26 Jun 19
The 2018-19 baseball and softball Humboldt-Del Norte League All-County selections are in and with them, one last chance to salute the student-athletes who put together memorable seasons.
The Big 5 Conference saw all four of its MVP nods go to McKinleyville High while St. Bernard’s landed three of the four Little 4 Conference MVP winners.
Baseball — Big 5 MVPs
2019 saw the McKinleyville High baseball team win its first Big 5 title since 1996 and the shutdown pitching of Cameron Saso combined with the power-hitting of Dustin Ireland were two of the biggest reasons why — making both clear choices for Big 5 Co-Most Valuable Player honors.
Saso started nine games in 2019 and earned the win in eight of them. The incoming senior finished his year with a 1.17 ERA and 75 strikeouts over 59.2 innings pitched. Ireland, a senior last season, led the Big 5 in batting average (0.468), hits (37) and RBIs (30).
McKinleyville’s Corbin Eichin, Lance Lally and Kyler Carr each were named to the Big 5 All-Conference team.
Softball — Big 5 MVPs
2019 was a truly historic season for McKinleyville High softball. The Panthers finished the season with a Big 5 title, as Charles Lakin H-DNL Tournament winners and as North Coast Section D-IV champions — its first NCS title since 1988. The team also won a program-record 23 games last season.
Panthers’ pitcher McKenzie Gonsalves and position player Olivia Alves garnered Co-MVP awards — clear cut choices off of what was perhaps the best Panthers team, ever.
Gonsalves, the starter and winner in the majority of McKinleyville’s games in 2019, closed out her high school career with a complete-game four-hitter in an 11-1 win over St. Patrick St. Vincent in the NCS D-IV title games. Alves, McKinleyville’s catcher and likewise a senior last season, had two hits and a run scored in the win over SPSV.
Jaycee Morais, Lexi White and Grace Rosebrook all made the Big 5 All-Conference team.
Baseball — Little 4 MVPs
If Caleb Ruiz started the game or entered it in 2019, you could count on two handfuls of strikeouts. The lone senior on the St. Bernard’s baseball team recorded 127 strikeouts in 62 innings pitcher — an average of just over two strikeouts per inning. That gaudy stat line line combined with his 0.90 ERA made the soon-to-be College of the Redwoods player a shoe-in for Little 4 MVP honors.
Caleb Ruiz, pitcher for St. Bernard’s, was named the Little 4 Conference Co-MVP along with teammate Hunter Davis. (Jose Quezada — For the Times-Standard)
“Caleb’s just a competitor,” St. Bernard’s head coach Matt Tomlin said. “His fastball touches 88 miles per hour and he has a really sharp breaking ball. His development from his freshman to senior season was more than you’ve seen out of a pitcher in a long time; his improvement was amazing.”
Hunter Davis, a true captain of the defense at catcher and one of the Crusaders’ most lethal hitters, earned the other half of the conference’s Co-MVP award. Davis had 27 hits, 16 RBIs and three home runs in 2019. Davis struck out just five times compared to 19 walks during what was a 17-10 year for St. Bernard’s.
“Hunter does a great job behind the plate for us,” Tomlin said. “And at the plate he’s a smart hitter and patient. He had a special year and was a must for our team.”
Bode Joyner, Lane Thrap and Cole Petrusha earned the Crusaders’ additional Little 4 All-Conference selections.
Softball — Little 4 MVPs
The lone conference to not issue both of its MVP awards to one team, Little 4 softball acknowledged Hoopa’s standout freshman pitcher Savannah Ray Colegrove and St. Bernard’s senior Ally Del Grande as Co-MVPs.
Colegrove led Hoopa to a NCS D-V championship, capping off her inaugural season with the Warriors with a complete-game four-hitter in a 4-3 upset road-win over the tournament’s No. 1 seed, St. Vincent de Paul.
Del Grande was the biggest arm and the biggest bat for St. Bernard’s last season, starting all 20 of the Crusaders’ games at pitcher and consistently leading the team offensively in hits and RBIs on a day-in, day-out basis.
