By Ryan Nakamura
Photos by Tucker Judkins
South Pasadena’s boys’ baseball team is clearing the dugout and making way for the 2015 season of Rio Hondo League baseball. The team has already topped St. Francis High School in a 3-2 extra inning thriller, and Marshall Fundamental by a score of 12-7.
The team is now on a 2-0 run after Friday’s 12-7 victory against Marshall Fundamental High School last Friday. The Tigers quickly opened up on the opposing team with multiple line drives in the first inning for a quick 3-0 run on Marshall. The Eagles were still struggling to produce any opposition against South Pas until they fired back in the fourth and fifth innings with a total of seven runs to tie up the game 7-7. The Tigers were able to hold their ground against Marshall and chalk up five runs in the last inning with senior Hermes Ip slinging the last run of the day for a score of 12-7.
“I feel that our team has a lot of experience and our wins against St. Francis and Marshall boosted our confidence, [and] I feel really prepared when we start league,” junior Brandon Louie said.
Although the loss of graduates Alex Chu, Andrew Bullard, and Noah Anselmo left shoes unfilled on the team, the Tigers are brimming with confidence from their new lineup this season.
“[Losing last years seniors] was tough, but the young guns and our returners will pick up the slack,” senior Justin Ninomiya stated with conviction. “We’ve been working hard and I feel good about this year.”
With a brand new lineup this year, the team is aiming for an improvement on their 2-10 league record from last year and hope to qualify for CIF playoffs.
“We realized we had to get it together and just play baseball because we were the better team,” Ip added. “We will be ready for league. I think we have a really good shot at making it to CIF with a core group of seniors.”
The boys’ next matchup will be against Polytechnic Pasadena at the Elks tournament on Tuesday, March 10. while their first Rio Hondo League game will be played at Monrovia High School on March 20 at 3:30 p.m.