All-Madera Tribune Baseball

June 20, 2018

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera standout Brian Hefner was a triple-threat for the Coyotes this season. After three years of not throwing a pitch, he became the ace of the staff as well as the one of the top hitters on the team. He also stole 15 bases, good for second on the team. He is The Madera Tribune baseball team’s Round Table Pizza Most Valuable Player.

Most Valuable Player


Brian Hefner


Sr. 1B-P Madera


Stats: .337 BA, 34 H, 18 R, 29 RBI, 9 2B, 4 HR, 15 SB, 6-3 W-L, 1.35 ERA, 59K-57 IP.


All-League: First team, All-County/Metro Athletic Conference


Hefner was a delightful surprise for Madera Coyotes head coach Andy Underwood. He came off an average junior season and proceeded to lead the Coyotes. He was entrenched at the No. 3 spot in the lineup and produced. He led the Coyotes in RBIs, hits and home runs. Two of his home runs were game winners, including a grand slam in the ninth inning to beat Madera South. He also stepped up on the mound. After not throwing the previous three years, Hefner became the ace of the staff. With his devastating slider, he recorded a 1.35 ERA while opposing other team’s aces.

Pitcher of the Year


Brixton Gomes


Sr. P Madera


Stats: 3-0 W-L, 1.20 ERA, 21 G, 5 Saves, 18 K, 35 IP.


While Hefner is the Most Valuable Player for the Coyotes, Gomes was the Savior of the Year for the Coyotes. He appeared in 22 out of the 27 games for the Coyotes while racking up 35 innings, mostly in relief. He had the attitude that Underwood was looking for. He came in and did his job. He didn’t worry about allowing baserunners. His biggest worry was not letting them score. He held the opposition to a .149 batting average and a .214 on base percentage. Surprisingly, he was left off the CMAC coaches’ ballots for even Honorable Mention. Gomes was deserving of recognition and gets it here. This is his second All-Madera Tribune selection, earning one last year with the Liberty Hawks.

The Team


Colton Cardoza


Jr. C Liberty


Stats: .367 BA, 21 R, 33 H, 23 RBI, 11 2B, 4 3B.


All-League: Second team, All-North Sequoia League


Cardoza was one of those players that Liberty coach Mario Cosma had to find a place for. He played third base, first base and designated hitter. He found a home behind the plate where he could control the defense. His bat was huge for the Hawks. He gives Nathanael Samarin protection and is a core group of juniors for the Hawks that will make them a force to repeat its Valley Championship next season. Cardoza is a two-time All-Tribune recipient.

Juan Carlos Gonzales


Sr. 1B-P Madera South


Stats: .394 BA, 39 H, 35 RBI, 9 2B, 6-4 W-L, 3.32 ERA, 89 K-71.2 IP.


All-League: First team, All-CMAC


Gonzales and Caleb Bertoncini were the leaders for the Stallions, both on defense, at the plate and on the mound. He recorded a school-record 39 hits from primarily the clean-up spot in the batting order. Gonzales and Bertoncini made a dynamic one-two punch from the No. 3 and 4 spot in the batting order and on the mound. Gonzales was fireballer on the mound with 89 strikeouts in just 71 2/3 innings pitched. He is a two-time All-Madera Tribune selection.

Nathanael Samarin


Jr. 1B-P Liberty


Stats: .347 BA, 35 H, 34 R, 7 2B, 5 3B, 7-2 W-L, 2.58 ERA, 4 saves, 82 K-70.2 IP.


All-League: First team, All-NSL


Samarin earned his third straight All-NSL honors and his third straight All-Madera Tribune team. He was a force, not only at the plate, but also on the mound. He had the ability to separate what he did at the plate and what he did on the mound. He earned the save in the Valley Championship game, tossing the final three innings with seven strikeouts after going 0-4 at the plate. He will be one of the reasons Liberty aims to repeat next year.

Peyton Kragie


Sr. 2B Madera South


Stats: .340 BA, 24 R, 35 H, 12 RBI.


