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Casa grad Kamages major contributor to SRJC baseball

After racing to an impressive 18-2 record to begin its 2020 baseball campaign, the Santa Rosa Junior College Bear Cubs had their baseball season canceled almost immediately after achieving the No. 1 ranking in California community college play.

Coach Damon Neidlinger’s club, stocked at many key positions by players from high school programs in Petaluma, had to shut things down because of state mandates concerning the threat of the coronavirus pandemic

Local baseball fans will recognize many names on the Bear Cub roster from prep competition in this area, in addition to the successful run made by the Petaluma Leghorns in American Legion play over the last couple of seasons. The Leghorns captured the state title in 2019 and reached the semifinals in regional play in Fairfield.

While eligibility to play an additional season was restored to all interested players, infielders Joe Lampe (Casa Grande) and Logan Douglas (Petaluma) have moved on to Division I programs to continue their career. Lampe is slated to play at Arizona State while Douglas recently committed to the University of Nevada at Reno.

Nick Andrakin (Petaluma) and Nik Kamages (Casa Grande) both had solid seasons for local prep teams and the Leghorns, in addition to the partial season for the Bear Cubs. Joe Kramer (Rancho Cotate) and Chris LaTorre (Maria Carrillo) both played for the state titleist Leghorns during their strong summer run last season.

Kamages, often under the media radar as a front line pitcher, came to the Bear Cub program as a sophomore after a season in the Arizona junior college circuit where he was 3-1 in 2019. He posted good numbers at Casa Grande as a starting pitcher and finished with an impressive ERA of 2.41 during his senior season which was tops on the team. Casa Grande finished with a 20-8 season record and champion of the North Bay League.

The 6-foot, 1 inch right hander got the most important start of the 2018 season, and went the distance in a seven-inning 3-2 win over Concord in a first-ound North Coast Section Division II playoff game. He struck out six Minutemen in picking up the victory.

After a one-year stint in Arizona, Kamages transferred back to Santa Rosa, and turned out to be a dependable starter for the Bear Cubs. He pitched in seven games during their strong run. Kamages was 5-1 for Santa Rosa, averaging 88 mph with a notable ERA of 2.48.

In their final game, the Bear Cubs defeated Mission, 3-2, behind the relief pitching of Kamages who hurled four innings of scoreless ball while facing 15 batters and striking out four. Former PHS teammate Andrakin entered the game in the ninth, and picked up the save with one scoreless frame.

Kamages suffered his only loss to Sacramento City College on March 3 while facing 26 batters. As a result of his continued growth on the bump, the Casa Grande grad committed to the prestigious Cal State Fullerton baseball program in August. At present, it is a verbal commitment with the final signing due at the end of the year.

Northern California Director of Scouting for the Prep Baseball Report Blaine Clemmens observed Kamages as a pitcher in Sacramento in 2020 and wrote this in his partial report: “One of the top talents of the day. .He has gained good size and strength since last seeing him in high school. High three-quarter slot, loose easy arm stroke, good body control all the way through the finish. Displayed good control of the fastball at 87-88 mph with ability to keep 90-91 in the tank when he wanted it. Went inside to right-handed hitters well with fearlessness and conviction.”

His continued growth on the mound should serve him well as a Fullerton Titan in 2021. The Titans were 4-12 against top flight competition including Stanford and Texas before the cancellation of the regular season.

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