SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s honorees are Savanah “Bear” Greeson of Antioch & Ryan Taymon of Arroyo Grande. Both are catchers. Photos: Antioch HS Softball & Courtesy Family.

With the girls basketball player of year honors needing to get out, we are a day late with the Player of the Week feature for baseball and softball but despite that we have some honorees that fit the criteria to a tee. Not only that but we had three real solid nominations from parents/coaches. This week we also have one honoree who also will get a state record book listing. She’s in Antioch with our other stops this week in San Diego, Santa Barbara and Arroyo Grande.

We hope you enjoy this free story on Cal-Hi For our state rankings packages in baseball and softball plus State Stat Stars of the Week, state record updates and special features, please check out our Gold Club membership today. If you’re not a member, CLICK HERE.

Notes: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate anyone, email

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Ryan Tayman (Arroyo Grande) Sr.

To land on our Northern California Baseball Player of the Week, we find ourselves in San Luis Obispo County and in the CIF Central Section around halfway between the city of San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria. We remind readers that the Central Section is considered Northern California for all players of the week features in all sports, boys and girls, but in the case of teams from San Luis Obispo County and some teams like those from Santa Maria in Santa Barbara County, prior to the 2017-18 school year they were part of the CIF Southern Section.

That’s more than enough about section history and geography. Let’s get back to Tayman and why he’s being honored.

Last week was a big one for the Eagles’ catcher. He started on Monday by going 3-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored in an 8-6 CCAA – Mountain League win over Cabrillo of Lompoc.

On Tuesday, and in a tournament 7-3 loss to St. Francis of Watsonville, Tayman had a home run and a double, two RBI and two runs scored, and on defense behind the plate, Ryan threw a runner out stealing second from his knees. Also in tournament action last week and in a 3-1 win against University Prep of Redding, despite the low score, he did blast a home run in a third straight game to go along with an RBI and a run scored.

The Arroyo Grande faithful will have to wait until Saturday when they return to league play with a doubleheader against Righetti of Santa Maria, but Tayman still has a shot to make the state record book if he can go yard in both games. It takes homers in five straight games to get onto the list.

Heading into the Saturday game, the Cal-committed Tayman is hitting .528 with five home runs.

Peyton Rodgers is a San Diego State commit who also had a CIF SoCal D2 regional shutout last season as a junior for Torrey Pines vs Rancho Bernardo. Photo: Anna Scipione / Torrey Pines Athletics.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Peyton Rodgers (Torrey Pines, San Diego) Jr.

We head to the northwestern portion of San Diego, a couple of miles east of the Pacific Ocean and a mile east of I-5 on Del Mar Heights Road to uncover the Southern California Baseball Player of the Week.

At Torrey Pines, we honor a junior pitcher who has a combination of a first and last name that would be perfect for a football quarterback. While he does play on the Falcons’ football team it’s not at quarterback but at slot back. Now, back to baseball, because on the mound in particular is where Rodgers has been doing some dominating on a Torrey Pines team that began this week at 14-2 on the season and was up to No. 17 in the latest Cal-Hi Sports state rankings.

Last week is a perfect example. On Monday, Peyton plastered a two-hitter with nine strikeouts and one walk in a 2-1 victory over Carlsbad. Rogers also had a hit, a walk, stole a base and scored a run with bat in hand.

On Monday of this week, Rogers duplicated the two-hitter with seven strikeouts and no walks in six-innings of work in a 4-0 shutout of San Marcos. He walked and stole a base and scored a run as well.

In the start before Carlsbad, Peyton spun a no-hitter with seven strikeouts and was a walk away from a perfect game in a 4-0 win against El Cajon Christian. He also had a walk, stolen base and scored a run.

The line for his last three starts and 20 innings pitched showed Peyton with one run, four hits, two bases on balls, and 23 strikeouts. And he’s a player who was at his best last season as a junior in huge wins, especially the shutout he had of Rancho Bernardo in the CIF SoCal D2 semifinals. Torrey Pines went on to win that regional title, but defending it probably isn’t going to happen only because the team and Rodgers likely will be in D1.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Savanah “Bear” Greeson (Antioch) Sr.

