SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s honorees are Vincent Venverloh from Cathedral Catholic of San Diego and Miali Guachino from Great Oak of Temecula. Photos: & James Escarcega / Whittier SGV Prep Sports Zone.

While we had a couple of pitchers with a huge number of strikeouts, they don’t make the Cal-Hi Sports record book. Those two and all four honorees, however, were exceptional for the week and have been for the season. One of the four is a well-known national recruit, but the other three are not. Our stops this week are in San Diego and Temecula in Southern California, and in Northern California we visit Gilroy and Dixon.

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

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Vincent Venverloh (Cathedral Catholic, San Diego) Jr.

The northernmost part of the city of San Diego just over two miles east of the Pacific Ocean on Del Mar Heights Road in Carmel Valley is where we land in search of the Southern California Baseball Player of the Week and it’s at Cathedral Catholic that we find our award winner.

There are several Catholic school rivalries in geographical areas around the state, but none may be bigger than the rivalry between Cathedral Catholic and San Diego St. Augustine. That rivalry dates back almost 50 years before 2005 when Cathedral Catholic changed its name from University of San Diego High School and moved from its location across the street from the University of San Diego.

In fitting fashion, the baseball rivalry came at the end of Western League schedule in a three-game series last week, and it was Venverloh riding high with his bat and his arm in helping the Dons sweep all three games.

Last Monday, in a 5-1 home victory, the 5-foot-9, 175-pound junior started the game at second base but came on in relief to pitch scoreless baseball the last two innings and earned a save. With bat in hand he was 3-for-3 with a triple, double, an RBI and a run scored.

On Tuesday, the action shifted to just east of Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo at St. Augustine. In that game, Vincent didn’t pitch but his bat was still red hot as he went 2-for-2 with a sacrifice and he got plunked in a 9-1 win. This time he drove in three runs and scored twice.

After a day’s rest, it was back home for a tiebreaker game for the league title where the Dons squeaked out a 10-inning 4-3 victory after trailing 3-1 going into the bottom of the seventh. At the plate, Vincent had an RBI single that tied the game at 3-3, and he led off the bottom of the tenth with a walk and scored the walk-off run on an RBI single by teammate Cole Thompson. Besides his batting prowess, Venverloh also was the winning pitcher after he came on in relief in the sixth inning and allowed just an unearned run over the final five innings.

Cathedral Catholic needed to sweep and with it the Dons secured a share of the Western League title with cross-town Patrick Henry. They now play on Wednesday as the No. 2 seed in the CIF San Diego Section Division II playoffs

For college, Venverloh is committed to going across the street from the old “Uni” high since he plans on attending the University of San Diego.

Quinn Larson of Gilroy had 18 strikeouts and went 3-for-3 at the plate in a game last week. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Quinn Larson (Gilroy) Sr.

The search for this week’s Northern California Baseball Player of the Week takes us to Gilroy, better known as “The Garlic Capital of the World.” At Gilroy High we find a senior pitcher and outfielder who’s been red hot recently.

Last week, in a 5-0 Santa Teresa League victory at home over Piedmont Hills of San Jose that got the Mustangs to 17-6-1 and 13-1 in league to secure the title, Larson pitched a two-hit shutout with two walks and 18 strikeouts. At the plate, he was 3-for-3 with a home run, a walk, an RBI and two runs scored.

In his previous start two weeks ago, a 5-1 victory over San Jose Evergreen Valley, Quinn went six innings and tossed a one-hitter, he gave up an unearned run, struck out 12 and walked one batter.

So far this season and heading into the CIF Central Coast Section playoffs beginning this Saturday, Larson is 8-0 with a 0.59 ERA and he’s struck out 106 batters with only 17 walks, and he hasn’t given up an extra base hit in 47.2 innings pitched. At the plate he’s hitting for a .423 batting average with three home runs, 10 doubles, 14 RBI, 28n runs scored, and he’s stolen 19 bases.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Miali Guachino (Great Oak, Temecula) Jr.

To find the Southern California Softball Player of the Week, we head to far southern part of the Inland Empire around two miles east of I-15 in Temecula. At Great Oak is where our honoree plays and last Saturday she came up huge in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs.

Facing top-seeded Moorpark in the semifinals, Guachino overpowered the visitors from Ventura County after pitching a no-hitter with 20 strikeouts in a 7-0 win. In the victory, Miali was so dominant she only allowed one ball to be put in play.

It was only the second loss of the season for a previously No. 10 ranked Moorpark team that came into the semis with a 20-1 record.

Now, Guachino adds a statewide honor to being named the Inland Girls Athlete of the Week last week for what she did two weeks ago when she tossed a one-hitter with 15 strikeouts in a 5-0 win over Arcadia in the D2 opener. Miali also was 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs and four RBIs in that game.

Guachino is also one of the nation’s top pitchers and is ranked No. 9 in the Extra Innings Elite 100 for the Class of 2024.

With the triumph over Moorpark, the Old Miss-committed junior right-hander and her Wolfpack teammates now get a shot at the Southern Section D2 title when Guachino steps into the circle in Saturday’s marquee game at 6:30 pm to face Grand Terrace at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine.

The victory over Moorpark will also vault Great Oak into this week’s State TOP 25 rankings.

Dixon standout Audrey Graham is a Class of 2024 player who has committed to Santa Clara. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Softball Player of the Week

Audrey Graham (Dixon) Jr.

To find the Northern California Softball Player of the Week, we hit the I-80 corridor about halfway between Vacaville and Davis, and it’s at Dixon High where we locate this week’s award winner.

Last week was a big week for Graham and her Dixon Rams’ teammates.

In the first game on Monday, a mercy-shortened rout of Mesa Verde of Citrus Heights, Graham had a triple, a walk, was hit by a pitch, drove in four runs and scored three times.

On Wednesday on the road in Orangevale and in a 13-3 victory over Casa Roble that got Dixon to 20-6 and 11-1 in the Golden Empire League to gain a share of the league championship, Audrey was 4-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored.

Heading into the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, Dixon (20-6) is in the Division 4 bracket and is the top seed. The Rams have a bye in the first round on Tuesday and then play on Thursday against either Escalon or Sacramento El Camino.

Graham also played basketball for the Rams, but softball is her sport and she has a commitment to Santa Clara. At the end of the regular season, she was hitting .494 and she had scored 39 runs with 18 stolen bases.

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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  1. Jim hill
    Posted May 15, 2023 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations to Audrey Graham, an exciting and inspiring player for the Dixon Rams!

  2. Deb
    Posted May 16, 2023 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Congrats to Audrey Graham, who has been playing ball ever since she learned how to walk! She plays a good game, and we love watching her

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