NorCal / SoCal Players of the Week

Two of the final 2020-21 Players of the Week are Matt Moses from Del Campo of Fair Oaks and Carly Koltko from Redondo of Redondo Beach. Photos: Courtesy School &

This will be the final week for the Baseball and Softball Players of the Week since Northern California, except for the CIF Central Section, has concluded play. It turns out there was one player from the Sacramento area we could still honor since his last game was last week. We also went with one of the amazing sluggers from a softball team that competed a 26-0 season. For SoCal, our stops are at Redondo Beach and once again we hit the San Diego East County town of El Cajon.

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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

Matt Moses (Del Campo, Fair Oaks) Soph.

For our Northern California Baseball Player of the Week honor, we head to the Sacramento metro area around 20 miles east of the state capitol not far from Interstate 80 and from a school well-known as the home of MLB manager Dusty Baker.

In Fair Oaks, we find a slugger/hitter named Matt Moses, and while he might only be a sophomore, and with no playoffs in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section, Moses couldn’t lead Del Campo to the Promised Land. Still, Matt’s bat made a lot of noise this past season in helping lead the Cougars to a respectable 20-9 record.

As we were looking for our award winner, we came across the nomination for an all state spot for Moses by his coach, Kevin Dawidczik, and while we filed it for future reference when it comes time to make our All State selections, it became apparent Moses met the mustard to be this week’s honoree.

Last week, in the final game of the season, and in a win that secured a 12-3 second place finish in the Capital League, was like another day in the classroom for Moses. The Cougars’ centerfielder was on base all four at bats after going 2 for 2 with two walks, two stolen bases, an RBI and a run scored in a 6-1 victory over Christian Brothers of Sacramento that gave Del Campo a three-game sweep of the Falcons. In the first two games, 5-2 and 7-4 victories, Moses had a couple of hits, stole two bases, and scored twice.

On the season, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound right-hander who was the league’s Offensive MVP, hit .505 on 54 hits with a home run, triple, six doubles, 22 RBI, 37 runs scored, and 18 stolen bases. Stats reported to MaxPreps don’t include a category for hits, but scouring down the list of top hitters to see how many hits they had, the 54 hits ties for the No. 2 mark in both the Sac-Joaquin Section and the state.

Matt also pitches, and Moses mows them down from the mound as well. In six appearances, he was 3-0 with a 1.58 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 17.2 innings pitched.

Jaz Hsiao and just about all of the top players from this year’s team at St. Francis will be back next season. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Softball Player of the Week

Jaz Hsiao (St. Francis, Mountain View) Jr.

The destination in our search for the Northern California Softball Player of the Week choice takes us just northwest of San Jose and not too far from the southern shores of San Francisco Bay, and to a school and a softball team that is tops in Northern California and No. 4 in the most recent Cal-Hi Sports rankings.

Head coach Mike Oakland has some big boppers, most notably his daughter, Minnesota-bound senior Jessica Oakland, but among the Lancers’ other bats are some other girls that can put a charge in that yellow ball, and do it with some pizzazz, and one of them is Jaz.

A lot of bats were live last week, including Oakland, and she and other Lancers girls, likely including Hsiao, will be garnering all state honors when they come out, but our NorCal honoree this week has to be Jaz after her performances last week in the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division playoffs.

Hsiao started the playoffs by going 2 for 3, with both hits home runs, four RBI and two runs scored in an 11-0 shellacking of San Mateo Hillsdale. Then, in a 9-1 semifinal victory by the No. 1 seed over fourth-seeded Aragon of San Mateo, Jaz blasted a grand slam home run, walked and scored a run.

She finished the season in style by launching two more round-trippers, both solo shots, in a 6-0 victory over No. 2 seed and state No. 21 Notre Dame of Salinas to secure the title.

“She had quite a week,” said Oakland with a chuckle when told his junior star was being honored.

Quite a week indeed. Her line reads like this; 5 for 9 with all five hits home runs, 10 RBI, five runs scored, plus she had a walk, and although she did make four outs, none were by strikeout.

For the entire 26-0 season, the second-best undefeated season in Central Coast Section history behind the 32-0 of the 2009 Keilani Ricketts-led 32-0 Archbishop Mitty Monarchs of San Jose, Hsiao put up some very solid numbers on a team that was an offensive juggernaut and outscored opponents 267-30 combined. She hit .431 with nine home runs, a triple, five doubles, 29 RBI and 25 runs scored, five stolen bases, and she walked 14 times and only struck out seven times.

