By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
College of the Canyons had 13 players recognized with All-Western State Conference East Division honors including sophomore slugger Calvin Estrada who was named Player of the Year, and sophomore southpaw Jacob Lopez who tossed a season worthy of Pitcher of the Year Honors.
Lopez finished the regular season with an 8-2 record and state-leading 119 punch-outs after logging double-digit strikeout totals in six of his 13 starts. He also led the entire WSC with a 1.76 ERA across 82 innings of work. Opponents batted just .219 vs. Lopez and scored 16 earned runs. Lopez, who also earned All-WSC First-Team honors as a freshman, will transfer to Texas Tech in the fall.
He follows in the footsteps of former COC hurler Justin Dehn, who earned conference Pitcher of the Year honors in 2017 before transferring to New Mexico State. COC pitcher JC Cloney won the same award as a freshman in 2014 and later transferred to University of Arizona. He is currently playing in the Kansas City Royals organization.
Estrada had a year to remember for the Cougars in 2018. The sophomore finished the regular season with a blistering .458 batting average to lead the state, and clubbed 13 home runs, with 43 RBIs, 47 runs and 11 stolen bases.
Estrada slugged .901 along the way and reached base at a mark of .547 to lead the club in every category. He becomes the second Cougar in as many years to pick up Player of the Year honors, joining 2017 honoree Cole Kleszcz who has since moved on to UC Santa Barbara.
COC starting pitcher Jackson Cunningham and reliever Connor Dreyer were both named to the All-WSC First Team.
Cunningham (6-2, 5.46 ERA, 70 strikeouts) helped usher Canyons into the postseason by posting a perfect 5-0 record vs. conference opponents and averaging 11.72 K/9. Dreyer (3-1, 2.38 ERA, 39 strikeouts, two saves) pitched 34 innings out of the pen and led the club with 22 appearances. He registered a 0.39 ERA in 12 conference games.
Canyons also had six players named to the All-WSC Second Team with first baseman Blake Doremus (.284, nine HRs, 42 RBIs, 18 runs), third baseman Tyler Erne (.316, 22 RBIs, 27 runs), second baseman Eddie Rodriguez (.277, 25 RBIs, 25 runs), outfielders Senituli Taufahema (.353, 22 RBIs, 23 runs) and Corbin Williams (.294, 25 runs, seven stolen bases) joining relief pitcher Jarrett Poh (3-1, 0.69 ERA, 28 Ks). Williams also picked up a Golden Glove award for his stellar play in center field.
COC shortstop Trace Eldridge (.301, five HRs, 30 runs, 23 RBIs), catcher Ryan Mendoza (.231, five HRs, 18 RBIs, 25 runs) and utility man Nick Henry (.348, four HRs, 15 RBIs, 11 runs) were all Honorable Mention nods.
The 13 all-conference selections for COC were three more than the Cougars received in 2017.
Canyons ended the regular season a game back of Glendale College in the WSC, East standings to qualify for the postseason for the third straight year.
Stay up to date on all this season’s action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
— Photo by Makayla Gallimore/COC Sports Information