Kragie came over from Chowchilla and excelled with the Stallions in his senior season. He became the perfect No. 2 hitter for head coach Bobby Waits. Kragie could hit for average and put down a bunt hit, but also do what he could to move lead-off batter Jeremy Flores to the next base. After moving from shortstop, Kragie provided solid defense at second base.

Kristian Gomez


Sr. 2B Madera


Stats: .293 BA, 14 R, 24 H, 12 RBI, 3 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR.


Gomez played most of the year batting sixth for the Coyotes. He was able to help clean up the bases if the middle of the order couldn’t drive in a run. He also had the ability to start a rally of his own as a lead-off batter. He also had some pop with seven extra base hits while providing excellent defense at second base.

Jameson Frazier


Sr. 2B Liberty


Stats: .312 BA, 25 H, 16 R, 5 2B.


All-League: Second team, All-NSL


Frazier is one of six different Hawks with a .300 batting or higher on a team that batted .314 on the season. He helped anchor the bottom of the Liberty batting order. He was a rare senior on the Liberty squad that featured six underclassmen earning All-League honors. Frazier also batted .318 in league with nine of his 14 RBIs and four of his five doubles.

Caleb Bertoncini


Sr. 3B-P Madera South


Stats: .379, 20 R, 36 H, 27 RBI, 7 2B, 3 HR, 5-4 W-L, 2.27 ERA, 78 K-61.2 IP.


All-League: First team, All-CMAC.


Kind of a no-brainer here. He has been like that for the past three years, earning All-Tribune honors in each year. He is the rare four-year starter in baseball for Madera South. Bertoncini followed in the big footsteps left by his brother Donovan and filled them in nicely. He leaves Madera South as the school’s career hit leader. He was the team leader in hits, RBIs and home runs. He also set the school record for most strikeouts in a game on the mound. He held opposing hitters to a .225 batting average.

Cole Brincefield


Jr. 3B Madera


Stats: .316 BA, 12 H, 13 RBI.


Brincefield missed half the season with an injury, but when he came back the Madera offense started to excel. He stepped in to provide Hefner protection in the clean-up spot and drove in 13 runs in 12 games played. He also played a solid third base, but could play other positions. Brincefield will be counted on to leading the Coyotes next season.

Eli Gonzalez


Sr. 3B Liberty


Stats: .298 BA, 31 H, 17 RBI, 9 2B.


All-League: Honorable mention, NSL


Gonzalez was a solid presence for the Hawks. He solidified third base while also hitting almost .300. He did provide some pop at the bottom of the Liberty batting order. He was second on the team in doubles, tied for fifth in RBIs, fifth in runs scored and fifth in hits while playing all 30 games.

Tony Noriega


Sr. SS Madera


Stats: .390 BA, 32 H, 14 R, 22 RBI, 5 2B.


All-League: Second team, All-NSL


Just to be playing baseball is an accomplishment for Noriega after getting diagnosed with Leukemia his freshman year. It’s in remission and allowed Noriega to have an excellent senior season, finishing second on the team in batting average and tied for second in hits and second in RBIs. Noreiga was flashy at shortstop, as well. He could make the highlight plays that made watching Madera Coyotes baseball games enjoyable. This is his second All-Tribune selection.

Chase Schellenger


Jr. SS Liberty


Stats: .393 BA, 30 R, 44 H, 16 RBI, 7 2B, 3 3B.


All-League: First team, All-NSL


Schellenger was a late bloomer for Cosma and the Hawks. He led the team in batting average, runs scored, hits, third in doubles and triples. However, he did his best work at the end of the season, batting .492 in NSL play. He scored 17 runs with four doubles and all three triples in league play. He is another of the Liberty junior class that will lead the charge for a repeat Valley Championship next season.

Christian Chavira


Sr. OF-P Madera


Stats: .368 BA, 22 R, 32 H, 15 RBI, 10 2B, 11 SB, 2-2 W-L, 2.33 ERA, 29 K-33 IP.


