12 other PHS, MHS players make All-EYL list

The East Yosemite League coaches made their picks and Porterville High School shortstop, Daniel Perez, is the All-EYL’s MVP.

Twelve other Porterville (22-6, 12-3 EYL) and Monache (18-13, 7-8 EYL) players made the All-EYL first and second team, but Perez is the second-straight league MVP for the Panthers.

Perez led the league in batting average (.460), hits (23), on-base percentage (.565) and doubles (6). He was also tied for third in runs scored with 12 and was 4 of 4 in stolen bases.

“Daniel is just a baseball player,” PHS head coach Mike Hill said. “Above average defensively and an excellent lead-off hitter. I truly believe the coaches got it right. He was the best player in the league this year.”

Also making the first team for the Panthers is junior pitcher Noah Munoz, senior catcher Santiago Sanchez and senior center fielder Ricky Carranza.

Munoz (6-2) had a league best 0.89 ERA and finished third in strikeouts with 39 through 13 games. Hill said Munoz had an “excellent two years so far at Porterville” and at one point threw 26 consecutive shutout innings during league play. Munoz also hit .289 with three doubles, four RBIs and the team’s only home run.

Sanchez was a three-year starter for the Panthers and hit .321 in league. He also had 16 RBIs to lead the league. About Sanchez, Hill said, “Excellent defensive catcher that hit in the middle of our lineup.”

Carranza anchored the outfield for Porterville and was another one of the team’s top hitters. Hitting .354 in league, Carranza was second on the team in RBIs with 10 and also had 12 runs scored. He was also 6 of 6 on stolen bases.

“One of the best defensive outfielders in the entire section,” Hill said about Carranza. “Had an incredible two years offensively.”

The entire infield for the Panthers received All-EYL honors with senior first baseman John Herrera, junior third baseman Seth Correa, senior second baseman Cameron Fish, as well as senior pitcher Will Hipps, making the second team. 

Offensively, Herrera hit .300 with three doubles and eight RBIs; Correa hit .306 with seven 

RBIs and the team’s only triple in EYL; Fish hit .214 with five RBIs and had a 1.17 ERA; and Hipps had the second best ERA (1.12) and five wins in league. Both Correa and Fish also scored 10 runs apiece in EYL. 

Porterville’s honorable mentions were senior outfielder Brandon Clingerman, junior outfielder Dominic Alcantar and senior infielder Matt Rangel.

After finishing league on top with an outright EYL championship, the team’s first since 2015, the Panthers received the fourth-seed and an opening-round bye for the CIF Central Section Division II playoffs. Porterville beat fifth-seed Arroyo Grande (15-13) 5-3 but lost 9-4 to eventual Valley champions, top-seed San Joaquin Memorial (27-5) in the semifinals.

Monache (18-13, 7-8 EYL)

Monache finished fourth in the EYL but qualified early for their first playoff appearance since 2010. The No. 5 Marauders rolled through the Div. IV tournament with an 11-0 rout of No. 12 Kingsburg (10-19), a 12-7 win against No. 13 Yosemite (17-13) and a 6-5 walk-off to beat No. 9 Bakersfield Christian (16-15) and advance to the Valley championship game. 

Monache lost the title game 4-1 to No. 7 Chowchilla (17-11-1) but MHS head coach, A.J. Watts, said it was a season the team, and especially the seniors, could look back and be proud of. 

For the Marauders, their lone first team All-EYL selection is senior first baseman, Aaron Hernandez. Hernandez hit .382 for the sixth best batting average in EYL. He had two doubles, one triple and four runs scored. 

“Had an outstanding postseason for us, we were really proud of him for that,” Watts said. “Baseball at Monache wasn’t real easy for him all the time. But his senior year was obviously a year that he’s going to be real proud of looking back.”

Making the second team as a second baseman was senior Ricky Alba. A three-year varsity player, Alba was also the team’s ace. He went 2-4 in EYL with a .350 ERA and 13 strikeouts. He hit .342 with five RBIs and eight runs scored.

“Specifically with Ricky, what he’s done for us kind of speaks for itself,” Watts said. “Not only was he our No. 1 really the last year and a half, he was a good No. 1 for us. Every single time he took the ball on the mound he gave us a chance. … What he did such a good job of was he gave us a chance to play defense.”

Also on the second team is senior shortstop Matthew Cloyd, junior outfielder Alexza Sandoval and junior utility player Tori Powell. 

Cloyd had a .239 batting average in league and hit second in the lineup. He also had three RBIs and four runs scored. As a freshman, Cloyd started at shortstop and continued to improve through the years.

“He’s someone that came in as a freshman, did a good job,” Watts said. “Sophomore, junior, senior year did a very, very good job, kind of settling our defense. … Was always willing to sacrifice bunt, put a bunt down or play the short game like we like to do. 

Watts added, “His ability to sacrifice his own goals for the betterment of the team were off the charts good.” 

Offensively, Sandoval hit .308 with three doubles, a triple, seven RBIs and seven runs scored. Watts described him as a “pretty dynamic player” who can run, hit and have big defensive games.

“Another competitive kid that always seemed to show up in the ‘bigger games’,” Watts said. “An outstanding playoff [performance for] two weeks for us. A huge play that he made in the Bakersfield Christian game was the ball he lays out for on the short ball in the right field. Kind of gave us all the momentum in the world. Also a game where he hits off the wall. So we’re looking forward to him coming back as a senior and just progressing in the program.”

Powell hit .350 and also had three doubles and seven runs scored, along with five RBIs. Watts said pitchers pitched differently to Powell because of his presence, giving the 6-foot-4 athlete breaking balls and off-speed pitches, and that’s something he expects won’t change next season. The coach said, “Offensively for us, he’s like lightning in a bottle.” 

Powell played nearly every infield position for Monache and Watts said he was the most improved player on the team. Coming out of basketball, he also pitched relief for the team before becoming a starter alongside Alba in the playoffs. 

Receiving honorable mentions for the Marauders were junior center fielder Daniel Andrade, senior third baseman Anthony Carabay and senior catcher Troy Nieto.

On his seniors this season, Watts said, “All of those guys were very good competitors for us. And that’s a broad statement but they were. They showed up every day and not only did they show up every day but they were willing to work every day. They put in an incredible amount of time with our weight lifting stuff. So we were real pleased for all those guys to go out the way they did as seniors.”

All stats obtained from MaxPreps.com and pertain to EYL play unless otherwise stated.

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