Prep Baseball Report

2024 Preseason Preview: Novato

By: Isaiah Glidden
Staff Writer


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The 2024 California high school baseball season is quickly approaching and, as usual, excitement is abound throughout the state. Players and coaches have been working in preparation for the upcoming season and, as is the case each year, there are some very talented players and teams across California.

Teams across the state have goals and aspirations to finish their seasons in their respective CIF Section Championship Game, but there is plenty of work to be done before that becomes reality. We hope to familiarize our readers with many of the teams across the state as we preview individual teams across California. We will take you right up to first pitch this season with these team previews, eventually releasing our Preseason Power 25 rankings that’ll carry us into the opening week of action and the Third Annual Prep Baseball California Spring Invitational.

Please keep checking back throughout the season as we will be your one-stop shop for everything related to high school baseball across California. Each week we will be releasing our Power 25, Players of the Week, Diamond Notes, Podcasts and much more.

Our 2024 preseason coverage continues today.

High School: Novato Hornets
Head Coach: Jason Searle
CIF Section: CIF-NCS, Division 3
Conference League: Marin County Athletic League
2023 Record: 17-9
Team X Handle: @NovatoHornets

Team Strengths: Pitching and young talent
No. of Returning Starters: 5
No. of Returning Pitchers: 4
Areas of Improvement: Small ball and playing from behind



+ ‘26 RHP/3B JP Harmon - Mississippi - 6’4 185lbs.


+ ‘24 RHP Dari Luizzi


+ ‘25 OF Dom Scafani - 5’11 170 lbs


Class of 2026

+ ‘26 OF/RHP Cohen Garcia - 6’0 190 lbs.
+ ‘26 INF Julian Oliver - 5’11 170 lbs

Class of 2027

+ ‘27 C Gio Castaing - 5’10 175 lbs.


Last season was a fairly successful one for Novato as they collected 17 wins and also made a CIF-NCS Quarterfinals appearance, too. In 2024, they return a quality chunk from that roster, and also add a handful of new faces as they look to make even more noise in the MCAL. Underclassman and Ole Miss commit, ‘26 JP Harmon will once again hold two-way responsibilities for the Hornets. As just a freshman, Harmon posted a 2.65 ERA across his 41.1 innings of work, while also tallying a .302 batting average. Now as a veteran, it wouldn’t be surprising to see those numbers increase this season.

Senior pitcher ‘24 Dari Luizzi is another arm that is expected to see time on the mound for Novato as he struck out 18 in 15.2 innings last year. A standout on both the basketball court and the gridiron as well the diamond, ‘25 Dom Scafani is another upperclassmen to note on this squad and he will look to build off a sophomore season in which he hit .267. He will also be relied on in centerfield as Coach Searle complimented his abilities out there, calling him “an absolute tarp in the outfield.”

A pair of experienced sophomores in ‘26 Cohen Garcia and ‘26 Julian Oliver are also set to make big contributions this season. Last year, Garcia made some valuable two-way contributions as just a freshman and earned Second-Team All-MCAL honors because of it. As for Oliver, he batted .392 in 2023, while offering a versatile defensive skill set and Coach Searle is excited to deploy him out there yet again. Rounding out this Novato squad will be freshman ‘27 Gio Castaing who will most likely be the starting catcher for the Hornets, according to Coach Searle.

Coach Jason Searle’s Expectations: “Compete for MCAL playoff spot and host NCS playoff game”