Prep Baseball Report

2024 Preseason Preview: Saint Francis

By: Maddox Durst
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: Saint Francis Lancers
Head Coach: Erik Wagle
CIF Section: CIF-CCS, Division 1
Conference League: West Catholic Athletic League
2023 Record: 16-13
Team X Handle: stf_baseball

Team Strengths: Speed/athleticism
No. of Returning Starters: 4
No. of Returning Pitchers: 2
Areas of Improvement: Pitching, Run scoring



+ ‘24 MIF Luke DeVine - Santa Clara - 6'3 200 lbs.
+ ‘24 OF Roman Trinidad - UMASS - 5'10 175 lbs.
+ ‘25 MIF Bobby Hill - Cal State Fullerton - 5'11 175 lbs.


+ ‘24 3B/C Brent Valentine - 5'10 190 lbs.
+ ‘24 OF Mack Mrowka - 6'3 190 lbs.


+ ‘25 RHP Matthew Holcomb - 6’ 199 lbs.


Class of 2026

+ ‘26 RHP/CIF Gino Cappellazzo - 6'3 185 lbs.

Class of 2027

+ ‘27 RHP Kolby Clair - 6'2 160 lbs.


Heading into the 2024 season, Saint Francis excites as a group featuring multiple commits, uncommitted athletes and underclassmen who could make a large impact on this team.

It starts with their committed seniors on the middle infield with ‘24 Luke DeVine and ‘24 Bobby Hill. Each ceiling remains high, as both DeVine and Hill present an advanced skill set on the diamond—especially on the defensive end. DeVine clocked in at 6.49 seconds for his 60-yard dash, and was up to 94 mph from the outfield. His athleticism and play translates to the middle infield though, as both DeVine and Hill present smooth actions and throwing accuracy.

‘24 Roman Trinidad—a UMass commit—rounds out the top of the senior class for the Lancers. Trinidad—with a blazing 6.45-second 60-yard dash—is another athletic prospect. Trinidad provides some pop from the left side of the plate, and features a strong arm from the outfield.

Additionally, ‘24 Brent Valentine is a quick-twitch hitter that was comfortable using the opposite field in his round of BP at the California State Games this past August. He is joined by ‘24 Mack Mrowka—a physical athlete who has received interest as a Division 1 football player on the gridiron.

For the pitching staff, head coach Erik Wagle’s team will be young. They return a decent amount of innings, mostly from the work of ‘25 Matthew Holcomb. Holcomb is a deceptive arm who uses a four-pitch mix to keep hitters off balance. On the opposite end, ‘26 Gino Cappellazzo has been throwing in the mid-to-upper-80s ever since he represented Team California at the 2023 PBR Future Games. Playing a year up, Cappellazzo excelled in the showcase and in-game setting down in Georgia. The right-hander was up to 87 mph in January, and has a strong arsenal to work with.

Cappellazzo’s bat is also noteworthy, where he put up multiple average exit velocities in the mid-90s—including a top EV of 100.2 mph. While being up to 81 mph from behind the dish, the sophomore is an intriguing, uncommitted prospect that can play a large role for Saint Francis this spring—coming off of his freshman season where he was the Lancers’ starting catcher.

‘27 Kolby Clair has been up to 86 mph on the bump, according to Wagle. Clair rounds out the young pitching staff—as he enters his freshman year of baseball ranked as the No. 24 prospect in California’s 2027 class. Clair is currently the No. 1 third baseman in the cluster of athletes, too.

Saint Francis has their work cut out for themselves in a loaded West Catholic Athletic League, but have the personnel to find success in 2024.

Coach Erik Wagle’s Expectations: “Very young on the mound with some potential older players on offense that could have a breakout season”