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SBLive's All-Southern Section high school baseball teams: JJ Hollis is 2022 Player of the Year

Hollis had a 1.01 ERA going up against some of the toughest competition in the country this season.

With the spring 2022 California high school baseball season in the books, it’s time to hand out some awards.

After covering dozens of games and talking to coaches from every corner of the Southern Section this spring, here are SBLive's 2022 All-Southern Section high school baseball teams. The Section-wide team features 40 players split between a first and a second team. Three golden glove award winners, 22 position players and 15 pitchers combine to make up the two teams. The players were selected by SBLive reporter Connor Morrissette.

(Photos by Nick Koza and Heston Quan)


JJ Hollis - JSerra - Junior RHP

JJ Hollis

Harvard-Westlake head coach Jared Halpert said it best. He described JJ Hollis as having the “most competitive spirit” of any pitcher his team faced this season. 

Hollis' guts are what separated him from the other Player of the Year candidates. Going up against some of the best competition in the nation, the junior UC Santa Barbara commit never flinched. He was lights out all year beating mighty Orange Lutheran twice and then Harvard-Westlake in the playoffs. He also didn't allow a run in the Division 1 Southern Section title game against Notre Dame and for that, he's been named SBLive's Southern Section Player of the Year. 

Hollis went 9-0 with a 1.01 ERA this spring. He threw 63 1/3 innings striking out 54 batters.

“He wants the ball," JSerra head coach Brett Kay said of Hollis after he threw a complete game in a 4-1 Boras Classic win over Orange Lutheran in April. "I put him up with the likes of Keaton Siomkin, Gage Jump, Eric Silva, Trevor Charpie, Grahamm Wiest and Joe Kurrasch. Guys in our lineage of JSerra history that want the ball and want to perform at the highest level. He wants it. He’s not going to sit there and wow you with velocity and things like that, but he’s going to will himself and put his teammates on his back and just perform."


Brett Kay - JSerra

JSerra vs. Notre Dame_000035

JSerra is in the mix for the Division 1 Southern Section championship every season -- they're always talented. But on the morning of March 23rd, the Lions woke up with a 1-6 Trinity League record after getting swept by Santa Margarita and losing a game to St. John Bosco

Despite the setbacks, Lions head coach Brett Kay knew his team still had the chance to be special and at that point in the season his message was clear.

"Stay the course."

Following the Bosco defeat, the Lions won their next nine games in a row and their next eight league games to finish the Trinity League season at 9-6. JSerra then won five playoff games in a row culminating in a 3-1 championship victory over Notre Dame. The title win marked the end of a triumphant turnaround that Kay said had everything to do with his group keeping faith.

"We always knew we had the right pieces and the guys had big years," Kay said. "Good players make good coaches." 

After years of coming close, including last season when a loaded Lions team fell to Harvard-Westlake in the championship game, this year's JSerra squad got over the hump to win the program's first ever Southern Section title. 

"All of the pieces kinda fell together for us to make that improbable, great run," Kay said. 

For leading his team out of a slump and into the winner's circle, Kay has been named SBLive's Southern Section baseball Coach of the Year. 


Catcher: Luke Lavin - Santa Margarita - Junior

Lavin hit .433 this season. He had 39 hits and 23 RBI's. 

First baseman: Jack Gurevitch - Notre Dame - Senior

Opposing Southern Section coached feared Gurevitch all season. In addition to playing tremendous defense at first base, the University of San Diego signee hit .357 with four home runs and 39 RBI's. He also led Notre Dame with 41 hits. 

Second baseman: Austen Roellig - Etiwanda - Junior

Roellig played as a DH and at shortstop for Etiwanda this season, but he can play second base too and he needed to be included on the first team. The junior LSU commit hit .446 this season with 37 hits. In the Division 2 Southern Section championship game, Roellig had three hits and two RBI's in a 6-1 win over Torrance. 

Third baseman: Casey Borba - Orange Lutheran - Junior

Casey Borba

Borba hit .353 this season with 30 hits and six home runs, plus he provided fans with one of the moments of the year. Borba single-handedly extended Orange Lutheran's season with a two-out, two-strike seventh inning three run home run in their quarterfinal defeat to Notre Dame. His bomb tied the game 4-4 to send it to extras. 

Shortstop: Gavin Grahovac - Villa Park - Junior

Photo by Heston Quan

Grahovac is such a talented hitter that some coaches deployed four outfielders against him. He hit .376 this season with 47 hits and five home runs. 

