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Prep baseball: West Ranch’s J.C. Cloney named Foothill League MVP

Saugus High's Justin Donatella is Pitcher of the Year

Posted: June 2, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 2, 2012 1:55 a.m.

West Ranch senior J.C. Cloney was selected as the Foothill League MVP by the league’s coaches. This season, he went 8-1 on the mound with a 1.84 ERA and 100 strikeouts. He also batted .378.

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After Tuesday’s heartbreaking loss in the CIF-Southern Section Division I semifinals, West Ranch’s J.C. Cloney was given something to slightly mend his broken heart.

Immediately after West Ranch lost 2-1, missing out on a chance to play for the school’s first ever CIF title in a game at Dodger Stadium, Cloney was told he was the Foothill League’s 2012 Player of the Year.

“Our pitching coach, coach (Jason) Priske told me. I kept bugging him to know who got what, who got what because people kept asking me,” Cloney said. “He said, ‘Congratulations player of the year.’

“It kind of lightened the mood just a little. It still sucks losing, but it lightened the blow.”

Cloney went 8-1 with a 1.84 ERA, striking out 100 batters in 72 1/3 innings.

He was consistent throughout the season, and was one of the Foothill League’s top hitters as well.

The part-time first baseman batted .378 with three home runs and 19 RBIs.

Cloney came into the season as the top returning pitcher, but wasn’t the preseason pick for player of the year.

But the senior was 5-0 in the Foothill League and led his team to a Foothill crown.

Saugus senior Justin Donatella was the league’s coaches’ pick for Pitcher of the Year.

The lanky right-hander came into his own in 2012 and went 9-3 with a 2.14 ERA, helping to lead the surprising Centurions to a second-place finish in league and an appearance in their first CIF quarterfinal since 1991.

The league coaches picked three players each from West Ranch, Saugus and Valencia for the All-Foothill League first team.

West Ranch was represented by outfielder/designated hitter and senior Gabe Peralta, junior pitcher Cody Bennett and the only freshman on the first-team, second baseman Jagger Rusconi.

Saugus senior first baseman Austin Rodriguez and junior third baseman Chris Devery and junior shortstop Dylan Freyre made the list for Saugus.

Valencia senior sluggers Trey Williams and Brian Mundell and sophomore second baseman Keston Hiura represented Valencia.

Hart had two players on the first team in junior catcher Baggio Saldivar and junior first baseman C.J. Witkowski.

Golden Valley junior Billy Fredrick, the league’s leading hitter at .468, wrapped up the first team.


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