hope experience makes the difference
Mission College mens baseball team entered conference play last
year, it was akin to hitting a brick wall.
The all-freshmen Eagles
were 11-3 going into the conference season in 2003.
were so young, they didnt know the difference between non-conference
play and conference games," said coach Dave Mallas. "They didnt
know what to expect."
Mallas said the young squad was unprepared for the grittiness and no-holds-barred
approach to conference games. So while the team finished the year with
a 23-20 overall mark, it played under .500 in the tough Western State
Mallas hopes a years experience will make a difference in 2004.
"Were older, more mature," he said. "We have more
depth on the pitching staff. And weve got a little more power so
I hope well be more offensive-minded this year."
Twelve players thats half the squad are returning
from last years team.
Among them is Jose Carillo, a community college All-American last year
and team MVP who batted .360. Carillo, a catcher, is a co-captain of the
team, along with right fielder Danny Loza and pitcher Miguel Gonzalez.
Jose Carillo |
Co-captain/pitcher Miguel Gonzalez
was named First Team All Conference last year while batting over .370.
Mallas describes pitcher Gonzalez as "one of the best in the state,"
but a hurler who didnt get the hitting support he deserved.
Mallas also has high hopes for rookie Eddie Baeza, a pitcher and outfielder
who missed last year because of injury but who has been drafted by the
San Francisco Giants.
Non-conference games for the Eagles continue through Feb. 22. Conference
play for the Eagles begins on Feb. 24. Home games are played at El Cariso
See the Schedule