Seahawks' Walker shares Division 3's top honor

The Ocean View High baseball program added a few more laurels to its championship season Monday when two members of its Golden West League and Division 3 title-winning team were named to the 2010 All CIF Southern Section Baseball Teams.

Senior Blake Walker shared the Division 3 Player of the Year award in a division that also honored the Seahawks' Shane Borowski as Coach of the Year. Walker was one of several local athletes to be named All-CIF in baseball, softball and boys' volleyball.

The All-CIF teams, presented by LA84 Foundation, were released Monday by the Southern Section office in Los Alamitos.

Walker shared the Division 3 player of the year honor with San Gorgonio senior Adam Quintana. He was one of two Seahawks to make the Division 3 team as junior Blake Hitchcock was named second-team.

"Of course it's an honor to be coach of the year but it's not about that, it's about what these kids did and how they did it," Borowski said. "They took on some impressive teams and refused to be intimidated, they refused to quit, and came from behind in four of five playoff games to win the title. They deserve all the credit.

"I am also very happy for Blake Walker and Blake Hitchcock for being named All-CIF. I would have liked to have seen one or two more of our players on the list, as I feel they were deserving of such accolades, but those are just compliments to a championship. We won the big prize, and I am very thankful to be a part of it all with such a great bunch of players and coaches to be around. It was a team effort the whole way and everybody bought into the goal. That's what made the difference, and it feels great."

Walker compiled a 9-2 record and an ERA of 4.18 which, Borowski said, was "not the prototypical CIF player of the year numbers, but got the job done when needed.

He batted .380 with 41 hits and scored 42 runs, which Borowski said was a new school record. Amazingly, he struck out only three times in 127 plate appearances.

"Remember, he wasn't slated to be one of our (pitching) starters," Borowski said. "He was going to close for us at the most, maybe get a tournament start or two. He came on for us because of the injuries to Freddy Sepulveda and Travis Sparks. The wins started to accumulate, so we stuck with him. To pitch and play shortstop is a tough combo, especially on his arm. He battled for us all year and to his credit, did his running and off-day throwing program regularly. That kept his arm healthy and gave us a chance to win each game he pitched."

Hitchcock, the Seahawks' offensive leader, batted .410 with five home runs, six doubles and 30 RBI.

"Hitch was a perfect example of what buying into the system can do for a player," Borowski said. "He was really resistant to learning how to hit to the opposite field. He is a big strong kid and wanted to pull everything, which is OK when you face average pitching. But as the pitching gets better, you need to know how to use the whole field. He worked on it with our hitting coach (Bob Gibbs) a lot and did a great job of it this year, getting 34 hits in 31 games, and he hit for power too.

"We are really excited about his senior year next season."

Two other locals were named All-CIF in baseball and both in Division I. Edison junior pitcher Henry Owens (9-2) and junior teammate Eric Snyder were named first- and second-team, respectively. Senior Cory Hahn of Mater Dei was named the division's player of the year and Burt Call of the Monarchs was named coach of the year.

In softball, Marina sophomore Sandy Simmons was named as a first-team infielder on the Division 1 team and Ocean View senior Holli Floetker was selected as a first-team pitcher in Division 4.

The Division 1 boys' volleyball team included four local players. Named to the first-team were a pair of senior opposites, Nick Siegle of Huntington Beach and Torey Darin of Edison. The Oilers and Chargers also were represented on the second-team by senior outside hitter Nick Iorfino and junior libero Michael Brinkley. Ocean View sophomore outside hitter Adam Wills was named third-team Division 2.

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