Alumni Player of the Week: Colby Morris

Taking home the California Warriors Alumni of the Week Honors for the start of May is Warriors alum, Colby Morris, who spent 4 years as a California Warriors player and spent one summer working in the First Base Foundation front office as part of the Summer Opportunity Program. Here’s the wrap-up of Colby’s week:

Colby Morris | Middlebury College | P – Colby got off to a hot start for the Panthers, earning the team’s first Win of the season with a dominant performance against Bard. Over 6 IP, Morris held the Raptors scoreless, giving up only 2 Hits while collecting 9 K’s.

Honorable Mentions:

Alex Fernandez | Academy of Art University | P – Fernandez has been a force on the bump for the Urban Knights this season, and his two showings in March so far have been no different. In matchups against Concordia, Irvine and Dixie State, Alex had a collective 11.2 IP, 10 K’s, and 1 W while giving up only 2 ER. On the season, Fernandez is 2-1 with a 2.93 ERA over 30.2 IP.

Adam Hussain | College of Marin | OF – Adam has continued to be a reliable presence in the heart of the COM lineup this month, collecting Hits in each of the Mariners’ three wins. Across the three games, Hussain went 3 for 9 while adding an extra 4 BB’s to the mix, driving in 4 RBI, scoring 5 Runs, and driving 1 HR.

Nick Simonian | University of Illinois Chicago | P – In his first start of the season, Simonian managed to hold the Roosevelt Lakers at bay, tossing 4 Innings while giving up 0 Runs and collecting 4 K’s. The effort saw Nick leave the game with the lead, and eventually the Flames came around to win the game.

Elijah Smith | Academy of Art University | 2B / SS – Not to be outdone by his teammate at Academy of Art, Smith is working on a 10-game hitting streak during which time he has gone 13 for 39 with 6 Runs scored, 2 RBI, 2 Triples, and 2 Stolen Bases.

Bats Come Alive For California Warriors Alumni

As the college baseball season continues, the California Warriors alumni bats are starting to heat up. Here are a few highlights:

Kevin Whitaker | Laney College | UTIL: Kevin has been on an absolute tear this season, collecting hits in every game so far except the season opener. He is currently running a 14-game hitting streak and is putting up some serious numbers along the way. Over 67 ABs, Whitaker has put together a .373 AVG / .394 OBP / .507 SLG triple-slash to go along with 9 RBI, 13 Runs, 7 Doubles, and 5 SB.

CJ Novogradac | Claremont McKenna | OF: Hitting out of the 5-hole for the Stags, CJ has also been turning out a very solid season. Over the last week, he went 6 for 10 with 4 Runs scored, 2 RBI, 2 Doubles, and a HR on his way to keeping his season average at .400.

Hance Smith | Santa Rosa JC | 2B: Smith is showing himself to be one of the most reliable hitters in the SRJC lineup, tagging opposing pitchers to the tune of a .322 AVG with 10 RBI, 16 Runs, and 4 HR.

Joe Ryan | Cal State Stanislaus | P: Joe has availed himself well on the hill so far this season for the Stanislaus Warriors, earning himself a 1.91 ERA over 33 IP with 3 Wins, 1 Loss, and 43 K’s so far. In a matchup against San Francisco State, Joe tossed 8 Innings of shutout ball in which he collected the Win and struck out 10 batters.

California Warriors Thriving At Every Level

Alumni of the California Warriors teams have played in and are currently thriving at every level of baseball, from the various divisions of collegiate baseball all the way through the minor leagues and into MLB. Here are some of the California Warriors Alumni making the most of the early part of the 2018 season:

Lucas Erceg | Milwaukee Brewers | 3B: Listed on the Milwaukee Brewers website as the organization’s #4 prospect, Erceg has played his way onto the Spring Training roster with the Brewers. So far this spring, Lucas has gone 2 for 4 to follow a productive 2017 season at the Class A Advanced level in which he collected 33 Doubles, 15 HR, and a Carolina League-leading 81 RBI.

Matt Ladrech | UC Berkeley | P: Senior pitcher, Matt Ladrech is a key part of what looks to be a strong 2018 CAL Bears roster. He lived up to the expectations as CAL swept Cal State Bakersfield to open the season and Ladrech tossed 7 IP in his start while striking out 2, giving up 1 ER, and earning the Win.

Mason Collins | Chapman University | P: Mason has made an impact on the bump for the Panthers this season, earning a Win over 7.1 IP while striking out 5 and maintaining a low 2.45 ERA.

Joe Jimenez | Chapman University | C: A sophomore at Chapman who returned to the California Warriors to coach during the 2017 summer, Joe has made the most of his time on the diamond this year. Over 9 Plate Appearances, Joe has 4 BB’s and a HR while scoring twice and driving in 2 RBI on his way to a .200 AVG / .556 OBP / .800 SLG triple-slash.

