Pitchers Darby Tatum and Danielle Lung were both sensational in leading the Clovis baseball and softball teams to CIF Central Section Division I championships. Tatum capped 13-2 season while Lung won in section finals for second time in her prep career. Other section champs on this week’s honor roll are Brianna Bowers of Napa, Hannah Lutz of Carlsbad and Xavier Carter from Capital Christian of Sacramento.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209-608-1317. You can also text to 209-608-1317.
For this week’s NorCal/SoCal State Players of the Week, CLICK HERE.
We hope you like this free post on CalHiSports.com. Please help us out today by becoming a member of our Gold Club so you can see all of our great content. For details, CLICK HERE.
(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 27 with some games from this week)
Kevin Abel (Madison, San Diego)
Showing he was more than able to help his team advance in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division playoffs he allowed just two hits and an unearned run with 11 strikeouts over 6.1 innings during a 2-1 win over Eastlake of Chula Vista. Eastlake has come back to beat Madison twice this week, but Abel’s showings in games against the best competition has him on a short list of top all-state pitching candidates.
Xavier Carter (Capital Christian, Sacramento)
This impressive sophomore was swinging a hot bat during the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championship. In Capital’s clinching 6-2 win over Escalon, Carter belted a solo homer to give the Cougars their first run. He later had a go-ahead RBI single for the third run and a booming double off the wall to help another two-run rally. Capital Christian won its fifth straight section title.
Robert Cruz (Arrowhead Christian, Redlands)
Before last week, this senior had not driven in more than four runs in a game all season long but that changed during a 27-0 win over Hamilton of Anza when he hit two doubles, two home runs and drove in eight runs. Later in the week he hit three doubles and drove in three runs during an 11-5 win over Gladstone of Covina as the Eagles advanced in the CIFSS Division VII playoffs.
Jeremiah Estrada (Palm Desert)
Showing the power that has him headed to play in college at USC, Estrada homered in back to back games of the CIFSS D2 playoffs. He homered and drove in three runs during a 3-2 win over Edison of Huntington Beach and did the same during a 4-3 win over Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo. The Aztecs will now play in the CIFSS Division II championship game on Friday against Etiwanda.
Thomas Gutierrez (Chatsworth)
With a spot in the L.A. City Section Division I championship game on the line, he came out and retired the first 17 batters in a row before the bullpen held on for a 2-1 win against El Camino Real of Woodland Hills. The Chancellors will play Birmingham in the final.
Gunner Hellstrom (Grace Brethren, Simi Valley)
In the quarterfinals of the CIFSS Division IV playoffs, this senior catcher hit two home runs and drove in five runs as the Lancers defeated Fullerton by a 8-4 final score. Grace Brethren won again earlier this week and meets Tahquitz of Hemet in the final.
Griff McGarry (Menlo School, Atherton)
His team made it back-to-back CIF CCS Division II championships and in the final this Virginia-bound pitcher allowed just two hits over 6.2 innings in a 1-0 win vs. Burlingame.
Chandlyr Metal (Tracy)
Not only did Metal use his aluminum bat to hit two home runs in a game, but his second home run gave the Bulldogs an 8-7 walk-off win over St. Mary’s of Stockton in the the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I semifinals. Tracy will now play two-time defending champ Elk Grove in the championship series.
Nick Nastrini (Cathedral Catholic, San Diego)
Coming one out shy of a complete game shutout in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division playoffs earlier this week, Nastrini used his nasty stuff to go 6.2 scoreless innings and allowed just three hits in a 4-0 win over Christian of El Cajon.
Cade Sakamoto (Highland, Bakersfield)
Showing off his swing that has him hitting over .500 on the year, he went 4 for 4 with a double and three runs batted in during a 6-5 win over Kerman in the CIF Central Section Division III playoffs. Sakamoto then went 3-for-5 with two runs scored when Highland topped Porterville 8-5 to win the championship. He finished his junior season hitting .505 with 15 doubles and 35 runs batted in.
Will Springer (Sierra Pacific, Hanford)
Getting the start in the CIF Central Section Division V championship game, he pitched the complete game shutout in the 3-0 win over Central Valley Christian of Visalia. Springer also finished his sophomore season by allowing just three hits and walking one with five strikeouts. Following up a freshman year that saw him go 8-4, he went 10-2 with a 1.17 ERA this season with a no-hitter while also hitting .430 with 23 runs batted in. It was often the Springer show for the Golden Bears this year as his older brother, junior Sammy Springer, hit .427 with 22 runs batted in.
Lucas Sweany (Vacaville Christian, Vacaville)
While this senior left hander did not throw his third straight no-hitter, he did have an impressive performance on the mound as he allowed just three hits over six innings while striking out 13 when the Falcons captured the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championship with a 6-0 win over Bradshaw Christian of Sacramento. On the year, he finished 11-2 with a 0.65 ERA and next year he will be playing near our office in Stockton at the University of the Pacific.
Darby Tatum (Clovis)
Getting the start against nationally ranked Buchanan of Clovis, Tatum went 6.1 innings and allowed just four hits and one run while walking one and striking out four in a 2-1 win that gave Clovis the CIF Central Section D1 title. The team also reversed four earlier losses to Buchanan. Despite those losses, Tatum had a great senior season with a 13-2 record with a 1.56 ERA.
