NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week are Sean Mullen from Stockdale of Bakersfield and Rachel Cid of Tracy. Both will in the Pac-12 Conference next season. Photos: TurnTo23.com & ExtraInningSoftball.com.


Three of our honorees this week are done after sparking their teams to section titles, including two of them who will be in the Pac-12 Conference next year. We couldn’t pick someone from SoCal baseball who is done for the year, but did go with a top pitcher from the CIF L.A. City Section who didn’t have a game until Wednesday of this week.

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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 markjtennis@gmail.com. Next week will be the final set of players written up for the 2018 season in baseball and softball so be sure to get a nomination in.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Sean Mullen
(Stockdale, Bakersfield) Sr.

Last week we went to the far north to Red Bluff for our winner and this week we go 425 miles south on Interstate 5 to Bakersfield.

Pacific Gas and Electric agrees with us that Bakersfield is in Northern California so we must know something when we go to the southernmost part of the CIF Central Section this week for our NorCal baseball honoree. Not only are we going to Bakersfield but we’re going with someone that is not by any means off the radar screen like we sometimes like to do.

There has been no question the 6-foot-1, 175-pound right-handed pitcher and slugger has been the best all-around player on this year’s Mustangs’ squad, but the icing on top of the cake was the way Mullen got it done in the biggest game of the season.

He only had one hit in four at-bats so it wasn’t his greatest day at the plate, but his personal hit total matched the output of the Clovis West (Fresno) team he faced in a 6-0 victory that allowed new state No. 15 Stockdale to claim the CIF Central Section Division I title.

After he stole a base, the UCLA-bound Mullen scored a run off his hit so he personally had more than Clovis West, and had not the Golden Eagles scratched out a hit in the sixth inning against him Sean would have had a no-hitter. For good measure he picked the best day possible to have a season high 12 strikeouts.

For the season, Mullen finishes with an 8-1 record and a very solid 1.30 ERA plus 72 strikeouts and only 22 walks in 53.2 innings pitched. At the plate, he was second on the team with a .394 batting average, led the team with seven home runs and 45 runs scored, and was second with 31 runs batted in, plus he stole 16 bases.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Softball Player of the Week

Rachel Cid
(Tracy) Sr.

In the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section double elimination format, Tracy came into the Division I championship game showdown last week with defending champion Sheldon of Sacramento needing to be beaten twice since the Bulldogs had won their first four games, including an 8-3 victory over Sheldon.

Sheldon won the first game 4-2 but could not sweep and four-peat. The result is Tracy won its first-ever CIFSJS title in the 43-year history of the program and Cid was a huge part of the eight-inning 8-5 title game victory.

The Bulldogs trailed 4-2 after one inning and 5-3 after five, but they came alive in the bottom of the sixth thanks to the bat of Cid, the Oregon-bound senior shortstop.

Cid, who according to the Tracy Press, celebrated her 18th birthday on the day of the game, already had blasted a two run home run to stake the Bulldogs to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but with Olivia Smith on base for the second time in front of her, Cid went to left field for a long bomb after the first one was to right, and the game was deadlocked at 5-5 after six.

It would be unfair not to give a shout out to a few of Rachel’s teammates that got it done in the bottom of the eighth.

Marti Rhinehart and junior pitcher Karina Faasisila hit back to back home runs and an RBI single by Emily Yanke broke it open, and Faasisila shut the door on Sheldon in the bottom of the eighth to secure the title. Cid ended up 2-for-4 with the two 2-run home runs and two runs scored.

Cid may only be 5-foot-3 but she can sure put a charge in the yellow ball and gobbles it up at shortstop. She’s not only going to Oregon, but was No. 9 in the first Class of 2018 national recruit rankings put out by the new ExtraInningSoftball.com website.

She led the team in hitting, home runs and RBI with a .564 batting average, nine round-trippers and 41 driven in, and also was tops with four triples and tied for tops on the team with 32 runs scored. Her 1.115 slugging percentage is almost off the charts. As a fielder playing short, Cid only had three errors in 81 total chances.

Boaz can leave for Boston University knowing she played a huge role in bringing a section title to her school. Photo: get.google.com.


Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Allison Boaz
(Rancho Bernardo, San Diego) Sr.

We rarely go to the same school twice in the same season, and almost never in back-to-back weeks, but as the funnel narrows and there are less teams to choose from, and with our goal to not always honor girls and boys that get a lot of statewide props, we go back to Broncos’ territory again and Allison is the SoCal softball selection. Plus, her story and the entire Rancho Bernardo girls’ softball saga are pretty amazing indeed.

All season and particularly in the playoffs, Boaz has jazzed up her game and the result is Rancho Bernardo is somewhat of a surprise winner of the CIF San Diego Section Division I title after a 3-0 victory over Eastlake of Chula Vista.

Not only did Allison shut down Eastlake with a four-hitter, Boaz razzed Eastlake with an RBI double that accounted for what turned out as the only run Rancho Bernardo would need with her tossing a shutout.

A twist to this saga and what makes her accomplishments even more impressive is to even qualify for the CIFSDS D1 playoffs Rancho Bernardo had to win a play-in game, and did so after the Boston University-commit hit a walk-off two-run homer and pitched a shutout against West Hills in a nine-inning 2-0 victory.

Now the Boston University-bound Boaz gets to join Rancho Bernardo star Nick Seamons, last week’s baseball honoree, as this week’s SoCal softball award winner, and after reading her story you can see why we went back-to-back with the Broncos.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Bryan Andrade
(Cleveland, Reseda) Sr.

To the San Fernando Valley we go for the only honoree of our four selections this week that still has at least a game to play.

You can certainly rest assured Andrade will be ready on Wednesday when he and his Cavaliers teammates take the field in the CIF Los Angeles City Section Open Division semifinals against El Camino Real of Woodland Hills.

Don’t let the 15-13 record of Cleveland fool you. They’re the Open Division top seed after splitting with and tying for the West Valley League crown with perennial power Chatsworth and Andrade has been a huge part of it with his performances on the mound this season.

Last week in the quarterfinals against Wilmington Banning, the senior right-hander and Cavaliers’ top pitcher tossed a four-hit shutout in a 3-0 victory to get him to 9-3 on the season with a very respectable 2.61 ERA.

In the first meeting with Chatsworth in the West Valley format that has teams play each other in the same week, meaning Andrade could only pitch the first game, he shut down Chatsworth and made a statement of things to come for Cleveland in the league opener by tossing a five-hitter with five strikeouts in a 10-0 victory.

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


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