Six Teams to Watch : Esperanza

Coach: Mike Curran (15th year).

1994: 14-13 overall, 8-7 in the Empire League. Lost to eventual champion Fountain Valley, 8-6, in Division I second round.

Key returners: Bryan Bingham, OF, Jr.; Bo Bryant, OF/1B, Jr.; Ryan Johnson, P, So.; James Monteverde, 2B, Sr.; Greg Smith, 1B/DH, Jr.; Brian Snapp, P, Jr.; Chris Stretch, C, Sr.; Jeremy Viscusi, OF Sr.; Jason Webb, 3B, Sr.; Jeremy Woolston, P/OF, Sr.

Key newcomers: Brian Cacciatori, C, Jr.; Brian Kaylor, 1B, Jr.; David Parrish, C, So.; Jim Pickel, P/OF, Jr.

Outlook: The last time Esperanza had such a so-so season, the Aztecs came back the next and won the Division I title. They were 12-13 in 1992 and champions in 1993. This team lacks experience but has plenty of talent. Several young players were called up and produced last season. Johnson was 4-3 as a freshman on the varsity last year. Bingham hit .524. Webb is the team's rock. He hit .433 and had 25 runs batted in. Stretch will start at catcher, but look for Parrish to play a lot somewhere. He is the son of former Angel and Detroit Tiger Lance Parrish. The Aztecs' strength is pitching. Snapp is a good No. 2 pitcher. Pickel and Woolston are solid in relief.

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