NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of our very first NorCal/SoCal player of the week honorees for the spring softball and baseball seasons are Tiare Jennings of Long Beach St. Anthony & Aidan Berger of Palo Alto. Both are headed to major college programs. Photos: the562.org & vikingsportsmag.com.


For this first group of players of the week for the 2020 season in baseball and softball, we have one senior, two juniors and one sophomore. All four have begun the spring with more than one impressive performance with one of them already having six home runs. The honorees are from Chino Hills, Palo Alto, Long Beach and Tulare.

We hope you enjoy this free story on Cal-Hi Sports.com. For our State Top 25 rankings packages for baseball & softball (regular season starting this week) plus state record updates as they arise plus more exclusive content, please check out our Gold Club membership today. If you’re not a member, CLICK HERE.

Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate anyone, email markjtennis@gmail.com. We pick the winners on Monday nights.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Aidan Berger (Palo Alto) Jr.

For our first stop this week, we go right across the street from Stanford University to look in on a promising catcher who has already committed to UCLA and not the Cardinal.

Berger has been on Paly’s varsity baseball team since he was a freshman and as a sophomore last season he was outstanding behind the plate while also batting .432 with 18 runs scored and 18 RBI for one of the top teams in the CIF Central Coast Section.

The Vikings have other graduation holes to fill, but have started 2020 with wins against St. Ignatius of San Francisco, Sacred Heart Prep of Atherton and Westmont of Campbell.

Aidan did more than just aid the pitching staff in those wins. In last week’s triumphs over Westmont and SHP, he went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI plus he went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

If he can continue that kind of production, more honors than just being a player of the week may be headed in Berger’s direction.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Andreas Pasillas (Ayala, Chino Hills) Soph.

There are several players for the Bulldogs who have started the season swinging hot bats, including Cole Koniarsky, Ty Borgogno and Sean McLeod, but it was the pitching that was viewed as a question mark in the preseason and since Pasillas has been the early leader of a staff that has helped Ayala to a 7-0 start (and a new State Top 25 ranking that will be revealed on Wednesday) we’re going with him as this week’s SoCal player of the week.

The 6-foot sophomore left-hander also was just named MVP of the Loara of Anaheim tourney, which Ayala captured with a 6-3 victory in the championship game over a La Mirada squad that was No. 2 in the preseason state rankings and was No. 1 in the preseason L.A. Times rankings. Pasillas didn’t get a decision in a pitching duel with Bishop Amat of La Puente in the tournament, but he gave up no runs, four hits and struck out three in six innings. Ayala eventually won that game 5-1 in eight innings.

It’s more for what Andreas has done in his first reported three starts that has nabbed him this honor. He’s gone 18 innings in all (three separate six-inning stints) and has only allowed one run with 11 strikeouts and a 0.39 ERA. In those other two games, Ayala defeated Canyon of Anaheim and Esperanza of Anaheim.

Ayala fans aren’t going to forget the pitchers from last year — Joe Naranjo, Dylan Cook and Diego Santiago — who were all critical in the team going 25-6 and sitting near the top 10 of the state rankings. But Pasillas is perhaps on his way to a breakout season.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Tiare Jennings (St. Anthony, Long Beach) Sr.

There’s a lot to respect about our first SoCal softball player of the week for the 2020 season.

First, Tiare is coming off a junior season at St. Anthony that was missed due to an injury. It didn’t prevent her from getting major college recruiting attention (which these days is based on what coaches see during the club season anyway) and she has signed with Oklahoma. And second, not only is Tiare playing this season for the Saints in softball, she also played high school volleyball for them in the fall and was an all-league player.

Jennings isn’t just messing around with her friends for St. Anthony softball so far this season, either. She’s messing around with opposing pitchers.

In a Monday game for this week, the future boomer Sooner went 5-for-5 with a homer, double, five RBI and six runs scored in a 16-6 romp past Norwalk. Tiare also crowned Trabuco Hills of Mission Viejo in her first game with a pair of homers and she went 4-for-4 with four RBI in a win against Long Beach Jordan.

In helping St. Anthony get out to an 8-0 start, Jennings was batting .710 with six homers and 19 RBI. Her six homers is also showing as the early lead for the state according to MaxPreps.

We’re sure that Tiare would also like to give a shout out to some of her teammates since she’s been with a few of them at St. Anthony since they were freshmen and part of a team that won the CIF Southern Section D6 title. One of those, Thessa Malauulu, hit .508 last season, scored 28 runs and has signed with UCLA.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Softball Player of the Week

Mia Reynolds (Tulare) Jr.

For this last stop this week, we exit Highway 99 in the Central Valley in between Fresno and Bakersfield for a visit at historic Tulare High. There we check out a hurler & hitter for the Tribe who like the other three honorees this week has been sizzling to start the season.

Whether in the circle or with bat in hand, Mia hasn’t been missing in action for Tulare’s first four games, all wins. In the season-opener, the Tribe blew past Washington of Easton, 8-0, as Reynolds rapped out three hits in four at-bats with four RBI and in the same game she tossed a one-hitter with 12 strikeouts.

In two games last week, Mia was the winning pitcher in both, including a two-hitter with 12 strikeouts against Reedley. She also went 3-for-4 with two RBI vs. Sunnyside of Fresno and went 2-for-3 with four RBI vs. Reedley.

Reynolds had a breakout game of sorts last year and was a local athlete of the week when she knocked in the game’s only run and had a one-hitter with 15 strikeouts facing Washington of Easton when that team still had all-state pitcher-hitter Sidney Kuma on its roster.

And to close this week, we’ll remind readers again that CIF Central Section players for this feature are always considered from Northern California.

It’s a long season, but it’ll be over in a flash so don’t be bashful about nominating deserving players for these honors.

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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One Comment

  1. Tyrone steenburgh
    Posted March 4, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    That’s my grand daughter Always doing her best in in soft ball and volley ball and most of all in her Education great job Tiare . We are very proud of you.😊👍❤️

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