Matt Wood (Faith Baptist, Canoga Park)
Now 12-0 with a 0.47 ERA on the year, this sophomore remained undefeated with a stellar performance in the CIF-SS Division VII playoffs last week. He pitched 5.2 scoreless innings during a 5-0 win last week over Bishop Diego of Santa Barbara. Wood is also hitting .293 with 24 runs batted in on the year.
Holly Azevedo (Pioneer, San Jose)
It was a heartbreaking end to the season for this UCLA-bound standout as she struck out 23 batters during a 1-0 loss in 10 innings against Watsonville in the CIF CCS Division I semifinals. Azevedo has been one of the top pitchers in the state since her freshman season and after having to miss the first 10 games of this season due to injury it would have been understandable if she just didn’t bother. She battled to the very end, though, and should be greatly commended.
Tehya Bird (Cloverdale)
Scoring four times this freshman also picked up the win in the circle as the Eagles defeated Clear Lake of Lakeport 11-10 in the CIF NCS Division V playoffs. On the she went 18-4 with a 1.79 ERA as she struck out 213 batters over 145 innings. Also a threat at the plate she hit .734 with ten home runs and 52 runs batted in.
Lilly Bishop & Eliyah Flores (Grand Terrace)
Before their season ended earlier this week, this duo played a big part in shaking up our state rankings as the Titans knocked off Mater Dei of Santa Ana 8-6 and Mission Viejo 16-2 during the week before. In the win over the Diablos, Bishop drove in four runs while Flores went 4 for 4 with three doubles and three runs batted in. Bishop even went 2-for-3 with a run scored in the loss earlier this week to Norco.
Brianna Bowers (Napa)
Showing off her powers with the bat, this junior was 4 for 5 with a double, triple and three runs batted in as the No. 8 seeded Indians captured the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship with a 9-8 win over Del Campo of Fair Oaks. Once again, Bowers improved her average this season and she finished with a .512 batting average while driving in 20 runs.
Molly Brown (Escalon)
One of the offensive leaders all season long during Escalon’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division V winning year, Brown had a four-hit game (4-for-4 with a double) during a 7-6 semifinal win over Ripon. For her junior season, she hit .463 with five home runs and 31 runs batted in.
Jessenia Castillo (Monache, Porterville)
Going 3 for 4 with a double, triple and three runs batted in during the Marauders’ 6-1 win over Sanger in the CIF Central Section Division II championship game, Castillo ended her junior year hitting .514 with 53 runs batted in. Earlier this season, she had a streak of four straight games with a home run and hit nine for the season after hitting just one home run last year.
Kiara Delgado (Buena, Ventura)
She hit two home runs and drove in five runs when the Bulldogs advanced in the CIF-SS Division IV playoffs with a 13-0 win over Jurupa Hills of Fontana. Delgado and her team will try to end an unbeaten season in the CIFSS Division IV title game.
Maddy Dwyer (Lutheran, Orange)
Before her stellar career ended this week in a tough loss to Los Alamitos in the CIFSS D1 semifinals, Dwyer pitched two complete game shutouts last week. She allowed just four hits with 10 strikeouts while also driving in a run during a 4-0 win over Oaks Christian of Westlake Village. She then allowed just one hit with six strikeouts during a 1-0 win over Valencia.
Stephanie Herrera (Mount Miguel, Spring Valley)
Pitching her third complete game of the playoffs, she allowed just four hits and an unearned run during a 12-1 win over Foothills Christian of El Cajon in the CIF San Diego Section Division V finals. During the playoffs, she also hit .667 at the plate for the Matadors.
Diamond Holland (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose)
If we had an all-name team she would be an easy pick for it. The freshman showed off her speed by running around the diamond with an inside the park two run home run that would turn out to be the game-winning runs as the Monarchs defeated St. Francis of Mountain View 9-5 to win the CIF CCS Open Division championship.
Danielle Lung (Clovis)
For the second time in her prep career (the first was when she was a freshman), Lung has pitched the Cougars to the CIF Central Section D1 title. After leading them in a 4-2 win in the semifinals over state-ranked Stockdale of Bakersfield, Lung struck out 11 in a 2-1 win vs. Central of Fresno in the final. Lung’s 11th strikeout came with two runners on base in the seventh inning. She needed to be tough since Central pitcher Gianna Mancha didn’t give up a hit in her first five innings.
Hannah Lutz (Carlsbad)
This scholar-athlete headed to Princeton cracked a two-run homer that was the difference in the Lancers beating Patrick Henry of San Diego 5-3 in the CIF San Diego Section Division I championship. earlier in the tourney, Lutz went 3-for-5 with two doubles in a 10-9 victory against West Hills of Santee.
Chloe Malauulu (St. Anthony, Long Beach)
Making her one hit count in a big way, she hit her 12th home run of the season while driving in four runs when the Saints defeated Culver City 11-4 in the CIF-SS Division VI quarterfinals. Malauulu hit .422 with 42 runs batted in this season and will play for a section title this weekend when the Saints take on Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth and fellow state stat star Janae Weise.
Janae Weise (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth)
Looking more like a senior than a freshman, she hit two doubles and drove in two runs during a 9-2 win over Wilson of Hacienda Heights as the Trailblazers earned their spot in the CIFSS Division VI championship game. Weise now has 10 doubles on the year to go with 15 home runs and 55 runs batted while hitting for a .495 batting average.
Paul Muyskens is the Stockton office assistant editor for Cal-Hi Sports. 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