Here are this week's high school baseball players of the week. One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.
(After games of Tuesday, April 17)
Randy Rodriguez, George Washington (New York)
The Trojans' leadoff hitter had a monster week as GW captured the annual George Washington Tournament crown with a 5-1 record and avenged an early-season loss to rival Cardozo (Bayside, N.Y.) 6-0 in the title game. Rodriguez, a senior veteran, was selected the tournament MVP after going 12-for-18 in the six games, driving in eight runs and playing stellar defense at short.
Emerson Gibbs, Jesuit (New Orleans)
The senior pitcher, who got the save for the Blue Jays in last year’s Class 5A state final, posted the equivalent of a seven-inning perfect game within the team’s 2-1 victory in 18 innings last week over Archbishop Rummel (Metairie, La.). Gibbs retired 21 straight batters after the sixth inning of the marathon matchup. He ended up throwing 15 innings and 193 pitches. Those totals are legal in Louisiana, but would make the heads spin of many coaches around the country. Gibbs has signed with Tulane.
Alex Darr, University Liggett (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.)
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior right-handed pitcher/infielder is off to an impressive start for the defending Division 4 state champions. Last week, he struck out 30 batters in two wins, including a no-hitter in a 4-0 blanking of Clarenceville (Livonia, Mich.). In Liggett's home opener, Darr fanned 15 and allowed only two hits in a 13-0, five-inning win over Parkway Christian (Sterling Heights, Mich.). He also helped his own cause with a three-run first-inning homer. Later in the week, he fanned 15 in the win over Clarenceville for his second no-hitter of the season.
Sean Rubalcaba, Grand Junction (Colo.)
A familiar name for anyone who follows Colorado prep sports, Rubalcaba continued his hitting tear in a Tuesday game this week by going 4-for-5 with two doubles in a 19-12 victory over Montrose (Colo.). Rubalcaba, a three-sport athlete who was the winner of the prestigious Gold Helmet Award by the Denver Post, kept his season batting average at a hard-to-believe number (.673) and also raised his season total for doubles to 12. He had his fourth four-hit game of the season and in one of those games all four hits were doubles. Rubalcaba, who has a 3.9 GPA and totaled 2,449 yards of total offense last fall as Grand Junction’s quarterback, has signed to play football at Northern Colorado.
Kyle Twomey, El Dorado (Placentia, Calif.)
Pitching no-hitters is one thing, but doing it at the Hard 9 National Classic and for a third straight shutout is something else. Twomey tossed his no-hitter and struck out 14 for the Golden Hawks in a first-round game against Galena (Reno, Nev.). They eventually went on to win the tourney title with Twomey getting the save in a 4-2 victory over El Toro (Lake Forest, Calif.). He was named the tourney’s MVP. Earlier this week, Twomey pitched a three-hitter with nine strikeouts when El Dorado topped Esperanza (Anaheim, Calif.) 2-1 in a matchup between two state-ranked squads. The 6-foot-3 senior has signed with USC.