| July 25, 2023
Photo Credit: Jordan Georgeson
By CCL Reporters Sean Brennan, Sam Nute and Dylan Wickman
With the conclusion of Week 7, one week remains in the CCL summer season, as the CCL 30 Postseason is set to begin on August 1. While two teams have already secured a spot in the tournament, the playoff race has intensified in both divisions, making for an exciting week of baseball. Each team is carefully ranked based on their overall record, week record, strength of schedule, and recent trends. Read below to find out where each team stands after Week 7.
#1 Healdsburg Prune Packers (--)
League Record: 24-6
League Record This Week: 3-3
Overall Record: 36-6
Overall Record This Week: 3-3
Entering this week, the Healdsburg Prune Packers were riding a 14-game winning streak, and despite losing just their second series of the season, ended the week with a 3-3 record, clinching the first spot in the CCL 30 Postseason.
The Prune Packers suffered their first loss, and first series loss, since their series against the Crawdads in late June. However, after an explosive offensive performance against the Mudcats to close out the week, the Prune Packers still have a couple of outstanding performances.
Outfielder/Infielder Ivan Brethowr (UC Santa Barbara) got his first taste of CCL league play this week and performed outstanding, going 8-for-20 with 12 RBI and five home runs. Two-way player Connor Charpiot continued his All-League caliber season, going 12-for-24 with two doubles and a home run plus seven RBI. Charpiot is slashing .446/.561/.662 at the plate and has 12 strikeouts in 6.2 innings pitched on the mound.
In their 5-1 win over the Potters, Healdsburg got a couple of great pitching performances. Left-handed pitcher Christopher Stamos (Undecided) got the win, throwing 4.0 innings while striking out four and giving up just two hits. Behind him was RHP Michael Rice, who went 2.1 innings, giving up just one earned run and striking out five.
Next week, the Packers will look to clinch the North Division No. 1 seed with a huge series against the Crawdads before closing the season with a two-game set against the Mudcats.
#2 Walnut Creek Crawdads (--)
League Record: 21-8
League Record This Week: 4-2
Overall Record: 29-8
Overall Record This Week: 4-2
The Walnut Creek Crawdads got the week started with three high-scoring wins against the Mudcats before losing a tight and competitive series against the Potters. On the way, the Dads’ clinched the second CCL 30 Postseason spot in the North Division.
The Crawdads’ offense is on a tear right now, scoring double-digit runs in five of their last seven games and totaling 77 runs dating back to last Sunday. After starting the season in a bit of a slump, infielder Max Farfan (Illinois Chicago) and outfielder Tyson Pointer (Texas Arlington) have found their stride and have lengthened out the Crawdads’ lineup. But the star of the last week has been outfielder Brian DuRoff who went 9-for-28 with 11 RBI on two home runs and a double.
The amount of runs that the offense has scored has overshadowed what was a rough week for the Crawdads’ on the mound. Despite that, LHP Sean Fitzpatrick (Arkansas) continues to be Walnut Creek’s best pitcher. In a three-inning outing against the Potters, "Fitzmagic" struck out six batters, allowing zero runs on just two hits.
Next week, the Crawdads will battle with the Prune Packers for a chance at the No. 1 seed in the North Division playoffs. They will close the season with a three-game series against the Stompers.
#3 Santa Barbara Foresters (--)
League Record: 21-9
League Record This Week: 3-2
Overall Record: 25-9
Overall Record This Week: 4-2
With a 3-2 record, the Santa Barbara Foresters have posted a winning record for the sixth consecutive week – one that provided no shortage of excitement. After dropping their first game of the week to the Arroyo Seco Saints, Santa Barbara rebounded with a non-league win and sealed a series split with Arroyo Seco a day later, logging their first combined no-hitter of the summer two days later.
This milestone proved all the CCL South-leading ‘Sters needed. They would go on to take a three-game series from the second-place Riptide, building their division lead to 2.5 games with a week remaining in the regular season.
Infielder Eamonn Lance (Arizona State) was one of Santa Barbara’s most productive hitters this week, batting .353 with two doubles, a solo shot, and two RBI in 17 at-bats. Also providing some pop at the plate was backstop Rylan Galvan (Texas), who went 4-for-13 while recording two homers, two doubles, and four RBI.
