SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s SoCal/NorCal players of the week are Micaela Kastor of Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) & Fidel Ulloa of Lodi. Photos: &

We travel this week to the San Joaquin County wine region of Lodi, and then to the shadows of the Sutter Buttes for our Northern California honorees. For the south, it’s the Southern Orange County mission city of San Juan Capistrano, and then to the north-westerly edge of Los Angeles County and the community of Westlake Village.

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Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate anyone, email We are picking the winners on Monday nights for the rest of the spring season.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Fidel Ulloa
(Lodi) Sr.

The CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and the town of Lodi just north of Stockton is our destination for finding our Northern California Baseball Player of the Week. While the season ended last week for the Flames, and for Ulloa as a senior since his career is over as well, we wanted to send him out with a bang as this week’s NorCal award winner.

Last week, in a game with crosstown Tokay, Ulloa went out with a bang of his own after tossing a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts and four walks in a 2-1 season-ending victory. He also had a hit and a walk in two at-bats.

With that win, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Ulloa, who plays shortstop when he’s not on the mound, and last week was named one of the Stockton area’s top players by local Stockton Record, improved to 6-3 for the 13-5 Flames with a 0.77 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 45.2 innings pitched. Fidel had one no-hitter in a mercy-shortened 13-0 victory to open the season against Stockton Franklin.

While Ulloa has been a force on the mound, he’s been a terror for opposing pitchers when he’s at the plate where he led Lodi in most all offensive categories starting with a .564 batting average and 31 hits, two home runs, 10 doubles and 29 RBI, and tied for third with 15 runs scored.

The three-year standout varsity career for Fidel also has been swell for the Flames’ faithful. Ulloa finished with a 13-5 record and 1.62 ERA with 134 strikeouts in 117 innings pitched. As a batter, his career average ended at .388 with 64 hits and 47 RBI in 61 games played.

Sutter’s Riley Wickum is shown pitching for her club team. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Softball Player of the Week

Riley Wickum
(Sutter) Jr.

For our Northern California Softball Player of the Week honor, we head north of Sacramento and just west of Yuba City to a town that lies in the shadows of the majestic Sutter Buttes that rise from the floor of the Sacramento River valley.

Sutter is a small school in the CIF Northern Section that has always played tough against larger schools, particularly in football and softball, and for the game played with a yellow ball, Wickum has been a catalyst in helping the Huskies make a lot of noise for a small school. This week, due mainly to a win over an Elk Grove team that has been in the top three of the Sacramento Bee’s rankings, they have vaulted into the state rankings as the only small school in the TOP 35. Sutter was sitting at No. 33 with a 15-0 record.

The way Riley has treated opposing batters when she’s in the circle, or the other team’s pitcher with bat in hand, must make Wickum seen wicked to the opposition.

Last week, in a 300-mile round trip to Lassen of Susanville for a double header sweep against a solid Grizzlies team that had only lost one game coming into the matchup, Wickum got the win in both games.

In a 7-2 victory to open the day, Riley gave up one earned run, and pitched a 5-hitter with 11 strikeouts and no bases on balls. In the second game, a 12-2 victory, Wickum had a 4-hitter with six fanned and three walks.

At the plate in the first game Wickum was 2 for 4 with an RBI on her first triple of the season. In game two, she had a single that knocked in two runs and she walked.

Earlier in the week, Wickum may have been even more impressive in a that win over Elk Grove. Riley did give up three doubles of the seven hits she scattered, but the hosts could only muster one earned run off of her and she struck out eight with no walks in a 5-2 victory.

So far this season, and after a 12-2 victory over Gridley early this week for a 16th win, Wickum was 11-0 with a 1.00 ERA and 113 strikeouts and only 16 walks in 70 innings pitched. Her stats for the Gridley game had yet to be reported. She had three no-hitters and delighted the Huskies’ faithful with a 5-inning perfect game with 12 strikeouts in a season-opening 17-0 victory over Placer of Auburn.

Riley doesn’t lead Sutter in hitting, but she had a .522 batting average with the triple, five doubles and 19 runs batted in.

In her three-year varsity career as a pitcher, Wickum was listed at 13-1 with 136 strikeouts in 102.1 innings pitched. As a batter, she was hitting .414 with 49 RBI in 52 games played.

We’re sure Wickum would want to give a shout-out to several teammates, including junior Ella Jolley. She leads the team this season with a .650 average, four home runs and 28 knocked in.

Eric Silva (holding ball) was aided tremendously in his no-hitter last week for JSerra by catcher Colin Blanchard. Photo: @SteveGranado /

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Eric Silva
(JSerra, San Juan Capistrano) Sr.

Southern Orange County and the mission city of San Juan Capistrano is where we land just like the miracle of the cliff swallows of the town that return from their winter in Argentina in mid-March to the walls of the mission.

It’s in San Juan Capistrano that we find Silva, a senior pitcher who had a hand in taking down one of the state’s top ranked teams.

Last week, and in the middle of a three-game sweep of previous No. 5 Santa Margarita Catholic of Rancho Santa Margarita, Silva pitched a no-hitter in a 7-0 victory at home that was surrounded by 6-2 and 7-1 wins on the road. JSerra’s pitching staff, including Silva, is one reason why the team was No. 1 in the preseason state rankings. It was a rough start with several gut-wrenching close losses, but the Lions came into this week on a 12-game winning streak and had risen themselves back to No. 7 in the state at 16-5.

JSerra is not an old school, but considering the players who have come from the program and even just this season’s pitchers, Silva’s no-hitter made history. It’s the first one by a single pitcher in school history and the fourth in all. He faced just one batter above the minimum with three walks and seven strikeouts.

Silva is a UCLA commit and could be getting late attention for the upcoming MLB Draft. He’s been clocked at 97 mph and has been consistently in the low 90s. It takes more than high heat to no-hit a team in the Trinity League, though, and all of Eric’s pitches have been working lately.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Michaela Kastor
(Oaks Christian, Westlake Village) Jr.

There are a lot of schools along the border between Ventura County & L.A. County so it’s very easy to refer to players from Oaks Christian as from Ventura County when in fact it is located in L.A. County.

The only geography that our SoCal softball player of the week is worrying about these days is that area around home plate of a diamond. She’s been whipping pitches into that zone and also has been hammering the ones thrown by the other pitchers.

Kastor had two statement outings last week even though the Lions lost in one of them.

In the loss, it was 2-1 in nine innings in a showdown with state No. 3 and nationally ranked Westlake of Westlake Village. Kastor pitched all innings and had 10 strikeouts with just four hits allowed. The winning run came in on a wild pitch. She herself also was the reason that game went into extras as she hit a home run off of Stanford-bound Westlake ace Kylie Chung (who’s been a SoCal player of the week before).

Later last week, Micaela didn’t let that earlier game bother her. She led the Lions (No. 14 this week in the state) to a 6-0 win over Agoura by throwing a no-hitter and striking out eight. She also went 2-for-3 with two doubles.

Kastor was a standout for the Lions as a freshman at Oaks Christian when current UCLA phenom Maya Brady was a senior. She batted .409 with seven homers and 26 RBI. In the short season last spring before the pandemic hit, Micaela hit six homers in 10 games and batted .484.

With a fastball that has reached 69 mph and all that she’s done, some are wondering why some of the top college programs haven’t been after her more aggressively. She also has a 4.3 GPA.

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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