The Ganesha baseball team has already secured a share of the Miramonte League title which is its first since 1963. One win in the last two this week against Garey and the Giants will win it outright.
The team was just 7-12 last year and 4-10 in league play which was only good enough for a tie for fourth.
This year the Giants are sitting at 15-3 overall and 12-1 in league play with games at Garey on Wednesday and Friday remaining. They defeated their local rival 1-0 on Monday to secure at least a share of the title but are not in the mood to shares, especially with a city rival.
“This is my third year and when I got the job I made the decision to bring all the young guys up and let them play,” coach Tony Green said. “We have just gotten a little bit better each year.”
The team has two pitchers on which it has relied – senior Emilio Delgado (9-1, 1.17) and sophomore Robert Cazares (6-2, 1.90), both right-handers. Delgado was the winner in Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Garey.
Junior Jesus Salcido, a three-year starter, anchors the infield at short.
Green also singles out the showing of catcher Matt Rhodus (.321, 17 RBIs), a transfer from Bonita who did not play for the Bearcats last season.
Other key players are right fielder Richard Melendez and sophomore center fielder Tyler Wardsworth. Green moved Melendez from center to right this year because of the large number of balls opponents have hit there and the move has paid off.
“Our mind-set really is to go out and compete on every pitch,” Green said. “That doesn’t change regardless of the opponent.”
The Giants have played considerably fewer games than most teams because it hasn’t played in any tournaments because it hasn’t gotten the funding from the school to do so. Green knows that is a step his team needs to elevate it to the next level.
“We know we’re under the radar a little bit and that’s OK,” he said. “We have been able to sneak up on people and we’re taking advantage of that while we can.”