Sunday, May 10, 2015

HarbourCats player updates - CCCAA / Big West edition

All three HarbourCats who play in the California Community College Athletic Association have now wrapped up their college seasons, so this will be our last CCCAA update of the year. However, we’ll bring you additional Big West Conference updates after this one, as there are still two weeks remaining in the NCAA Division I regular season. Now on to the updates...

Alex Fagalde
Cuesta College’s Alex Fagalde sure picked a great time to deliver his best start of the season. In the opener of a three-game playoff series against Golden West College, the sophomore right-hander threw a complete-game shutout to lead the Cougars to an 8-0 victory. Fagalde scattered eight hits on the day while he struck out eight and did not walk a single batter. Unfortunately, it was the only game that Cuesta would manage to win in the series and their season came to an abrupt end.

Earlier this week it was announced that Fagalde earned second-team honours on the all-Western State Conference team. In 85 ⅓ innings on the hill this year, he posted an excellent 2.95 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Considering that Fagalde was one of top pitchers for the HarbourCats last year, I would expect him to be one of the elite pitchers in the West Coast League this summer.

Los Angeles Mission College dropped their winner-take-all playoff game against Irvine Valley College on April 28th to end Mareno Rankin’s freshman season. The speedy outfielder went one-for-three with two walks and a run scored in that game to finish the season hitting .311 with no homers and 11 RBI in 90 at-bats. Rankin posted an impressive .452 on-base percentage in his rookie campaign and was a perfect five-for-five in stolen base attempts. This dynamic player will be a treat to watch at Royal Athletic Park this summer.

As we previously reported, sophomore centre fielder Kevin Amezquita’s season with East LA College ended on April 24th, as his team failed to advance to postseason play. 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.

UC Davis freshman Matt Blais continues to struggle in his freshman season. The right-hander made one start and one relief appearance over the last couple of weeks, but his ERA climbed further still. In those two appearances, he gave up seven earned runs on 14 hits in seven innings on the mound, and he now has a 5.59 ERA and 1.79 WHIP in 29 total innings this season. Blais has plenty of potential, so don’t be surprised if he settles down nicely this summer with the HarbourCats.

UC Irvine has dropped out of the Top 25 in the Division I baseball rankings, but they still share first place in the Big West Conference with Cal State Fullerton with two weeks to play (UC Santa Barbara is ranked 7th in Division I baseball in spite of the fact that they trail both UCI and CSF by a game in the standings). Freshman corner outfielder Adam (AJ) Alcantara has seen limited action over the last few weeks due to a leg injury, but he finally returned to the starting lineup in the last two games against Cal Poly this weekend. Over the last couple of weeks, Alcantara has gone 3-for-9 with an RBI to raise his average to .305 on the season.

Freshman right fielder Ben Polshuk of Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo) has appeared in three games as a defensive replacement and pinch runner over the last couple of weeks, but he still 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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