East County Sports

Santana alum Nunez returns, joins Stars



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL Annual Awards, Player of the Year 2022 – Grant MacArthur, Granite Hills 2021 – Isaiah Gomez, Grossmont 2020 – no season 2019 – Joseph “JoJo” Ingrassia, Valhalla 2018 – Trevor Hazelhurst, Granite Hills 2017 – Noah Nunez, Santana 2016 – Andrew Brown, Granite Hills 2015 – Lee Mutter, Helix 2014 – Jayson Rosem Granite Hills & Chris Hudgins, Valhalla 2013 – Trenton Brooks, Granite Hills 2012 – Troy Conyers, El Capitan 2011 – Tyrone Wiggins, El Capitan 2010 – Joe Musgrove, Grossmont 2009 – Levi Stevens, Grossmont 2008 – Ryan O’Sullivan, Valhalla 2007 – Eric Krause, Granite Hills 2006 – A.J. Griffin, Grossmont 2005 – Nick Monette, Granite Hills 2004 – Sean O’Sullivan, Valhalla 2003 – Brian Schroeder, Christian, and Sean O’Sullivan, Valhalla 2002 – Kyle Phillips, El Capitan 2001 – Joey Metropoulos, Monte Vista 2000 – Kevin Nulton, El Capitan Others 1997 – Leo Dailge, Monte Vista, and Brett Caradonna, El Capitan 1992 – Jason Eskridge, Grossmont 1991 – N/A 1990 – Todd Cady, Grossmont 1989 – Rob Ippolito, Helix 1988 – Mike Rendina, Grossmont 1987 – N/A 1986 – Jeff Gay, Santana 1985 – Damon Hansel, Granite Hills 1984 – Jimmy Tatum, Santana (11) 1983 – Mike Goodwin, Valhalla 1982 – John Goulart, Granite Hills 1981 – Shawn Stone, Grossmont (11).

SANTEE — Noah Nunez, the 2017 East County baseball player of the year, has resurfaced and hopes to resurrect his playing career as a member of the San Diego Stars.

Nunez, who earned a baseball scholarship to San Diego State, instead elected to sign a professional contract after being drafted by the New York Mets.

However, three seasons in rookie ball left him out of baseball by the end of the 2019 season. Three years later, Nunez hopes to start over, yet still young enough to do so at the age of 22.

“He’ll need to throw some bullpens before we put him in a game — we don’t want to hurt his arm,” said Stars owner/president Kelly Ritayik. “If we qualify for the National Baseball Congress World Series, we’re going to need some additional arms, so Noah could prove quite valuable.”

Even though the Stars are the Western Baseball Association are considered to be at the collegiate circuits, the Stars’ roots are as a semipro ballclub, with several future and former professional ballplayers on their roster.

Since Nunez has been out of pro ball for three seasons, the one-year waiting period to allow him to play at this level expired long ago.

The right-hander relief pitcher led Santana to the Grossmont Hills League championship, advancing to the CIF-San Diego Section title game. When he didn’t pitch, Nunez was an outfielder and a top hitter while seving as team captain for the Sultans.

Pro scouts were regulars at all of the pitching starts by the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder, yet he was drafted surprisingly low in the 32nd round of the June ’17 draft.

His statistics did improve over all three seasons in the Mets organization covering two stints in the Appalachian League, sandwiched around one year in the Gulf Coast League.


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