Six Cuesta Baseball Players Named All-WSC
SAN LUIS OBISPO (May 18, 2018)— Baseball finished in 3rd place in the Western State Conference and returned to the post-season for the second straight year as the #14-seed. The Cougars ended their season in the CCCAA Regional Playoffs after dropping their first two games of their best-of-three series at #3 Riverside and ended the season 22-16 overall. The Cougars’ overall success on the diamond translated into several post-season awards for the team as six players earned all-Western State Conference honors, including 2019 Western State Conference Player of the Year Aidan Nagle (Santa Rosa), who also earned All-State honors.
First Baseman and converted Catcher Aidan Nagle (Santa Rosa) was also named the 2019 Western State Conference Player of the Year. Nagle Redshirted last year, after earned all-WSC 2nd Team as Catcher in 2017, but returned this season as a WSC Gold Glove winning First baseman. Nagle anchored the rightside of the infield and the middle of the order for the Cougars all season. He led the Cougars with a .375 average and 38 runs batted in on the season, however he was at his best in conference play. Nagle batted at a loop-leading .452 clip in WSC play and was one of only three players to bat above .400 against the conference. Nagle missed three conference games early in the WSC schedule due to an injury, but returned to compile a 20-game hitting streak that was still intact at the conclusion of the season. Nagle led the Cougars in slugging on the season at .578 and was tied for the team lead in both home runs (4) and triples (2), while finishing second in doubles (10).
Starting Pitcher Braeden Gowdy (Pleasant Hill) was named to the 2019 All-Western State Conference First Team and was the Cougars’ hottest pitcher down the stretch. Gowdy began the season in the bullpen, but moved to the rotation at the start of conference play and was nearly unbeatable. He was 6-1 against the loop with a 2.07 ERA. Gowdy ended the season 7-3 overall, plus a save, with a 2.83 ERA over 57.1 innings of work.
Starting Pitcher Zach Torra (Santa Ynez HS) was accorded all-Western State Conference Second Team honors. Torra established himself the Ace of the Cougars’ starting rotation early in the season with a combined shutout over Riverside, 10-0, on the second day of the season. He posted a team-high 80.2 innings over a team-leading 13 starts and struckout 84 batsmen for a team-leading 9.4 punchouts per nine-innings. Torra only had a 5-5 record on the season and was second on the team with 2.57 ERA, which also ranks 10th all time for a season at Cuesta College.
Starting Pitcher Tyler Chivens (Cayucos: Morro Bay HS) joined 2018 All-WSC 2nd Team Infielder Mason Grotto (Clovis HS) and Catcher Garrett Brown (San Diego) as all-WSC Honorable Mention selections. Chivens, who was 4-4 on the year, led the Cougars’ pitching staff with a 2.18 ERA (5th all time at Cuesta) over 66.0 innings of work and joined his fellow pitchers in establishing a new school record with an overall team earned run average of 2.73. 2019 Team MVP Mason Grotto exploded out of the gate with a .438 average over the first month of the season, but a hand injury slowed him down and he played with the injury the entire second half of the season. He ended the year second on the team with a .304 batting average and 33 runs batted in, while leading the team with 32 runs scored and playing stellar defense at the Hot Corner. Catcher Garrett Brown was one of four backstops, not including Nagle, on the Cougars’ active roster. He played sparingly early in the season, but during conference play he established himself as the team’s primary receiver and an offensive threat. He was second on the team with a .304 average against the circuit and led the Cuesta’s catchers with three WSC runners thrown out. On the season, Brown hit .288.
2019 Western State Conference Baseball Awards
Aidan Nagle- WSC Player of the Year, All State First Team
Braeden Gowdy- All-WSC First Team
Zach Torra- All-WSC Second Team
Garrett Brown- Honorable Mention
Tyler Chivens- Honorable Mention
Mason Grotto- Honorable Mention