NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week are Nathan Peng of Saratoga and Jordyn Hutchins of Woodland Christian. Photos: &

Yes, they are from small school competition, but the ridiculous stats of Woodland Christian’s Jordyn Hutchins, including .821 batting average, 12 homers and 0.00 ERA, isn’t why she’s big time. It’s her major college D1 commitment and a Hot 100 national ranking for the Class of 2020 by FloSoftball. This week’s other honorees are from Saratoga, San Dimas and Chaminade of West Hills.

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Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate someone by 12 noon on most Mondays, email

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Nathan Peng
(Saratoga) Sr.

We go to the western end of the Santa Clara Valley and the CIF Central Coast Section for our Northern California baseball winner this week, and we pick a boy who might otherwise fly under the radar with some of the state’s top baseball teams competing in the CCS from the West Catholic Athletic League sucking up all the ink.

Seven RBI in one game isn’t that unusual in the grand scheme of things but the seven that Peng drove in accounted for all the runs in a 7-6 win last Saturday against visiting Monte Vista Christian of Watsonville. In getting the seven RBI he was 3-for-3 with two home runs, a double, walk, and two runs scored.

Later in the week he didn’t do much in a 7-4 victory over Aptos, but in the first game last week Nathan was 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and three runs scored.

It would be easy to say the 6-foot, 170-pound Peng is like a one-man wrecking crew for the 11-5 Falcons. So far this season Nathan is batting .532 with eight of Saratoga’s nine home runs, a triple, five doubles, 18 runs scored, nine stolen bases, and 24 RBI with no teammate in RBI double-digits. He’s also only struck out four times in 64 plate appearances. As a catcher and first-baseman, he’s only made one error in 85 total chances.

But that’s not everything. When he’s not at first base or behind the plate, Peng pitches, and does it pretty well. He’s 4-1 with a 2.48 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 36.2 innings pitched.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Softball Player of the Week

Jordyn Hutchins
(Woodland Christian, Woodland) Soph.

Our NorCal softball honoree is from the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and what used to be a mostly farming community on Interstate 5 around 20 miles northwest of Sacramento.

Woodland Christian may be a small school but the softball team is a small school power with a 14-0 record, and there are some games against bigger schools. Not surprisingly, a big part of the reason is Hutchins has been feasting on opposing pitching, and in the circle Jordyn has been unhittable herself.

Last week, in an 11-0 win against Vacaville Christian, the 5-foot-1 mighty-might, who also happens to be in the FloSoftball Hot 100 for Class of 2020, was 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored. She came back against Golden Sierra of Garden Valley in a 12-0 victory to go 3-for-3 with a home run, triple, double, three RBI and three runs scored. On Monday of this week, Hutchins was 3-for-3 with a home run, double, two walks, four RBI and five runs scored.

Hold onto your hats for these numbers. So far this season,she’s hitting .821 with an .875 on-base percentage. Hutchins has 12 home runs, three triples, 10 doubles, 37 RBI and 39 runs scored with only two strikeouts in 39 at-bats. That’s a run scored for every at-bat, and just short of an RBI for each as well. She also has a stratospheric 2.153 slugging percentage and has stolen 11 bases in 11 attempts. The 12 home runs is tied with last week’s winner, Jayda Su’e of Banning for the reported state lead, the on-base percentage is No. 2 in the state. She leads the Sac-Joaquin Section in home runs, batting average and slugging percentage, and is in the top five for RBI and runs scored.

The icing on the cake is when Jordyn is in the circle she puts up a lot of zeros, like a 6-0 record with a 0.00 ERA and 0 extra base hits with 45 strikeouts and only eight hits and six walks with two unearned runs in 27 innings pitched.

We know that those totals are against a lot of weaker small school teams, but Hutchins herself has a commitment already to Stanford and is a legit talent no matter what competition she faces.

Jacobs was MVP of the St. Paul tourney earlier this season. Photo: @_SaintsBaseball /

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Zach Jacobs
(San Dimas) Sr.

The fact is Zach is a huge reason the Saints aren’t aints this season and are 21-2 with 18 straight wins heading into a Wednesday matchup with visiting Hacienda Heights Wilson.

Jacobs lost his first start to Chino Hills at the Frozen Rope Tourney, but since then opposing batters haven’t gotten very good hacks against him. Zach won his last 10 starts and even had a save during the streak that currently has him 10-1 with 0.76 ERA and 60 strikeouts with only five walks in 64.2 innings pitched.

Last week in two appearances, Jacobs gave batters the hiccups from Rowland Heights Rowland and Charter Oak of Covina. He started against Rowland and went four innings of a mercy-shortened 14-0 victory and gave up two hits with a walk and five strikeouts. He didn’t start against Charter Oak but came on to pitch five innings of a 3-0 victory and once again gave up two hits and fanned five with two walks.

Jacobs didn’t pitch in the Saints 2-1 loss to unbeaten and state No. 5 Arcadia at the Frozen Rope, but he may have to this Saturday when they meet a second time at Arcadia. If they win their two games against Wilson this week, San Dimas will have won 20 straight since the loss to Arcadia so the Saints could have a chance to make a statement.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Tessa Magnanimo
(Chaminade, West Hills) Jr.

The destination is the San Fernando Valley for our Southern California softball honoree this week, where the bottom line last week in the three games she pitched in was don’t messa with Tessa.

Magnanimo didn’t start the game against Flintridge Sacred Heart of La Canada-Flintridge but she cleaned things up in the last two innings of a 9-5 victory by striking out six and not giving up a hit or walk. She came back two days later in a game against Mission League rival Alemany (Mission Hills) to pitch a 1-hitter with one walk and 10 strikeouts in a 5-0 victory. Then, on Saturday, in the first game of the Thousand Oaks Tournament, Magnanimo was magnificent once again after pitching a 3-hitter with 15 strikeouts and no walks for a second-straight shutout in a 7-0 victory over Poly of Sun Valley.

The junior hurler didn’t pitch in the second game of the Thousand Oaks tourney and Chaminade lost, just like the Eagles have two other times when Magnanimo has not been in the circle.

So far this season for the 11-6 Eagles, she’s 11-3 with a 0.97 ERA and has 123 strikeouts and a mere five walks in 79 innings pitched. Magnanimo has two no-hitters, including a 5-inning perfect game with 11 strikeouts in a 10-0 win over Bell.

Harold Abend is the associate editor of and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend

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