Hoopa’s Savannah Ray Colegrove, Nas Hunsucker, Alexia Jackson and Daisy Tracy each earned Little 4 All-Conference nods, as did two other St. Bernard’s players, Emma Wilson and Calissa Stokesberry.
Baseball — All-Conference Big 5
The NCS D-IV champion Arcata High baseball team named two players to the Big 5 All-Conference team, Merick Sears and Jaden Gorge.
Sears, Arcata’s No. 1 option at pitcher, proved nearly impossible to hit on most outings in 2019 including in the NCS title game when the incoming senior delivered a complete-game, four-hit shutout in a 3-0 win over McKinleyville. Gorge, a four-year player for Arcata, was, according to his head coach Troy Ghisetti, the “ultimate quiet leader,” and a young man who “brought it everyday, practice or games, it doesn’t matter for Jaden he’s going to show up and work hard.”
The Charles Lakin Tournament champions, Eureka High, had three players — Keenan Morris, David Vagle and Hayden Bode — named to the All-Big 5 team. Fortuna’s Sheaden Kadle and Del Norte’s Kaden Ritter each also made the All-Conference squad.
Softball — All-Conference Big 5
Arcata High’s softball team enjoyed its first winning season in a decade and two Tigers, Kori McCracken and Maria Morehouse, earned Big 5 All-Conference team spots for it. Eureka High, runners-up in the Big 5, named Karyn Jensen, Alexa Morehouse and Sadie Hampton to the All-Conference team while Fortuna’s Paige Johnson and Del Norte’s Laycee Coopman each earned the honor as well.
Baseball — All-Conference Little 4
The D-VI runners up, South Fork, named three players to the Little 4 All-Conference team — C.J. Van Meter, Cooper Scott and Cody Wyatt. Ferndale’s Landon Gomes and Austin Hughes each made the All-Conference list as well, as did Hoopa’s Daniel Minton and Kagan Renteria.
Softball — All-Conference Little 4
The back-to-back D-VI champion South Fork softball team named sisters Jasmine and Joslin Todd to the Little 4 All-Conference team while Ferndale chose MacKenzie Renner for its lone selection.
Honorable Mentions — McKinleyville baseball
Regan Wolfe, Isaac Puzz, Chase Fisher and Jake Reeser
Honorable Mentions — Eureka baseball
Brady Munson, Kalebh Hill, Isaak Gutierrez, Jackson Giacone and Zac Anderson
Honorable Mentions — Arcata baseball
Vincent Agliolo, Alex Gorge, Mason Trapkus, Damien Sheldon, Xavier Finegan and Asher Meadows
Honorable Mentions — Fortuna baseball
Garrett Aust, Gabe Sandberg, Branson Gans, Caleb Crawley and Dylan McNeill
Honorable Mentions — Del Norte baseball
Sebastian Puente, Ayden Schultz, OJ Calleja and Justin Goudelock
Honorable Mentions — McKinleyville softball
Jada Bailey and McKenna Turner
Honorable Mentions — Eureka softball
Sadie Wilkinson, Raime Young, Makaila Napoleon and McKenna Beach
Honorable Mentions — Arcata softball
Lola Renteria, Bella Vulz-Broughton, Makeyla Bernald, and McKaynea Solia
Honorable Mentions — Fortuna softball
Morgan Murray, Renee Metz and Olivia Sanchez
Honorable Mentions — Del Norte softball
Kaleya Sanchez, Shelby Horner, Jamiesha Jordan, Madeline Burchell, Mckenzie Fernandez, Kaia Langlois and Josephine Heuberger
Honorable Mentions — St. Bernard’s baseball
Logan Petrusha, and Nick Dugan
Honorable Mentions — Ferndale baseball
Shaun Leonardo, Garrett Christiansen and Jenner Christiansen
Honorable Mentions — St. Bernard’s softball
Rachel Rodrigues and Mackenzie Finck
Honorable Mentions — Hoopa softball
Beyonce Bussell, Estelle Colegrove, Dawn Latham Vanpelt and Karlee Lewis
Honorable Mentions — South Fork softball
Regina Solomon and Kylee Savio
Honorable Mentions — Ferndale softball
Bryleigh Busick, Bri Rimmey, Sydney Smith and Macey Sutherland