Gary Matlock, who was Vista Murrieta’s interim baseball coach for the 2019 season, used words like commitment and professionalism when talking about Anthony Tulimero.Yucaipa coach Ralph Grajeda quickly dropped in those same words about Tyson Heaton.
Tulimero had a breakthrough senior season, leading the Broncos with a .452 average and 32 runs batted in. He was a stalwart behind the plate on defense, throwing out 90 percent of potential base stealers. Tulimero’s all-around contributions helped Vista Murrieta reclaim the Southwestern League championship, and that also is why he has been chosen as The Press-Enterprise’s baseball position player of the year.
Heaton, meanwhile, put the finishing touches on one of the great pitching careers in Inland history. He went 10-2 during his senior year and set the program record with 32 career wins. Heaton threw nine complete games and six shutouts in helping the Thunderbirds defend their Citrus Belt League championship and also reach the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs. For those reasons, Heaton is The Press-Enterprise’s baseball pitcher of the year for the 2019 season.
Tulimero, who has signed with Kansas, spent his freshman and sophomore seasons on the junior varsity team and hit .265 with 14 RBIs for the varsity team last year. Tulimero raised his game to another level this season. His average hovered around .500 for most of the year and his 42 hits is the second-most in program history. And Tulimero also handled a pitching staff that was 23-7 with a combined 1.70 ERA.
“Anthony has always had the talent to put up those kind of numbers,” Matlock said. “I think the big thing for him was that he had a much more relaxed approach at the plate during the year. He was such a reliable presence in the middle of our order.
“He has such a great work ethic. On days with early release, Anthony would be out there an hour before practice started working on his defense. He really wanted to prove something this season, and everything just seemed to come together at once.”
Heaton, who is headed to BYU, did not have much more to prove after going 12-0 on the mound last season. Heaton did not let up, however, and extended his streak of decisions to 21 wins after starting his 9-0. Grajeda praised Heaton’s efficiency, as Heaton rarely approached the maximum number of pitches allowed in a game (110). And Heaton also remained a consistent bat in the middle of Yucaipa’s batting order, as he finished the season with a .333 batting average two home runs and 23 RBIs.
“Tyson did not rest on the laurels of his junior season,” Grajeda said. “He came out as determined as ever. He especially wanted to get better as a hitter because he wants to be a two-way player at BYU. And he always puts in that extra effort.
“He is an absolute tiger when the game is being played. He’s one of the best I’ve had in my 22 years as a coach, but what really is remarkable is how humble he is.”
ALL-AREA FIRST TEAM
P: Tyson Heaton Yucaipa, Sr.
P: Michael Forbes, Norco, Sr.
P: Cameron Mabee, Great Oak, Sr.
P: Caleb Shepard, Tahquitz, Sr.
C: Michael Carpentier, Yucaipa, Sr.
C: Anthony Tulimero, Vista Murrieta, Sr.
IF: Jordan Andrade, Yucaipa, Jr.
IF: Zach Arnold, Great Oak, Sr.
IF: Diego Armas, Jurupa Hills, Sr.
IF: Zach Rodriguez, Vista Murrieta, Jr.
OF: Isaiah Greene, Corona, Jr.
OF: Nick Pena, King, Sr.
OF: John Pfeffer, Riverside Poly, Sr.
UT: Daniel Rosell, La Sierra, Sr.
UT: Cristian Enriquez, Summit, Jr.
ALL-AREA SECOND TEAM
P: Dane Padrnos, Temescal Canyon, Sr.
P: Nick Sims, Vista Murrieta, Sr.
P: Adan Delgado, Canyon Springs, Sr.
P: Roberto Inzunza, Rancho Verde, Sr.
C: Kaden Hopson, Redlands East Valley, Sr.
C: Cole Urman, Temecula Valley, Sr.
IF: Marty Munoz, Citrus Hill, Jr.
IF: Devon Hawks, Temecula Valley, Sr.
IF: Andrez Melendrez, Canyon Springs, Sr.
IF: Jake Skipworth, Roosevelt, Sr.
OF: Darren Hunter, La Sierra, Sr.
OF: Caden Szuba, Temescal Canyon, Jr.
OF: Julian Alvarez, Yucaipa, Sr.
UT: Trevor Hinkel, Chaparral, Sr.
UT: Wesley Scott, Woodcrest Christian, Sr.