June 21, 2024

If there’s one constant about why Southern California keeps producing exceptional high school baseball players, it’s the family tradition of brother following brother and cousin following cousin with each pushing the other toward success.

Junior catcher Trent Grindlinger of Huntington Beach.

Junior catcher Trent Grindlinger of Huntington Beach.

(Nick Koza)

At the midway point of the high school season, the Grindlinger brothers from Huntington Beach, Trent and Jared, have made their mark. Trent, a junior catcher, has 10 doubles. Jared, a freshman pitcher, keeps making brief appearances and letting everyone know he could be best of all the brothers. He struck out three in two innings against Mater Dei on Thursday. Their oldest brother, Brad, was a star pitcher at Huntington Beach.

Brothers Jared and Trent Grindlinger smile in their baseball uniforms.

Brothers Jared, left, and Trent Grindlinger of Huntington Beach. Jared is a freshman pitcher. Trent is a junior catcher.

(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

“It’s the most fun ever,” said 14-year-old Jared. “That’s what I was dreaming about coming here throwing the ball to Trent and carrying on the brotherly tradition from Brad. I’m wearing his number.”

Freshman pitcher Mason Sims of Corona.

Freshman pitcher Mason Sims of Corona.

(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Young pitchers like Jared have been making an impact. Coaches were raving this past week about Oaks Christian sophomore Jack Laubacher, who struck out 10 and shut out JSerra 6-0. Freshman left-hander Mason Sims of Corona threw a complete game in his first start in a 2-1 win in the Boras Classic. Sophomore Juju Diaz-Jones of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame has allowed zero earned runs in 22 2/3 innings. Sophomore Gary Morse of Orange Lutheran has a 1.01 ERA over 27 2/3 innings.

Here’s a look at trends and top players:

Junior pitcher Seth Hernandez of Corona.

Junior pitcher Seth Hernandez of Corona.

(Nick Koza)

Top player: Seth Hernandez, Corona, Jr. When it comes to living up to expectations, Hernandez has done that and more. He’s an exceptional talent with a 97-mph fastball and terrific change-up. He’s also top hitter, having hit three home runs at the Boras Classic.

Left-hander Dylan Volantis of Westlake is 6 feet 6 and committed to USC.

Left-hander Dylan Volantis of Westlake is 6 feet 6 and committed to USC.

(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Most improved pitcher: Dylan Volantis, Westlake, Sr. The USC commit has learned to throw strikes. He’s 4-0 with 56 strikeouts and seven walks in 35 innings.

Most dominant pitcher: Boston Bateman, Camarillo, Sr. In 35 innings, Boston has allowed five hits while striking out 65.

Top infielder: Gabe Fraser, Orange Lutheran, Sr. The Arkansas commit is batting .455 with 20 hits.

Rising senior duo: Aaron Sambath and Justin Tims, Villa Park. Sambath is 4-1 with a 1.64 ERA. Tims is 3-2 with a 0.41 ERA and threw a complete game to beat No. 2 Harvard-Westlake this past week 3-2.

Power senior trio: Matt Moreno, Nate Malone, Paul Vazquez, South Hills. Pitchers face an imposing trio against South Hills. They have combined to hit eight home runs.

Junior catcher Alex Schmidt of Granada Hills.

Junior catcher Alex Schmidt of Granada Hills.

(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Biggest surprise: Alex Schmidt, Granada Hills, Jr. Schmidt, a catcher, is batting .405 with four home runs and 19 RBIs.

Best former JV player: Dom Cadiz, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, Jr. A junior varsity player last season, Cadiz has been the Knights’ best hitter. He has three walk-off hits in the Mission League and delivered a bases-loaded single this past week in the sixth inning to help the Knights beat Servite in the semifinals of the National Classic. Notre Dame won the championship.

Dynamic duo: Shortstop Nate Castellon and third baseman Matthew Witkow are batting .464 and .411, respectively, with 26 hits and 23 hits for Calabasas. Castellon, a senior, is committed to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Witkow, a junior, plans to attend Harvard.

