The Sunset Baseball League is proud to announce its selections for the 2017 All-League team.
MVP - 1B Phil Steering, Hawaii Hilo
The Lake Forest native was a force to be reckoned with in 2016 and was even more so in 2017. Steering came back to Southern California for the summer with the OC Surf and was sensational leading his team to another SBL Championship. The senior-to-be finished with an amazing .474 BA and .551 OBP. He had 27 hits altogether with 18 runs scored, 15 RBI and three home runs.
3B Wyatt Hoppie, Hawaii Pacific
The senior-to-be was one of the leaders for the SBL champion OC Surf this season and it showed on the field. Hoppie finished with a .368 BA and .435 OBP. He had the second most hits in the league with 43 and the most total bases (70). He finished third in the SBL in RBI (27) and was 10th in runs scored (20). Hoppie also blasted four home runs, second best in the league.
OF Luke Hussung, Orange Coast College
Luke Hussung is another mainstay for the OC Surf's two championship teams. Hussung put up incredible splits of .444 BA/.508 OBP. Hussung belted four home runs, tied for second most in the league. He finished with 24 hits, 17 runs and 12 RBI on the season.
UTL Griffin Hagen, Antelope Valley College
Griffin Hagen was the most accomplished two-way player in the SBL in 2017. The Ventura County Pirate finished with a .378 BA and a .495 OBP. He had 31 base hits (6th), 29 RBI (most) and scored 19 runs. He was also a stellar pitcher logging the most innings in the SBL (43), 2.77 ERA and 30 strike outs (5th).
OF Kobi Allen, University of Pacific
Kobi Allen was the prototypical lead-off hitter for the Ventura County Pirates. He led the league in runs scored (32), was third in hits (40), stole 13 bases (2nd) and knocked in 13 RBI. Allen also finished with a .351 BA and .483 OBP.
OF Darren Kriz, Cal State Monterey Bay
The senior-to-be for the North Division champion Ventura County Pirates was a stalwart in the lineup all season long. Kriz finished with a .338 BA and .423 OBP. Kriz led the league in hits (44), was third in runs scored (27), and ripped in 29 runs, which was the most in the SBL.
OF Ari Gerber, UC Riverside
The Solana Beach Cardinal went .351 BA and had a .436 OBP. He finished with the fourth most hits in the league (33) for the South Division champs. He finished fourth in runs scored (25), batted in 17 RBI and stole 12 bases (3rd).
MI Jake Singer, Notre Dame
The big bat in the Cardinals lineup provided offense time and time again for the South Division champs. Singer finished with a .321 BA and .427 OBP. He had 26 hits, belted 20 RBI (6th), scored 22 runs (7th) and cracked four home runs (2nd).
UTL Matt Manskar, Cal Poly Pomona
The Inland Valley Pirate led the way for his team with a .420 BA and .517 OBP. He finished with 21 base hits, 11 RBI and scored 11 runs on the season.
OF Brandon Chandler, Avila University
The senior-to-be was the key cog in the South Bay Sparrows offense. Chandler finished with a .345 BA and a .413 OBP. He had 19 hits, 16 RBI and scored 12 runs on the season.
C Michael Borg, Concordia University
Michael Borg of the OC Orioles boasted a .373 BA and .425 OBP in 2017. He finished with 25 hits, scored 14 runs and knocked in 9 RBI.
Pitcher of the Year - Robert Stowell, Cal State Los Angeles
Stowell was the ace of the Ventura County staff. He struck out 32 (2nd), tossed 42.1 innings (2nd), earned four wins (most), 1.04 WHIP (best among qualified) and a microscopic 1.16 ERA.
Daniel Rubio, Friends University
Rubio hurled 30 innings this season for the South Bay Sparrows and dazzled with 1.63 ERA and league leading 33 strike outs.
Andrew Brown, Pomona Pitzer
Brown was another stalwart in the South Bay staff. He pitched 24 innings this season with a 1.75 ERA and 12 strike outs.
Ryan Semon, Palomar College
Semon was the best pitcher on the Solana Beach Cardinals in 2017. He pitched 24.1 innings, struck out 24 and had a 1.73 ERA.
Stephen Knapp, Golden West College
The OC Surf pitcher was huge in the playoff run. Knapp threw 24.2 innings, had a 1.14 ERA and struck out 20.
Cade Kirkemo, Cal Poly Pomona
Kirkemo led the way for the Inland Valley Pirates. He tossed 36 innings (4th), struck out 31 (4th) and finished with a 2.92 ERA.
