Game Over

Posted by The Scoredad on June 10th, 2016
The 2016 season has come to a close and the final event was the annual feast of friends called the Last Pitch Banquet. One more opportunity to enjoy the fellowship of this fine group of athletes and their supporting friend and families. A time to reflect on the highlights of another successful season of South varsity baseball. Coach Sain pointed out many significant moments:
The March 22 El Segundo complete game shutout pitched by Trevor and a 5th inning 5 run rally that began with Jesse driving home Nate and completed with 2 run homers by both Mav and GoGo.
The April 13 league opener against Torrance was another complete game shutout for Trevor; but with a 4th inning 6 run rally that began with enthusiasm and a bit of drama as Mav launched an 0-2 shot out of the ballpark and found the catcher standing at the plate with a lecture about a flipped bat. Posturing aside, South went on to score 5 more on hits from GoGo, Deets, Jarry, a Critch double and a James homer and only ended after 2nd hits by Mav and GoGo.
And the April tournament in Orange County when the Spartans beat a tough D2 team from Camarillo and then D1 Wilson in a tough pitching duel as Trevor and closer Critch held them to 1 run until leadoff walks for Brad in the 4th and Mav in the 6th were cashed in by a GoGo double and a JT single. The crowning game was against the especially tough D1 Cypress who finished ranked 18th out of the 1,250 California teams. Pitching duty was split between Trevor, Ish and Will with Critch closing. In the bottom of the 7th with one out South was down 4-2, but pulled it off with walks for Brad and Jesse, a GoGo HBP, a Deets single and a walkoff 2RBI single by Critch.

The Coach then brought up the team individually and alphabetically by class starting with the only freshman. Coach had Favorite Moments [FM] in mind for many of the players.

Jesse Esphorst hit .338 on 26 hits with 11 runs scored. A shortstop with .967 fielding percentage. FM - He was on base 7for7 in the Valencia game with a double, 2 singles, a walk and 3 HBP.

Sophomores

Kevin Ishimaru was the 2nd most utilized pitcher on the team with 34 innings pitched and 33 strikeouts. FM - Batting in the San Pedro game Ish was aboard safely all 3 times with 2 RBI doubles and reached on an error in a one run win.

Ryan Lee was on the DL after the 2nd week in March, but prior to that he started against the dread Mira Costa and turned in 4 no-hit scoreless innings for his FM. A bright future when he is healthy again.

Josh Sheck split his time between JV and varsity as a utility player at 3B and catching with about 25 trips to the plate. FM - Dancing in the team room.

Keanu Yamashiro was also banged up after great summer/fall seasons limiting his plate appearances to only seven. Looking forward to a couple of healthy years coming up.

Juniors

Will Anderson was 3rd in innings pitched with 26.1 and an ERA of 2.13. 14 strikeouts and the 2nd most wins with 3. FM - Pitched a complete game shutout against Western.

Ian Brady split his time between pitching, 3B and DH despite a little arm problem. FM - Pitched a complete game victory against a tough Camarillo team allowing only 2 hits in the 7th inning, no walks and one run.

Nate Critchett hit .350 with an OBP of .458 for 8 runs and 13 RBI. Arm trouble kept him alternately out of the batters box and the field at different times. FM - That walkoff game winning hit in the Cypress game.

Matt Diederich saved some dozen runs and boosted team fielding stats with his good work at 1B that compensated somewhat for his hard luck liners that wound up in gloves. FM - any of a bunch of pickoffs that Deets relayed to 2B for the out.

J.T. Frew lost some early games to a concussion coming back for some DH duty and time at 2B. FM - Flashing his wheels with a triple in the Centennial game.

Seniors

Koby Babb was a big force on the mound all season and especially toward the end. FM - He struck out the side to end the San Pedro game and earn up the save. Going to University of La Verne.

Mike Blomquist bounced back from appendicitis in February to become a fixture at 3B the last half of the season. FM - Stole home with the game winning run in the Crossroads game. Going to Arizona State University.

Jordan Boich rejoined the team after taking some time away and filled in on the mound and at 1B. Jordy pitched 3.1 innings without an earned run. FM - Closing inning vs North 3up3down. Going to Marymount California University.

Chris Gomez was the biggest stick in the middle infield hitting .351 on 26 hits with 10 RBI. His OBP was .448 with 11 walks. FM - Home run in the El Segundo game. SBAC All Star and going to Cerritos College.

Matt Mavrosakis is one of the all time best at South High. In his 3rd and final year on the varsity team Mav hit .380 on 27 hits with 19 RBI, 5 doubles, 6 home runs. All stats that led the team despite his battling through arm troubles. FM - That dramatic home run against Torrance. SBAC All Star and going to Arizona State University.

Brad Medina hit .365 on 19 hits with 16 RBI fulfilling his potential in his senior year. FM - His 4for4 game against Centennial. Going to Sonoma State.

Jared Natisin hit his stride this year in right field throwing runners out at 1B. Hit .311 with 14 RBI and 6 doubles. FM - Hit a home run to take the lead in the Palos Verdes game. Going to Arizona State University.

Blake Poulin came from the football team with some shoulder ailments and a hamstring that limited his playing time as he supported the team. FM - Ace bullpen catcher for Ish. Going to El Camino College.

James Prendergast developed into the leadoff spot with 101 appearances that turned into a .380 average on 35 hits with 11 RBI, 3 doubles, a triple and a homer. FM - Doubled to score in the 6th inning rally vs North. SBAC All Star and going to a college to be determined soon.

Trevor Talpas was the ace of the pitching staff with 14 starts facing the best of our best competition. His ERA was 1.93 over 65+ innings allowing 59 hits and 17 walks while striking out 46. Three complete games including 2 shutouts with a record of 8-3. FM - That complete game shutout of Torrance. SBAC All Star and going to El Camino College.

Sebastian Yasuda has been the team spark plug whether starting or subbing. The middle infielder who gets rid of the ball like it's aflame. FM - Pinch hit double vs Garr. Going to San Diego Christian College.

As Coach Sain pointed out, these young men came from a variety of places but came together as a team and as friends. Seb for example only started playing baseball shortly before high school while many others began in tee ball. Several have played together before in Little League or Pony League or on travel teams. It has been a joyous trip over the years with life lessons in gracious winning and losing and the value of cooperation and teamwork.

Personally I had some wonderful times in my youth playing pickup ball games after school until dark, but never played organized baseball and felt coaching my boys would be a stretch for me. However I noticed that statistics play a bigger role in the delicate balance of this game than perhaps in any other. My appreciation for numbers and stats and the stories of the games led me to my pastime of recapping the score book for my son's Little League and travel teams on a website created by my friend John Bischoff. It's something I've always enjoyed doing. I've been pleasantly surprised to hear that others have also appreciated checking it out on occasion. It serves as a pseudo-scrapbook of the baseball years and helps jog those memories that tend to fade. Thank you to all the boys, all the coaches and all the families that helped to create those memories. Hope to see you soon. Again.
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