After a long season playing every game on the road, Calaveras finished with a 7-8 Mother Lode League record. Calaveras finished tied for third-place, along with Bret Harte and Amador. However, Amador got the postseason nod, as it held the tiebreaker over both Calaveras and Bret Harte.
Calaveras has five players placed on the all-Mother Lode League baseball team.
Only one player made the first team and that is senior Zack Nordahl. On the hill, Nordahl picked up two wins and collected 57 strikeouts in 45.1 innings pitched, while keeping opponents hitting just .193 off of him. At the plate, Nordahl hit .406 with 26 hits, 18 RBIs, 17 runs scored and seven doubles. He walked 11 times and stole 11 bases.
“Zack has been our ace for the past two years and a three-year starter on the bump,” Calaveras head coach Tom DeLappe said. “He has given us a lot of quality innings over that time span. He’s been the guy we look to when we had a big game. When Zack is in the strike zone, he is as good as any pitcher in this league. At the plate, he blossomed this year as a hitter. He was our best and most consistent hitter all season.”
The sophomore duo of Clayton Moore and Karson Cook, along with the senior duo of Logan Weatherby and Tyler Smith, were placed on the second team.
Moore hit .279 with an on-base percentage of .437. He collected 19 hits, drove in 12 runs and scored 21 times. Moore had five doubles, three triples, walked 19 times and stole 17 bases. In center field, Moore had a fielding percentage of .943 with only two errors in 35 chances.
“He is still a work in progress at the plate, but he improved in the quality at-bat stat over his freshman season,” DeLappe said of Moore. “He is a very emotional player, very competitive; he rose to the occasion when we faced the better pitchers in the league, hit the ball well off (Tyler) Matyshock and (Seth) Tomzcak. Defensively, he was solid in center field, can cover some ground and has a great arm. We look forward to his continued development over the next two years.”
Cook picked up four wins and had an ERA of 2.13. He struck out 40 batters and opponents only hit .132 off him. Cook collected victories over Amador, Stagg, Bret Harte and Summerville. Cook struck out seven in 5.1 innings in a 7-5 road victory over Bret Harte.
“Karson has a fantastic arm and he performed as expected,” DeLappe said. “He was our go-to guy with the game on the line and although he gave us some Brian Wilson moments, he came through for us when we needed him to. He finished out the season solid and I expect him to pick up right where he left off. He’ll go into next season as our No. 1 starter”.
Weatherby was a three-year varsity starter at third base. In his final season, he hit .259 with 15 hits, 12 RBIs and 13 runs scored. Weatherby got hit by 12 pitches and walked eight times. Weatherby knocked in three runs in a 10-5 win over Amador, as well as in an 11-10 loss to Argonaut.
“Logan is a great kid to coach,” DeLappe said. “His work ethic is outstanding, he’s coachable and he’s a good teammate. He was solid at third base for three years, anchored our offense in the four-hole and he did whatever we needed him to do. He was voted a team captain by his peers.”
Smith was Calaveras’ catcher and he had a fielding percentage of .884. At the plate, Smith hit .270 with 17 hits, 11 RBIs and 11 runs scored. He walked twice, was hit by two pitches and stole five bags.
“Our pitching staff led the nation, I think, in free passes (walks and hit batters),” DeLappe said. “They were a very tough staff to catch, missing targets with dirt balls. Tyler handled it flawlessly. After you get beat up for three or four innings by balls in the dirt, the tendency for a lot of catchers is to get tired and back off on the blocking. Tyler never did. He just kept plugging away. Defensively, his mechanics are as good as anyone in the league and when the pitchers game him a chance, he was able to keep the running game in check. He had a solid year. Tyler was voted a team captain by his peers, a sign of respect for the job that he did.”
Calaveras’ character award went to Marco Marcellino. In his senior year, Marcellino hit .340 with 22 RBIs, six doubles and one home run.
“Marco was cut as a freshman, had limited playing time last year and was not projected to be in the starting lineup this year,” DeLappe said. “But every time we turned around, there was Marco battling away to get into that lineup or make any contribution he could. Baseball is a tough game and you can’t sugar coat things sometimes. The game will knock you down and many can’t get back up, but Marco did. He exhibited the underlying character that made this season a successful season despite the record.”