May 22, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

HONORING CDM: Baseball seniors were looking forward to ‘doing something special’

Corona del Mar’s baseball team celebrates after a victory in February. (Photo courtesy CdM baseball).

Corona del Mar’s baseball team, coached by Kevin McCaffrey, was 5-4 when the season was cancelled.

“We were off to a 5-4 start and were excited to begin league play,” McCaffrey said in an Email to OC Sports Zone.

“We felt our team was really coming around and had a chance to do something special this year. The boys were all looking forward to playing rival Newport Harbor in a night game at UCI. This senior group was a fun group of guys to be around. They all loved the game of baseball so much and that was evident in all the extra time they put in.

“Our theme this year was lead by example and this senior group did just that. I am really proud of these boys and so thankful for the foundation they set. Our seniors have been working hard on the field, in the weight room, and at school events. I am impressed with how they thrived in the classroom and it is clear that these men will be leaders as they move through the game of life.  

“I am proud to say I was able to coach this group of young leaders. The CDM baseball program wishes them nothing but the best in their future.”

McCaffrey talked about each senior: 

Parker Cope: Parker was the varsity team manager the past two seasons. Parker loved playing catch with Coach Bradbury. He was a professional ball flipper to Coach McCaffrey and Trinkwon. His favorite part of practice was getting to hit in the cages with Coach Gerakos. Parker loved cheering on the team and interacting with all of his teammates. Parker was always smiling and he has a way of making everyone else around him smile. We will miss you Parker.”

“No. 34 Declan Pene: Declan is an upbeat and genuine person who truly cares about everyone. His smile is contagious. Declan would do whatever was necessary to help the team. Declan will be attending UC Berkeley where he will major in Business Administration at the Haas School of Business. Declan’s overall GPA is a 4.37.  We are so proud of you Declan!” 

No. 43 Matt Wilks: Matt was our lefty specialist out of the bullpen. He finished the shortened season with 10 innings pitched while going 1-0. It was so neat watching Matt develop over the years. Matt worked extremely hard in the weight room and this elevated his game. Matt is also a leader on campus as he is a senior in the Kings Krew Leadership class. Matt has a 3.5 GPA and plans on attending OCC next year. We will miss you Matt!” 

“No. 44 Will Butler: Will was a two-year varsity letterman and our starting second baseman this year who provided a pesky left-handed bat to our lineup. Will showed great growth each year he was in our program and this hard work and development led him to the starting lineup. Will was also available to pitch for us if needed. Will has an overall GPA of 4.1 and he is set to attend Santa Clara University to study business at the Leavey School of Business. Thank you for your hard work and dedication Will!” 

“No. 27 Jesse Ott: Jesse just absolutely loves the game of baseball and this is evident in his work ethic. Jesse’s speed puts a ton of pressure on opponents. He made the transition to the outfield this year and he did a great job for us. He has a great arm and can cover a lot of ground. He is known for his patented foot first dive and his teammates loves seeing him do it. Jesse has a 3.9 GPA. He is looking to take his baseball talents to the college level next year. He is deciding between Hope University, Concordia, and IVC. We wish you nothing but the best Jesse.” 

“No. 9 Blake Shanberg: Blake or Iceberg as his teammates call him has a passion for the game of baseball. This can be seen through all the extra work he puts in at the cages working on his swing. Blake puts together great at bats that drive opponents nuts. Blake is still deciding what school he will attend next year. Thank you for your passion and hard work Blake!” 

“No. 30 Jennings Torgelson: Jennings has made the most out of his high school experience. He is a dual sport athlete playing both soccer and baseball. He is also a leader in ASB and is known for always being at our school events. Jennings is also Mr. Fix It as he fixed anything and everything on the facility. His two major projects include putting together our new dugouts and hanging the net in our new batting cage.  Jennings was a two-year varsity letterman for us. He made the most appearances on the mound and did a great job for us this year. Jennings has a 4.1 GPA and is headed off to the University of Minnesota to study Mechanical Engineering. Thank you for your leadership and great attitude Jennings. You are a joy to be around. We will miss you!”

“No. 16 Ryan Chambliss: Ryan led our team with innings pitched and strikeouts. Ryan is a crafty lefty who frustrates hitters with his ability to pitch backwards. His ability to throw his nasty changeup and breaking ball for strikes at any time was a real weapon and constantly kept hitters off balance. Ryan’s fun-loving attitude will be missed. Ryan loves all sports and is always talking sports with his teammates. Ryan has a 3.6 GPA and will be attending the Ohio State University with a major in Sport Industry. He also plans on playing club baseball while at Ohio State. We wish you the best of luck Ryan. You will be missed!” 

“No. 13 Nick Rottler: Nick has been our starting catcher the past three seasons. He was our captain this year. Nick is the guy who is first to the field and sets everything up without being asked. Nick got to catch some really good pitchers the past three seasons and he helped make them better. The pop off of his bat is just different than most players. Watching him take batting practice is impressive. Nick is also a leader on campus as he is in the Kings Krew class. Nick has a 4.3 GPA and will be attending Boston College to study Economics and Finance. Thank you for everything you did for this program. Your leadership will be missed. We know you will be a leader at BC and in everything you do in life. We wish you nothing but the best!”

 “No. 4 Kieran Sidebotham: Kieran was a three-year starter for us. He was our shortstop this year and was off to an extremely hot start. Kieran is a pure hitter and it is fun to watch him compete at the plate. He was hitting .429 with two Home Runs through the first nine games. He was also a sure handed shortstop that led our defense. He did all of this while playing on a bad ankle that took some of his explosiveness away. Kieran has a 4.0 GPA and will continue his baseball career at Claremont McKenna. We are excited to follow his college career as we are confident he will put up some huge numbers. We wish you all the best Side.”

SEND US YOUR PICTURES!

If you took pictures before the season, we would like to share team pictures of spring teams with our readers. These can be pictures of seniors or the entire team and we will run these throughout the coming months to salute the dedicated athletes of Orange County who have had their seasons cut short. Please email pictures, names of the players and some highlights to timburt@ocsportszone.com so we can share with our readers. Horizontal pictures similar in size to the one above work best. Please do not take pictures now for us.