The Foresters’ biggest pitching story of the week belongs to right-handers Sean Youngerman (Westmont) and Hunter Watkins (Grand Canyon), the duo responsible for Santa Barbara’s combined no-no on July 20. Youngerman and Watkins simply couldn’t be touched, as they fanned a collective nine Saints while issuing just three walks in the 4-0 win.
Another notable performance on the mound for Santa Barbara was that of righty Carson Turnquist (Oklahoma), who started his first game of the summer in the rubber match against the Riptide on July 23. The Paso Robles, Calif. native set the tone in his team’s 9-4 victory, allowing just two baserunners while striking out five in 6.0 innings – and earning his third win of the 2023 campaign.
Next week, the Foresters will look to lock up their third straight CCL South Division regular season title, but it won’t be easy. Their final five contests are against the Oaks and Blues, the two squads fighting for the CCL South’s final playoff spot.
#4 Orange County Riptide (⬆2)
League Record: 18-13
League Record This Week: 2-3
Overall Record: 19-14
Overall Record This Week: 2-3
The Riptide came into Week 7 looking to solidify their playoff position with two key South series — a two-game stint against the San Luis Obispo Blues and three games against the Santa Barbara Foresters — but couldn’t quite capitalize on the opportunity. They split against the Blues before losing two out of three against Santa Barbara, who pulled out a 10-9 nail-biter in Game 1. Despite this, Orange County is still in sole possession of the first seed in the South.
Outfielder Patrick Hackworth (UC San Diego) more than found his rhythm this week, putting up two or more hits in three games while tallying five RBI. Infielder Nathan Cadena (San Jose State) was consistent as well, hitting 4-for-13 and stealing three bases, while outfielders Grady Morgan (Fresno State) and Reese Chapman (Tennessee) were responsible for each of the Riptide’s home runs this week.
The pitching staff put together some stat-stuffing performances as well in Week 7. In the Foresters series, RHPs Jack Kirrer (Cal) and Tyler Valdez (Arizona State) each gave up one earned run in their appearances and struck out six and seven batters, respectively. Fellow righty Josh Randall (San Diego) stepped up in game two against the Blues, retiring six batters with strikeouts and giving up two hits and one earned run.
The Riptide will have some more important games in the South for the final week of the season, starting with one against the Saints, who sit one game below them, and three games against the Blues.
#5 Arroyo Seco Saints (--)
League Record: 17-13
League Record This Week: 3-1
Overall Record: 19-13
Overall Record This Week: 3-1
Winning six of their last eight league contests with the CCL 30 Postseason looming on the horizon, the Saints picked the perfect time to heat up. This week, Arroyo Seco went 1-1 against the Foresters before picking up two hard-fought victories over the Blues, comfortably positioning themselves in the CCL South Division’s second playoff spot with a three-game lead over the Oaks.
Despite putting up 21 runs in four games, the Saints didn’t have a single far-and-away offensive leader. During his team’s two games in San Luis Obispo, outfielder Kyte McDonald (Wichita State) found his stride, accumulating four hits, a solo shot, and two RBI in ten at-bats. Another Shocker to headline Arroyo Seco’s lineup this week is infielder Jordan Rogers (Wichita State), who went 4-for-12 with a double and four RBI.
Playing in his first week of CCL action, newcomer Thomas Golbranson (Undecided) didn’t need any time to get comfortable. The infielder totaled four knocks – including a three-hit night against the Blues on July 21 – in addition to two walks, three RBI, and a lone strikeout and will look to become another weapon for the Saints heading into the postseason.
During Arroyo Seco’s loss to the ‘Sters on July 20, right-hander Carter Herrera (Cal State Fullerton) was strong, conceding no earned runs and striking out five in a 6.0-inning start. Two days earlier, right-handed reliever Jacob Henderson (Iowa) picked up his first save of the summer in another dominant outing on the bump. The second-year Saint was flawless in 5.0 frames, as he didn’t allow a baserunner and struck out eight, preserving his 0.00 season ERA.
Next week, the Saints will face the Blues and Riptide before rounding out the regular season with a three-game series against the Barons.
