La Jolla High School’s Baseball Hall of Fame inducted four new members March 7, 2015, and then carried on the tradition of an alumni team playing a game against the current varsity team.
La Jolla High School grads Patrick Christensen (Class of 2009), Trent Jemmett (2008), Jacob Grosz (1995) and Peter Sefton (2008), were commended for their achievements in baseball and joined 16 other former Vikings in the Hall of Fame. Jemmett and Grosz attended the induction, Christensen and Sefton couldn’t make it.
Six previously inducted members were present and recognized: Bob Allen (Class of 1977); Rick Eveleth (1964), Jon Felfoldi (2000), Gary Frank (1990), Jason Green (1994) and Ed Olsen (1953).
Howard Frank, a volunteer on the committee that finds these outstanding graduates (and father to La Jolla’s current baseball coach Gary Frank), said the search committee uses statistics that cover different categories to determine who should be inducted.
“High school record book lists statistics and who is a leader in categories such as batting average, number of doubles, number of triples, on-base percentage, base on balls, winning percentages, strikeouts, complete games, etc.,” Howard Frank said, noting the board also considers CIF recognition, overall high school career success and any college and/or professional baseball experience.
“Each of these former players fit the criteria and each in their own right had outstanding high school careers,” he said. “When the criteria were considered, each one more than qualified.”
Pitcher Christensen’s accolades include being named the 2008 Western League Pitcher of the Year and an All-League Player three times. He is (as of now) an all time leader in wins during a season with nine and also in a career with 23.
Christensen played four years of college baseball and in 2013, was selected in the 27th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Houston Astros.
When Grosz graduated, he was the all-time career win-leader with 19, but was surpassed by Christensen. Also a pitcher, Grosz racked up impressive numbers in four different pitching categories, most notably, striking out 140 batters in his high school career. Grosz participated in the CIF Championship game in 1993 and played college baseball and was the manager of a La Jolla Youth Baseball 2014 PONY All Star Team.
Jemmett, a shortstop, boasts the third highest batting average in La Jolla High School history with 377. He was a four-year varsity player and listed among single- season leaders with 47 hits in a season and 38 runs in a season, and a career hitting- leader with 120. He was named to the CIF First Team in 2007, the same year he led the Vikings to the second round of playoffs, and CIF Second Team in 2008. Sefton, a first baseman, in addition to his leading numbers in eight categories, including an impressive season high of 38 Runs Batted In (RBIs), was the recipient of two awards in 2008. One was the Brent Woodall Award, named for the La Jolla High School graduate who played baseball and was killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City, which is given to students who exemplify leadership. He was also named the 2008 San Diego County Student Athlete of the Year.
This year’s alumni game was the tradition’s 22nd, and the current Varsity team managed to win, 15-8.