Outfielder: Aiden Taurek - Foothill - Senior

Taurek was named a Division 1 All-Southern Section selection after batting .322 with six home runs and 21 RBI's this season.

Outfielder: Austin Overn - Foothill - Senior

Austin Overn - Foothill

Overn is an exceptional athlete with lightning fast speed. He was the best defensive outfielder in the Section this season. At the dish, he was also impressive batting .316 with two home runs and 30 hits. Overn was a menace on the base paths as well stealing 23 bases and scoring 27 runs. 

Outfielder: Andrew Lamb - JSerra - Junior

Andrew Lamb - JSerra

Lamb was named the Division 1 Southern Section Player of the Year by the Section's coaches. He hit .390 with 39 hits and four home runs in 2022. 

Designated hitter: Ralphy Velazquez - Huntington Beach - Junior

Ralphy Velazquez 2 - Huntington Beach

Velazquez, a first baseman, mashed nine home runs this season including the game-winning two-run home run against JSerra in the Division 1 CIF State Southern Regional championship game. On the season, Velazquez hit .318 with 36 hits and 25 RBI's. 

Utility: Brady Ebel - Etiwanda - Freshman

Ebel, the son of Dodgers third base coach Dino Ebel, is the lone freshman to make this list and it's for good reason. He was named MVP of the Baseline League after putting together a season where he hit .330 with five home runs, 35 hits and 36 RBI's. On the mound, he recorded a 0.32 ERA and won six games. When he wasn't pitching, Ebel played third base. 

Utility: Cameron Kim - Norco - Junior

Kim had a ridiculous .510 batting average and 52 hit season in 2022. He also hit four home runs and had 31 RBI's. Kim primarily played shortstop for Norco this season. 


Catcher: Karson Bowen - Orange Lutheran - Senior

Karson Bowen - Orange Lutheran

Bowen played like a magician behind the plate blocking everything and consistently throwing runners out trying to steal. Opposing coaches put Bowen's defense up with some of the great catchers in the Section's history. The TCU signee had a strong year at the plate as well hitting .321. 

Shortstop: Jonathan Mendez - JSerra - Junior

Jonathan Mendez - JSerra

Mendez is an exceptional infielder. JSerra has had shortstops Cody Schrier, Royce Lewis, Chase Strumpf and Michael Curialle in their program, but Lions head coach Brett Kay says Mendez is the best of the bunch. At the plate, Mendez hit .390 this year. He's a great all around talent. 

Shortstop: Abbrie Covarrubias - Cypress - Junior

Abbrie Covarrubias

Cypress head coach John Weber called Covarrubias the best defensive shortstop he's ever had at the school. At the plate, the junior hit .426 and had 40 hits. 


JJ Hollis - JSerra - Junior

JJ Hollis - JSerra

Hollis went 9-0 with a 1.01 ERA this spring. He threw 63 1/3 innings striking out 54 batters.

Cole Clark - Notre Dame - Senior

Cole Clark - Notre Dame 6.47.24 PM

"He's been phenomenal [this season]," JSerra head coach Brett Kay said of Clark. The LMU signee was the ace for the Section's second best team this year. He went 8-2 with 1.68 ERA. 

Ben Jacobs - Huntington Beach - Senior

Ben Jacobs - Huntington Beach

Jacobs struck out 99 batters in 67 innings this season. He went 8-2 with a 0.94 ERA. Jacobs also recorded the save in Huntington Beach's 2-0 Division 1 CIF State Southern Regional championship win over JSerra. 

Jaden Noot - Sierra Canyon - Senior

Jaden Noot - Sierra Canyon

Noot was ridiculous this season. He went 10-0 with a 0.216 ERA striking out 94 batters.

Dylan Goff - Etiwanda - Junior

Goff put the cherry on top of a great season in Etiwanda's 6-1 Division 2 championship win over Torrance when he threw a complete game striking out nine. On the season, Goff went 12-0 with a 0.73 ERA. He had 93 strikeouts. 

Isaiah Magdaleno - Crespi - Junior

Magdaleno was named the Mission League Pitcher of the Year this season after leading Crespi to wins over Harvard-Westlake and Notre Dame and going 5-0 in the league overall. On the season, Magdaleno went 6-0 with a 0.91 ERA in 46 innings. 

Brandon Luu - Villa Park - Junior

Luu went 8-2 this season posting a 1.24 ERA. He struck out 84 batters in 68 innings. 


