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Season Interrupted: Life throws a curveball, so Jared Jones adds one to repertoire

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Throughout the spring, The Times will interview high school seniors whose athletic careers were cut short by the coronavirus outbreak.

Name: Jared Jones

School: La Mirada

Sport: Baseball, pitcher

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Key stats: He was 2-1 with an earned-run average of 0.82 and 28 strikeouts in 17 innings when this season was halted. He went 7-1 with an ERA of 0.77 in 2019.

Summer plans: He will prepare for the Major League Baseball draft.

Fall plans: He will either sign a pro contract or enroll at the University of Texas, where he could join up with Sherman Oaks Notre Dame’s Lucas Gordon.

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On life without sports:

“My entire life, I grew up around sports. Even when I was a kid, when I finished baseball season, I’d play a different sport. My entire life since I was 5 years old, I’ve been playing sports.”

The creative ways he’s deploying to stay in shape:

“I have a gym at my house. When I need to throw, I’ll either call Darius Perry, my old catcher, or my dad.”

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The secret behind his hallmark slider:

“I just started throwing that my freshman year. I kept working at it. I have a three-quarters arm slot, and that arm slot and the way I spin it comes off pretty good.”

How the sports stoppage has changed his outlook:

“You really get more of a love [of] the sport. Not playing for the past month is tearing me up inside.”

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The highlight of his high school career:

“I’ll never forget sophomore year when we played 12-13 innings against Woodbridge. I came in relief and pitched seven innings, struck out 13 and hit a walk-off grand slam.”

The new thing he’s trying with his free time:

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“I’m learning how to throw a curveball because I need a fourth pitch.”

Video interviews of each athlete can be found at latimes.com/sports/highschool.


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