Winter Ball Up-And-Running

A great group of student athletes showed up to play for the California Warriors Winter Baseball Program this past Saturday. Our players came from 15 different high schools from around the Bay Area. The first week was a time to meet one another and begin to form a team. Everyone brought with them a love of the game and desire to play hard and to learn more about their positions. It is an eclectic group of ages and skill levels. Coach Burke did an excellent job of managing new players and evaluating their strengths. In two hours he was able to rotate all players into the game so everyone had a chance to play. Sergio Mendoza was in the dugout sharing his baseball wisdom and positive personality as he was an invaluable volunteer this past summer.

Visit our Flickr account to see all Winter Ball photos.

California Warriors Sign D-I Letters of Intent

The California Warriors would like to congratulate their three players who signed Division 1 National Letters of Intent last week to continue their academic and athletic careers. Matthew Calhoun (Santa Clara University), Martin Cole (Niagara University) and Dylan Pottsgeiser (University of Pacific) all earned baseball scholarships while being noticed playing for the California Warriors 17u Elite team this past summer.

Matt Calhoun California Warriors

Calhoun, who led Archbishop Riordan HS team as a junior in batting average (.321), hits (27), and stolen bases (14), was the primary short stop for 17u Elite over the summer. What caught the eyes of scouts most was his exceptional defense and energy he brought to the game. Calhoun also impressed producing runs in the middle of the order and creating runs on the bases with his speed. Calhoun’s tools will give him a good chance to earn playing time as a freshman at Santa Clara next year.

Martin Cole California Warriors

As a junior at Sacred Heart Prep, Cole was both dominant on the mound (6-2, 2.68 ERA) as he was at the plate and in the field. Throughout the summer Cole played all four infield spots while also helping on the mound and hitting at the top of the order. Cole’s left handed bat stood out all summer as he was consistently on base and driving in runs. Cole will be an instant contributor when he joins the Niagara Purple Eagles team in 2018.

Pottgeiser of Foothill HS threw to a 2.99 ERA as a junior and joined up with 17u Elite halfway into the summer. His best start of the summer came at the Phil Singer Summer Series when he turned in a complete game shutout dominating performance. Pottsegeiser will look to be an instant impact in the Pacific Tigers pitching staff when he arrives next fall.

First California Warriors Alum Makes It To The Big Leagues – Dreams Do Come True!

We are excited and proud to announce that after several seasons as a California Warriors player and coach, tenures at College of San Mateo and Sonoma State, and nearly seven complete seasons in the Minor Leagues, California Warriors alum O’Koyea Dickson’s hard work has paid off and he has taken the field at the highest level for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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The Hunter’s Point (San Francisco) native came to the California Warriors as the first full-scholarship player in the program, and wasted no time making it clear that he deserved that honor. During each summer playing for the California Warriors, O’Koyea’s diligence, work ethic, drive, and focus allowed him to elevate his game to the point where took advantage of the opportunity to play in front of college coaches and worked his way into a college program. Eventually O’Koyea attracted the notice of the Los Angeles Dodgers (who drafted him in the 12th round of the 2011 MLB Draft), a dream that was made into a reality in part by the California Warriors & First Base Foundation mentorship and support system:

“I was the only person in my family to go to college, and I am blessed that (First Base Foundation & California Warriors Founder) Noah and the California Warriors pushed me to work harder and reach higher. I’m a successful and educated student athlete now, and it all began with the California Warriors.”
– O’Koyea Dickson

While O’Koyea has always been gifted with a veritable well of raw athletic talent, the attributes that allowed him to fight his way to the top are learned ones rather than inherent. As a member of the California Warriors family who received financial assistance from the First Base Foundation in order to participate on the teams, O’Koyea has embodied everything our foundation strives for. He took full advantage of the opportunity provided to him, working hard to improve his game and empower himself on and off the field, focusing on developing his leadership qualities, and learning to set achievable goals in pursuit of a greater objective.

In contributing to the First Base Foundation, you support student athletes like O’Koyea who use baseball as a vehicle to achieve success in their futures in and out of the game. Your gift to the student athletes can be designated towards the Scholarship Fund, the Coach Development Program (O’Koyea also returned to the California Warriors as a Winter Ball Coach), Travel Assistance, Administration, or can be left without a designation to be used where necessary to keep the First Base Foundation thriving. Thank you for supporting the First Base Foundation, California Warriors, and student athletes like O’Koyea – none of it would be possible without you.