It’s at this point that Jaz would want us to give a shout out to her Lancers’ teammates. Heck, in some years nine home runs would be tops on a lot of teams, leagues or in some cases even sections, but on this year’s St. Francis team the nine long taters didn’t even lead the team in home runs, In fact, it was third. Oakland, who hit four home runs in the CCS playoffs, will end the season by leading the state in reported homers with 19. That is also a new NorCal record. Junior Sydni Stewart tied for seventh in the state with 12 home runs.

As a team, St. Francis hit 55 home runs this past season. According to the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book, that total is the sixth most all time and tied with Cerritos Gahr (57 home runs in 26 games in 2017) for doing it in the second fewest games of the top six marks.

All that Jaz and then some for a great team.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Caleb Hommel (Grossmont, El Cajon) Sr.

To find our Southern California Baseball Player of the Week honoree, we land in the East County area of the CIF San Diego Section in El Cajon. There we find a senior slugger who had a big part in sending Grossmont into the Open Division title game.

On Tuesday, in a 10-2 victory by the third-seeded Foothillers over No. 6 seed La Costa Canyon, Hommel was 3 for 4 with a home run, four RBI and a run scored. The victory by Grossmont in the double elimination format the CIFSDS uses meant the season was over for La Costa Canyon after it had lost 7-5 to Grossmont to open the playoffs last Wednesday. In that game, Caleb didn’t have a hit but he walked twice and drove in a run.

In Grossmont’s second playoff game, Hommel was 2 for 3 with a home run, two RBI and a run scored in a 4-2 victory over Santana (Santee) that set up the second meeting with La Costa Canyon.

With the three wins, Grossmnt won the Open Division Lower Bracket and now meets top-seeded and Upper Bracket winner San Marcos on Saturday for the championship.

Going into the weekend, Hommel is hitting .474 with 11 home runs, 10 doubles, 55 RBI, and 33 runs scored.

In some seasons, 11 home runs would lead most teams and leagues, but in a bit of a twist although his reported round-trippers is tied for No. 6 in the state, it’s only No. 3 in the San Diego Section and No. 2 on the Foothillers. That distinction goes to fellow senior Isaiah Gomez. His 14 home runs are No. 2 in the state and tops in the section.

On a final note, we couldn’t help but play a name game. When we looked at his name, Caleb Hommel, it immediately reminded us of a player we covered in the early 2000’s from San Diego Rancho Bernardo that has gone on to a great Major League career, Cole Hamels. Can he go on to the majors as a slugger, and can Hommel be as impactful as Hamels with bat in hand? Who knows. The saga continues this weekend.

Somewhere in there is No. 21, Caleb Hommel from Grossmont of El Cajon, the final SoCal Player of the Week in baseball for the 2020-21 school year. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Carly Koltko (Redondo Union, Redondo Beach) Sr.

That fine sliver of beach just south of Manhattan Beach and west of Torrance is where we land in our search for the Southern California Softball Player of the Week.

We set down at Redondo Union, a stone’s throw away from the Pacific Ocean and the Redondo Beach Pier. There we find a pitcher and slugger who has the Sea Hawks on the precipice of a CIF Southern Section championship.

Heading into a Saturday afternoon showdown with Sultana of Hesperia for the CIF Southern Section Division 3 title, the Sea Hawks, who started 0-2 and 1-5 to begin the season, have now won 14 straight games and Koltko has been a big part of that success.

Last week, in a 3-2 victory over Beckman of Irvine in the semifinals, Koltko cooled off the host Patriots bats and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before she got touched up a bit in the seventh. She still ended up with a 2-hitter with seven strikeouts.

In the Beckman win, her bat didn’t play a part in the outcome but it did in the quarterfinals when Koltko was hot at the plate and in the circle in a 7-5 come from behind victory over Don Lugo of Chino. With bat in hand, she had three hits and drove in a run. In the circle, she did give up six hits and three earned runs, but she struck out seven and after the Sea Hawks got three runs in the top of the seventh inning, she shut the door on the host Conquistadors in the bottom of the seventh.

Heading into the title game, the Sacred Heart University-bound Koltko is 15-3 in 21 starts and 22 appearances with a 2.20 ERA and 176 strikeouts with 60 walks in 137 innings pitched. At the plate, she’s hitting .392 and leads the team with seven home runs and 25 runs batted in.

Koltko now adds a statewide honor to a local one as she was named the Daily Breeze Player of the Week for her recent performances.

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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