East County Sports

Ross is state division player of year

Braeden Ross with Christian High head coach Mike Mitchell. / CHS Athletics

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

 

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

STOCKTON —- Eastlake High shortstop Marcelo Mayer, the No. 4 overall draft choice in last week’s Major League Baseball amateur draft, was recognized with the Mr. Baseball citation as the California State Player of the Year by CalHiSports.com, the state’s leading authority on high school athletics.However, Mayer was not the lone selection from the CIF San Diego Section ranks.

On Monday (July 19), CalHiSports also announced its annual winners by division and grade level, featuring Christian High standout Braeden Ross as the State Player of the Year in the Small Schools Division.

Ross, a 2021 graduate of CHS headed for CSU Northridge, led the Patriots to the City League title, then the CIF Division III championships. The ballclub then advanced through the field in the first-ever CIF Southern California regional but saw the school’s 18-game winning streak finally snapped in the title game.

Carrying a 4.00 grade-point average, on the field, Ross batted .457, with 11 home runs and 44 RBI — all three ranking among the East County and CIFSDS leaders. He also pitched, posting a 5-1 overall record with a 1.50 earned-run average.

CalHiSports on Ross:

“Coming from a team that went 26-5 and was No. 2 in the final D4 state rankings behind Tamalpais, Ross was considered for the small schools classification instead of medium schools and he was the one who emerged with this honor. Over the years in most sports, Christian’s teams and their players have been small schools. We know it’s confusing, but in the era of competitive equity playoff seedings by the CIF and most sections, that’s inevitable. The only way for it not to be confusing would be to scrap small schools honors completely and just go off of competitive equity divisions (which we’re not going to do).

Ross shined as both a hitter and pitcher for the Patriots and was placed on the All-San Diego Section first team alongside Marcelo Mayer and many other Open Division standouts. Christian won the D3 section title and then went to the CIF SoCal D6 regional playoffs where it lost in the title game to La Habra (note that La Habra and at least two players will be on the all-state medium schools team).

Just before that game vs. La Habra, Ross ripped a pair of doubles and had five RBI in an 11-1 win in the regional semifinals over Elsinore of Lake Elsinore. He also had two hits in the last game loss.

For the season, Braeden finished with a .457 batting average with 11 homers and 44 RBI. He also had 35 runs scored. Ross wound up 5-1 with a 1.50 ERA as a pitcher and had 56 strikeouts in 42 innings. He had 10 strikeouts in two different games and he had a four-hitter with eight strikeouts in a 4-0 shutout of La Jolla.

Looking ahead, Braeden will attend Cal-State Northridge to continue his baseball and academic career. In addition to the baseball honors, he also has a 4.0 GPA.

Looking back, El Cajon Christian actually had a Small Schools State Player of the Year in baseball before. That was in 2003 when Brian Schroeder was the honoree. The CIF San Diego Section’s last winner was Nolan Gannon of Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach) for 2012.”

CalHiSports on Mayer:

“Two years after Eastlake High of Chula Vista had the Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year and one year after no one could be chosen because most of the 2020 season and all playoffs had to be scrapped due to the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, the Titans and the CIF San Diego Section have landed another one.

This time, it was arguably an even easier selection for the state’s No. 1 player as Marcelo Mayer of the Titans follows 2018 honoree Keoni Cavaco.Mayer also is the third straight State Player of the Year from the San Diego area and he’s the fifth from the section in the last seven years. He follows not just Cavaco but 2018 honoree Joe Magrisi of Torrey Pines. The two before that were No. 1 overall MLB Draft picks Mickey Moniak of La Costa Canyon (2016) and Brady Aiken of Cathedral Catholic (2014).”

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