By Eric Terrazas, Staff Writer
The Del Rio League baseball season begins Friday, with all six teams in action.
California High School will start defense of its league crown with a visit to archrival La Serna.
The Condors, who posted an 11-4 record in league play last season, are off to a 3-3 start. California defeated Los Altos 3-2 on Monday at USC after going 2-3 in last week’s El Segundo Tournament.
California won two of its three games against the Lancers in 2012. La Serna won the first meeting 5-3 before the Condors came back to beat the Lancers 4-1 and 4-2.
The Condors return key seniors that include pitcher Jimmy Olguin, catcher Daniel Marquez, shortstop Anthony Von Slomski, second baseman Dominick Rodriguez and first baseman Jesse Oropeza.
The junior trio of designated hitter Ruben Pinedo, outfielder Fermin Beza and third baseman-pitcher Robert Barraza are also key players for California.
Olguin was named last season’s league pitcher of the year, while Marquez, Von Slomski and Pinedo each earned first-team all-league honors.
La Serna, which tied for third with El Rancho with a 9-6 record, ended its preseason by going 3-3-1.
After dropping a season-opening doubleheader to La Mirada 9-4 and 7-1, the Lancers put together a good showing recently at the 30th Annual Newport Elks Tournament. The Lancers, who went 3-1-1 at the tournament, reached the finals of the event’s OC Pool where they fell to Garden Grove 9-3 on Friday.
La Serna features key senior returners in infielders Ryan Cordova and Austin Johnson, along with outfielders Kyle Goethe and Mike Zimmer. Cordova and Goethe earned first-team all-league honors last season.
Whittier (1-3), which posted a second-best 10-5 league mark in 2012, opens its Del Rio slate against Pioneer at York Field. The Titans (0-5) are looking to rebound from a 1-14 league showing.
The Cardinals, who played a Wednesday doubleheader against Kennedy before they open league play, are looking forward to the Del Rio race.
“We’ll see how (Wednesday) goes – I think we’re ready,” Whittier coach Eric Ramirez said. “Anybody can win every week, especially in league. It will be fun to see what happens.”
Santa Fe (2-4), coming off a 7-1 triumph Tuesday over Whittier Christian, opens at El Rancho (2-2). The Chiefs hope to improve from last season’s 5-10 league mark.
All games are scheduled to start at 3:15 p.m.
Swordsmen start strong
Things have started in promising fashion for St. Paul (5-2).
After posting a 3-1 record at the Newport Elks Tournament, the Swordsmen kept up their fine form by defeating Workman 12-1 on Monday.
St. Paul will face a staunch preseason test with today’s doubleheader against Acalanes of Lafayette, Calif., which is the defending CIF-North Coast Section Division 2 champion.
“It’s going to be a good matchup,” St. Paul coach Casey Morales said. “We’re looking forward to it.”