By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
CHS grad dedicates performance on diamond to ailing teammate
Pernetti earns CCAA Player of the Week honors
Former Bulldog standout baseball player Jimbo Pernetti has been named California Collegiate Athletic Association Player of Week. - photo by Photo courtesy of Chico State Athletics

Ceres High grad Jimbo Pernetti has earned California Collegiate Athletic Association Player of the Week honors.

The announcement was made on Tuesday.

Pernetti dedicated his performance to ailing Chico State baseball teammate Andru Cardenas.

Cardenas was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves, this past month.

Jimbo and Andru are close friends and roommates.

“He was in the hospital fighting for his life,” Pernetti said. “He was on a ventilator. He couldn’t move or eat. It was really hard seeing him like that. It puts things in perspective. Baseball isn’t everything. You can’t take anything for granted.”

Pernetti, a 6-foot-3 215-pound senior first baseman, batted .600 from the plate with two homers, six RBIs, five runs, two stolen bases and a slugging percentage of 1.300 while leading the NCAA Division-II top-ranked Wildcats to a three-game sweep of Cal State San Marcos this past weekend.

“I was feeling pretty comfortable at the plate,” Jimbo said. “The ball looks bigger when you’re hitting like that.”

First-place Chico State improved to 27-5 overall and 20-1 in the CCAA standings.

“We’re doing pretty well,” Pernetti said. “I’m not surprised. We had pretty high expectations going into the year. We expect to win. It’s fun to be a part of a team this good. We have a tight-knit group of guys. The ultimate goal is to win the World Series. It’s just a matter of executing and keeping everyone healthy.”

Pernetti belted a two-run homer and turned a double play in the first inning of the Wildcats’ 9-0 victory over Cal State San Marcos on April 2.

Jimbo finished 3-for-5 with a homer, three RBIs and three runs as Chico State won the second game, 18-4, on April 1.

Pernetti collected one double, one single, one RBI, one run and one stolen base in propelling the Wildcats to a 10-3 win during the series opener.

Pernetti will continue to exchange text messages with Cardenas throughout the season.

Andru returned home to Los Angeles.

“He’s doing a lot better,” Jimbo said. “His spirits are pretty good. He’s still making jokes. He’s the same old Andru.”

Pernetti has started 27 of the 31 games he’s played in this year.

He’s posted a batting average of .298 with four homers, one triple, seven doubles, 29 RBIs, 19 runs and four stolen bases.

He ranks third in the CCAA in RBIs and leads Chico State in home runs.

“It’s a lot more fun being out there contributing on the field rather than sitting on the bench,” Pernetti said.

Pernetti was slowed by a back injury during his first season with Chico State in 2016.

Jimbo batted .286 (16-for-56) with one homer, five doubles, 10 RBIs and seven runs in 31 games.

The Wildcats compiled a 35-22 overall record, placed first at the CCAA Championship Tournament and qualified for the NCAA Division-II West Regionals.

“My back is holding up a lot better this year,” he said. “I’m a little bit stronger too. That helps.”

Pernetti earned a partial scholarship to Chico State following a productive two-year career with Merced College.

The 2013 Ceres High grad put up impressive offensive numbers while guiding the tradition-rich Blue Devils to a 23-15 overall record, NorCal Regional playoff berth and runner-up finish in the Central Valley Conference (16-8) in 2015.

Pernetti batted .643 (18-for-28) with two homers, two triples, two doubles, 10 RBIs and 11 runs during a historic 10-day stretch at the plate.

He tied a program record for hits in a single game when he finished 6-for-6 with one triple, one double, four singles, three RBIs and three runs in a 19-4 victory over West Hills Coalinga.

Jimbo batted .378 with three homers, two triples, seven doubles, 28 RBIs and 32 runs in 32 total games.

Pernetti was voted to the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association (CCCBCA) All-Northern California Team.
He earned first-team, all-Central Valley Conference honors.

He was also a CCCBCA Academic All-State selection. He had a cumulative grade-point average of 3.67.

Pernetti led Ceres High to a 20-7-1 overall record, Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV playoff berth and second-placing showing in the Western Athletic Conference (10-2) in 2013. Jimbo was named to the WAC First Team.

He was voted WAC MVP his junior year.

Jimbo garnered first-team, all-league recognition as a sophomore.

“Baseball has always been a love of mine,” Pernetti said. “It’s something I started doing when I was a kid. This is one of the better teams I’ve ever been on. I’m just trying to go out there and have fun.”