By Dan Lovi and Diego Marquez
For Valencia’s Davis Cop, the 2019 baseball season couldn’t have ended any better.
Perhaps the only thing that could have made it better was if the Vikings made a deeper run in the playoffs, but Cop nonetheless capped off a tremendous four-year varsity career by leading his team to the Foothill League crown.
As the leadoff hitter and starting third baseman, Cop played a crucial role in Valencia’s success this season, and was named the All-SCV Player of the Year.
“I think it was really a great end to the last four years. All the hard work, not just me, but the guys around me, my dad, my coaches, my teammates put in, there really wasn’t a better way to cap off the last four years,” Cop said. “My support group was able to see me perform this year. Just how it came together was really cool to see, it was really important to me.”
Cop was second in the league in hits with 41 in 31 games played. He was third in the league in batting average (.376) and was tied for first in home runs with five. He was also second in slugging percentage at .661 and second in stolen bases with 16. He finished 12th in the league in on-base percentage at .408.
He led the league in nearly every offensive category including: RBIs (27), runs scored (29) and doubles (14). He also had the most plate appearances of any player in the league with 120.
“My sophomore year that class that left was fantastic and stepping into that new role at that leadoff spot, at third base, there were question marks,” Cop said. “I think working to erase that doubt and more than erase the doubt, but put confidence in me was a big deal.”
Cop credits his support system for all the success he’s had in his career, but also acknowledged that his detractors provided a little extra motivation.
“To the doubters, thank you. As much as I wouldn’t be here without the people that have supported me, I also wouldn’t be here without the people who doubted me and given me a reason to work a little bit harder and not let them be right,” he said.
Also serving as the Vikings’ starting quarterback on the football team this season, Cop knows the legacy that athletes at Valencia have built over the years.
To be a part of that history, filled with tremendous accomplishments of those who came before him, makes this past season all the more sweeter.
“My four years I always felt like there were big shoes to fill because of the tradition at Valencia baseball and the Valencia athletics program,” he said. “The precedent that the alumni that came before me, that have set the standards of what a Valencia athlete should be and the work that you put in means. I’ve gotten to see that success of the people that have come before me and to be a part of it is just great.”
All-SCV First Team
Noah Blythe, Canyon, junior
The junior power hitter came on in the middle of the season and stayed hot through the end of the year, leading the Cowboys in RBIs (22) and home runs (5), tied with Cop for most in the league. He also batted .333, tied for best average on the team. He added 13 runs and also led the league in slugging percentage (.712).
JD Callahan, West Ranch, senior
The Foothill League Pitcher of the Year, Callahan went 7-2 in 10 starts with an ERA of 1.54. He was second in the league in strikeouts with 63 in 54.2 innings pitched. He also recorded one save.
Bobby Garcia, Saugus, senior
The Centurions’ workhorse, Garcia led the league with a 1.12 ERA and went 5-2 in nine starts. He pitched two complete games and had one shut out. He logged 46 strikeouts, tied for fifth-best in the league, in 56.1 innings pitched.
Hewitt Grissom, Saugus, senior
Able to beat you with a bat in hand or with his arm and fielding, Grissom’s quick hands and hard swing earned him a .305 batting average to go along with 25 hits The senior also finished with 19 runs scored and was one of the league’s most elite defensive players.
Brock Kleszcz, Valencia, junior
A pitcher’s nightmare, the Vikings junior led the Foothill League with a .460 batting average, besting the next batter by almost .070, and in hits with 46 to help lead the Vikings to a Foothill League title.
Charles Harrison, Canyon, senior
The UCLA commit did his damage on the hill and at the plate. Harrison pitched 50 innings and logged 61 strikeouts, third most in the league At the plate, he was third on the team in batting average (.324), second in hits (23) and third in RBIs (5). He also added eight runs.
Garret Monheim, West Ranch, senior
First on the team, out of the players with five plate appearances or more, Monheim was top three in every statistical hitting category for West Ranch besides triples. He finished the season with a .394 batting average, 27 runs scored, 26 hits, 26 RBIs, six doubles and three home runs.
Nicholas Perez, West Ranch, junior
The Wildcats catcher boasted a batting average of .310 in 87 at-bats to lead the West Ranch hitters with a team-high 27 hits on the season. The junior was third in the Foothill League with 24 RBIs and tied for third with three home runs in 2018-19.
Mitchell Torres, Valencia, junior
One of Valencia’s most complete players, Torres didn’t miss a beat this season. Beating you on the mound with his arm or at the plate with his deliberate and precise swings, Torres was second in terms of Valencia pitching with a 1.86 ERA to finish with a team-best 7-2 overall record in 12 appearances with one complete game. At the plate, Torres finished fourth in the Foothill League recording a .371 batting average and third in hits (33) and in doubles (10).
All-SCV Second Team
Patrick Arman, Hart, senior
It was a down year for Hart, but Arman did his best to keep the Indians afloat. He led the team in several categories including: hits (27), batting average (.293) and games played (30). He logged 13 RBIs and nine runs and also did work on the mound, going 2-1 in 11 appearances and two starts.
Kyle Barileau, Valencia, senior
One of the senior captains on Valencia, Barileau was a key component both on offense and defense. He logged a batting average of .320 on 32 hits in 100 at-bats. He added 18 RBIs, scored 28 runs and added two homers.
Jovan Camacho, West Ranch, senior
Camacho tied with his brother Ryan for the third-best on-base percentage in the league (.487). He had 20 hits in 78 at-bats (.256) to go along with 17 RBIs and 27 runs scored. His defense was always on point, making great plays in the outfield all season.
Ryan Camacho, West Ranch, senior
To go along with the third-best on-base percentage in the league (.487), Camacho logged a .296 batting average with 24 hits in 81 at-bats. He scored 27 runs and added 15 RBIs to go along with great defensive play.
Jarrett Farmer, Saugus, senior
Leading the Centurions with 17 RBIs and with a .351 batting average in 2018-19, Farmer always came through when it mattered most for Saugus rounding out his high school career. He was tied for the lead on the team with 27 hits.
Bryson James, Golden Valley, senior
James did it all for the Grizzlies, including playing in the outfield, pitching and putting up solid numbers at the plate. James finished his senior season with a 3.13 ERA and a batting average of .329.
Nolan Kutcher, Saugus, senior
In 29 games played, Kutcher was second on the team in batting average (.318), tied for first in home runs (2) and tied for the most hits on the team (27). He added 11 RBIs and scored a team-high 23 runs as the Centurions’ leadoff hitter.
Cade Nicol, West Ranch, senior
Nicol started 12 games for the Wildcats, going 8-3 with an ERA of 1.67. His eight wins led the league and he was fourth overall in strikeouts with 57 in 67 innings pitched.
Tyler Robitaille, Valencia, junior
The Vikings ace, Robitaille started the most games for Valencia (11) and ended the season with a 7-3 record. He led the Foothill League in strikeouts with 76 in 59.1 innings of work. He pitched one complete game, earned one save and had an ERA of 3.07.
Canyon — Tyler DeYoung, junior
Golden Valley — Dylan Daszek, senior
Hart — Kendall Thomas, senior
Saugus — Tony Jacob, senior
SCCS — Jared Mumper
Trinity — Andrew Pfeiffer, senior
Valencia — Parker Simonian, junior
West Ranch — Trent Bird, senior