Wayne Ellis is a giant among high school baseball coaches in the San Gabriel Valley.
The legendary Pasadena Poly baseball coach in his 24th season at the helm etched his name in Valley lore Saturday afternoon after the Panthers swept Ontario Christian in a doubleheader to give Ellis his 400th career win.
Pasadena Poly (8-2-1, 2-0 in Prep League) was led by Hunter Merryman’s game-winning double that scored the winning run for a 3-2 win in the first game. Matt Saeta’s two-run triple and Brad Olson’s three-run home run in the sixth inning of the second game padded the Panthers’ lead before pulling away, 11-5.
Panthers assistant coach Brenden McGrail presented Ellis with a baseball autographed by his players and a bold “400″ in the sweet spot.
Ellis was modest about hitting the milestone, giving all the credit to past players that’s led Pasadena Poly to 15 consecutive league titles. The Panthers tied the state record for most consecutive league titles last season and are expected to set the new state record at season’s end.
“It’s never been about personal records and numbers or any of that,” said Ellis, wearing his trademark Pasadena Poly retro baseball jacket. “It’s about the different kids who have stepped up throughout the years. These guys just want to win and they can’t wait to play.”