Prep Baseball Report

2024 Preseason Preview: St. Joseph

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: St. Joseph Knights
Head Coach: Bryan Madsen
CIF Section: CIF-CS, Division 3
Conference League: CCAA/Mountain League
2023 Record: 19-11 (12-2 League)
Team X Handle: @sjknightsbsb

Team Strengths: After playing with a majority of underclassmen starters in the last 2 years, the Knights bring back a majority of last year's team with every positional starter returning, including starting pitchers Hunter Hammond and Niko Peinado.
No. of Returning Starters: 9
No. of Returning Pitchers: 5
Areas of Improvement: After relying on pitching and defense the last 2 years, St Joseph should be continuing that trend, however also packing more of an offensive punch this year.



+ ‘24 RHP/1B/DH Hunter Hammond - Westmont - 6'5 200 lbs.


+ ‘24 1B AJ Stollberg - 6'0 185 lbs.
+ ‘24 OF Jeremiah Philson - 6'1 175 lbs.
+ ‘24 OF/RHP Jayden Cervantes - 5'9 165 lbs.


+ ‘25 SS/RHP Jayson Rodriguez - 6’2 170 lbs.
+ ‘25 OF/RHP Erik Furness - 6'1 175 lbs.
+ ‘25 RHP/C/INF Nikolas Peinado - 5’10 180 lbs.
+ ‘25 INF/RHP Dominic Hernandez


Class of 2026

+ ‘26 INF/ RHP Connor Chanley - 6'0 -155 lbs.

Class of 2027

+ ‘27 SS/RHP Ruben Servin
+ ‘27 INF Ashton Bluem
+ 27 LHP/OF Mason Majewski


The Knights bring back a majority of last year’s team that amassed 19 wins and ended up making a deep run into the playoffs all the way to the CIF-CS Division 2 Semifinals. Highlighting this team's pitching rotation will be ‘24 Hunter Hammond who held a 2.42 ERA last season, while also posting a .300 batting average. Fellow two-way talent, ‘25 Nikolas Peinado hit to a batting average of .329 and recorded a 2.71 ERA on the mound. Both Hammond and Peinado will be relied heavily on this season on both sides of the ball, but that is nothing new for these prospects. They aren’t the only two-ways that Coach Brian Madsen expects to use throughout the season either. Senior ‘24 Jayden Cervantes is another experienced veteran on this squad, as he posted a 2.86 ERA last season and a batting average of .309, too.

The junior crop of two-ways is also strong. ‘25 Eric Furness batted .321 last year, while also seeing some time on the mound. ‘25 Jayson Rodriguez and ‘25 Dominic Hernandez are two other juniors on this team to note and they will look to contribute on both sides of the ball for the Knights. Sophomore ‘26 Connor Chanley along with freshmen ‘27 Ruben Servin and ‘27 Mason Majewski are also expected to see some time on both sides too.

‘24 Aj Stollberg was one of the most productive hitters for the Knights last season as he logged a batting average of .391 with one home run, and he will look to contribute even more during his senior season. Classmate of Stollberg, ‘24 Jeremiah Philson was also a key piece last season, posting a .345 average at the plate with three doubles and two triples. Look out for ‘27 Ashton Bluem this season, too, as Coach Madsen referred to him as a “physical freshman with advanced power and hitting tool.”

Coach Bryan Madsen’s Expectations: “Expectations run high for us in 2023-2024. After losing in extra innings in the CIF semifinals last year, we look primed to make a long run in the playoffs once again. We were the runner up in the Mountain League last year with a 12-2 record, and we look to continue to improve going into my 3rd year leading the program.”