As we did with the Alonzo Rubalcaba, named a top catcher by D1baseball.com, next we’ll take a look at the two former Valley Leaguers on the site’s list of 50 top first baseman…
- Sonny DiChiara, Auburn, was named at #15. DiChiara was one of the top hitters in the 2019 season for Strasburg, even playing through a painful ankle injury near the end of the season. He hit .313/.385/.550 in 131 regular season at-bats for the Express, adding in 10 doubles and seven home runs. He then went 11-25 with four more home runs in six playoff games, almost driving the Express to a title. DiChiara is a transfer to Auburn; he spent 2019-2021 at Samford, where he hit a total of .289/.412/.603 in 453 at-bats, with 19 doubles, 41 home runs (!), 122 RBIs, and a solid 88/129 BB/K total. He just exudes power!
- The second player listed is former Harrisonburg Turk Josh Madole (2018-19), who transferred to Charlotte after the 2021 season as a grad student. A four-year player at UNC-Greensboro, Madole hit a total of .278/.390/.354 in 622 at-bats, with 23 doubles, three triples, six home runs, 90 RBIs, and an outstanding 100/97 BB/K. Madole, like DiChiara, was a top hitter in the 2019 VBL season, slashing .357/.453/.443 in 140 at-bats, with nine doubles, one home run, and tremendous 27/14 BB/K.
Congrats to both!