California Warriors 17U Elite Dominant In Final Tournament of Summer

Every summer the California Warriors baseball teams wrap up their season at the prestigious Phil Singer Summer Series Tournament in North County San Diego. This summer, the 17u Elite represented the California Warriors in the tournament, putting on one of the best showings the Warriors have ever had by making it to the final 6 teams.

The Phil Singer Summer Series is a 32-team tournament consisting of the most competitive teams from across the West Coast. Each year, not only does the best competition come to the tournament, but college recruiters from over 40 schools were also represented this year. Many California Warrior players have been noticed by coaches and offered scholarships in the past, and this year the team’s strong performance drew even more interest to our players.

The first three days of the Phil Singer Summer Series consist of three straight double headers to determine seeding for the double elimination tournament that takes place after an off day that allows the teams to recover. The 17u Elite Team got off to a solid start in pool play, going 4-2 and earning the #11 seed in the double elimination tournament.

The first day of pool play saw 17u Elite facing off against City Baseball of Seattle, Washington and Dove Tail Bats of San Diego, CA. In game 1 Daniel Colwell and Eddie Burns combined for a shutout in a 4-0 win over City Baseball. Game 2 saw a similar performance on the mound from Henrik Reinertsen who threw 5 innings giving up only one run. The Warriors lost the lead late in the game, however, and 17u Elite fell 4-2.

Going into Day 2 with a 1-1 record in pool play, the 17u Elite faced off against No Fear of San Diego, CA and Hardtke Baseball of Campbell, CA. In game 1, starting pitcher Dylan Pottsgeiser threw the best game of the tournament, giving up only 2 runs en route to a 17u Elite 6-2 victory over No Fear. The Warriors ended up losing Game 2 to Hardtke Baseball, as they surrendered another lead late in the game, losing 6-2.

Day 3 was a momentum-swinging day for the California Warriors 17u Elite as they faced off against the Watsonville Aggies of Watsonville, CA and Garciaparra Baseball Group (GBG) of Los Angeles, CA. Game 1 saw another solid pitching performance as Alec Ritch threw 5+ innings, giving up only two runs. After he left, 17u Elite surrendered another late lead, but this time they would fight back to earn the victory. Heading to the bottom of the 6th down by 1 Run, 17u Elite rallied to score two runs and take the lead behind a Tyler Quintanilla single. Isacc Sloan came in and shut the door in the top of the 7th to earn the save. Anthony Pomilia had a solid game offensively with 3 hits and 3 RBI. In the second game of the day, 17U Elite took down GBG by a score of 9-2. Aiden Vannucci started on the mound, throwing 3 scoreless, with James Schoch and Eddie Burns throwing the rest of the innings in relief. Offensively it was a total team effort, with everyone in the starting lineup recording a hit. Outfielder Tyler Quintanilla also recorded the first home run of the tournament, smashing a no doubter to left field late in the game.

17U Elite’s success in pool play was largely the result of their strong pitching and defense. Allowing an average of only 4 runs a game helped the California Warriors  keep the games within reach, and timely hitting gave us great chance to win. Outfielder Alec Ritch was a constant presence in the middle of the line up in pool play driving runners in and hitting the ball hard.

After an off day where most players relaxed at the beach, 17u Elite was back in action in the Winner’s Bracket of the double elimination tournament, facing off against the West Coast Clippers of Oceanside, CA. Daniel Colwell and Eddie Burns were both back on the mound and they combined for another strong game, allowing just 3 runs. Matthew Calhoun got the scoring started in the bottom of the 1st when he singled in Chris Giles with 2 outs. 17u Elite would give up the lead in the top of the 2nd, but then got back on top behind Tyler Quintanilla’s 2nd home run of the tournament. The teams would then trade runs, setting up a dramatic finish for 17u Elite in the bottom of the 7th. With Matthew Calhoun on 2nd, Tyler Quintanilla capped off his big day, singling to right for a 17u Elite walk off win to stay in the winners bracket. 17u Elite then played the Washington Rush of Seattle, WA in their 2nd game of the day, and an early offensive explosion saw them secure a smooth 12-1 win. The bottom of the first was all 17u Elite would need as they sent 12 hitters to the plate and scored 8 runs. This lead was too much for the Rush to overcome, and Henrik Reinersten, Gremelt Balladares, and Jonny Burns combined on the mound.

