NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week are Marissa Bertuccio from Golden Valley (Merced) and Dylan Cook from Ayala of Chino Hills. Photos: Andrew Kuhn/Merced Sun-Star & @TheBorasClassic.


One of those getting the nod this week does so for pitching probably one of the most impressive baseball no-hitters from a large school in the history of Kern County. It’s also a good week to highlight the pitching and slugging prowess of one of the top players from the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section. This week’s fabulous foursome are from the towns of Bakersfield, Merced, Chino Hills and Torrance.

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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.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Softball Player of the Week

Marissa Bertuccio
(Golden Valley, Merced) Sr.

We go to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and the agricultural city of around 85,000 residents for our Northern California softball award winner where we find a girl named Marissa who has a blistering bat at the plate and has been just as dominant if not more from the circle.

The Cougars have clawed their way to a 14-1 record and a 6-0 mark in the Central California Conference and a big part of the reason is Marissa. We’re honoring her for what is a career-type four-game stretch performance.

Last week she had a big hand in four victories but despite being just 5-foot-6 the Sacramento State-bound Bertuccio showed some bravado after hitting four of her five home runs this season in the four wins. Plus, you guessed it, Marissa was in the circle for all four wins just as she has been every game this season.

In a 12-2 win over Buhach Colony of Atwater, she was 3-for-3 with a home run, three RBI and three runs scored. She pitched a three-hitter with seven strikeouts but she did give up her only home run this season and two of the five earned runs she’s allowed. Her next victim was Patterson and in this game Bertuccio got her ninth shutout and third one-hitter of the season with 10 strikeouts in a 7-0 victory. At the plate, she didn’t homer but had a triple and a single in four at-bats with three RBI and two runs scored.

Next up was crosstown rival Merced where she hit two home runs and singled, drove in four and scored twice in a 7-2 victory. Bertuccio also tossed a two-hitter with 12 strikeouts but did give up two more of the five earned runs this season. Finally, Marissa got her 10th shutout and fourth one-hitter of the season in a 8-0 victory over crosstown El Capitan. In four at-bats, she also she homered and doubled with an RBI and one run scored.

We’ll help you with the remedial math. Four games, seven hits, four long taters, two additional extra base hits, 11 RBI, and nine runs scored.

We’ll skip the pitching four-game mathematics and go right to season totals where she is 14-1 with a 0.38 ERA, a perfect game (13 strikeouts) in a season-opening 2-0 win over Turlock, 174 strikeouts and only seven walks in 91.2 innings and 328 batters faced, and her field percentage is perfect.

Bertuccio is batting .600 with the five home runs, two triples, five doubles, 21 RBI, 23 runs scored, and while the only thing she didn’t do last week was steal a base, Marissa does have five this season.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Kade Sheedy
(Stockdale, Bakersfield) Sr.

We go just about as far south as you can go in what we consider Northern California in this feature for our baseball award winner, where there’s nothing shady about Sheedy and his efforts to keep the stock up for Stockdale in hopes of a repeat of last year’s CIF Central Section Division I championship.

The Mustangs haven’t been exactly romping after a 9-8 start and a 5-5 record in the always tough Southwest Yosemite League, but Kade has made the most of it when head coach Brad Showers has put the ball in his hand and sent him out to the mound.

Last week, Sheedy took it to another level in a 6-0 shutout victory over crosstown Centennial, with some calling it one of the most dominating performances in the Bakersfield area in decades.

Not only did the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo-bound Sheedy whitewash the Golden Hawks but the 6-foot, 200-pound right-hander pitched a no-hitter with 18 strikeouts. Kade was so dominant that he only needed 97 pitches, and of the three outs where he didn’t fan the batter, two were popped up and one was a grounder to second, with not a single ball leaving the infield. At one point he struck out 10 straight batters. With bat in hand, Kade also was 1-for-2 with an RBI single that drove in the only run he needed.

So far this season Sheedy is 3-0 in seven appearances with a 1.30 ERA and 48 strikeouts and only nine walks in 27 innings pitched and 106 batters faced. That translates into him striking out over 45 percent of the batters he’s faced.

As a batter he’s a little down from last year when he hit over .300 but he’s hitting .286 and is tied for second on the team with 14 runs scored.

“Kade is a veteran and one of the few holdovers from the Stockdale team that won the Central Section Division I title in 2018. He’s strong armed, has his fastball up in the 90s and is definitely one of the top pitchers in the section this season,” said Bakersfield Californian prep writer Trevor Horn, who has covered Sheedy throughout his high school career.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Dylan Cook
(Ayala, Chino Hills) Sr.

To say Cook has been cooking up a storm recently for the 19-3 Bulldogs, who are now up to No. 10 in the most recent Cal-Hi Sports state rankings, would be a bit of an understatement since Dylan has been really thrilling Ayala fans with his hitting and pitching.

As a batter, the Utah Valley-bound Cook was a model of consistency in three Ayala wins last week after getting two hits in each of the Bulldogs’ three wins.

In a 9-0 victory over Glendora, our SoCal baseball honoree’s two hits were doubles and he had two RBI and a run scored. In the first game of a home and away series with Alta Loma, he hit a home run that delighted the home fans, plus he singled and once again had two RBI and a run scored in a 5-2 win. On the road at Alta Loma he did it with his bat and arm. At the plate, Dylan had a triple, a single, an RBI and a run scored. From the mound, Cook scattered six hits and he struck out four with no walks.

So far this season, Cook is hitting .310 with three home runs, two triples, four doubles, 16 RBI and 16 runs scored, plus five stolen bases. His pitching has been excellent as well with a 6-1 record and a 1.07 ERA in eight appearances. His 36 strikeouts in 46 innings is not overpowering but he gets batters out and doesn’t give a lot of free passes as he has only walked six in 175 batters faced.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Ryann Orange
(Torrance) Fr.

We don’t discriminate between seniors, juniors, sophomores or freshmen when choosing our players of the week, otherwise we wouldn’t be going to the South Bay to honor a freshman Orange who’s been seeing yellow, as in that grapefruit-sized yellow ball, as our Southern California softball award winner.

Last week, Ryann was pretty much totally responsible for two of the Tartars wins in three games Torrance played last week, 10-2 over crosstown North of Torrance and a 9-1 against Burbank, before losing to JSerra (San Juan Capistrano) in the title game of the Woodbridge (Irvine) tournament

In the two games, she went 6 for 7 at the plate with a grand slam home run against Burbank, 10 RBI and five runs scored.

We forgot to mention Orange also pitches where she was equally dominant in the circle in the two games, allowing three runs with two earned, eight hits and 10 strikeouts.

With her performance at Woodbridge, Orange can now add a statewide honor to her being chosen as the Daily Breeze Player of the Week.

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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