While almost every Tartans sport has struggled in the Baseline and CIF playoffs, Glendora’s baseball team is chasing another CIF championship after back-to-back league titles.
Above: Standouts (left to right) Martin Gallegos, Wyatt Wood and Donovan Holmes have kept the winning tradition going at Glendora (photo/Keith Birmingham)
By Aram Tolegian, SGVN, twitter.com/ChemicalAT
When Glendora High School was moved into the Baseline League two years ago, it was much to the chagrin of school officials and coaches.
For the most part, Tartan athletic programs have struggled in the new league and it makes sense because there’s not too much Glendora has in common with the rest of the Baseline schools. The exception, however, has been the school’s baseball team.
Glendora won the Baseline League for a second consecutive season and has racked up 18 wins.
And in case you hadn’t noticed, the Tartans are one of a handful of area baseball teams still alive in the postseason. The Tartans visit Trabuco Hills in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 playoffs on Friday at 3:15 p.m.
“We’re out in a different league and it is what it is,” Glendora coach Dan Henley said. “We know where we’re at. There’s a comfort in the program that there’s only certain things you can control. I’ve always said that polls don’t mean anything, it’s the idea of getting better.”
Another casualty of Glendora’s move to the Baseline is that because the rest of the league isn’t local to area fans, the Tartans somewhat drop off the radar as far as Valley sports fans are concerned.
While Los Altos battles Bonita or South Hills takes on Charter Oak in league games, Glendora might be playing Los Osos or Etiwanda and it just doesn’t have the same effect on the public conscious.
When last seen by the entire Valley, Glendora was on the losing end of a 7-2 game against Bonita in the championship of the Arcadia Elks Tournament. Since then, the Tartans have gotten better and better. (To continue click thread)
Proof came on Tuesday when Glendora fell behind early against highly touted Cypress, then rallied to win 5-2.
“I think you always need signature wins to help define yourself, and it was a big win, for sure,” Henley said. “And it was one that I certainly thought we were capable of pulling off. They were a quality team.
“I don’t think the kids have ever been satisfied. We’ve been really bad at times, but we haven’t let that define us in the moment. We’ve taken it and used it and become better in practice. These kids from Day 1 have been kids of character. It has been ugly at times, but also a very rewarding experience. It’s easy to say that now, but if the season had been over two weeks ago, I’d have said the same thing.”
Glendora entered its foray into the Baseline League fresh off a CIF championship in 2010. The Tartans have been in close battles for the league title the past two years and came out on top with consecutive titles.
This year’s team may lack the star power of recent teams of the past, but collectively there’s no doubting the Tartans’ ability. Glendora has five batters with 60 or more at-bats hitting .300 or better.
Donovan Holmes, mostly known for his prowess on the football field, is leading the offense with a .440 average, 31 runs scored and 16 stolen bases. Pitching has been solid for the Tartans, too, led by Wyatt Wood, who has a 2.40 ERA to go along with 58 strikeouts in 58.1 innings pitched.
“They’re doing the intangibles,” Henley said of his team. “The little things matter.
“In 2010, we felt like we had that whole team concept and we feel like that’s where we’re at with this club. Not that we think we’re as talented, but these guys know what their roles are and they’re executing.”
Glendora has a tall task on Friday, driving deep into the heart of Orange County to take on a Trabuco Hills team that has parlayed a third-place finish in the rugged Sea View League into two playoff wins.
For Henley, coming away with a long-distance win quite simply comes down to his team playing just how it has been of late.
“I would think that the energy that was there on Tuesday can be there on Friday as well,” he said.