All-League:  First team, All-CMAC


Chavira provided a formidable 1-2 punch with Hefner on the mound and with Shane Pursell at the top of the Coyote order. He batted mostly lead-off for the Coyotes, but wasn’t your typical lead-off batter. He was one that could hit for power. He led the team with 10 doubles and tied for the team lead with 22 runs scored. Chavira also became the No. 2 pitcher behind Hefner while recording a 2.33 ERA. This is Chavira’s second All-Tribune selection.

Shane Pursell


Jr. OF Madera


Stats: .400 BA, 22 R, 32 H, 4 2B, 21 SB.


All-League: First team, All-CMAC


Pursell is a typical lead-off batter, but looked more comfortable batting second. With Chavira hot all season, Pursell settled into the No. 2 spot in the order, giving Underwood two lead-off batters. He stole 21 bases and was only caught on pick-off attempts. He also plays centerfield on instinct and is rarely out of position.


Jeremy Flores


Sr. OF Madera South


Stats: .337 BA, 25 R, 33 H, 5 2B, 16 SB.


All-League: Honorable mention, CMAC


When Flores moved to the top spot, the Madera South offense started to hum. The quick lefty was adept at finding the holes through the defense and also stole 16 bases to provide a disruption. He was a main reason why Bertoncini and Gonzales combined for 52 RBIs and he led the team with 25 runs scored.

Ramon Uribe


Sr. OF Madera South


Stats: .354 BA, 28 R, 6 2B, 11 SB.


Uribe was the No. 9 batter for the Stallions all season. However, he didn’t bat like it. He batted like a lead-off batter and gave Bertoncini and Gonzales runners to drive in. With Uribe, Flores and Kragie, the Stallions had three lead-off-type hitters to get on base for the big boppers later in the order.

Bradley Moon


Jr. OF Liberty


Stats: .329 BA, 28 R, 27 H, 16 RBI, 14 SB.


All-League: Honorable mention, NSL


Moon was your typical lead-off batter. Hit for a high average and provide distraction on the bases. He was second on the team in runs scored and led the team in stolen bases. He was comfortable chasing fly balls in the spacious Liberty outfield. He scored a run and stole a base in the Valley Championship games.

Quaid Copher


Fr. OF-P Liberty


Stats: .375 BA, 27 R, 39 H, 18 RBI, 4 2B, 2-2 W-L, 2.59 ERA.


All-League: Underclassman of the Year, NSL


Copher stepped onto a varsity field as a freshman and didn’t look like it. He was poised and proved he belonged on the varsity diamond. He was second on the team in batting average, second in hits, fourth in runs scored and third in RBIs. He didn’t let any freshman jitters get to him. Cosma turned to him on the mound and he only got better as the season went on. He also batted .451 in the NSL with 10 of his 18 RBIs.

Nikayha Castro


Jr. P Madera


Stats: 5-2 W-L, 2.72 ERA, 25 K-38.2 IP.


All-League: Second team, All-CMAC


Castro was the team’s No. 4 pitcher, but did enough during CMAC play to earn second team honors. A notorious slow starter, once he got going, he was hard to beat. Once he got through the first inning, he was lights out. Castro will be counted on to step into the ace role next season, taking over for Hefner and Chavira.

Gage Arter


Jr. P-OF Liberty


Stats: 17 RBI, 7-2 W-L, 2.42 ERA, 44 K-55 IP.


All-League: First team, All-CMAC


Arter was Liberty’s second or third pitcher behind Samarin. He won seven games in nine starts, but also did well coming in relief, appearing in 10 other games. The sidearm, breaking ball specialist proved to be a great complement to Samarin’s short-arming heat. It was most prevalent in the Valley Championship game. Arter kept Arvin off balance through the first four innings, allowing two runs, none earned, with three strikeouts. Samarin came in and struck out seven of the final nine batters he faced.

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