The Don Lugo baseball team is off to a 12-0 start that has also resulted in a No. 1 ranking in Division 4.
The Conquistadors are taking the field with a new look. There have been wholesale changes in personnel as just one starter returns. But longtime coach Joe Marcos stepped down and the team is now being headed by his former top assistant in Jeff Abel.
Abel stops short of calling this team an overachieving team however.
“We had some young players that I knew had potential but I wouldn’t say we’re overachieving,” Abel said. “Maybe some guys have developed a little faster than we thought they would.”
The Conquistadors have won two tournaments that they have hosted – one a preseason tournament and one a spring break tournament. Among the more notable wins were one over Glendora and another over formidable small school power Woodcrest Christian.
Abel has gotten stellar performances from several players including senior outfielder-pitcher Benny Aguilera, the only returning starter from last year’s squad.
Among the other big contributors are junior Josh Ibarra, a backup last year, and junior pitcher-third baseman Nolan Fernandez, who came up from the junior varsity at the end of last season.
Abel also singled out the contributions of shortstop Albert Luevano, left fielder Khoury Bethley and pitcher Joshua Torres – all sophomores.
“The best thing about this team is these kids act like a family and they get along well on and off the field,” Abel said. “That’s one thing that has helped get us where we are. We have a long way to go but it’s definitely a good start.”
Next up for Don Lugo is a Mt. Baldy League game against Montclair (8-5, 1-2) on Wednesday.