Aptos High had four players recognized for first team honors at last week’s Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League coaches’ all-league voting meeting.
Senior pitcher David Eichhorn, sophomore pitcher Nathaniel Brouse, junior catcher Jack Bollengier and junior outfielder Luke Keaschall were all named to the SCCAL First Team.
“Just to get a couple of guys recognized on first team is pretty cool,” said Aptos coach Jason Biancardi. “To get four is pretty special, especially having two pitchers both be on the first team.”
Eichhorn finished the season with a 5-1 record in 10 appearances — eight starts — on the mound with a 0.93 ERA and 55 strikeouts.
Eichhorn showed up to the team last year as a transfer and Biancardi said he didn’t have quite the season he was hoping for.
Eichhorn couldn’t play until April 2 because of eligibility rules and Biancardi said it was too late for his ace pitcher to get into a rhythm.
Going into this season, the fourth-year head coach said he wasn’t sure what to expect from Eichhorn.
Eichhorn’s dad, Mark, played Major League Baseball for 11 years and won two World Series titles with the Toronto Blue Jays in the early ‘90s.
“We’ve heard a lot about David Eichhorn and he comes from a famous bloodline,” Biancardi said.
Biancardi said he was blown away during the first scrimmage of the season
“You can tell from that point on he was going to be our ace and he was going to have a dominant year if he stayed healthy,” Biancardi said.
Brouse was 5-1 in 16 appearances — seven starts — for the Mariners. He recorded a 2.30 ERA and a team-high 72 strikeouts.
“The pitchers were both very deserving,” Biancardi said. “They had really stand out numbers the whole year.”
Bollengier batted .356 with four doubles, a triple, a home run, 17 runs scored and 12 RBIs, while Keaschall batted .395 with five doubles, four triples, three home runs, 35 runs scored and 30 RBIs.
“They take it serious and they’re baseball players,” Biancardi said.
Biancardi commended both of his juniors for their work ethic, especially during the offseason.
“They got a lot of experience as sophomores, so they came in this year with a lot of confidence that they contribute for our team and they had a very good year,” Biancardi said.
Keaschall, who made last year’s all-league second team, also had an amazing on base percentage of .495 and a .651 slugging percentage.
“I was pretty excited and honored. It’s kind of a big deal. I was happy that I had a good season and other people noticed, too,” Keaschall said.
Keachall said he was proud to see his production increase, especially in the RBI category where he went from less than 10 a year ago up to 30.
Keaschall also broke the school record for stolen bases with 25, which was one more than the previous record set by his brother, Jake.
Jake Keaschall was in the dugout when his younger brother broke his record during a league game against Santa Cruz High. Luke’s good friend, Brady Chavez, also happened to be pitching for the Cardinals.
“I took off for third and beat it by a hair,” said Luke Keaschall. “I got back up and looked at my brother, he was just shaking his head.”
The Mariners (21-7-1), who were the SCCAL runner-up and CCS D-II semifinalists, also had senior outfielder Josh Barry named to the second team.
Barry batted .290 with three doubles, two triples, 20 runs scored, six RBIs and eight stolen bases.
Seniors Alex Taylor and Shane Modena were honorable mentions.
Keaschall said he knew the team had a lot of good players on the roster, including Eichhorn, who was the incoming starting ace, and Brouse, the up-and-coming sophomore.
“(Brouse) had a phenomenal season and the future is bright for him,” Keaschall said.
Santa Cruz High swept the top honors. Chavez, a junior outfielder and pitcher won Player of the Year, while senior Clayton Ray repeated as Pitcher of the Year.
Santa Cruz skipper Dustin Torchio took home his second-straight Coach of the Year award.
Player of the Year: Brady Chavez, Santa Cruz, Jr.
Pitcher of the Year: Clayton Ray, Santa Cruz, Sr.
Coach of the Year: Dustin Torchio, Santa Cruz
Pitchers: David Eichhorn, Aptos, Sr.; Nathaniel Brouse, Aptos, So.
Catcher: Jack Bollengier, Aptos, Jr.
Infielders: Brendan Bobo, Harbor, Jr.; Kinsal Plunkett, Santa Cruz, Jr.; GJ Hill, Santa Cruz, Sr.; Luke Keaschall, Aptos, Jr.
Outfielders: Jackson Gifford, Harbor, So.; Alex Williams, Santa Cruz, Sr.; Phil Garrison, Scotts Valley, Sr.
Utility/Designated hitter: Javier Felix, Santa Cruz, Sr.
Pitchers: Scotty Pramuk, Santa Cruz, So.; Bryce Clark, Scotts Valley, Jr.
Catcher: Dillon Danner, Santa Cruz, Jr.
Infielders: Max Mendoza, Soquel, Fr.; Bryce Gundersen, Scotts Valley, Jr.; Alex Tucker, Harbor, Jr.; Ryan Bariteau, Scotts Valley, Sr.
Outfielders: Josh Barry, Aptos, Sr.; Luke Salen, Harbor, Sr.; Brody Affolter, Scotts Valley, Jr.
Aptos: Alex Taylor, Sr.; Shane Modena, Sr.
Harbor: Kian Toohey, Jr.; Garrett Lackey, Jr.
Santa Cruz: Jack Donohoe, Sr.; Jacob Pappas, So.
SLV: Aidan Callahan, Sr.; Vinny Prograce, Jr.
Soquel: Nate Maas, So.; Kevin Ito, Jr.
Scotts Valley: Anthony Abruzzini, Sr.; Soren Burns, Jr.
Editor's Note: This article will be published in the June 7 edition of the Register-Pajaronian.