By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
'Jackets and Eagles baseball well represented in league
Hilmar Highs Preston Costa earned all-league honors in the Trans-Valley League and was also named the teams Most Valuable Player. - photo by Journal file photo

Hilmar and Turlock Christian High baseball each concluded their season recently, but it wasn't left without the mark of some standout players that took their game to a different level and were awarded for their efforts by earning all-league honors in their respective leagues.

The TC Eagles were coming off the program’s best season in over half a decade and took the Central California Athletic Alliance by storm, placing second while earning a playoff berth for the first time since 2010.

All this, along with a herd of young talent that included four all-league selections, assisted the Eagles to a 12-7-1 overall season.

“We knew we would be kind of good since we were coming off a good year last season and we replenished it with a big talent pool of freshmen,” said TC head coach James Burbank. “It's always satisfying — you want to have a good year, we had that one goal to make the playoffs — we did that.”

Hilmar capped off their year with an overall record of 14-12 and missed the playoffs after posting a Trans-Valley League record of 6-6.

Despite the results, head coach Bobby Swedberg and his team saw numerous standouts in league that included five players total make the team that included one freshman in a pool of 23.

“Far as successful, as a team we didn't reach our goal, but being recognized in all league meeting was a high point as far as individuals go,” said Swedberg.

The freshman who made the all-league team was Treven Crowley, who already well over 6-foot-1, was able to solidify his position on the field early on. His .337 batting average was the fifth best for a team that had six players batting .308 or better.

“Treven has a bright future... he produced for us, but athlete for athlete, we are very confident in the kids we have on the program,” said Swedberg. “We have guys that got hot during league and did great things for us all year. There were a lot of ups and downs this year, but obviously not take anything away from the team, they competed all year long, a lot of one run baseball games.”

Along with Crowley, making the all-league honors were seniors Auston Sutton, Zach Berberia and Preston Costa. Chris Flores was the only junior to make it from Hilmar. Trent Crowley and Wyatt Amaral were honorable mention recipients.

Costa (.370), along with Sutton (.341) and Flores (.268) were among the top batters average wise for the Yellowjackets, while Berberia was the team's undoubted ace.

Berberia hauled in the most innings pitched for his team with 53 and 1/3 innings of work and struck out 53 while allowing 35 hits.

“He was very competitive and never wanted to come out of the game,” said Swedberg. “He logged a lot of innings on the mound and obviously the one run losses reflect that, even though it was a loss, he put us in a position to win a lot of games this year.”

The four representatives from TC that made the all-league selection all batted over .300.

Freshman Ryan Leonesio, along with sophomore Liam Jones were selected as first team recipients while junior Jakob Skinner and senior Caleb Heppner were second team selections. Freshman Markie Delgadillo was an honorable mention.

“Just really, we had a lot of outstanding guys, to say one or two guys, it took a team effort to do what we did and to get to where we were,” said Burbank.

Leonesio and Delgadillo are first year players who show extraordinary ability. In 84 plate appearances, Leonesio never struck out once and batted .441 to lead his team with the only home-run on the year, while Delgadillo batted .315 and in nine appearances on the mound accumulated an ERA of 1.98.

Jones batted .431 for the second best on the team while Skinner followed in third at .373.

“Great group of kids who want to compete but they are making their mark at TC,” said Burbank.