A 180-degree turnaround is what the Bellarmine-Jefferson High
baseball team was looking to accomplish this season.
That didn’t happen, but the Guards have done very well, securing
second place in the Santa Fe League despite a 20-0 loss Tuesday
against host Pasadena La Salle High at Brace Canyon Park.
“We’re going to the playoffs for the first time since 1995, so
that’s a big accomplishment,” Bell-Jeff Coach Hector Perez said.
A win would have given the Guards a share of the league title.
Bell-Jeff (8-12, 8-2 in league) finished 1-9 in league last
“I started five freshmen the whole year, two sophomores, a junior
and a senior,” Perez said.
La Salle (19-3, 9-0) jumped all over the Guards from the outset.
The Lancers -- top-ranked in CIF Southern Section Division V --
have three players who will be playing college baseball at the
Division I level next year.
“Our goal was 20 victories, and we think with that we can get a
good [playoff] seed,” La Salle Coach Brian Miller said.
Miller’s squad, which has dominated its league for years, said he
is glad to see Bell-Jeff’s improvement.
“He [Perez has] done an outstanding job from what he started with
two years ago,” Miller said. “We used to dread coming here. Now we
know we’ll at least get a ball game.
“It’s frustrating going to the playoffs every year because we draw
the toughest third-place teams from other leagues in the first
La Salle scored twice in the first inning, six times in the second
and eight more in the third against Bell-Jeff starter Bryan Vargas.
Bryan’s brother, Fabio, relieved him in the fourth, and the
Lancers scored four more runs.
“La Salle is a quality team” Perez said. “They are very mature.
La Salle is a better team, but I have this core for three more
Bell-Jeff was able to get four hits off La Salle pitchers Mike
Reed and Matt Jones.
Bryan Vargas, Joey Diaz, Sean Fernandez and Alex Rivas had hits.
The closest Bell-Jeff came to scoring was in the second inning,
when it was ruled Joey Diaz left third base too early after tagging