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.
players 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 Conference.
Mallas hopes a years experience will make a difference
"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
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 Park.
See the Schedule