Day 2 of double elimination brought 17u Elite to a Winners Bracket Game against the CAB Soldiers in which they suffered a tough loss and found themselves one game away from elimination. They then headed to an elimination game against the Saddleback Cowboys with the final tournament of the summer on the line. In another tight game, 17u Elite battled into extra innings, eventually beating the Saddleback Cowboys to stay alive. Anthony Pomilia had a big game with 3 hits and 2 RBI.

17U Elite opened day 3 of double elimination with an early morning game against the Solana Beach Cardinals. After falling behind early, 17u Elite rallied to take a 4-1 lead in the 3rd. Tyler Quintanilla threw 5 strong innings to start, giving up just 1 run. After getting into some trouble in the 6th, Matthew Calhoun came in from shortstop to replace Gremelt Balladares and finish the game on the mound. After playing almost every inning at shortstop in the first 11 games, Calhoun showed great poise earning the save under pressure. This win then put the California Warriors into a rematch with the CAB Soldiers.

Playing in their 12th game in 6 days, 17u Elite couldn’t overcome an early deficit against the CAB Soldiers losing a close battle 2-1. Daniel Colwell, Sawyer Whitney and Teddy Hoxie all pitched well in the Warriors’ loss.

Standout performances at the Phil Singer Tournament came from all players on  the 17U Elite roster.  Every player chipped in and contributed to the team’s success. Chris Giles played CF and hit leadoff every game and was a constant on the bases and scoring runs. The infield of Marty Cole, Aiden Vannucci, Anthony Pomilia and Matthew Calhoun ate up most of the 12 games with Calhoun making multiple highlight reel plays at shortstop. Caden Cortese and Jack Gallagher combined to catch all the games behind the plate, throwing out runners and handling the pitching staff very well. Tyler Quintanilla and Alec Ritch were the big sticks in the middle of the lineup, driving in runs and putting pressure on opposing outfielders.

Coach Development Program A Great Opportunity For California Warriors Alumni

The First Base Foundation and California Warriors constantly look for ways to expand our influence in order to help more young people successfully grow into their adult lives. One of the ways that we have used the game of baseball to help our alumni develop important life and job skills is through the First Base Foundation’s Coach Development Program, which was formalized for the 2017 season after existing unofficially for many seasons. California Warriors alumni who are current or former collegiate baseball players have the chance to rejoin the California Warriors as an Assistant Coach and receive training as they work their way towards becoming a Head Coach. This is an excellent opportunity for California Warriors alumni to develop leadership and interpersonal communication skills while ensuring the current California Warriors players are being coached by skilled baseball players who understand and grew out of the positive and fun California Warriors culture.

The 2017 California Warriors coaching staff consists of a mix of current and former collegiate athletes, all of whom came through the California Warriors program as players. The head coaches for 2017 are Anthony Firenzi (Niagara University, 2015), Cameron Merriwether (Sonoma State University, 2015), Dominic DeVille (University of Montevallo, 2017), and Michael Praszker (Santa Clara University, 2020), each of whom has experience playing at either the D-I or D-II level. The assistant coaches for the summer of 2017 are Joe Jimenez (Chapman University, 2020) and Christian Merriwether (College of Marin, 2020). These coaches, led by Vice President of Baseball Operations Ryan Burke (San Francisco State University, 2016), act as positive role models and mentors for the California Warriors players and help the California Warriors teams operate efficiently.

Moving from playing to coaching is a transition that many athletes make as their playing days draw to a close. Transitioning to the coaching world means having to see the game from a different perspective. As California Warriors Blue Team Head Coach Mike Praszker put it, “Seeing the game as a coach has allowed me to improve my own ability to accept constructive criticism as a player.” Mike understands that from the players’ perspective, criticism can often come off as negative, but a good coach is able to present the criticism in a way that allows the player to internalize the information and use it as a tool to improve. Being able to see this interaction from the coach’s standpoint has helped him see criticism in a positive light, something that will be essential to his success at Santa Clara University, where he just finished his freshman season.

