ATASCADERO — While the decision might have been made a few months ago, the celebration for Atascadero’s Cade VanAllen was held May 30 in front of the athletic office as he signed on the dotted line to continue playing baseball at Cal State University Bakersfield. VanAllen was a two-sport star for the Hounds this year taking home second team all-league honors in the Mountain League in baseball and first team all-league honors in the Ocean League for basketball.
VanAllen helped lead both teams to the playoffs in his senior year doing it first with the basketball team by averaging double digits in both points and rebounds while also leading the team in blocks. The 6-foot-7-inch lean and lengthy center then began his transition into the baseball season where he stood atop the mound intimidating hitters with his presence and dominating them with his stuff. VanAllen helped lead the Greyhounds to their first-ever CIF Championship game appearance with two masterful pitching performances in the playoffs. In the first round of the Division 3 CIF Central Section playoffs, VanAllen led the No. 12 seeded Hounds to an upset victory over fifth-seeded Reedley pitching six innings only giving up three runs on four hits and then worked himself out of some serious trouble in the first inning against Templeton in the CIF semifinals to end up pitching five innings with 10 strikeouts only giving up three earned runs.
VanAllen pitched the second-most innings for Atascadero this season behind only lefty Justin Vose, who started in the championship game, and recorded the lowest ERA on the team with a 2.75 and was second on the team in strikeouts with 67 according to Maxpreps.com. Not only was VanAllen taking care of business defensively, he also consistently contributed to his own cause with the bat in his hand as he also led the Hounds in RBI with 19. The big righty also has a flair for the dramatics coming up with some clutch base hits this year but none bigger than his two-out RBI single up the middle that tied up the CIF semifinal game against Templeton at three. The Hounds took the lead in the next at-bat on a passed ball and never looked back winning the game 4-3.
VanAllen will be trading in one obscure mascot for another as he will switch from a Greyhound to a Roadrunner this summer when he joins Bakersfield’s Division 1 program. The Roadrunners currently play in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and face-off each year with some of the top teams in the country as well as those in their conference like Sacramento State, Seattle University and New Mexico State. Last season Bakersfield finished in the middle of the pack in the WAC with a 12-15 conference record and a 24-35 overall record. The Roadrunners are looking to replenish their pitching staff as their ace from last season, Darius Vines, was drafted with the 20th pick in the seventh round of the MLB draft this week (highest ever draft pick for CSU Bakersfield).
On top of his all-league accolades, VanAllen was also honored with the Bud and Helen Ewing Scholarship last week at the Atascadero athletic awards banquet.