NCS Sophomore of the Year
KYLE HARRISON, DE LA SALLE
All it takes is one time watching Kyle Harrison to understand why the lanky left-hander has been coveted by numerous college baseball programs. A verbal commit to UCLA, Harrison dazzled and dominated opposing lineups in the 2018 season, helping lead De La Salle to East Bay Athletic League and North Coast Section championships.
With an impressive three-pitch repertoire, Harrison went 9-1 with a 1.17 ERA this past season, including back-to-back dominating outings in the Division I playoffs. But his strong sophomore campaign started much earlier than that. After allowing a combined four hits and three runs in his first two outings of the year, facing WCAL powers Bellarmine and Saint Francis, Harrison became simply untouchable for the remainder of March and April. In fact, for a three-game stretch, he was completely unhittable.
“Kyle’s stuff is unbelievable,” said De La Salle coach David Jeans. “He has that low three-quarter arm slot, and a great slider and change-up to go with his high-80s fastball, plus he gets the game. He fields his position extremely well, and he is on another level, maturity-wise.”
Harrison’s impressive run started with a three-inning stint on March 12 against Kennedy-Fremont, in which he struck out five batters and did not allow a hit. Two weeks later, in his next start, Harrison struck out four and did not allow a hit in five innings against San Ramon Valley. A week later, the lefty struck out four in two innings against Jesuit-Carmichael, once again not allowing a hit, extending the hitless streak to 10 innings over three appearances.
In Harrison’s next start, California ended the hitless streak, but not the scoreless streak. The Grizzlies managed two hits in five innings against the EBAL’s Most Valuable Pitcher, but also struck out nine times as Harrison extended his scoreless inning streak to 15. A week later was another nine-strikeout performance, this time against Livermore, though the Cowboys did manage one run against Harrison to end that streak.
After his only loss of the season, a 3-2 setback against Amador Valley late in the regular season, Harrison responded with a dominant run to end his sophomore campaign. He allowed just six hits and one run in his final four appearances, including five shutout innings against the same Amador Valley team in the EBAL tournament, and then winning consecutive games against Castro Valley and Heritage in the Division I playoffs. Harrison’s season ended with a hitless inning against Foothill in the Division I title game, after blanking Heritage in the semifinals.
For the season, the 6-foot-1 left-hander struck out 71 batters in 54 innings, and opponents hit just .163 against him. Next year, in addition to his duties on the mound, Jeans plans on using him in the everyday lineup, playing both first base and the outfield on his days off from pitching.
“No moment is bigger than him, nothing fazes him,” Jeans said. “He’s also just a tremendous all-around athlete, and we plan on taking advantage of that more next season.”
For his efforts throughout this season, we are pleased to recognize Kyle Harrison as the Prep2Prep North Coast Section Sophomore of the Year.
Other players considered for this award include Liberty’s Brenden Bell, Maria Carrillo’s Bryce Veler, Dublin’s Nick Costello, San Marin’s Josh Franks, Petaluma’s Sam Brown, El Cerrito’s Ricky Salas, and St. Vincent de Paul’s Gio Antonini.