Clark, Liddi earn Cal League honors

Giants, Mavericks place three on postseason All-Star team

San Jose's Craig Clark is unbeaten in 19 games, including 18 starts, since May 7. (Ken Weisenberger/

By Daren Smith / | September 1, 2009 4:12 PM

Left-hander Craig Clark, who has won his last 14 decisions, enabled the San Jose Giants to maintain a virtual stranglehold on California League Pitcher of the Year honors.

Clark is the second straight Giant and third in four years to be named top pitcher in the 10-team circuit. Unbeaten since May 7, the former 14th-round pick is 15-2 with a 3.01 ERA. He ranks second in all of Minor League baseball in wins, fifth in the league with 132 strikeouts and tied the league mark by fanning 10 consecutive batters against Stockton on June 1.

San Jose's Kevin Pucetas was named Pitcher of the Year in 2008 and Brian Anderson in 2006.

High Desert Mavericks third baseman Alex Liddi is the 2009 Most Valuable Player. He leads the league with a .348 batting average and 42 doubles, ranks second in hits (164) and slugging percentage (.605), third in RBIs (99) and fourth in runs scored (94) and on-base percentage (.411).

Joining Liddi on the postseason All-Star squad are Mavericks teammates Joe Dunigan (.285, 28 homers, 95 RBIs) at first base and left-handed pitcher Donald Hume (17-5, 4.76 ERA).

The Giants' other All-Stars are outfielders Thomas Neal (.333, 22, 86) and Roger Kieschnick (.299, 23, 106), who also was named Rookie of the Year.

The Lancaster JetHawks and Modesto Nuts were the only other teams with more than one All-Star. Catcher Koby Clemens (.346, 20, 116) and outfielder Jon Gaston (.276, 32, 92) are the JetHawks' representatives, while second baseman Jason Van Kooten (.299, 10, 54, 19 stolen bases) and reliever Craig Baker (4-2, 2.44, 32 saves) are the Nuts' All-Stars.

The rest of the squad is Lake Elsinore Storm shortstop Beamer Weems (.254, 3, 43, 10), Inland Empire 66ers designated hitter Scott Van Slyke (.293, 22, 96, 10) and left-hander Alexander Torres, who was 10-3 with 2.74 ERA in 21 games with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes before he was promoted and eventually traded to the Tampa Bay Rays organization.

High Desert's Jim Horner was named Manager of the Year after guiding the Mavericks to the first-half Southern Division title with a 43-27 record.

San Jose's Yukiya Oba was named Athletic Trainer of the Year.

2009 California League Postseason All-Star Team
CKoby ClemensLancasterOFThomas NealSan Jose
1BJoe DuniganHigh DesertOFRoger KieschnickSan Jose
2BJason Van KootenModestoOFJon GastonLancaster
3BAlex LiddiHigh DesertSPCraig ClarkSan Jose
SSBeamer WeemsLake ElsinoreSPDonald HumeHigh Desert
DHScott Van SlykeInland EmpireSPAlexander TorresRancho Cucamonga
RPCraig BakerModesto Nuts
MVP: Alex Liddi
Pitcher of the Year: Craig Clark
Manager of the Year: Jim Horner (High Desert)

Daren Smith is an editor for This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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