Other SBL leaders on the season included the OC Surf's Cooper Moore, who blasted seven home runs. Ventura County's Dylan Ross tied for the most wins with four. Kyle Soberano of the Ventura County Pirates stole 14 bases.
*In determining position players, a 50 at-bat minimum was a requirement.
*In determining pitchers, a 20 inning minimum was a requirement.
With the All-Star Game in the books, it's time to start looking forward to the 2017 SBL Playoffs!
New to 2017 is a double elimination format that will take place at Cal Poly Pomona on Wednesday, June 26 and Thrusday, June 27.
The two teams that advance will play the championship game on Saturday, June 29 at Blair Field.
One team has already taken a step in the right direction. The Ventura County Pirates (13-5) officially clinched the first playoff spot Tuesday night following their victory over the OC Surf.
The Pirates, who had nine all-stars this season have put up outstanding offensive numbers. Some of the key players have included Griffin Hagen (.500 BA and 20 RBI - both lead the team), Darren Kriz (.367 BA and 20 RBI), Myles Hager (.304 BA and 4 HR) and Kobi Allen (.354 BA and 26 runs).
Robert Stowell, a former SBL Pitcher of the Week, has been the ace of the staff boasting a microscopic 1.03 ERA to go along with 28 strikeouts in 34 innings. Dylan Ross has also notched three wins and struck out 25 in 25 innings of work.
The Solana Beach Cardinals (12-5) have won nine of their past 10 and are in great shape to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The magic number for the Cardinals is down to just 1.
Ari Gerber (.303 BA, 20 R, 15 RBI) and Jake Singer (.379 BA, 20 RBI, 4 HR and 18 R) have led the way on offense.
Ryan Semon has been the top pitcher with a 2.57 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 16 innings. Joshua Leaser has been nearly untouchable in 11.1 innings of work with a 0.62 ERA and 16 strikeouts.
The Inland Valley Pirates (11-8) are also closing in on their second consecutive playoff appearance. The magic number for Inland Valley has dropped to 2 after their victory against the Sparrows on Tuesday night.
The Pirates are led by Jahshua Jones (.318 BA, 10 R, 9 RBI), Kristian Scott (.333 BA, 8 R, 5 RBI) and Alberto Vargas (.300 BA, 13 R, 7 RBI).
The pitching staff has had a number of great contributors. Chris Burnett has not allowed a run in 12.1 IP. Grant Ponder has a 2.38 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 17.2 IP. Michael Gomez has 22 strikeout victims in 21 innings and Cade Kirkemo as 21 strikeouts in 20 innings.
The OC Surf (10-7), like the Cardinals and Inland Valley Pirates, are staring a second consecutive playoff appearance right in the eye. The magic number for Orange County is 3.
The Surf have tons of offense to go around, but it all starts with Wyatt Hoppie, who is batting .391 with 24 RBI, 17 R and 4 HR. Robert Vasquez is hitting .357 and Phil Steering is at an incredible .452 clip.
Stephen Knapp is one of the top arms (12.2 IP, 13 K, 0.55 ERA). Collin Quinn (0.64 ERA) and Jordan Yrastorza (1.00 ERA) have been electric as well.
The South Bay Sparrows (6-12) face an uphill battle to make the playoffs, and are eager to snap a four game skid on Wednesday against the OC Orioles.
Tanner Thompson (.371 BA) and Brandon Chandler (.324 BA) have been on a tear all season.
Daniel Rubio is the ace of the staff tossing 21 innings and striking out 25 to go with a 0.67 ERA.
The OC Orioles (2-17) have officially been eliminated from playoff contention.
Michael Borg has been the offensive star of the season for the Orioles with a .429 BA, 10 R and 8 RBI, all of which are the most on the team.
Andrew Martinez and Keegan Baird have done the heavy lifting for the pitching staff. The pair have combined to throw 55 innnings and strikeout 35.
The Inland Valley Pirates won a 4-3 nail-biter against the South Bay Sparrows Saturday afternoon at Cal Poly Pomona.
Hunter Cooper and Zack Cooper each ripped one RBI for the Pirates.
Luke Wilkinson smashed in two RBI.
Christian Lopez picked up the win for the Pirates.
Luis Ramos pitched a gem for the Sparrows, but got the tough no-decision. He finished tossing seven innings and striking out four, while allowing two runs.