Pacific League picks its best players

GLENDALE — Having extended its Pacific League winning streak to 31 games en route to winning its third consecutive league crown, the 2011 campaign very much belonged to Arcadia High — a squad that ascended to the CIF Southern Section Division II semifinals.

Therefore, it was of little surprise when the Apaches garnered the Pacific League Most Valuable Player, as awarded to pitcher KJ Edson, and the league's coach of the year accolade, bestowed upon Nick Lemas.

Arcadia had seven all-league players in all — four on the first team and three on the second team.

Nonetheless, led by second-place Crescenta Valley, the area was well-represented on the All-Pacific League team, spearheaded by Falcons juniors Troy Mulcahey, Troy Prasertsit and Elliott Surrey and Burbank's Paul Frias on the first team.

"I think the kids that made the all-league team from our school were very deserving," said CV Coach Phil Torres, whose team went 23-5 and 12-2 in league. "I think all three [first-teamers] had really, really good years."

Surrey made a return to the all-league first team, as did Mulcahey. Both proved to be valuable and formidable both at the plate and on the mound.

Surrey went 6-1 with a 1.02 earned-run average and 61 strikeouts in 41 innings. He walked just five batters and allowed a .161 opposing batting average. At the dish, Surrey hit .361 (30 for 83) with 23 runs, 23 runs batted in and a team-high 11 walks for a .444 on-base percentage.

"Elliott just comes to work every day," Torres said. "He's a grinder."

Mulcahey, an outfielder when he wasn't pitching, highlighted the season with a program-record nine home runs. He hit .425 (34 for 80) with eight walks, a .505 on-base percentage, a team-high 25 RBI and 23 runs. On the bump, Mulcahey went 4-2 with a 1.21 ERA, striking out 50 batters to 19 walks in 34 2/3 innings pitched.

"Mulcahey's ceiling is whatever he wants it to be," Torres said. "His offensive numbers are through the roof."

Prasertsit, a left fielder, came back from a subpar sophomore season to put together a standout junior campaign.

"I think when people look back at Troy's sophomore year, they're gonna realize that just wasn't him," Torres said. "This year he showed what he can really do."

Prasertsit hit .406 (28 for 69) with a .476 on-base percentage, 13 RBI, 11 runs and 10 walks.

Sophomore Cole Currie, an honorable mention last year, was a second-team pick along with junior pitcher Kyle Murray.

"I think the two guys that we had on the second team, any team in our league would love to have them," Torres said. "That's just how the voting goes sometimes."

Currie, whose biggest value might very well have been his stellar defensive play, hit .264 and scored 21 runs. Currie also pitched 8 1/3 scoreless innings. Murray went 5-2 with a save and posted a team-high 56 innings, tallying a 1.50 ERA. He struck out 73 batters and walked 17.

All five Falcons are set to return next year for the Falcons.

"They should be a team to be reckoned with next year if they do what they can do," Torres said.

Burbank (10-16, 6-8) landed three players on the all-league team despite finishing fifth in the Pacific League and failing to make the playoffs.

The team's lone first-team recipient was Frias, a junior catcher who was a force for the Bulldogs at the plate, as well as behind it. Frias batted .481 (38 for 79) and had a .772 slugging percentage. Along with driving in 25 runs, he also scored 28 runs and had eight doubles and three home runs.

"This is a kid who could have started for anybody in our league behind the dish," Burbank Coach Bob Hart said. "He hit .400 for pretty much the entire season and he was very consistent. Defensively, teams just wouldn't run on him. He is legit behind the plate, and probably the best catcher I've had since I've been here."

Making the second team were sophomore shortstop Dylan Mersola and junior pitcher Daniel Starkand. Mersola hit .325 (26 for 80), drove in 17 runs and scored 21 runs and Starkand had a 1-7 record and a 3.99 earned-run average.

"Daniel's numbers weren't that great this year," Hart said. "But he played in tough games and he pitched against all the top teams. I think his best year is ahead of him next year. Dylan was just solid for us at shortstop and he improved defensively quite a bit. And he hit over .300 for us."

No doubt making an effect on the all-league slots as it did on the final standings, Burroughs saw its season cancelled during league play because of an alcohol incident involving a group of its players. As a result, the Indians had no all-league honorees.

Receiving honorable mention for the area teams were Burbank's Andrew Hernandez, Crescenta Valley's Kyle Pomeroy, Glendale's Zach Fields and Hoover's Cameron Doran.

The Bulldogs' Hernandez had a 4-3 record and an ERA of 1.96.

Hoover went 9-17 and 7-7 in league for fourth place and the final automatic playoff berth. However, Doran's honorable mention was the only presence for a Tornado on the team. It might very well have been due to the scrappy nature of the team, which didn't boast any eye-popping stats, but got the job done in qualifying for the playoffs. Doran batted a team-high .247 (19 for 77) with 10 runs and eight RBI. He also tallied a 3.39 ERA over 33 innings pitched with 33 strikeouts to 14 walks.

Glendale finished tied for sixth in league at 5-13 overall and 3-11 in league. Fields, a second-team pick last season, hit .281 with 13 runs driven in.

Pomeroy, also a second-team selection a year ago, was 6-0 on the mound with a 1.02 ERA over 29 innings, as he struck out 44 and walked 13.

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