Pioneers earn All-CCAA honors for baseball, softball

Marissa Marshall,
Sports Editor

Despite not qualifying for the playoffs, the California State East Bay baseball and softball teams had seven players earn All-CCAA honors, an award that recognized the best players of the 2018 season

The softball team was 19-36 overall this season and 13-22 in California Collegiate Athletic Association Conference (CCAA) play, while the baseball team was 24-26 overall and 21-23 in conference games. Despite the tough seasons, both teams had some standout performers.

Junior outfielder Courtney Leyba, junior pitcher Bailee Glover and sophomore infielder Jennifer Palmares were the three who made the cut from the softball squad. Senior pitcher Alex Vesia, senior outfielder Raymond Jones, junior infielder Adam Hollar and junior infielder Dakota Conners were the four players who made it from the baseball team this season.

Leyva and Glover were both named to the All-CCAA second team. Leyva had an outstanding season for East Bay, as she had a batting average of .341. on-base percentage of .410, slugging percentage of .480, 59 hits, 19 walks and 10 stolen bases. In addition to all of this, she had 16 multi-hit games and batted over .483 throughout the course of the last nine games of the season.

Leyba’s statistics have improved tremendously compared to the previous season. Last year, she played in 48 games and had a .302 batting percentage, .369 on-base percentage and finished second on the team in both stolen bases, 13 and runs, 49.

After only playing 25 games last year, Glover took advantage of her opportunity this season as she started 45 games and made a significant impact for the Pioneers. She had 10 doubles this season, the second highest on the team, 16 runs batted in and 31 hits. She also tallied a 3.36 earned run average on the mound this season.

Palmares earned an honorable mention for East Bay as she continued to be consistent following her successful freshman year debut last year, where she started 44 games and led the Pioneers with a .338 batting average. She also added 46 hits, 28 RBI’s and 4 home runs.

This year her averages were lower, but she still managed to produce, starting all 55 games of the season, earning a .311 batting average. She also led the CCAA with 19 doubles and ranked fifth amongst all CCAA players with 46 runs and 59 hits.

Despite her youth, Palmares has been consistent for the Pioneers for two years in a row and it should be interesting to see her growth going into her junior year.

As for the men, perhaps the most talked about player throughout the entire season was Vesia. The pitcher was named All-CCAA first team and had one of the best seasons ever as a pitcher for the Pioneers, ending his collegiate baseball career on a high note.

Vesia was named CCAA pitcher of the week twice and towards the end of the season, he managed to pitch 45 innings without allowing a single run. He ended his career tied for the conference lead in wins, 8-2 and ranked second in earned run average, 1.94 and 82 strikeouts.

The superstar pitcher also broke East Bay’s career record for wins with a total of 25, strikeouts, 249 and 313.2 innings, which leaves him as the programs all-time leader. East Bay will miss Vesia’s presence on the mound, a player of his caliber is hard to replace.

Jones was named to the All- CCAA second team. Jones had the best batting average on the team at .367, which was also fifth among all CCAA players. He also led the team in on-base percentage with .440, walks with 19 and was second in runs with 31.

Hollar was also named to the All-CCAA second team. He had a batting average of  .327 this season and .336 in conference play. He also led all CCAA players with 19 hit-by-pitches, which also happened to be the eleventh most in the nation. His on-base percentage was also the second highest on the team standing at .432 so it will be good to have Hollar back for next season for the Pioneers.

Lastly, Conners received an honorable mention for the season, his second in a row. Conners averaged .322 at the plate in conference play this season and led the team with 14 doubles and 34 runs scored.