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The baseball season is back in full swing. Tryouts took place February first and second and the final cuts are out.
Coming back from their first year in A league, there are only four seniors returning this year. Robert Najar, Ernesto Fernández, Rolando Hernandez, and Andrew Arteaga. They aren’t the only returning players as juniors Casey Bleiker and Bryan Pantoja along with sophomores Adam Henrique and Enzo Filangeri are back to play their second year of varsity baseball, Alejandro Martinez Loera and Gus Murphy are also returning but this will be their first full year of varsity baseball as last year they were pulled up to play C.S.S.
In other news, there are four first year Freshman joining the the team Damian Lopez, Xavian Turner, Weston Scoffone and Miguel Vargas. Most coaches would be concerned going into their second year of A league with so many young players “It doesn’t worry me or bother me at all,” Coach Stuart Piraro who led his team to a 16-10 record and 8-6 record in league. Piraro sees it as a fun way to mold a player from scratch.
The seniors have some pretty big expectations, as five starters Jacob Ybarra, Andrew Shafer, Tobias Venya, Robert Zamora and Kyle Ochoa have graduated. Venya, Zamora and Ochoa are all playing Junior College baseball this spring.
Senior Robert Najar is confident his team will be successful. “Not really, there isn’t a lot of pressure” Najar told Lion Tales “I expect myself to be a big factor of the team” he continued. Najar expects himself to be a better leader and lead his team to as many victories as possible. On to of a .346 batting average Najar has had a pretty impressive high school career, as he has been the starting catcher for all four years and he has thrown out more than half of the base runners who have tried to steal on him. Last year was his first year pitching, this year is expected to get even more pitching time.
Ernesto Fernandez another Senior, is expected to put up some big numbers pitching and offensively.
Rolando Hernandez another returning senior is also expected play Center field replacing his former teammate Joel Olmos who transferred to Manteca High School, on top of that he is expected to be in in the pitching rotation.
The Lions are set to play their first game of the year at Los Gatos High School Thursday February 16th against the Los Gatos Cats.
Here’s a look at the schedule for the season and here is the current roster:
Robert Najar, Senior
Ernesto Fernandez senior
Rj Fernandez senior
Andrew Arteaga senior
Brian Pantoja junior
Casey Bleiker junior
Enzo Filangeri sophomore
Gus Murphy sophomore
Adam Henrique sophomore
Alejandro Martinez sophomore
Damien Lopez freshman
Xavian Turner freshman
Weston Scoffone freshman
Miguel Vargas freshman