The summer 2017 season was the first one spent as a coach for rising college sophomore Joe Jimenez, and the experience has been a powerful one. “Coaching this summer gave me a chance to work on soft skills that I can use in whichever career path I choose when I graduate from Chapman. While I am usually on the field as a player, this summer as a coach has given me a new perspective and made me think about the game on a level that I hadn’t before, something that will definitely continue to help me in my playing career.” As someone still playing ball, Joe is able to connect on a personal level with the California Warriors players, creating a comfortable environment and proving himself to be an invaluable asset to the organization. While putting a lot into the California Warriors program, Joe has also gained skills through the Coaching Development Program that will prove useful as he explores new walks of life.

Dominic DeVille is another of our coaches who is making the transition from player to coach as he just finished playing college ball at D-II University of Montevallo in Alabama. “The First Base Foundation’s Coaches Development Program has helped open the possibly of making coaching a career for me. I will be attending graduate school for a Master’s degree in Sports Management, and the First Base Foundation has really helped me become familiar with all aspects of a sports organization. I have learned the ins and outs of being a head coach, and have been introduced to what it is like working in the front office of a baseball organization. The skills and experience the First Base Foundation has given me are very valuable and will most definitely help me in my future career path.” Dominic’s experience with the First Base Foundation is a great example of the range of opportunities that arise from taking part in the CDP – learning about the inner workings of the organization in addition to coaching is a unique experience that is a hallmark of the First Base Foundation’s Coach Development Program.

This summer marked another year of great success with the Coach Development Program. The California Warriors coaches have been given the opportunity to learn what it is like be a head or assistant coach and have developed the skills necessary to work with young baseball players. There is a symbiosis present in the Coach Development Program, where our coaches share their experiences and knowledge while gaining valuable job experience. It is an avenue for individuals committed to mentoring, building relationships, working during the summer, learning valuable lessons in team building and strategies, and wanting to build their resume and networking in baseball. We look forward to watching our current and former Coach Development Program participants grow and develop as coaches and members of the workforce. We cannot wait to welcome next year’s coaches for the summer of 2018!

FBF Founder Gets The Call

We are honored and ecstatic to announce that Noah Jackson, the Founder of the First Base Foundation, has been hired as the Assistant Baseball Coach at UC Berkeley. This is the third time in Noah’s career that he will be putting on the Cal Bears uniform. He graduated and played baseball at Cal and later returned as a Volunteer Assistant Coach for two seasons.

Noah was hired by Mike Neu to coach at the University of Pacific from 2015-2017, and looks forward to continuing his work with Neu at Cal. In his new role at Cal, Jackson will coach hitters and outfielders, and will be the team’s recruiting coordinator.

“Noah is an unbelievable recruiter and hard worker. He’s tireless and he knows what it’ll take to get the right guys at Cal.”

UC Berkeley Head Coach Mike Neu

Prior to coaching at the collegiate level, Noah played professionally in the Chicago Cubs organization, scouted for the San Diego Padres (where he drafted current big-leaguer Joe Ross), and devoted his time and energy to ensuring that his 501(c)3 non-profit, the First Base Foundation, successfully transformed student athletes’ futures by making high quality travel ball more affordable and instilling leadership skills and self-esteem in the California Warriors players.

Washington Nationals manager (and Noah’s godfather) Dusty Baker, has watched Noah’s work with the First Base Foundation as well as his development as a coach and leader, and is a big believer in both Noah and the Foundation. Dusty’s son Darren is joining the Cal Bears as a freshman this season, and we all look forward to watching his career unfold.

Noah isn’t the only member of the First Base Foundation family to move on to great things in baseball. There is an extensive list of California Warriors Alumni playing professional baseball and alumni who have returned to the California Warriors organization to develop their careers in coaching. In addition, we want to congratulate CW Director of Baseball Operations Ryan Burke, who is joining College of Marin as an Assistant Coach, alum Devin Pearson who works in the Boston Red Sox front office, alum Jackson Smith who works for the SF Giants and is an MLB intern in NYC this summer, alum Anthony Firenzi who coaches at Redwood HS, alum Kenny Rabin who coaches at Branson, and alum Pat Conroy who coaches at Terra Linda HS.

Warriors 17U Elite Goes Undefeated at V-Tool Showcase

This past weekend 17u Elite participated in the V Tool Showcase throughout Sacramento and Stockton, sweeping the competition on their way to a 5-0 weekend. V Tool Showcase is an organization that puts out top-notch showcases across the country where college coaches come to recruit players. The V Tool Showcase also provided top-level facilities with g

ames at University of the Pacific, Folsom Lake College, and Sacramento State with games against quality competition from teams throughout the West Coast. Offense was the key for 17u Elite as they scored 41 in 5 games en route to their 5-0 weekend.

