PACIFIC COAST ATHLETIC CONFERENCE / MAY 30, 2017
State champ Griffins' Beard final Men's AOTW of 2016-17
Grossmont College became the first San Diego County team as well as the first Pacific Coast Athletic Conference club to win the California Community College baseball championship Monday, and the Griffins' Trevor Beard is the final PCAC Men's Athlete of the Week of the 2016-17 academic year.
Beard, the Griffins' 6-foot-1, 180-pound sophomore catcher from San Clemente High School who came to Grossmont as a transfer from Purdue, went 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI as coach Randy Abshire's club defeated defending champion Santa Rosa 10-6 at Fresno City College to take the state title back to El Cajon.
"(Beard) really deserved this after catching every inning (36 over three days) in that heat," said Abshire, whose team won 12 straight games after their final regular-season loss (4-2 to second-place Palomar on April 20), including back-to-back victories over Ohlone and Santa Rosa on Friday and Saturday to begin the state championship Final Four
The Bear Cubs, came battling back in the late game Sunday to eliminate Ohlone, then knocked off the Griffins 5-4 on Monday to force an extra game later in the day to determine the state title. Beard then singled through the left side in the fifth inning and again singled through the left side to drive in a run in the seventh and the G-House came home a winner.
Along with his defensive play, Beard banged out five hits over the weekend as he finished the season with a .323 batting average and 34 RBIs.
Grossmont's honorable mention selections for the week were sophomore center fielder David Maldonado, sophomore first baseman Noah Strohl and Hayden Shenefield, who pitched a complete-game 3-0 win over shutout win over Santa Rosa on Sunday and then came back to pitch the final two innings in the second game Monday.
Shenefield, who couldn't win a second conference AOTW award in the same season after receiving the honor on April 10, was completing his first season of college baseball after attending San Diego State and Grossmont simultaneously this spring. The Woodland Hills El Camino Real product, who had been pitching in an adult league prior to this season, graduated from SDSU two weeks ago with a degree in business, combining with the state title to make 2017 doubly memorable.
Maldonado, Grossmont's centerfield and leadoff hitter from Temecula Valley High School who has committed to San Diego State, went 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI in Friday's 4-3 win over Ohlone, driving in the deciding run with a double to left center in the fifth inning. He homered in Monday's loss to Santa Rosa, then singled and drove in a run in the deciding game against the Bearcats later in the day.
Strohl, who also has committed to San Diego State, singled and drove in a run in Monday's first game, then came up big in the championship game by going 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles off the wall and four RBIs.
Five San Diego area teams had reached the state championship game prior to this season only to finish second – San Diego City College to College of the Sequoias in 1957, San Diego City to Stockton (now San Joaquin Delta) in 1958, San Diego City to Cerritos in 1974, Palomar to Santa Rosa in 2005 and Southwestern to Sierra in 2008. Palomar also finished third in the 2015 state tournament, behind champion Orange Coast and runner-up Santa Rosa.
There is no Women's Athlete of the Week award PCAC women's teams this week. The women's sports year ended the previous weekend.
Pacific Coast Athletic Conference teams had the conference's best athletic year in history in 2016-17, also winning state titles in women's indoor volleyball (Grossmont), men's basketball (San Diego City) and women's beach volleyball (MiraCosta). PCAC colleges also took second in the state in badminton (Grossmont) and women's swimming & diving (San Diego Mesa).