The San Fernando baseball team is off to Las Vegas next week for the annual Durango Classic. Awaiting the reigning CIF City Section champions will be Sierra Vista, a team many consider the second best in the state of Nevada behind Bishop Gorman.
San Fernando coach Armando Gomez plans on starting Alonzo Garcia against Sierra Vista. Garcia, a sophomore, has emerged as the ace of the staff. Gomez doesn’t exactly have a designated No. 2 starter yet. Rather, he has been using a pitching staff by committee to fill in the gaps between Garcia’s starts.
Three pitchers combined to shut out Van Nuys Grant, 11-0, on Friday. Carlos Robles started the game and went three innings. Ruben Armenta came in for the next two and Miguel Hernandez pitched the seventh inning.
Isaac Dominguez provided the offense going 3-for-5 with two triples and drove in four runs. Garcia, who also plays the outfield, had a two-run double in his only at-bat.
Gomez says he hopes his team plays Chatsworth at some point during the Durango Classic. Monroe, Verdugo Hills and Sun Valley Poly are teams from the San Fernando Valley that are also entered in the tournament.
San Fernando (11-3) has won all four of its Valley Mission League games. Gomez said his team could easily be 13-1 overall.
“The three losses we’ve had, we probably should have won two of them,” Gomez said. The Tigers lost to Paraclete, 6-5, in the second game of the season. They lost 2-1 to Agoura on March 24. The only blowout was a 9-0 loss to Buena on Feb. 29.
Gomez says he thinks this year’s team is better than last year championship team. The pitching staff is deeper. Seven of the eight position players who start in the field for San Fernando can pitch.
“We’re pitching by committee,” Gomez said. “Our goal is never overthrow our guys. Honestly, we’re better offensively and defensively than last year.”
One final note: Comedian George Lopez came through with buying the championship rings for the San Fernando baseball players. Lopez, a San Fernando high alum who played briefly on the baseball team, offered to buy the players their rings when he found out the players and families were holding fund-raisers to buy the rings.
Lopez personally presented the players with their rings and took pictures with each of them at the high school.
“It was nice,” Gomez said. “It was a great deed on his part.”