Every so often we come across a story that not only covers all the bases but it’s a “feel good” one as well. To tell the story of a virtual unknown that’s now made statewide headlines, we head to the delta area of East Contra Costa and the city of Antioch.

In Antioch we find our Northern California Softball Player of the Week, and it’s the Panthers’ senior catcher named Savanah Greeson. In a bit of a twist, naming Greeson gives us back-to-back weeks with a NorCal honoree nicknamed after a wild animal.

Last week the Baseball Player of the Week was Justin “Moose” Cuellar of Tulare Union of Tulare. This week we’re graced with the “Bear.”

Had we not stumbled across a story by local resident and veteran prep sports scribe Mitch Stephens of Scorebooklive, we probably would never have heard about the “Bear” and what she did last week that not only erased a more than decade long losing streak, but also etched the name of Greeson into the annals of California girls softball history.

Last week is when it happened in a 12-11 Bay Valley Athletic League victory at home against perennial league and NorCal power Heritage of Brentwood.

Trailing 11-3 with only three outs left for Antioch, “Bear” led off the inning with a home run to right-centerfield and it was 11-4. Three walks and two hit batters by the Heritage pitcher brought in two more runs and Antioch had an 11-6 deficit.

An infield hit by Greeson’s freshman sister Isabelle made it 11-7, and then more Heritage wildness with a passed ball and a walk plated another run. Now “Bear” came to the plate facing an 11-8 deficit with the bases loaded.

Greeson was more like Cinderella than a bear because you guessed it, she hit a ball to the exact same spot as the earlier solo shot, only this time it was a walk-off grand slam home run.

The victory over Heritage broke a 12-season, 24-game losing streak against a Heritage team that had beaten them 12-2 just two days before the epic re-match.

Greeson finished the game 3-for-5 with the two round trippers, six RBI and two runs scored.

With the two home runs in one inning, “Bear” joins 11 others on the Most Home Runs (Inning) list in the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book. No one has ever hit three home runs in an inning and the last time anyone had two was in 2015 by Maddy Dwyer of Orange Lutheran.

So far this season when the Panthers were 9-8, Greeson was batting .434 with seven home runs, 20 RBI and 17 runs scored, but in years to come the Antioch faithful may not remember what the Panthers record was in the 2023 season, or what Greeson’s numbers will be at the end of the season. The thing they’ll remember is the day “Bear” mauled Heritage.

Caitlyn Early from San Marcos of Santa Barbara has committed to Notre Dame and has hit five homers in the last week. Photo: Courtesy Family.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Caitlyn Early (San Marcos, Santa Barbara) Jr.

An area known as the Gold Coast is our landing spot in the search for the Southern California Softball Player of the Week, and it’s in Santa Barbara off Highway 1 at San Marcos High that we locate our winner. San Marcos actually also isn’t far from our NorCal baseball player of the week winner in Arroyo Grande. It’s just that one is in the CIF Southern Section while the other in the CIF Central Section.

Last week was a big one for the Notre Dame-committed shortstop but it didn’t come in Channel League action. Instead, it was at the Best of the West Tournament, and against some pretty tough competition.

In the five games combined last week against Atascadero, Chaminade of West Hills, Bakersfield Stockdale, Sutter and Lompoc, the Royals’ junior bopper went 7-for-15 with four home runs, a double, a walk, eight RBI, six runs scored and a stolen base. Against Stockdale, and in an 8-8 tie, Early got on pitches early and blasted two round-trippers.

Already this week on Monday Caitlyn had a two RBI double in a league loss to Ventura, and then on Tuesday in a blowout of cross-town Santa Barbara she hit another home run and also had a double with five RBI and two runs scored.

So far this season, and heading into a Friday re-match with Santa Barbara, Early leads the team hitting at .447, home runs with 12, RBI with 33, plus she has five doubles, 27 runs scored, only seven strikeouts in 86 plate appearances, five stolen bases and a .966 fielding percentage at shortstop with only three errors in 89 total chances.

The 12 home runs by Early also are tied for the No. 3 reported mark in the state and the CIF Southern Section.

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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One Comment

  1. Courtney Dale
    Posted April 21, 2023 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Clovis North 3 Central 0
    WP Ryans Maddox 14ks
    Maddox 2-4 1 run
    Sipe 1-3 rbi
    Lucas 1-3 rbi

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