Gav baseball trio earns all-Coast honors

Centerfielder BJ Collom, left, was an all-conference choice in

Morgan Hill
– Two key Gavilan College sophomores and a freshman who returned
to competitive baseball after a few years away from the game have
been named to the all-Coast Conference baseball team.
Morgan Hill – Two key Gavilan College sophomores and a freshman who returned to competitive baseball after a few years away from the game have been named to the all-Coast Conference baseball team.

Sophomore centerfielder BJ Collom and sophomore pitcher Todd Gimenez were both named to the all-conference first team, while freshman first baseman Manuel Gonzales was named to the second team.

Collom hit .a team-leading .362 with 31 runs scored and 19 RBIs, as well as 11 extra base hits and a .484 on-base percentage.

Gimenez had a 2-7 record with a 3.33 ERA, and allowed just 74 hits in 81 innings while striking out 79 and walking just 28.

Gonzales batted .275 with a team-leading six home runs and 28 RBIs.

Gavilan (10-25 overall) finished the season 5-20 in conference play, tied for last place with Monterey Peninsula College in the Coast Conference South Division.

Even though Gavilan’s record wasn’t as much of an improvement over last year’s as he would have liked, Rams head coach Neal Andrade said the difference between the two seasons was striking.

“We try to set goals every season and this year we wanted to compete,” Andrade said. “Except for a few games, we competed the whole season. Guys worked hard and went into games believing they could win. As a coach, that’s all you can ask for.”

Andrade said the Rams were hurt early in the season by injuries and rainouts, which damaged the team’s depth and its progress.

“It was an awkward year with all the weather,” he said. “We were either rained out or playing games for a three or four-week stretch there.”

Gavilan was also victimized by a host of close, one-run losses and late-inning comebacks by its opponents, he said.

But he added that a small sophomore core, led by Collom and Gimenez, helped lend stability to the young, freshmen-dominated squad.

“The sophomores that returned showed leadership, and we had quite a few freshmen who started and learned a lot,” Andrade said.

Top players expected to return include Gonzales, third baseman Justin Baker, shortstop Blake Thygersen and closer Jeff Harter.

With his first full season under his belt, Andrade said he believes the Rams baseball program is showing signs of progress.

And, he said people are noticing.

“I think the word’s getting out there that we have the program going in the right direction,” he said.

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