Most improved team: St. Francis is 13-8 under second-year coach Shaun Kort, its most wins since 2010. The Golden Knights had a three-game sweep of Loyola in league play. A Division 4 team, St. Francis will be fighting for an automatic playoff berth in the Mission League or at-large berth.

Team with perseverance: Mater Dei (12-6) won two 11-inning games, then rallied from a 3-0 deficit to stun No. 1 Corona 5-3 in the championship game of the Boras Classic. Sophomore Ezekiel Lara went seven for 13 in the tournament.

Best catcher: Josh Springer, Corona, Sr. Don’t underestimate the unsung MVP for the No. 1-ranked Panthers. He calls all the pitches and has plenty of bruises from sacrificing his body. He’s also hitting .383 with 23 hits.

Best senior pro prospects: Duncan Marsten and Bryce Rainer, Harvard-Westlake. Marsten is 7-0 as a pitcher. Rainer is hitting .474. Both are doing what you need to do to impress scouts with their consistency against quality competition.

Sophomore star: Brody Schumaker of Santa Margarita has 20 hits, a .417 batting average, 14 RBIs and has walked 10 times with just four strikeouts.

56
40
93
59
00
25
56
55
62
18
34
92
64
11
23
65
23
87
71
23
08
45
70
45
57
16
21
43
78
97
88
50
90
62
52
61
46
90
46
87
55
72
50
18
32
72
15
05
65
02
63
53
66
97
92
42
34
43
62
81
10
29
70
97
46
90
92
41
01
71
38
59
31
56
07
77
56
87
88
16
08
61
45
05
73
42
84
28
19
71
35
89
40
72
54
14
91
46
95
94
96
96
69
33
11
39
64
90
40
27
33
68
38
01
96
52
16
28
93
19
84
64
31
01
09
96
45
66
80
15
32
87
51
58
45
84
68
27
10
47
88
00
83
59
79
10
94
63
09
32
88
96
56
75
93
50
93
58
26
93
58
90
43
21
91
74
42
76
26
88
94
05
89
47
90
54
52
66
85
80
02
86
52
60
64
43
05
85
59
36
07
73
85
92
89
85
47
35
22
12
24
58
61
49
19
39
06
81
15
95
47
49
25
18
44
40
33
20
18
53
91
02
92
20
40
02
77
75
05
72
32
68
65
27
10
96
09
49
59
71
33
16
97
77
88
32
80
07
41
22
21
65
18
03
50
45
18
16
85
35
56
98
73
48
32
10
62
17
31
65
12
98
88
37
61
86
10
47
86
80
06
55
88
58
28
91
71
84
34
64
36
19
84
33
54
56
00
81
01
92
22
66
69
67
80
56
32
95
45
12
18
59
95
46
93
63
14
56
24
03
06
54
32
83
08
72
57
18
63
47
65
55
25
52
15
38
72
10
37
21
34
67
96
13
78
91
75
74
46
23
26
07
80
38
46
34
88
41
85
58
24
19
99
80
50
86
92
92
70
96
67
03
93
37
72
21
72
34
62
56
79
06
49
05
50
66
84
56
22
95
45
56
35
88
65
95
36
28
47
55
37
26
85
82
28
50
28
34
39
94
46
56
91
97
73
62
88
87
88
75
37
00
70
48
98
43
23
28
27
74
82
56
52
48
01
66
45
39
24
10
55
00
66
56
47
70
90
20
47
95
08
53
52
63
16
47
94
25
18
65
03
53
97
85
88
66
56
42
98
07
00
19
02
87
24
79
12
76
93
46
98
10
84
91
36
72
96
14
23
00
69
28
18
34
19
80
30
53
03
63
25
55
82
24
69
96
95
94
56
40
19
12
23
48
94
14
19
20
81
51
02
53
35
30
77
54
44
05
33
36
84
97
83
88
78
86
19
85
89
19
99
23
33
01
18
64
59
05
51
88
36
93
30
55
89
45
95
65
71
14
20
15
33
09
18
15
33
95
76
83
84
08
05
40
19
43
27
73
41
99
84
15
11
06
04
78

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *