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Joe DeMers was the insanely-productive linchpin to the talented roster of NCS-champion College Park   College Park baseball coach Andy Tarpley had his first...

Joe DeMers was the insanely-productive linchpin to the talented roster of NCS-champion College Park

  College Park baseball coach Andy Tarpley had his first encounter with Joe DeMers when he was still coaching across the street at Pleasant Hill’s Diablo Valley College.

  DeMers was just 12 years old then and was invited to take part in a camp with some older players. And he turned on a fastball and hit it over the wall in left field.

  “He hit it out and his older brother Jack ran on the field to give him a big hug,” Tarpley said. “That was my introduction to the family.”

  It was Tarpley providing the embrace when this season concluded with DeMers throwing a complete game and hitting a home run in a North Coast Section Div. II championship win over Marin Catholic-Kentfield.

  It was the exclamation point on a stellar season for the shortstop and right-handed flamethrower. DeMers was a no-brainer for Bay Area Male Athlete of the Spring honors after going 12-2 with a 0.65 ERA, eight complete games and 94 strikeouts against just nine walks. He also batted .371 with a team-best 32 RBI.

  By now, Tarpley is no longer surprised at what DeMers can do on the field. “In any type of game, you’re going to get the same effort out of him,” the Falcons coach said. “The guy comes to practice every day to work hard. When Joe goes, we go. He’s the super-leader.”

  When College Park lost 8-5 to California-San Ramon on April 22, DeMers came back the following day and threw a complete game with seven strikeouts in a 5-2 win over St. Mary’s-Stockton. It was the first of College Park’s 13 consecutive wins to end the season.

  His stellar junior season came on the heels of pitching seven scoreless innings over four appearance for the gold-medal-winning 18U National Team at the IBAF World Cup in Taiwan last August. Tarpley pointed to that experience and the development of a new pitch — a cutter that moves 4-6 inches away from right-handed hitters — as two things that helped elevate DeMers’ game in 2014. And none of the success has changed him, according to Tarpley.

“He’s as humble a person as you’ll meet. He’ll be talking to a freshman and the freshman will be starstruck, but it won’t make any difference to Joe.”

  • THE STATS: A complete player, DeMers was a nightmare to opponents game-in and game-out. He dazzled as a pitcher, going 12-2 with a 0.65 ERA, 94 strikeouts and just nine walks in 72 innings. At the plate, batting .371 with 25 runs scored and 27 RBI.
• SIGNATURE PERFORMANCE: In the NCS Div. II final against Marin Catholic, he threw a complete game and allowed five hits on two runs and struck out nine. He also went 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored and three RBI.
• TWO-SPORT STAR: DeMers is a standout for the College Park basketball team as well. He averaged 17.1 points and 6.2 rebounds in 24 games during the 2013-14 season.

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