Catcher: Andrew Pyle - La Mirada - Senior

Pyle hit .373 this season with three home runs and 19 stolen bases. He was named MVP of the Suburban League. 

First baseman: Dominic Smaldino - JSerra - Junior

Dominic Smaldino - JSerra

Smaldino is great defensively and he hits well. The junior batted .322 this year with 28 hits. Smaldino hit a single to bring home the game-winning run in the Division 1 Southern Section championship game, a 3-1 JSerra win over Notre Dame. 

Second baseman: Owen Fuller - JSerra - Senior

Fuller had a clutch postseason and he plays A+ defense at second base. On the season, he hit .252 with 26 hits. Fuller's base knocks always seemed to come when JSerra needed them most. 

Third baseman: Bryce Rainer - Harvard-Westlake - Sophomore

Rainer is a future pro. He didn't pitch this season, but still had a huge year at the plate hitting .391 with 35 hits, five home runs and 21 RBI's. 

Shortstop: Roman Martin - Servite - Junior

Roman Martin - Servite

Martin was named the co-MVP of the Trinity League this season. He hit .473 in 18 games. 

Outfielder: Aidan Espinoza - Huntington Beach - Junior

Aidan Espinzona Huntington Beach

Espinoza batted .388 this season with 40 hits. He also stole a team high 10 bases in addition to playing tremendous defense in center field. 

Outfielder: Dean West - Notre Dame - Junior

West is another exceptional defensive outfielder and at the plate, he was one of the most patient hitters in the Section. West walked 30 times and had an OBP of 0.504 in 2022. The UCLA commit batted .312 and also stole 19 bases. 

Outfielder: Justin Roulston - Culver City - Senior

Roulston hit .459 this season with 34 hits, which included four triples. 

Designated hitter: Trent Caraway - JSerra - Junior

Trent Caraway - JSerra

Caraway batted .354 for the Division 1 champion Lions. He had 23 hits in 20 games after having to sit out due to transferring. In the field, he played third base this year. 

Utility: Jacob Reimer - Yucaipa - Senior

Reimer, an infielder, batted .391 and was named MVP of the Citrus Belt League for the second consecutive season in 2022. 

Utility: Zach Brown - Villa Park - Junior

Zach Brown - Villa Park

Brown developed a reputation for playing well in the clutch this season whether at the plate or on the mound. He helped lead the Spartans to a Boras Classic championship thanks to hitting a walk-off home run against Servite and then pitching a complete game in a 2-1 win over Notre Dame. Overall, Brown hit .297 at the plate in 2022 with 30 hits. On the hill, he went 5-2 with a 2.96 ERA. 


Aric Berg - Chaminade - Senior

Ask any opposing coach whose team has gone up against Berg and they'll tell you that the Fordham signee was one of the most underrated arms in the Section this year. Berg posted a 0.86 ERA in 40 2/3 innings this spring. 

Tommy Bridges - Harvard-Westlake - Sophomore 

Harvard-Westlake senior pitcher Tommy Bridges is the Wolverines No. 1 in 2024.

Bridges developed into the Wolverines ace this season. He went 8-1 with a 1.98 ERA striking out 66 batters in 63 2/3 innings. 

Tyler Gough - JSerra - Senior

Tyler Gough - JSerra

Gough missed a lot of time due to injury this year otherwise he would have been a surefire first team pick. The senior closed out JSerra's 3-1 Division 1 championship win over Notre Dame and threw six scoreless innings in the Lions' Division 1 CIF State regional championship defeat to Huntington Beach. Gough finished the season with a 0.48 ERA. 

David Horn - JSerra - Senior

David Horn - JSerra

Horn's Division 1 Southern Section semifinal performance against Villa Park gets him onto the second team. The senior gave up one run on four hits in six innings in a 4-1 Lions' win. Overall, Horn went 4-2 with a 4.04 ERA in his senior year. 

Cameron Kessel - Foothill - Senior

Kessel was lights out for Foothill this season. He ended the year with a 0.77 ERA in 45 2/3 innings. 

Mikiah Negrete - Servite - Senior

Negrete went 5-2 with a 2.58 ERA in his senior year. He was the ace of the Friars' staff. 

Louis Rodriguez - Orange Lutheran - Senior

Louis Rodriguez - Orange Lutheran

Rodriguez ended the season with an 8-1 record and a 1.43 ERA. He struck out 70 batters in 53 2/3 innings. 

Oliver Santos - Orange Lutheran - Senior

Santos went 7-0 with a 1.37 ERA this season. He struck out 66 batters in 46 innings.