By Ray Hamill — With the 2022 high school baseball season finally coming to an end this past week, it’s time for us to name our player of the year, our coach of the year and our team of the year.
It was a season we probably appreciated a little more than most, considering it was the first full season in three years and the North Coast Section playoffs made a welcome return.
It was also the first time the CIF held NorCal and SoCal regional playoffs in baseball and softball, and the H-DNL was very well represented in both.
HUMBOLDT SPORTS END-OF-SEASON AWARDS
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
St. Bernard’s, Senior
Dugan is coming off a sensational career at St. Bernard’s and you get the feeling his baseball journey is really only beginning.
No one had a bigger impact in local prep baseball this spring and he could yet go down as the H-DNL’s player of the decade or more.
He is a generational talent who works hard on his craft, listens to his coaches and is known as a great teammate.
As a pitcher, he was 12-0 this spring with an ERA of 0.82 and he struck out 137 batters in 60 innings, while walking just 25 and allowing just 18 hits.
Anybody who witnessed his final high school game won’t easily forget it after watching the standout senior retire all 13 batters he faced in relief in a come-from-behind win over a quality Alpha Charter team.
It was simply sensational, and really this was an easy choice for our player of the year this year.
Even if you take away all the incredible pitching stats, he still would have been a frontrunner for the award.
He led the Crusaders in batting average (.524), as well home runs (seven) and RBIs (41).
There are three players who would have made worthy Players of the Year if it wasn’t for Dugan.
Eureka junior Myles Standish established himself as a legitimate ace on the mound on his way to being named co-MVP of the Big 5, and he should only continue to get better.
Arcata senior Vincent Agliolo was a force at the plate, on defense and on the mound and had an MVP-caliber season leading the Tigers to a co-Big 5 championship and a Charlie Lakin Tournament title.
Likewise with St. Bernard’s senior Aidan Dorsch, who was hugely influential in all three facets of the game.
TEAM OF THE YEAR
What can you say about the Crusaders?
They had it all this year. Great pitching, an experienced and deep lineup, good defense (most of the time) and some of the best coaching on the North Coast.
An honorable mention here goes to both Arcata and Eureka, who were co-Big 5 champs, but what separated the Crusaders this season more than anything was their NCS and NorCal championships.
They were bumped up three divisions for the NorCal playoffs and incredibly they knocked off two huge schools on their way to the championship game, where they turned in a performance as memorable as any we witnessed this season.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Fittingly, Tomlin completes the trifecta for the Crusaders in this year’s Humboldt Sports high school baseball awards.
The longtime multi-sport coach completed his own trifecta this spring by winning a section title in a third different sport and following that with a NorCal title in a third different sport.
It’s difficult for any coach to win a section title in any sport and it is usually a career moment when it happens.
That Tomlin has now won six section titles combined in football (two), girls basketball (three) and baseball speaks volumes to his hard work and talent, but the fact that he’s now also won NorCal titles in all three sports — as well as two state titles in football — puts him in very rare company.
Two other coaches get an honorable mention here.
Arcata’s Troy Ghisetti won his 400th high school game this season, which is another very impressive statistic, while Jeff Giacomini’s Eureka team was probably the most improved in the H-DNL from the start to the end of the season.