After falling behind early against Team California Bay Area in their first game on Thursday, the Warriors came back strong with hits from Teddy Hoxie, Marty Cole, and Tyler Quintanilla to cut the Team California lead to just one run in the bottom of the third. The Warriors kept rolling with six more runs in the bottom of the fourth, and four more in the fifth to go up 14-6, eventually winning the game by that score. Marty Cole had a phenomenal day on both the mound and at the plate, going 6 innings, recording 5 strikeouts, and going 2-3 with a triple and 4 RBI’s at the plate. Teddy Hoxie added two doubles with 3 RBI’s.

17u Elite kept it rolling with their second game of the night against Bulldogs Baseball in a back and forth affair. After putting up five runs in the first three innings, The Bulldogs responded with a big inning of their own, but it was not enough as Tyler Quintanilla came in for an 8 out save. Quintanilla struck out three and allowed just one hit, clinching a 7-6 win for the Warriors.

On Friday, the Warriors put up 4 early runs, which was all starting pitcher Teddy Hoxie would need. Hoxie went 7 innings with 9 strikeouts, while allowing just three hits in the shutout win against NorCal Scarlet.

In the first game on Saturday, Chris Giles and Anthony Pomilia led the offense against NorCal TKB. Giles went 3-4 with an RBI, 2 runs, and 2 stolen bases, and Pomilia went 2-2 with a double and 2 RBI’s. Pitchers Tyler Quintanilla, Gremelt Balladeres, and Alex Bires combined for just one earned run on the day in an easy win over NorCal TKB.

Daniel Colwell was on the bump for the Warriors in the second game on Saturday against NorCal Blue. Through four innings, Colwell surrendered just one hit while the offense put up six runs for a comfortable lead. NorCal Blue started to string together some hits and came back to tie the game in the sixth inning. 17u Elite responded with a Dane Goodman leadoff double and a Matt Calhoun knock up the middle for the eventual game-winning run.

The 17u Elite powerful offense led them to a 5-0 record at the V Tool Showcase. Heading into the last couple weeks of the season, every player on the team has developed their skills and the team continues to build chemistry with each game they play. The 17u Elite’s has a couple exhibition games against the Mendocino Dirtbags and the Easton Cats before heading down to San Diego for the Phil Singer Summer Series tournament on July 28.

Warriors Gold Ends Their Time in Arizona With Two Walk-Off Wins

From June 23rd to June 30th, the Gold team traveled to Arizona to play in the USA Baseball National Team Championships. In the first game, our players we were stunned at the high level of competition. We only had one hit that came from the bat of Matthew Marquez, who was to be one of our most consistent hitters throughout the tournament. On the mound for us was Cade King, threw well, but some of errors behind him let the game get out of hand quickly. The Cowboy’s mercy ruled us after 5.

The second game we ended up with two hits and we were able to stay in the game for the first few innings. In the fourth inning of the game we started making errors and the game soon got out of hand. We ended up getting mercy ruled again after 5.

The next game we played, we begin to work together as team. We starting hitting and playing defense with precision. Our players stepped up with fight and fortitude that kept us in the game. This earned us a tie and marked our turning point in the tournament. We ended this game in a 7-7 tie. The tie was a good sign for us as we played clean defense and overall smart baseball.

In our fourth game versus MBA Nevada we found ourselves in a hole once again. Inconsistency on the mound led to our worst defeat of the tournament. Momentum was not in our favor and we could not battle back from it. We lost that game 16-6 and the game was cut in the 4th due to mercy rule.

Our fifth game was against CBA Bulldogs and we took an early two run lead. We had Cade King threw well in his second appearance of the tournament, and the Warriors put together good at bats and excellent approaches. This resulted in a relentless offensive attack for the Warriors. It was a dogfight until the very end that finished with a Lucas Herrera walk off single and a win for the Warriors.

  The last game of the tournament was against the Wahoo’s, a team from Southern California. Offense started to settle and find some consistency as we continued to hit the ball hard and have good at bats. Jake Himelstein led off the 7th with a single to right. After a fielders choice, Keith Whitaker ended up as the winning run at first. After a couple of clutch hits we ended up with the bases loaded and Cade King up to the plate. Cade came  through with a walk off single to finish the Gold teams time in Arizona with a walk-off win.