Taking home the California Warriors Alumni Player of the Week honors this week is Menlo School Catcher, Ben Somorjai. In a 10-3 win over El Camino, Somorjai collected 2 Hits and a Stolen Base while driving in 3 RBI, helping his team on their path to victory. Over his past 4 games, the 2-season California Warriors alum has driven in 11 Runs, marking him as one of the top play-makers in the Menlo School lineup. To read more about the game and Ben’s season, check out this article in the San Mateo Daily Journal where Somorjai was featured. Ben has committed to play at Haverford College next year – we wish him the best in his career as a collegiate student athlete!
California Warriors Shine in MCAL Championship
This past weekend, the MCAL Championship game was played between Drake and Marin Catholic High Schools. Many California Warriors had an impact, but none greater than that of former Warrior Owen Hamilton. With the game tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 19th inning, Hamilton blasted a walk-off homerun, bringing home the championship for the Drake Pirates.
The 2017 MCAL Championship game was one for ages as the extra inning game turned into a two-day affair. Originally starting on Friday May, 19th at 7:00pm, the game was tied through 18 innings and officials decided to finish the game the next day as it was past midnight. Saturday afternoon was much different than the previous night’s showing, as the game needed just one inning to wrap up due to Hamilton’s walk-off home run.
As is typical in MCAL title games, many past and present California Warriors were scattered throughout both dugouts. We would like to congratulate those players on making it to the big dance:
Marin Catholic California Warriors:
- Jack Harris
- Sean Henry
- Daniel Ongaro
- Joe Levin
Drake HS California Warriors:
- Owen Hamilton
- Nick Roth
California Warriors Alumni Featured on Casa Grande NBL Championship Team
The California Warriors would like to congratulate the Casa Grande Gauchos on their recent NBL Championship, and are proud of the former and current California Warriors that helped make it happen. The California Warriors playing for the Gauchos are:
- Hance Smith – C/SS
- John Green – C/OF
- Quinton Gago – LHP/OF
- Eddie Bermudez – 2B
In their 11-1 Championship Game win Quinton Gago picked up the win on the mound, with all four players recording hits offensively in the win.
Featured as the collegiate alum for this round of California Warriors Alumni Players of the Weeks is Cody Snider, Right Fielder for the D-II Chico State Wildcats. Hitting out of the 2-hole, Snider has had a great week for the Wildcats, going 7 for 22 (good for a .318 AVG) with 5 Runs, 5 RBI, and a HR in matchups against Cal State LA, Stanislaus State, Cal Poly Pomona, and UC San Diego. Cody has dominated opposing pitching all season long to the tune of 35 R, 41 RBI, 13 Doubles, and a .342 AVG while flashing a little power and knocking 4 HR.
This week’s Pro Alum Feature is Aaron Knapp, the UC Berkeley alum who was selected in the 8th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Miami Marlins. Knapp’s week playing for the Class A Greensboro Grasshoppers was a very productive one, going 10 for 30 with 3 Runs, 7 RBI, a Stolen Base, and a Home Run. The Right Fielder has had a solid first season playing MiLB so far, hitting for a .277/.375/.390 triple-slash over 141 AB while scoring 22 Runs, driving in 13 RBI, and swiping 13 bags.
This past weekend, the College of Marin Mariners began postseason play with a three game series against Fresno City College in the regional round of the California state playoffs. The Mariners earned a series sweep with a 10-4 win in game one and a 6-3 win in game two. Spread across the field for the Mariners were many California Warriors Alumni, many of whom had a strong impact on the series. The Warriors alumni playing for College of Marin are:
- Marcus Chiu – Starting 2B
- Dominic Burke – Starting 3B
- Christian Merriwether – Starting CF
- Chase Gardner – Starting Pitcher
- Brett Bowyer – Relief Pitcher
- Bryan Jakemic – Starting DH / Relief Pitcher
- Nick Heimbroadt – Starting 1B
- Adam Hussain – Starting LF
- Beau Gardner – Pitching Coach (former California Warriors player & coach)
After earning Bay Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year honors, Chase Gardner started on the mound for game one of the series. Gardner gave the Mariners a quality start, going 5 innings and giving up 3 runs while striking out 4. Offensively, the Mariners were able to open the game up in the bottom of the 6th inning behind an Adam Hussain 2-RBI double to the fence that gave the Mariners a 6-3 lead they would never give up. Hussain finished the game 2-2 with 2 RBI’s, a 2B, and 2 BB.
