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CIF-SS Playoffs Round 2 Recaps


Steve Doherty & Les Lukach
PBR California Staff

  

CIF-SS PLAYOFFS PREVIEW PODCAST

SOCAL - As each round of the CIF-SS Baseball tournament goes by the games get tougher, opponents present new challenges, it means more, and emotions run sky high. For some seniors it might be their last high school baseball game, possibly their last baseball game ever. It’s the programs that are mentally tough, and catch a break here or there that are the ones that generally survive and advance.

Tuesday’s second round matchup saw Harvard-Westlake travel to Chino Hills to take on Ayala in a game that featured plenty of top end talent. Ayala got things moving in the right direction in the bottom of the first off a two run homerun from 2021 OF Cole Koniarsky, a Cal State Fullerton recruit. From that point on, the Bulldogs struggled to contain the high-powered Harvard-Westlake offense after committing four errors on the afternoon. Pete Crow-Armstrong, JP Corrigan, and Jacob Galloway each tallied two hits a piece on the day. When it was all said and done, the final score was 11-2. 2021 RHP Christian Becerra, posted a solid four innings of work for the Wolverines.

Lets take a closer look at notes/video on players that stood out to me in the second round.

2019 1B/OF Joey Naranjo (CSUF) #11 ranked player in California 2019 class. Six-feet, 180-pounds sturdy, durable frame with high waist.  Maxed out height wise, but has significant room for added muscle and overall strength. Hit tool is the carrying tool.  Natural left handed swing with slight uppercut. Has an advanced approach and eye for the zone. Squares up on a regular basis with plus bat speed and can recognize secondary pitches. Average runner, but adequate on the base paths that demonstrates awareness and feel.  Has position flexibility and is capable at first base and outfield. Definitely has the skill set and hit tool to hear his name called this June in the MLB Draft.

2021 RHP Christian Becerra (Uncommitted) six-foot-one, 165lbs, lean, lanky projectable frame. Becerra was a virtual unknown when the season began and has put himself in a position where the Wolverine staff is leaning on him to pitch in high-level games of consequence.  Turns out the lights are not too bright for the sophomore as he hurled 4.0 innings of three-hit ball against a very offensive team in Ayala. There is effort in the delivery coming from a high three-quarter slot. Has a head-whack to glove side. Fastball sat 81-82, topping 83. Recorded his curveball at 71-72 that had good shape. The changeup is a developing. Pitching in these types of games as a sophomore and being successful only breeds confidence. High ceiling for this young man.

2020 OF Pete Crow-Armstrong (Vanderbilt) Our #2 ranked player in California in the 2020 class. As close to a 5-tool player as you can get. Does everything well and is a leader.  Exhibits an all-around game with the athleticism and twitchiness seen in early draft picks. Posted a two-for-five day at the plate with two RBI’s and two runs scored.  Here are both of his hits on the afternoon.

 

2021 OF Cole Koniarsky (CSUF) #20 ranked player in California in 2021. Body comparisons are to Christian Yelich as he stands six-foot-four, 185lbs, with defined long arms and legs, and is physically mature for his age. Shows athletic actions in his all around game. Displays tools across the board as he does everything above the average. Did all he could in this viewing going two-for-three with a homerun and two RBI’s shown here. Really going to be fun watching his maturation process for the next couple years. By the time he is a senior and its all said and done, you probably will hear his name in MLB Draft discussions.       

-Steve Doherty

Over at Capo Valley the host Cougars took on the No. 2 overall seed Cypress. In what turned into a classic pitchers duel, both teams had opportunities throughout the game but couldn’t capitalize. It was the type of game that had fans on the edge of their seat waiting for one team to flinch. That flinch came in the seventh inning when Capo Valley starter, Tim Scarlett, faced off against Cypress’s Luke Davis who took the mistake pitch and put it over the fence giving Cypress a lead they would not relinquish. Capo Valley had a chance with bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the inning before Cameron Repetti slammed the door on any comeback thoughts to give Cypress the 2-1 win advancing them to the quarterfinals.

Let’s take a look at some game standouts.

2020 RHP Tim Scarlett (SDSU) showed mechanical and consistency improvement from my last viewing. While the curveball command was a tick off at times, he was able to dop the pitch in for a strike when necessary. At 6-foot-5 212 pounds, there’s some projection to Scarlett physically, with what appears to be more in the tank on the mound. Worked 84-86 with some natural cut to the fastball that he commanded very well on the afternoon. The aforementioned curveball was a tick loose but it was effective given the quality of his slider at 81-83 mph. Flashed developing feel for a changeup during his warmup tosses.

2022 C Luke Davis (USC) struggled all day until mattered the most. He appeared to be using more of a handsy swing that didn’t incorporate his lower half resulting in weak contact. In the seventh inning Davis came up with one man on and one out. He showed some patience against Scarlett before capitalizing on the pitchers only mistake of the day to give Cypress a 2-0 lead they’d hold on to.

OTHERS:

2020 MIF Jack Haley (Oregon) shows a highly developed defensive skill set that should allow him to stay at that position into college ball. Excellent range to both sides and charges balls under control with enough arm strength to make throws from various angles with accuracy. The defense is a tick ahead of the bat, but he put together two really quality at-bats during the game….2020 LHP Brett Wozniak absolutely dealt in this game. In talking to the Cypress coaches before the game they shared the plan for attacking Capo hitters and Wozniak executed the plan almost flawlessly. He worked his fastball/curveball combination to both sides of the plate and all quadrants of the strike zone keeping hitters off balance. When he missed it wasn’t by much. Fantastic outing for the Nebraska commit.

-Les Lukach

UPCOMING EVENTS
SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
South Bay Junior Future Games Trials CA 04/14 Archbishop Mitty HS
North Bay Junior Future Games Trials CA 04/28 Clyde P. Smith Field - Cardinal Newman HS
Northern California Future Games Trials CA 05/26 Islanders Field
Inland Empire Futures Games Trials CA 06/01 Norco High School
SoCal ProCase CA 06/08 Hart Park
Northern California ProCase CA 06/09 Delta College - Nick Cecchetti Field
Bay Area Open Showcase CA 06/26 Laney College
Inland Empire Top Prospect ID CA 07/23 Santiago High School
Norcal Top Prospect ID CA 07/24 St. Mary's College
Junior Future Games NATIONAL 07/30 LakePoint
Rising Stars Showcase CA 09/21 Santiago High School

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