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Season Interrupted: UCLA-bound pitcher Jake Brooks was a shutout king

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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: Jake Brooks

School: Fountain Valley

Sport: Baseball, pitcher

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Key stats: Was off to 4-0 start, zero runs allowed in 25 innings

Summer plans: Hopes to play for the Portland Pickles in college baseball summer league

Fall plans: Will attend UCLA

La Mirada’s Jared Jones said not playing during the coronavirus outbreak ‘is tearing me up,’ but he’s using the time to develop a breaking ball.

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On his last start before season cancellation, a one-hitter on March 9:

“It was very unexpected. After walking back to the bus, I was just happy about getting the team a win. I never knew that was going to be the last time stepping on a high school mound.”

On his high expectations for this season:

“We were playing real well. We really wanted to make a run for the Sunset League title and CIF. We were all bummed.”

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What’s changed without sports:

“I’m so blessed for what I had being on the field with my teammates. Without that, life is just different. Every spring I’ve been playing baseball. I don’t know what to do with myself, but it’s kind of time.”

What he’s discovered with the new free time:

“My family does have a ping-pong table and I’ve been getting good at that. My dad plays the ukulele and I’ve been strumming it a little bit. I’m not great, but I’m trying.”

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How he’s staying in shape:

“I’m thankful to have one of my buddies and we’re throwing long toss. My trainer has been posting videos of himself with workouts. I’ve been doing that.”

Orange Lutheran ace Max Rajcic, projected to be a high MLB draft pick, says he didn’t realize how important sports were until the coronavirus shutdown.

What he misses most:

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“Competing with my best friends. We were doing it for four years. We were grinding and all of a sudden it comes to a halt.”

Where he sees himself in 10 years:

“I see myself having a good career at UCLA, getting a degree and playing pro ball.”

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


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