Los Angeles Mission College
13356 Eldridge Avenue • Sylmar, CA 91342 • 818.364.7600

NEWS RELEASE                                        

February 9, 2004

Eagles hope experience makes the difference

SYLMAR – When Mission College men’s 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.

Photo of baseball head coach Dave Mallas
Coach Dave Mallas

"Our players were so young, they didn’t know the difference between non-conference play and conference games," said coach Dave Mallas. "They didn’t 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 Conference.

Mallas hopes a year’s experience will make a difference in 2004.

"We’re older, more mature," he said. "We have more depth on the pitching staff. And we’ve got a little more power so I hope we’ll be more offensive-minded this year."

Twelve players – that’s half the squad – are returning from last year’s 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.
Photo of co-captain/catcher Jose Carillo Photo of co-captain/pitcher Miguel Gonzalez
Co-captain/catcher Jose Carillo | Co-captain/pitcher Miguel Gonzalez

Loza 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 didn’t 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 Park.

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