Two Santa Maria Valley High Schools had strong baseball seasons last spring.
Of course that means Righetti and Pioneer Valley players are well-represented on the Santa Maria Times’ All-Area baseball team.
Four of the top five individual accolades are going to those schools. Pioneer Valley coach Cody Smith was named the All-Area Coach of the Year.
Righetti’s Ricky Smith is the All-Area Pitcher of the Year. His teammate, junior Brodie Miller, is the 2022 Gold Glove winner.
Pioneer Valley star Richie Robles is the All-Area Silver Slugger for the 2022 season. Smith and Robles were both All-Area MVP finalists.
Pioneer Valley won the Ocean League championship last season while Righetti won the Mountain League title.
Over in Santa Ynez, Pirate ace Jackson Cloud was named the All-Area MVP, the top honor for the 2022 awards season.
There are about 35 more players on the All-Area’s three teams.
Ricky Smith, Pitcher of the Year
Smith was a finalist for the All-Area MVP award this season after being named the Mountain League’s Most Valuable Player. He was dynamic both on the mound and at the plate this season.
He had a 1.35 ERA that year, throwing 52 innings. He struck out 49 batters and went 8-0 on the year. Opponents hit just .207 against the left-hander on the season. Smith was clearly Righetti’s most valuable player, playing at an MVP level at the plate and on the mound. He hit .404 on the year with 40 hits in 99 at bats, adding 18 runs, 28 RBIs, six doubles and two triples.
Richie Robles, Silver Slugger
Robles was consistently dominant at the plate for Pioneer Valley. The center fielder finished the season with a .505 batting average, mashing 46 hits in 91 at-bats, with 35 runs, 40 RBIs, eight doubles, five triples and three homers. Robles slugged .802 on the season and, combined with his .569 on-base percentage, he finished the year with a 1.371 OPS. The lefty also pitched, finishing the season with a 1.12 ERA in 25 innings.
Brodie Miller, Gold Glove
Miller helped manage a terrific pitching staff at Righetti, catching nearly every inning during a 25-7 run last spring. He finished the year with a .983 fielding percentage. Miller also hit .388 on the year with 33 hits, 12 runs, 26 RBIs, six doubles and a triple.
Righetti senior second baseman Gavin Long leads the First Team. Long has long been one of the finest players in the area. He’s held down second base at Righetti for two-plus seasons. Long was always in the middle of something at Righetti, whether it was a big hit or a critical double play turn from his second base position. Long hit .394 on the year and scored 41 times in 32 games. The left-handed hitter had 39 hits, 23 RBIs, four doubles, four triples and two homers.
St. Joseph sophomore Caden Cuccia is on the First Team. He hit .319 on the season with 29 hits, six doubles and a homer. He scored 23 times. Cuccia was second on the team in innings pitched with 52. He made nine starts and had a 3.36 ERA on the year, striking out 42.
VCA’s James Fakoury is also on the First Team after making the All-CIF squad as a freshman. He hit .518 with 29 hits in 56 at bats, adding 25 runs, 10 doubles, two triples and a homer. Fakoury also went 4-2 on the mound with a 1.96 ERA, striking out 56 in 35 innings.
Arroyo Grande catcher Ryan Tayman, a Cal commit, is on the First Team.
So is Pioneer Valley catcher/pitcher Josue Garcia. Garcia hit .538 last season, finishing second on the team behind Robles in hits with 42. He scored 20 runs and drove in 26. He had four doubles, three triples and a home run.
Pioneer Valley’s Estevan Fonseca is also on the First Team. Fonseca hit .437 with 38 hits, 20 runs, 30 RBIs, three doubles and a triple on the season. On the mound, Fonseca went 7-4 with a 1.78 ERA in 11 starts. He threw seven complete games and one shutout. Fonseca led the Panthers with 66 2/3 innings, striking out 65 batters and allowing 60 hits on the year.
Nipomo’s Nate Reese is on the First Team. He led Nipomo with 44 hits and a .440 average. He scored a team-high 30 runs while driving in 25, adding 11 doubles, eight triples and one home run.
Nipomo’s Hunter Wooldridge was named the Ocean League Pitcher of the Year and he’s on the First Team. Wooldridge finished the year with a 1.42 ERA in 49 innings with an 8-2 record. He threw four complete games with three shutouts, allowing just 33 hits while striking out 46 and walking nine on the season.
Lefty Omar Reynoso had a stellar season for Righetti. He went 7-3 with a 2.10 ERA and four saves in a team-high 21 appearances. He led Righetti in innings with 66 2/3. He struck out 69 batters.
Lompoc senior Bridger Coleman is the lone Brave on the First Team. Coleman had a strong final season for the Braves, hitting .412 and leading Lompoc in hits and average. He had 35 hits in 85 at bats with 20 runs, 24 RBIs, six doubles, a triple and two homers.
Arroyo Grande senior Marc Byrum rounds out the All-Area First Team.
Chris Miller and AJ Simmons from St. Joseph are on the Second Team, joined by JJ Ughoc (Righetti), Jesus Nava (Pioneer Valley), Wade Arkinson (Nipomo), Lukas Ward (Nipomo); Andrew Milner (Santa Maria), Jacob Escobedo (Lompoc), Andy Morales (Pioneer Valley), Owen Hunt (Santa Ynez), Nolan Waters (Dunn) and Josiah Cabreros (Arroyo Grande).
The Honorable Mention team features Ben Muñoz and Cooper Bagby from Righetti; Ethan Mansfield from St. Joseph, Caleb Cassidy and Mikey Gills of Santa Ynez, Kaden Tynes of Arroyo Grande; Andrew Sandoval and Cesar Garcia from Pioneer Valley; Jacob Sanders from VCA; Brandon Brickey of Lompoc, Victor Garibay of Nipomo, Julian Ortiz of Santa Maria; Isaiah Weichinger and Isaias De La Cruz from Orcutt Academy; and Blake Gregory and Spencer Gallimore of Cabrillo.
Photos: Jackson Cloud named All-Area MVP