Portland Ore. --
After completing their first summer in the WCL, the Portland Pickles were well represented on the 2018 All-West Coast League teams and honorable mention lists. Coaches and executives from up and down the coast nominated players for the First and Second teams, which listed Portland's Gio Diaz (St. Mary's College) on the First Team All-WCL, as the best shortstop in the league. A well-deserved accolade that capped off Diaz's incredible 2018 All-Star campaign, the Gael sophomore led the team in Runs (45), Hits (63), Doubles (12), RBI (31), and Stolen Bases (18). Diaz's hot start placed him amongst the league's best in Batting Average (.320), and helped him to a top 10 finish by the season's end.
Three more Pickles made the All-West Coast League Second Team, in Noah Cardenas (UCLA), Carson Breshears (Gonzaga), and Brad McVay (Portland). Cardenas' bat developed well throughout the summer, and his .287 average came with many clutch at-bats down the stretch. With a throwing and pitch-framing ability far beyond his years, Noah will look to continue his dominance behind the plate under coach John Savage at UCLA next Spring.
Utilityman Carson Breshears enjoyed his second summer in Portland, and was an everyday performer in the Pickles lineup. His sure-handed fielding in the middle-infield and outfield positions was key in the team's defensive success, and his .455 On-Base Percentage from the leadoff spot sparked countless Portland rallies.
Rounding out the list, Milwaukie's own Brad McVay defined the term "Home Field Advantage", and had a spectacular summer on Zach Miller's pitching staff. The U of P lefty frustrated the entire South Division on his way to a lights out 1.15 ERA and 5-0 record, both team highs.
Although only four Pickles made the First and Second teams, it seemed the entire remaining roster made its way onto the Honorable Mention list. The list includes Jace McKinney (Portland), Daniel Lopez (Portland), Mike Perez (UCLA), Joey Cooper (Cal State Northridge), Davis Delorefice (Orange Coast College), Jack Murphy (St. Mary's College), Zander Clarke (UC San Diego), Joel Casillas (Cal State Northridge), Michael Newstrom (Washington State), Connor Pellerin (Tulane), Brad Bonnefant (Nevada), Daniel Copeland (Gonzaga), Adam Davenport (University of Washington), Michael Frias (UC Irvine), Alex Roth (Western Oregon), and Leo Nierenberg (University of Washington).
In his first season with the Pickles, head coach Justin Barchus earned the honor of West Coast League Coach of the Year. Barchus and his staff of Mark Magdaleno, Jim Hoppel, and Zach Miller constructed one of the most potent offenses and stingiest pitching staffs in the entire league, resulting in a first half South Division title and league best 37-17 record. Arguably one of Barchus and Miller's most notable achievements during the 2018 season, was that their pitching staff finished first or second in every team category in the WCL, with only one player throwing over 80 pitches in any given outing.
Be sure to continue following the team on Facebook as well as Twitter and Instagram @PicklesBaseball, and visit PortlandPicklesBaseball.com for continued information on season-tickets and events for the summer of 2019.