Brian ‘B.J.’ Collom knows how to cap a career.
Brian ‘B.J.’ Collom knows how to cap a career.

The Sonoma State senior was named the California Collegiate Athletic Association most valuable player.

Collom, a former Gilroy High and Gavilan College outfielder, led the CCAA offensively during conference play with a .422 average. He had 49 hits, 13 doubles, six home runs and drove in 39 runs. In addition, his .535 on-base percentage was also the league’s best.

“B.J. is the greatest,” said Sonoma State coach John Goeltz. “He is very deserving, a clutch player. He is a big reason why we are ranked No. 1. He plays hard all the time. He is talented and fast. Being a left-handed batter, he is that much closer to first base. He is a positive guy who works hard and is well-liked by his teammates.”

For Collom, being named the MVP was the icing to a great season and a great college career.

“All of my coaches taught me a lot while I was up there,” Collom said. “It was awesome to get the honor. But I am not the only one who earned the award. It was an all-around effort. It was a fun team to play with. We got it done every game.”

Collom has started most of the games for the Seawolves during his two years.

“We thought that he had all the tools to be great, and this year he has put it all together,” Goeltz said. “He is hard on himself, but the greatest thing about him is he bounces backs.”

In one of the games for the Seawolves, Collom lost track of a fly ball in the outfield, and it hit the fence behind him.

“When he came back in, I thought he would commit suicide. He was really angry,” Goeltz said. “But he turned it around and had several hits after that. He was able to compartmentalize. That’s what great players have to do.”

Gavilan coach Neal Andrade also had the chance to see Collom play in a doubleheader in Chico and was impressed by what he saw.

“He still played with the same intensity, was the same kind of guy, the dirt bag he was for us at Gavilan,” said Andrade, who coached Collom his freshman and sophomore years. “He has grown and matured but from what I saw he still has the same love for the game.”

“It’s pretty exciting not only for him and Sonoma State but also for Gavilan,” Andrade said. “We want to win, but it is ultimately one of our goals to see players move on.”

The Seawolves season came to an end with a 4-1 loss to Cal State Los Angeles in the regionals. They finished with a 50-12 record after winning the CCAA championship.

“It’s been a really fun ride,” Collom said. “We had so many great team moments. What I will miss most is the team. I came to Sonoma with hopes of winning. This definitely passed all my exceptions. If you’re not having fun, you shouldn’t be playing. I’ll miss the competition. That is something I’ve always loved.”

Collom, who has about a year left before he gets his degree, recently saw a senior teammate sign with the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent. Collom has received contact from the Giants, Padres, Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Yankees but knows signing at such a late stage is a rarity because teams are looking at younger players. Even still he is holding out of hope of being drafted or signing a free agent contract. He is also interested in coaching.

“The coaches have been telling me to stay in shape and stay in throwing shape just in case,” Collom said. “If it happens, it will be another dream come true. If not, it’ll be just another chapter in my life.”

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