Alex Davis | College of Marin | SS: Alex has been one of the most productive hitters in the Mariners lineup so far this season, dismantling opposing pitching to the tune of .408 AVG / .508 OBP / .510 SLG over 49 AB’s. To complement those numbers, the Sophomore shortstop has 7 Runs, 8 RBI, and 5 SB, making him a force in the heart of the lineup.

Nick Roth | College of Marin | P: On the hill for the COM Mariners, Roth has been as steady as anybody, tossing 9.2 Innings of lights-out ball in relief. Nick has converted all of his Save opportunities this season – he has tallied 4 so far – and has 10 K’s and a 1.86 ERA to his name.

First Alumni Feature of 2018: Cali Warriors at COM

We are very proud to see how well the California Warriors baseball program prepares high school student athletes to play at the college level. The 2018 College of Marin baseball roster includes 7 California Warriors Alumni, 2 of whom are freshmen. The California Warriors summer baseball program focuses on helping players be prepared and ready to take the field on a college team. We are happy to be a part of College of Marin’s success in the 2018 season.

Along with the 7 California Warriors Alumni who play on the College of Marin baseball team, Ryan Burke (California Warriors Director of Baseball Operations) is the COM Assistant Coach under Head Coach Steve Berringer. Despite the fact that their home field is under construction and they are playing on the road this year, the Mariners are off to a great start with a 4-2 record to open the season. Over the first 6 games of the season, the Mariners have scored an astounding 55 Runs, averaging over 9 Runs per game.

The list of California Warriors players who are currently in the dominant College of Marin lineup include: Davis Barkocy (.429 AVG), Dominic Burke (.227 AVG, 4 Runs, 5 RBI), Alex Davis (.458 AVG, 6 Runs, 6 RBI, 4 SB), Owen Hamilton (.333 AVG, 6 Runs), Adam Hussain (.545 AVG, 6 Runs, 5 RBi, 2 SB), and Christian Merriwether (.304 AVG, 7 Runs, 4 RBi, 2 SB) have all been major contributors at the plate. Dominic Burke (1-1, 3.09 ERA, 11.2 IP), Owen Hamilton (3 IP, 3.00 ERA), and Nick Roth (1 SV, 3 IP, 5 K, 3.00 ERA) have played a significant role as pitchers in keeping COM in the win column. See the COM schedule here.

There are many California Warriors Alumni playing at universities and colleges throughout the country. Please visit the California Warriors Alumni page to see how well our alumni are represented throughout the country. As the baseball season continues, we will keep you updated on the college baseball careers of the student athletes who played for the California Warriors. Don’t forget, the home opener for UC Berkeley – where First Base Foundation & California Warriors Founder Noah Jackson coaches – is Friday, February 23! See the full schedule here.

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 Teams Bringing Home Wins

California Warriors Silver

The California Warriors Silver team had a great showing in the Monterey Waves on the Bay tournament at Monterey Peninsula College this past weekend. They played three games, finishing with one win, one loss, and one tie. In their first game against Head First Berkovich, the Warriors’ bats came out strong, scoring 2 runs in the second, 4 runs in the fourth, 2 runs in the sixth, and 4 runs in the seventh. All these runs were more than enough for starting pitcher Zach Mathews, who threw six strong innings and kept the Berkovich bats quiet. Hunter Karbowski came in to pitch the seventh to hold Berkovich and pick up a 12-4 win for the Warriors. Benji Brakebill and Isaak Irmini-Kreft both had great days at the plate – Brakebill finished with 4 RBI and Irmini-Kreft finished with 2 hits and 2 RBI.

In the second game of the tournament, the Silver team took on the Head First Gamers in a very intense game. Starting pitcher Luke Moore went 3.1 innings, allowing just 1 earned run to keep the Warriors in the game. The Gamers struck first in the bottom of the third inning, scoring one run to give them the lead. Peter Coholan came into the game in the bottom of the fourth to pull the Warriors out of a bases-loaded jam to keep the team within one run. In the top of the fifth, Alex Kirley got the Warriors on the board with a double in the left center gap to score Isaak Irmini-Kreft and tie the game at 1. In the top of the sixth, Benji Brakebill drove in the go-ahead run for the Warriors with a sacrifice fly to left field to put the Warriors up 2-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth. In the bottom half of the inning, the Gamers managed to score one run, but Peter Coholon got himself out of another bases loaded jam and kept the score at 2-2. Due to the two hour game time limit, the game ended in the sixth inning with a final score of 2-2.