#6 Lincoln Potters (⬆1)
League Record: 15-14
League Record This Week: 4-2
Overall Record: 25-16
Overall Record This Week: 4-3
The Potters came into this week with the odds stacked against them. They owned the third and final seed in the North by 2.5 games and had two three-game series against the No. 1 Healdsburg Prune Packers and the No. 2 Walnut Creek Crawdads. The Potters won both series against the top two seeds in the North to give themselves a two-game divisional cushion for a CCL 30 Postseason berth.
Lincoln needed great performances on both sides of the ball to earn these wins, and they got just that. For the pitching staff, LHP Arthur Steinkamp (New Mexico) and RHP Craig Schmich (Minot State) were vital in the Packers' wins, while RHPs Eric Vasser (Sacramento CC) and Toran O’Harran (Stanford) came through against Walnut Creek.
Steinkamp closed the last 4.0 innings in game one against Healdsburg, allowing three hits and zero runs, while Schmich had a whopping ten strikeouts in the game three effort. Vasser gave up just one hit and a run in 2.0 innings during the two-run win against the Crawdads, while O’Harran struck out five batters and surrendered just one run in Game 3.
Catcher Nolan Wilson had an exceptional week hitting for Lincoln, going 9-for-21 with two doubles, a home run, and eight RBI in four games. He was especially important in the game one win against the Packers, as he went 4-for-5 with three runs and two RBI. Infielder Patrick Herrera and outfielder Payton Brennan (UCLA) also had themselves a week, with Herrera hitting a home run in Games 1 and 3 against the Packers while totaling six hits for the week and Brennan hitting a double in all four games he played while tallying seven hits.
The Potters will look forward to two three-game series against the Solano Mudcats and the CCL affiliate Bay Area Admirals as they look to hold on to their playoff spot.
#7 Conejo Oaks (⬇3)
League Record: 14-16
League Record This Week: 1-2
Overall Record: 15-16
Overall Record This Week: 1-2
While Week 7 – which featured a series loss to the Barons and a non-league victory – didn’t yield the results the Conejo Oaks had hoped for, there is one major positive from their most recent four-game stretch. The Oaks are still heavily in the CCL 30 Postseason conversation, with Conejo a half-game ahead of the Blues for the South Division’s third and final playoff spot.
The reigning CCL South Hitter of the Week, McCabe Moyer (Oregon), continued his hot streak, going 9-for-23 with a double and three RBI. Moyer's excellent previous two weeks have raised his slash line to .330/.367/.408.
On the bump, RHP Cole Fisher was once again excellent on the mound, throwing 2.1 innings and striking out five of his ten batters while giving up zero runs on two hits. Across two outings this week, LHP Tobias Plotkin (Glendale CC) performed well, giving up zero runs in 5.0 innings pitched and striking out three.
The Oaks will be in a battle for the final playoff spot in the South. A four-game set with the Foresters highlights next week's schedule.
#8 Sonoma Stompers (⬆1)
League Record: 13-16
League Record This Week: 3-1
Overall Record: 22-18
Overall Record This Week: 3-1
The Stompers have put together an impressive late-season surge, winning six of their last eight games to put them two games out of a playoff spot. Sonoma’s offense scored 30 runs across five games to power the team to three wins against the CCL affiliate Bay Area Admirals this week.
Catcher Omar Gastelum (San Jose State) led the way racking up eight hits and 11 RBI. The All-Star’s best performance came in Game 2 when he went 3-for-4, hitting two doubles and driving in five runners total. Outfielder Jag Burden (Cal) matched that hit total in that same game while batting in three runners. He now has tallied nine hits over his last five appearances.
The best performance on the mound came from LHP Austin Steeves. He made his CCL debut in game four but looked like a professional on the mound. He pitched 7.0 innings and surrendered just two hits and one run while striking out two hitters. The pitching staff had their best all-around performance in Game 1 when RHP Joey Van Dusen (Sacramento CC), LHP Clayton Longinotti (San Jose State), and RHP Alfredo Capacete (UC Riverside) came together to strike out 11 batters and limit the Admirals to two runs.
The Stompers will face the Admirals for three more games and the Walnut Creek Crawdads for two next week to try and keep their postseason hopes alive.
