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SPORTS UPDATE
Eagles improve to become playoff team

Photo of baseball player swinging during game.
The hard-hitting Eagles reached the playoffs in 2004.

A tense 2-1 loss in the Southern California Community College Baseball Playoffs ended the Mission College Eagles’ dreams of a state championship.

The game against El Camino College in the second round of the playoffs was so thrilling, so close, that many felt it was a shame either team had to lose.

"It was a real tough loss," said athletics director John Klitsner, "but overall we did have a great season."

The Eagles finished 22-14, improving over the previous year, getting to the playoffs, and winning a first round game against Cuesta College. Ten Eagles were honored with selection to All Conference teams. Eddie Baeza, voted the conference Player of the Year and named an All American, Marco Durazo, and Erick Melara were named to the first team. Jose Carrillo, Tom Hamilton, Luis Parra, Miguel Gomez, Raul Campos, Larry Anguino, and Miguel Gonzalez were named to the second team.

Photo of Coach Dave Mallas
Coach Dave Mallas

Sadly, Mission College is losing head coach Dave Mallas. Next year, he will take the helm at rival Valley College. Assistant Coach Kent Cote will manage the Eagles next year. Mallas said he has enjoyed bringing baseball back to prominence after a five-year hiatus in the athletics program.

"I was excited about the challenge and about being a head coach for the first time," he said. "I feel we put Mission College baseball back on the map, and I think Coach Cote will continue the tradition."

Klitsner said Mission College owes Mallas a debt of thanks: "He did a great job, in effect starting from scratch two years ago and taking us to the playoffs."

Photos: Adrian Gonzalez / Lydia Chung