CCS Senior of the Year
MICHAEL CARNAZZO, MONTEREY
When the Monterey High baseball team lost its first five games of the 2019 campaign, it would have been easy to write off the Toreadores as a non-contender for the PCAL-Gabilan title. Instead, Monterey opened league play with a sweep of a Christopher team that would contend in the top portion of the standings and the Toreadores rolled from there, led by senior infielder Michael Carnazzo, who would wrap up his high school career with not only a phenomenal individual season, but also by leading his team to success.
Carnazzo went 3-for-3, walked twice and drove in a pair of runs during his five at-bats in a 12-6 win over Christopher, the win that snapped the early losing streak and triggered a stretch for the rest of the season that would include 20 wins and a league title.
“We came out slow at the start this season and we struggled more than we thought we would, but it seemed as if the struggles only pushed us to become closer as a team, which was the reason we were able to win the Gabilan,” Carnazzo said.
The Toreadores split with Salinas and league favorite San Benito before reeling off four wins in a row. Then, after dropping the front half of a two-game set with Palma, Monterey would not lose on the field again until the post-season, triggered by a 4-3 win over Palma and an 8-7 win over Monte Vista Christian in which every ounce of Carnazzo’s effort was needed, as the senior went 3-for-4 with a home run and two doubles. The San Jose State-bound Carnazzo hit safely in 12 straight games, including a 4-0 win over San Benito to take the season series from the Balers, and more importantly, let the Toreadores know where they stood in the league title race.
“When we beat Hollister for the second time, at Hollister, it was the most exciting moment for us as a team, and very memorable because that’s when we knew we could win the Gabilan,” Carnazzo said. “It was a great year, and I’m also very honored to be recognized for the success we had.”
Carnazzo’s late tear included a playoff win over Burlingame, punctuating a season in which he hit .524 with four home runs, 11 doubles, 17 RBIs and scored 43 runs. He also walked 29 times for a whopping .649 on-base percentage. It all happened while leading the Toreadores to their highest win total in seven years, even after the slow start, and caps an amazing final two years of high school ball which saw Carnazzo compile 82 hits over the past two seasons.
For his efforts throughout this season, we are pleased to recognize Michael Carnazzo as the Prep2Prep Central Coast Section Senior of the Year.
Other players considered include Palo Alto’s Josh Kasevich, Woodside’s Joseph King, Los Gatos’ Trevor Allen and Leigh’s Robbie Hamchuk.
NOTE: We would like to thank our media partners, coaches, parents, players and fans for contributing photos for our all-section features.
We salute all of the players that have made this a wonderful season of CCS baseball.