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2013 SPRING ALL-AREA TEAMS: Gahr baseball dominates again while area softball teams more balanced

By Loren Kopff

By now, it’s almost a given that Gahr’s baseball team will bat well over .350 and have several players eclipse the .400 mark. That’s what happened again despite the team failing to get past the quarterfinals in the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section playoffs. Artesia, John Glenn and Norwalk battled for a playoff spot in the final weeks while Valley Christian struggled in its defense to win another Olympic League title, but still won a playoff game.

In softball action, Artesia continued to improve while Cerritos was the only Suburban League team to win a playoff game. Gahr’s offense was one not to sleep on and Valley Christian was impressive despite some early season setbacks. Here are the recipients of the Los Cerritos Community News 2013 Spring All-Area Teams.

BASEBALL

FIRST TEAM

P-Andrew Encinas (Gahr)

P-Greg Humbert (Gahr)

C-Tyler McLurg (Valley Christian)

1B-Clayton Granch (Valley Christian)

2B-Edgar Morales (Gahr)

3B-Kevin Franklin (Gahr)

SS-Adonis Morrison (Gahr)

LF-Cody McKittrick (Valley Christian)

CF-Jaime Estrada (Gahr)

RF-Joe Dressel (Gahr)

DH-David Balboa (Gahr)

 

SECOND TEAM

P-Carlos Garcia (Norwalk)

P-Nico Morandini (Valley Christian)

C-Joseph Borjorquez (Norwalk)

1B-Daniel Gomez (Gahr)

2B-Joseph Herrera (Artesia)

3B-Jack Struiksma (Valley Christian)

SS-Patrick Avila (Valley Christian)

LF-Jesse Rodriguez (Norwalk)

CF-Jacob Carr (Norwalk)

RF-Deven Galindo (John Glenn)

DH-Rene Gaytan (John Glenn)

 

HONORABLE MENTION

P-Cesar Arzate (John Glenn)

P-Tommy Corrales (Artesia)

C-Albert Perez (Gahr)

1B-Miguel Castaneda (Norwalk)

2B-Nathan O’Toole (Valley Christian)

3B-Fernando DeLuna (Norwalk)

SS-Trino Romero (Norwalk)

LF-Jerry Azzato (Artesia)

CF-Juan Rodriguez (Cerritos)

RF-Leotis Johnson III (Gahr)

DH-Martin Sandoval (John Glenn)

Co-Players of the Year: When you have a team that is stockpiled with talent whose players will be taking the next step in their baseball careers, it’s hard to pick just one player to call the best. Gahr senior Jaime Estrada and senior third baseman Kevin Franklin share this accolade. Estrada, who will be taking his talents to the University of Oregon, led the Gladiators with a .479 average that included 35 hits, 24 runs batted in and nine doubles. Franklin, who is headed for Arizona State University, batted .448, had 39 hits, drove in 37 runs, had 10 doubles and nine home runs.

Co-Pitchers of the Year: Again, it was hard to pick one but Gahr seniors Andrew Encinas and Greg Humbert were the best pitching duo in the area. Encinas (University of Nevada) sported a record of 8-2 and had an earned run average of 1.27. He struck out 68 batters in 66 innings and walked only eight. Humbert, a transfer from Mayfair High, will be attending California State University, Los Angeles and had an ERA of 1.08, struck out 57 and walked 13.

Coach of the Year: Following in the footsteps of the legendary Tom Bergeron is Gahr’s Gerardo Perez, who is no stranger to 20+ win seasons. He has five in nine seasons and has compiled 175 victories opposite 86 losses. He also coached the Gladiators to consecutive San Gabriel Valley League titles for the first time in his nine seasons at Gahr.

 

SOFTBALL

FIRST TEAM

P-Anna Collier (Valley Christian)

P-Melanie Okazaki (Cerritos)

C-Heather Cameron (Cerritos)

1B-Celeste Gonzalez (Gahr)

2B-Jazmine Guzman (Norwalk)

3B-Deidra Genera (Gahr)

SS-Emily Morrow (Valley Christian)

OF-Kristen Redaja (Gahr)

OF-Alyssa Cuffia (Gahr)

OF-Miki Okazaki (Cerritos)

DP-Kaitlyn Bales (Cerritos)

 

SECOND TEAM

P-Mel Varela (Gahr)

P-Destiny Vasquez (Norwalk)

C-Brianna Besenty (Gahr)

1B-Ali Vega (Artesia)

2B-Erica Balboa (Gahr)

3B-Sabrina Manzano (Artesia)

SS-Deja Portillo (Gahr)

OF-Madison Wright (Valley Christian)

OF-Dominique Gonzales (Artesia)

OF-Marlene Murguia (Artesia)

DP-Erica Espinoza (Gahr)

 

THIRD TEAM

P-Destiny Enriquez (John Glenn)

P-Dominique Moran (Artesia)

C-Taylor Winters (Valley Christian)

1B-Madison Lee (Cerritos)

2B-Lilianna Herrera (Cerritos)

3B-Crystal Cano (Norwalk)

SS-Sarah Guerrero (Artesia)

OF-Viviana Gomez (Norwalk)

OF-Jasmine Javier (Cerritos)

OF-Gabby Cruz (John Glenn)

DP-Briana Liera (Norwalk)

 

HONORABLE MENTION

P-Jennifer Iseri (Cerritos)

P-Serena Nicolas (Norwalk)

C-Samantha Lujan (Norwalk)

1B-Megan Collier (Valley Christian)

2B-Leanne Garrels (Valley Christian)

3B-Chanel Varney (Valley Christian)

SS-Jenny Vasquez (Norwalk)

OF-Elizabeth Gutierrez (Norwalk)

OF-Denise Miranda (John Glenn)

OF-Crystal Briseno (Artesia)

DP-Heaven Garcia (Valley Christian)

 

Co-Players of the Year: Gahr sophomore first baseman Celeste Gonzalez not only led her team with a .500 batting average, but also set some school records, at least for the past 16 seasons. Her average, runs scored (27), RBI (35) and doubles (nine) are the most in at least 16 years. She also had 37 hits, one off the school record set by Alyssa Morales in 2007. Emily Morrow, a sophomore shortstop for Valley Christian, blistered the area with a .628 average, 54 hits, 36 runs scored and four triples.

Pitcher of the Year: With sophomore Jennifer Iseri sidelined for most of the season, fellow 10th grader Melanie Okazaki picked up the slack very nicely. Okazaki went 6-5 for Cerritos and helped guide her team to a third place finish in the competitive Suburban League.

Coach of the Year: Without senior center fielder Madison Garcia, who tore her ACL in February, and using a new pitcher and catcher for the first time in four seasons, Valley Christian’s Jim Snyder defied the odds and coached the Lady Crusaders to a 13-13-1 campaign. V.C. was in the hunt for an Olympic League title with two games left in the regular season.

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