Game two resulted in a comfortable 6-3 win for the Mariners with Burke, Hussain, and Heimbrodt all registering hits offensively and closer Brett Bowyer throwing the ninth inning for the Mariners. Bay Valley Conference MVP Marcus Chiu had a great series, going 2-5 with 5 BB and 7 runs scored. Hussain also turned in a solid series going 4-5 with 4 BB, 3 runs, 2 RBI’s and a 2B. Christian Merriwether and Dominic Burke both played great defensively saving runs at both Center Field and 3rd Base respectively.
The Mariners now move onto a best of 3 Super Regional this weekend at Delta College in Stockton, CA.
From SF Gate.
The road to a college baseball scholarship is paved — in no particular order — with connections, genetics, good fortune and a lot of sweat.
When you play in the Academic Athletic Association, the need for all of those ingredients is amplified.
That’s why when Lowell senior Joe Solomon was offered and accepted a partial ride to the University of the Pacific over the weekend, it felt especially satisfying to all involved.
He will join three former AAA pitchers now pitching at the Division I level: Lowell alums Craig Colen (Cal Poly) and Elijah Saunders (Grambling State) and Galileo graduate Kyle Nelson (UC Santa Barbara).
“It’s really exciting to be a part of that group that actually gets to move on and keep playing,” Solomon said. “I just have to keep playing and working hard.”
A UOP assistant coach was at Big Rec on Thursday when Solomon, a 6-foot-2, 185-pounder, clinched Lowell’s regular-season title with a 6-2 complete-game victory over Washington. Solomon threw a five-hitter, struck out six, walked one and improved to 6-3 with a 1.66 ERA this season.
In his three-year career, he’s 19-6 with a 1.79 ERA and 157 strikeouts in 164 innings.
Solomon is trying to lead the Cardinals (20-6) to their fifth straight San Francisco Section championship. A semifinal playoff win Thursday would put Lowell into the final next Wednesday at AT&T Park.
Solomon dominated last year’s 6-3 title-game defeat of Balboa at AT&T, pitching a seven-hitter and picking up two hits and three RBIs. The bigger the stage, the better Solomon seemingly plays.
“I’m not going to lie, it was a little nerve-racking with my possible college coach sitting right behind home plate,” Solomon said. “I tried to just treat it like any other game. Honestly, I feel most comfortable when I’m on the mound and get into the zone.”
His scholarship hasn’t come by accident, said pitching coach Emil DeAndreis.
In the summer before his junior year, Solomon worked out — bright and early — with DeAndreis regularly. Solomon alternated between weight work, running and their favorite workout: pushing the coach’s car through city streets.
“I put the car in neutral and Joe gets behind and pushes as hard and fast as he can for 30 yards,” DeAndreis said. “It’s quite a workout. … I knew then Joe was a special breed. I don’t know many 16-year-olds dragging themselves out of bed every morning at 6 to push cars. This was something he truly wanted.”
DeAndreis knew the path it took. He had a successful career at Lowell, but got no offers until Hawaii-Hilo gave him one.
“It’s always been an uphill battle to get noticed in the AAA,” he said. “It’s getting better, for sure, but still Joe is a very competitive kid. He was fascinated with the process.”
It helped that Colen, who mentored Solomon as a sophomore, had succeeded and earned a scholarship to Cal Poly.
Increased velocity on his fastball — Solomon’s now in the 83-85 mph range — a good curve and slider and general command, along with excellent grades (better than a 4.0 GPA), clinched the scholarship.
“He’s a really competitive kid in the best kind of way,” DeAndreis said. “He’s a great teammate. He’s accountable and never makes excuses. His qualities have rubbed off on all the other kids. You wish you had 20 like him on every team.