#9 San Luis Obispo Blues(⬇1)
League Record: 13-16
League Record This Week: 2-4
Overall Record: 20-20
Overall Record This Week: 2-4
The Blues had three pairs of two-game series in the South to try and make some ground in the standings. They started things well by splitting with No. 1 seed Orange County Riptide but were swept by the Saints after in a couple of tightly contested contests. They ended the week splitting a doubleheader against the MLB Academy Barons. San Luis Obispo now sits a half-game out of a playoff spot.
In the Game 1 win against the Riptide, the Blues found their groove and put up their highest run total of the season with 13. Infielder Sam DeCarlo (Washington), catcher Matt Spear (San Jose State), and outfielder Jeriah Lewis each (San Jose State) recorded two hits in the effort. The Blues put up seven runs in game two against the Saints, a game that saw Lewis record two more hits and a home run. Outfielder Matt Masciangelo (Undecided) had his bat hot all week long, going 7-for-16 with two doubles.
The pitching staff had strong performances all around this week. Right-handed pitcher Kaden Tynes (Cuesta College) closed the last 4.0 innings in the Riptide win, limiting Orange County to only three hits and zero earned runs. Righty Grant Cunningham (Washington) and LHP Chris Stuart (Undecided) each struck out six batters in their outings. Stuart gave up just two runs, while Cunningham didn’t surrender any.
The Blues will have another six-game slate in the league’s final week to try and move into a postseason spot. They will have individual games against the Saints, Barons, and Foresters, plus a three-game series against the Riptide.
#10 Academy Barons (--)
League Record: 7-23
League Record This Week: 3-3
Overall Record: 7-23
Overall Record This Week: 3-3
Week 7 was the MLB Youth Academy Barons’ best of the summer to date, as they split a four-game series with the Oaks before going 1-1 in a doubleheader with the Blues on July 23, ending the week with a 3-3 mark.
Infielder Kamau Neighbors (Cal State Northridge) has been consistent all season long – leading the CCL South Division with a .384 average – and unsurprisingly spearheaded the Barons’ recent success. The CCL 30 Showcase Game selection recorded multiple hits in four of his last six games, finishing the week with 12 knocks – three of which were for extra bases – four walks, seven RBI, and no strikeouts in 23 at-bats.
Despite his staggering numbers on the week, Neighbors wasn’t the only contributor to the Academy’s success at the plate. Fellow infielder Thomas Williams (Santa Ana College) went 7-for-18 with three doubles and two RBI while only striking out twice.
Perhaps the most interesting Baron this week, however, was two-way player Maximus Berber (Whittier College), who shined in his team’s 8-2 win over Conejo on July 22. After recording three hits – one of which drove in a pair of runs – Berber closed out the game on the hill, holding the Oaks scoreless in the ninth to seal a series split.
Solely on the mound, reigning CCL South Pitcher of the Week Ruben Del Castillo (Wagner College) had a solid 7.0-inning start in Game 1 against the Blues, striking out five while earning one earned run. Right-hander Harold Boyce was also productive in Game 2 of the doubleheader, as he fanned four and also conceded a single earned run in 6.0 frames.
The Barons’ final series of the regular season – a three-game set with the Saints – is sandwiched in between the series finale against the Blues and a one-off in Thousand Oaks.
#11 Solano Mudcats (--)
League Record: 5-25
League Record This Week: 1-4
Overall Record: 6-29
Overall Record This Week: 1-4
On Sunday the Mudcats knocked off the Prune Packers with a walk-off win in 10 innings, snapping their win streak and ending the week on a high note.
The Mudcats received identical contributions from two-way player Jake Tandy (Pacific) and infielder Jeff Hoffman (Willamette). Both players went 2-for-5 with two RBI. With Tandy as the automatic runner on second to start the 10th inning, Hoffman drove him in with a single and sent the Mudcats celebrating.
On the mound, RHP Caleb Davis (Sonoma State) scattered five runs and nine hits through 7.0 innings. However, those would be the last runs the Packers would score in the game as LHP Tyler Lamperti (Cosumnes River College) came and closed the door on Healdsburg. Lamperti went 3.0 scoreless innings giving up just two hits while striking out only one. Lamperti’s performance gave the offense enough time to pull off a four-run seventh inning to tie it up and eventually win in extras.
The Mudcats will look to play spoiler next week with a series against the Potters and a rematch with the Prune Packers.
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