeouts during a 5-0 win over Righetti of Santa Maria in the CIFSS Division III playoffs. Rio Mesa’s season ended earlier this week in a playoff loss to Dana Hills of Dana Point.

Maci Fines (Sheldon, Sacramento)
Heading into the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section championship game, Fines only needed one hit to join the exclusive list of those in California history who have had 200 career hits. She also was sitting at 59 hits for the season. Two weeks ago, Livy Shiele of La Jolla Bishop’s also reached 200 career hits and finished with that total. The Cal-Hi Sports state record of 247 was set two years ago by Zoe Casas of San Bernardino Aquinas. Fines also had 25 triples for her career and 35 doubles heading into this week.

Morgan Hess (Heritage, Brentwood)
This sophomore outfielder has been getting hits off everyone all season. After ending the week before by going 3-for-3 against Deer Valley of Antioch, Hess went 2-for-3 against Liberty of Brentwood and in her regular season finale she ended 4-for-4 with three runs scored against Antioch. Hess began the CIF North Coast Section D1 playoffs with a .654 average. She even went 2-for-3 against state-ranked Sheldon of Sacramento.

Cierra Hylton & Mikayla Coelho (Tracy)
Both had big games during a 27-1 win over Chavez of Stockton in the opening round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs as Hylton hit two home runs and drove in five runs while Coelho also drove in five runs while going 5 for 5 with two doubles and a triple.

Olivia Mackey (Benicia)
With the boost of hitting two doubles with multiple runners on base, she drove in a game-high six runs when the top-seeded and state-ranked Panthers defeated Patterson 18-2 in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs.

Noelle Mourani (Connelly, Anaheim)
For batting average and run scoring, Mourani was prolific this season for a Connelly team that was 18-0 until a CIFSS Division VII playoff loss to Santa Ynez. In an earlier playoff game, she went 4-for-4 with four runs scored, including a double, in a win against St. Mary’s Academy of Inglewood. For the season, Mourani batted .667 and touched home plate 44 times.

Keana Pola (Godinez, Santa Ana)
The daughter of Godinez assistant football coach Kevin Pola, Keana is playing like someone who’s made a verbal commitment to Nebraska. The sophomore shortstop went 4-for-4 with two doubles in a 2-1 win earlier this week vs. Templeton in the CIFSS D5 playoffs. In an earlier playoff game, Pola collected four RBI and two hits when Godinez beat Banning 10-0. She’s already in the state record book with 55 hits on the season and probably with 23 doubles.

Mariah Ramirez (Sunny Hills, Fullerton)
It would be hard to have a better game than the one Ramirez had during a 2-0 win over Don Lugo of Chino Hills in the CIFSS Division II playoffs. She not only hit the walk-off two run home run in the ninth inning to send everyone home, but she also pitched a no-hitter with 16 strikeouts.

Cindy Robles (San Pedro)
During the L.A. City Section Division I playoffs, she pitched a no-hitter with 14 strikeouts during a win against Carson and also had 13 strikeouts in the semifinals against San Fernando.

Mila Rodriguez (Millennium, Tracy)
Two losses this week to Woodland Christian ended the season for Rodriguez and the Falcons but she had a great one. In the team’s first SJS D7 playoff game, Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with four RBI in a 12-1 win vs. Western Sierra Collegiate Academy. For the season, she batted .562 and may end up as the reported state leader for RBI with 72.

Livy Schiele (Bishop’s, La Jolla)
The phenomenal career for Scheile came to an end earlier this week in the CIF San Diego Section Division II playoffs. She’ll make the state record book for career runs (203), career hits (200), career doubles (48) and had a career batting average of .575. Her runs total also is a new section record.

Jessica Seeley (Foothill, Palo Cedro)
She probably stamped herself as a Ms. Softball State POY candidate by going 2-for-2 with a double and two runs scored when Foothill beat Red Bluff 9-3 to win its second straight CIF Northern Section title. Seeley also pitched three scoreless inning with six strikeouts. Her season stats were again spectacular: 24-2 pitching with 0.36 ERA and .545 batting with 14 homers and 54 RBI. Seeley will play next at Sacramento State.

Vanessa Strong (Freedom, Oakley)
The CIF NCS playoffs obviously brings out the best in Vanessa. She led Freedom to the D1 section title last season as a sophomore and began this year’s push with no-hitter this week to lead the Falcons past Arroyo of San Lorenzo 7-0. Strong also pitched a perfect game in the performance and fanned 19 batters. It was her second no-hitter of the season.

Payton Tidd (San Marcos)
She was the winning pitcher in both of the state-ranked Knights’ CIF San Diego Section Open Division playoff games as they defeated Rancho Buena Vista of Vista and Granite Hills of El Cajon both by 1-0 final scores. Tidd allowed just two hits with eight strikeouts against the Eagles and struck out five against the Longhorns.

Jenessa Ullegue (Buena, Ventura)
Leading the offense during a 16-1 win over Pacifica of Oxnard in the CIFSS Division IV playoffs, Ullegue was a perfect 3 for 3 with a double and a home run while driving in six runs.

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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