“It’s all about getting an opportunity. The door is open for Joe. He’ll no doubt make the most of it.”
California Warriors alum, Allen Smoot, has been tearing it up at the dish for the University of San Francisco lately, going 11 for 23 (good for a .478 AVG) over his last 5 games. In matchups against Santa Clara, CAL, and BYU, Smoot has scored 3 Runs, driven in 7 RBI, blasted a HR, and stolen a base. This 5-game hitting streak is just his most recent accomplishment in an already-stellar season at the plate. In over 170 AB’s for the Dons, Allen has 24 Runs, 32 RBI, 12 Doubles, 2 HR, and 3 SB to go along with an excellent .341 AVG.
On the other side of the country, the California Warriors Alumni Pitcher of the Week, Colby Morris, tossed a Complete Game to earn the Win for Middlebury over Skidmore. Over 7 IP, Colby allowed just 1 Earned Run while striking out 4 and issuing 0 walks. The Win was Morris’ third of the season as well as his third Complete Game. Additionally, he has displayed great control this season, as evidenced by his 32/8 K/BB ratio.
The California Warriors Featured Alum of the Week is Devin Pearson, the former California Warrior who went on to play at UC Berkeley before embarking on the newest development in his exciting baseball career. While his playing days are behind him, Devin has found a way to stay around the game – instead being the talent on the field, it is now his job to find the talent. As a member of the Red Sox amateur scouting department, Pearson will pour over tape and data to help build a strong Minor League system for the Red Sox. “This job was a no-brainer for me,” Pearson said. “How cool is having an office in Fenway Park and being involved in baseball? It’s a perfect fit.” Congrats to Devin, we’re looking forward to watching his career in baseball continue to flourish!
The following video was created the summer of Devin’s senior year of High School, prior to entering UC Berkeley in the fall.
Congratulations to Nick Simonian, the California Warriors Alumni Pitcher of the Week – Nick is having a great season with the De Anza Dons, and looks to build on it as he prepares to transfer to the University of Illinois at Chicago next year. On the season so far, Nick has started 12 games while appearing in 15 and carries a 7-4 record. He has a very solid 2.80 ERA over 64.1 Innings Pitched, and has collected 51 K’s, good for an impressive 7.13 K/9. Best of luck to Nick as he moves forward with his college career!
Pinole Valley HS Sophomore Deven Irwin has had an excellent week and a great season so far, making his presence felt on the varsity squad. In his most recent game against Alhambra HS, Deven went 2 for 5 with a Triple, a Double, 2 Runs and an RBI. Irwin is hitting .383 this year, with 16 Runs and 6 RBI, a .500 OBP and a .983 OPS – he has also helped the team out from the mound, earning 2 Saves.
Following another invitation to the Los Angeles Dodgers Spring Training, California Warriors alum O’Koyea Dickson has absolutely shot out of the gates during his first week back with the AAA-affiliate Oklahoma City Dodgers. O’Koyea has collected 10 Hits over his first 14 AB’s (good for a .714 AVG), has scored 6 Runs, driven in 5 RBI, and blasted 3 HR (including a multi-HR game) as he continues making his case to earn the final promotion up to the big leagues. In 2016, Dickson had a breakout season for the Oklahoma City Dodgers, hitting for a .328 AVG and .994 OPS over 329 AB and collecting 63 Runs, 64 RBI, and and 18 HR. A standout player in a crowded Dodgers minor league system, Dickson has proven the value of tenacity and hard work, qualities that made him stand out as well during his time as a California Warriors player and coach.
California Warriors alum and current UC Berkeley junior, Matt Ladrech, built on his strong season with a dominant outing against Arizona State this week. Ladrech earned the Win for the Golden Bears in a 10-2 victory by tossing 6.2 Innings of 1-Run ball while striking out 4 and walking none. Over 20 IP this season, Matt has a 2-0 record with 11K’s, 2 BB’s, and an immaculate 0.90 ERA. We look forward to watching the rest of Matt’s junior year at CAL unfold!