Prep2Prep 2019 NCS Baseball Honors
St. Vincent de Paul's Dante Antonini is the NCS Freshman of the Year.

NCS Freshman of the Year

Freshman Dante Antonini not only made an immediate impact on the small-school Petaluma campus, but his production stayed consistent throughout his freshman season as part of a Mustangs’ team which won 21 games and captured the North Central League–II championship.

Antonini hit .392 with 28 RBIs for St. Vincent de Paul, with the latter mark serving as the second-highest total on the team. His nine extra-base hits were also second on the team, with both marks trailing only senior leader Trent Free. He also played big down the stretch, going 4-for-4 with three RBIs in a win over Sonoma Academy which helped clinch the league title for the Mustangs, and then driving in a key run during an extra-inning playoff victory over University-SF.

“Dante’s strength this year was definitely his ability to hit,” said St. Vincent de Paul coach Stan Switala. “He had some big hits for us all year and just really stayed consistent at the plate.”

The first-year high school player also showed a knack for recognizing the strike zone, adding 12 walks for a season-long OPS of 1.035, while striking out just six times, giving Switala a player who he can move around in the order over the next three seasons.

“He has plus speed and makes very good contact at the plate,” Switala added. “A big plus with him is he does not strike out, so I see him hitting leadoff or in the three spot for us next year.”

Antonini’s plus speed was reflected in his 18 stolen bases, a number which could obviously grow as he gets more at-bats in the top of the batting order. And the Mustangs graduate just two key pieces from their lineup and one key arm from their pitching rotation, so look for Antonini and company to also have higher team goals in 2020.

For his efforts throughout the season, we are pleased to recognize Dante Antonini as the Prep2Prep North Coast Section Freshman of the Year.

Other players considered include Saint Mary’s’ Noah Zirkle, Pittsburg’s Khamani Blakney, Gateway’s Ryan Cunningham and San Ramon Valley’s Jaron Nevarez.

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 NCS baseball.