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Cal-Hi Sports honors SCV baseball, softball players

Posted: July 7, 2014 8:16 p.m.
Updated: July 7, 2014 8:16 p.m.

Hart shortstop Nick Valaika was named to the Cal-Hi Sports All-State First Team in baseball.

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The school year may be officially over, but the awards continue to trickle in.

This time it was the announcement of the CalHiSports.com All-State softball and baseball teams.

Two locals found themselves on the First Team baseball list, with one local on the First Team softball.

In all, four Foothill League athletes qualified in baseball, with West Ranch’s Lauren Lindvall’s first team selection the only honoree in softball.

In baseball, it was Valencia’s Keston Hiura, the state’s leader with 14 home runs, and Hart’s Nick Valaika making the first-team cut.

Lindvall, who was named The Signal’s All-SCV Softball co-Player of the year, was one of 13 infielders across the state listed by Cal-Hi Sports.

The University of Oregon-bound shortstop helped the Wildcats to their third straight Foothill League title (split with Saugus this season), hitting 45 RBIs and 10 home runs.

“I’m flattered that I was chosen, but it doesn’t change the way I view my value as a player,” Lindvall said. “Just motivation to work harder.”

The duo of Valaika and Hiura joins a group of eight infielders on the baseball first team.

Hiura finished the season with 14 home runs, 12 doubles, 43 runs scored and 48 hits, helping him earn All-SCV Baseball Player of the Year honors.

Valaika’s graduation ends a stretch of 13 years in the last 15 the Hart program has had a Valaika playing in it.

And he took the family surname out with style.

The shortstop hit .400 on the season, with 12 doubles, three home runs and 23 runs scored.

“It means a lot,” Valaika said. “Just shows the strength of our league. Two guys on the all-state team, that’s a big deal. It’s an honor that the coaches that voted for that recognized us.”

Joining the duo were Vikings outfielder Chad Bible and West Ranch pitcher Jake Bird, both of whom were named to the All-State third team.

Junior Devin Davis (Valencia) was named to the baseball All-Underclassman team, while sophomore pitcher Mariah Lopez (Saugus) made the All-Underclassman softball team.

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