Sunday, April 26, 2015

HarbourCats player updates - CCCAA / Big West edition

Let’s get you updated on the progress of the 2015 HarbourCats who are playing in the California Community College Athletic Association and the Big West Conference. While there are four weeks remaining in the regular season for NCAA Division I baseball, the California community colleges have just wrapped up regular season play.

Freshman outfielder Mareno Rankin (aka Reno Rankin Jr.) of LA Mission College ended the regular season on a five-game hitting streak. Over the last two weeks, Rankin has gone 9-for-29 with two RBI and seven runs scored, giving him a .310 / .445 / .402 slash line (BA / OBP / SLG) in 87 at-bats this season. The speedster was also five-for-five in stolen base attempts this spring. LA Mission College finished the season 14-8 in conference play and they play Irvine Valley College (10-11) in a winner-take-all playoff game on Tuesday.

Alex Fagalde in action last
summer with the HarbourCats
Cuesta College’s Alex Fagalde may have started the season with four rough outings, but he has been the measure of consistency since then, as the sophomore right-hander finished the season with seven consecutive quality starts. In his last two starts, Fagalde earned both victories and only gave up four earned runs on 14 hits in 16 innings on the hill. He finished the regular season with a 6-5 record, 3.30 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 76 ⅓ innings pitched. Cuesta finished the season 15-9 in conference play, but it is unclear at this point if they will advance to the postseason.

Sophomore centre fielder Kevin Amezquita of East LA College has gone 5-for-24 with five walks, a home run and three RBI over the last two weeks. Amezquita finished the regular season hitting .252 with one home run and 16 RBI in 139 at-bats. However, he led the team in walks (19) and had a robust .360 on-base percentage. East LA College’s season is now over, as the team only finished with a 6-15 record in conference play.

UC Davis freshman Matt Blais has made three appearances over the last couple of weeks, including the first start of his college career. In those three games, Blais surrendered 12 hits and four earned runs in 6 ⅔ innings pitched while he walked one and struck out one. The right-hander now sports a 4.50 ERA and an incendiary 1.73 WHIP in 22 innings pitched this season. His lack of strikeouts continues to be a concern: After fanning 10.2 batters per nine in the California Collegiate League last summer, Blais has only struck out four hitters this season with the Aggies.

UC Irvine came into last week ranked 21st in NCAA Division I baseball, but they dropped a mid-week game to #3 UCLA and then lost two of three this weekend to Cal State Fullerton. Freshman Adam (AJ) Alcantara has been out of action for some time with a quad injury, but he returned to the lineup on Saturday and stroked a pinch-hit single. The corner outfielder has put up a .300 / .386 / .320 slash line (BA / OBP / SLG) in 50 at-bats this season.

Freshman right fielder Ben Polshuk of Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo) has only played a half-inning of defense over the last couple of weeks and he hasn’t set foot in the batter’s box since April 11th. He’s 1-for-18 at the plate this season. The other current HarbourCat on the Cal Poly squad, freshman Austin Dondanville, has yet to make his college debut on the mound.

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