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Guards fail to win share of title, 20-0

Jim Riggio

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