Due to the Silver team’s strong showing on Saturday, they earned the number two seed and a first round bye on Sunday. In the semifinal game, the Silver team matched up against the 3-seed Monterey Waves Maroon. Both teams were scoreless going into extra innings before the “International Rule” for extra innings took place. With the “International Rule,” both teams could pick a spot in the order to hit from with runners on first and second. The Monterey Waves put up five runs in the top of the eighth inning before shutting down the Warriors’ bats again in the bottom half of the inning to win the game and proceed to the championship. Gabriel Alward was nearly perfect on the mound for the Warriors, going 6.1 innings, allowing just two hits and no runs.

The Silver team played great the whole weekend and fought hard against some good teams. The Silver team’s next competition is a game against the Sac Speed on Saturday, June 24 at 10 am.

California Warriors 17u Elite

The California Warriors 17u Elite team went down to Arizona to play in the USA Baseball 18U Championship this past weekend. The event began on Friday afternoon with the skills showcase in which the players went through a pro style workout to showcase various skills such as arm strength, arm accuracy, athleticism, etc. before pool play began on Saturday.

‪Post game interview with Zac D'esposito and Daniel Colwell following the Warriors 17u Elite 4-1 victory over OC Premier‬

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In their first pool play game on Saturday, the 17u Elite team faced off against the Saddleback Cowboys. Daniel Colwell took the mound for the Warriors and threw a great game to give the Warriors’ bats a chance. After Chris Giles was hit by a pitch, Aidan Vannucci doubled to put runners on second and third. The Warriors managed to scrape one run across in the bottom of fourth, with the Cowboys still leading by a score of 2-1. The Cowboys extended their lead with another run in the sixth to go up 3-1 heading into the seventh. The Warriors mounted a solid comeback attempt, scoring a run in the last inning but it wasn’t enough as the Cowboys managed to hang on and win the game.

After two tough games on Sunday, the Warriors came out ready for their game on Monday against OC Premier. Daniel Colwell took the ball for the Warriors again and threw a great game, going 7 innings with 6 strikeouts and just 1 earned run. Zac D’Esposito, Chris Giles, and Dane Goodman each had an RBI for the Warriors which proved to be plenty of support for Colwell. The Warriors won the game 4-1, their first USA Baseball U Championship tournament win.

The 17U Elite Warriors continue this week in Arizona with a game on Wednesday in bracket play.

California Warriors Blue

The California Warriors Blue team played a doubleheader against the Berkeley Buzz on Saturday at Tim Moellering Field in Berkeley. The Blue team won both games decisively starting with a big 13-0 win in the first game. Jacob Rossi started the first game for the Warriors and threw five shutout innings to go along with six strikeouts on the day. Max Mendoza and Gustavo Hidalgo had two hits each to help lead the Blue team, while Estevan Castle and Oliver Sellman drove in three RBI a piece.

The second game was much closer than the first, but the Warriors still managed to pull out the win. Weston Terrell took the mound for the Blue team and threw 7 innings, surrendering just 3 hits while striking out 3. After the Buzz scored a quick run in the first, Terrell finished the rest of the game with six scoreless innings. Estevan Castle continued a great day at the plate with another two hits in the second game. The Blue team won the game 3-1, completing the doubleheader sweep. The Blue team heads up to Santa Rosa on Wednesday to play in the Goodwill Series Wood Bat Tournament.

California Warriors Gold

The California Warriors Gold team also had a doubleheader against the Berkeley Buzz over the weekend, and while they struggled to get the offense going, timely hits allowed them to stay in the games and hold onto a chance to win. The California Warriors hitters consistently executed with runners in scoring position to manufacture runs, which was a big point of emphasis in practice the week before.

The first game ended in a 3-3 tie after 7 complete innings, and the second game resulted in a 4-3 win for the Warriors. Matthew Marquez Jr. had a great day at the plate, working several at bats deep into the count, resulting in multiple walks and 3 RBI on the day. Keith Whitaker also swung the bat well, with two doubles and 2 RBI on the day. Andrew Cauwels made his debut on the mound for the Warriors, throwing 4 innings and allowing just 2 hits. The Gold team will head down to Arizona on Friday, June 23 for the USA Baseball Team Championships.

3 California Warriors Selected in 2017 MLB Draft

Congratulations to the newest batch of California Warriors alumni selected to play Minor League baseball! Adding to the ever-growing list of California Warriors alumni who been drafted by MLB, are infielder 3rd baseman Denis Karas (UC Berkeley, 10th round to the Miami Marlins), Marcus Chiu (College of Marin, 15th Round to the Los Angeles Dodgers), and pitcher Max Gamboa (Pepperdine, 18th round to the Los Angeles Dodgers).

We are glad to see our alumni’s hard work paying off, and looking forward to watching Denis, Marcus, and Max progress with their careers in baseball!