A twice-repaired shoulder did not slow Nolan Lingley down.
The 2018 Southern Athletic League Offensive Player of the Year picked up where he left off and then some, as the junior shortstop/pitcher was named MVP after helping Ripon Christian (12-2, 19-8 overall) claim a share of its third title in four seasons.
In the Trans-Valley League, Ripon’s John Eicher was named Most Outstanding Pitcher, while Lathrop’s Michael Pacheco was named to the All-Western Athletic Conference second team.
Lingley injured his non-throwing shoulder while playing for Ripon Christian’s football team in the fall and had to get a second surgery on it after it was damaged during his freshman year.
“We weren’t sure exactly sure what he would be able to give us,” RC coach John deVisser said. “He felt comfortable and was able to get after it pretty early, but you just never know after getting injured again.”
Lingley started the year hot and rode it into the league season. Overall, he batted .446 with six homers, 10 doubles, four triples, 41 RBIs and 46 runs scored. His RBI total ranks him 10th in the state, according to MaxPreps.
On the pitcher’s mound, he was 7-2 with a 1.47 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 62 innings. DeVisser was most impressed with Lingley’s work at shortstop, as he committed only two errors and finished with a .976 fielding percentage.
His best league game was at Gustine, where he went 3 for 4 with two homers and six RBIs while striking out eight in a complete-game five-hitter. The Knights won, 8-1.
“He had the best pitching stats and he had the best hitting stats in the league — he just had the best all-around year,” de Visser said. “He had about a 0.6 ERA and didn’t have a single error in conference play, that’s just remarkable.”
Junior outfielder Declan Van Vuren and sophomore pitcher Will Gilbert join Lingley on the All-SAL team. Van Vuren hit .376 with 11 doubles and 35 RBIs. Gilbert, who did not play baseball as a freshman, helped solidify the pitching staff and went 6-2 overall with a 1.27 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings.
DeVisser and Mariposa’s Justin Kleinsmith were tabbed Co-Coaches of the Year. Mariposa teammates Michael Medinas (Best Offensive Player) and Kari Leo (Pitcher of the Year) received the other major awards.
Third-place Ripon (6-6, 11-13 overall) had four all-league selections led by Eicher. The senior was voted the TVL’s top pitcher after finishing 5-2 with a 2.07 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 50 2/3 innings.
Senior Gerald Nix was among the Indians’ three first-team selections. He paced the club with a .462 batting average, 10 doubles, 15 RBIs and 22 runs. Nix also pitched, compiling a 3-4 record, 4.81 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings.
Junior catcher Brandon Rainer (.404, 19 RBIs) and junior infielder Nathaniel Stum (.311, 20 RBIs) made all-league. Junior infielder/pitcher Sean McCann and freshman outfielder/pitcher Brandon Molthen earned honorable mention.
Major awards went to Livingston’s Cesar Avila (MVP), Hilmar’s Trevon Crowley (Most Outstanding Offensive Player) and Modesto Christian’s Cody Brockman (Most Outstanding Defensive Player),
Western Athletic Conference
Lathrop (4-10, 4-14 overall) had just one all-league player in Pacheco, who was voted onto the second team after hitting .387. Senior infielder/pitcher Matt Julien and junior first baseman/pitcher Elijah Bermudez made honorable mention.
Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV champion Los Banos racked up three major awards with senior shortstop Trent Mallonee getting MVP for a second straight year. Kody Cardoza is Pitcher of the Year and Max Ramirez earned Co-Offensive Player of the Year along with Beyer’s Brady Cardozo.