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Season Interrupted: SoCal’s top high school pitcher has Dodgers dreams

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Throughout the spring, The Times will interview high school seniors whose athletic careers were cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Name: Max Rajcic

School: Orange Lutheran

Sport: Baseball, pitcher

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Key stats: 3-0 with an 0.00 ERA, 32 strikeouts and one walk in 22 2/3 innings, six hits allowed

Summer plans: Projected to be high pick in MLB draft

Fall plans: Will sign pro contract or attend UCLA

Pitcher Lucas Gordon says the coronavirus outbreak has helped him realize that going to Notre Dame High ‘is the biggest gift anybody could give me.’

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On life without sports?

“Life without baseball has been a little different. I’ve never had spring off. I’ve never had a spring break. This is really new to me. It’s weird.”

How he’s been working out:

“My little brother — he’s a sophomore — I fight with him to play catch. It’s always a big scene. I’ve been biking with my friends and we’re staying six feet away. I have a little gym at my house. I’ve been lifting weights and also doing ladders, biking and a few runs.”

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How he stays positive amid so much negativity:

“What’s going on is bigger than baseball. There’s lives affected. It still stings that my season got cut short, but it’s the big picture.”

How the sports stoppage has changed his outlook:

“I didn’t realize how much sports is necessary to my life. I play all day, then come back and watch the Angels, Dodgers, Lakers. Not having that, I don’t know what to do, what to watch on TV.”

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The new things he’s discovering with his newfound free time:

“I’m learning life skills around the house, like painting, sanding. I’ve been cleaning a lot. My room is probably the cleanest it’s ever been.”

Pete Crow-Armstrong says a sports-free existence hasn’t been easy during the coronavirus shutdown: “Sports gives me a reason to be a kid and be free.”

Where he sees himself in 10 years:

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“I wouldn’t mind being in a Dodger uniform. That would be a dream for sure. I see myself in MLB and want to be one of the best pitchers.

What he misses most:

“Going to the baseball field with my teammates every day. Every time, we’d be like brothers. I miss that bond. We’d always compete. We tried to make each other better.”

See the video and interviews with other athletes at latimes.com/sports.


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