Outside of the West Catholic Athletic League, the Blossom Valley Athletic League’s Mount Hamilton is arguably the toughest baseball division in the Central Coast Section this season.
That’s why Christopher High’s 7-4 league mark—tied for second entering its April 20 game against Live Oak—happens to be a rather impressive one. The Cougars (11-5), just a game back of first-place Leigh, earned a pivotal 4-2 win over Live Oak on April 18, scoring all four of their runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Aiden Simeon had a two-run home run and Mason Dubenko a two-run double to back up another strong pitching performance from Will Anderson. The senior left-hander allowed two runs and struck out five over five innings, and Aaron Van Kerkwyk and Simeon both pitched one scoreless inning to help lead Christopher to victory.
Anderson has been the team’s best pitcher in 2023, all the more important after his younger brother, highly touted sophomore Matt Anderson, was limited to just three appearances on the mound this year. Will Anderson is 3-0, has a 1.83 ERA and 46 strikeouts while allowing just 23 hits in 30 ⅔ innings.
The left-hander was masterful in a 11-0, mercy-rule win over Sobrato on April 4, striking out eight and allowing only two hits over his full six innings. Anderson has also been producing at the plate, with four home runs and a team-best 17 RBI. Offensively, among the four players who have played in all 16 games, Ricky Wilkerson leads with a .357 batting average. The junior is tied with Anderson for the team lead with four round-trippers.
Wilkerson also ranks among the top three on the team in just about every major offensive statistical category, including on-base percentage, stolen bases, runs scored, hits, RBIs and slugging. Van Kerkwyk has been a two-way force on the mound and at the plate.
He’s hitting a team-best .538 and has a 3.75 ERA over 9 ⅓ innings pitched. Van Kerkwyk had three of the team’s eight hits in a 2-1 loss to Branham on April 13. Nick Valentine had one of his best starts of the season, allowing two runs over his full six innings.
What makes the Cougars formidable is they’re receiving contributions from up and down the lineup whether it’s hitting, fielding or pitching, including Mateo Alcantar, Alex Gonzalez, Sam Guenther, Diego Enriquez, Anthony Navarro, Devin Aragon and Jesus Castro.
After the Live Oak contest, Christopher has three home-and-home sets with Leland, Pioneer and Santa Teresa to close out the league season. A strong finish will likely land the Cougars into the Division II field of the CCS playoffs, the second highest tier behind Division I for baseball.