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San Fernando baseball Coach Armando Gomez has a year to remember

Breaking up the Chatsworth-El Camino Real-Kennedy domination in City Section baseball championship history hasn’t been easy. Those three schools have combined to win 22 City titles. So understand the accomplishment of San Fernando and its coach, Armando Gomez, this season.

In the City Division I playoffs, the Tigers knocked off No. 4-seeded Kennedy, No. 2-seeded El Camino Real and No. 1-seeded Chatsworth to win their first City title since 1991.

“It was unbelievable,” said Gomez, who has been named coach of the year by The Times. “We’re still in a daze. I think our kids finally believed.”

He put together a team that trailed in three of its four playoff games, then rallied to win each time.

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“A lot of it is luck,” Gomez said. “You have to get hot at the right time.”

The Tigers shared the Valley Mission League title with Kennedy, then turned to ace pitcher David Lira, who threw complete-game victories against Kennedy and El Camino Real, including a 10-inning marathon against the Conquistadores in the playoffs. Then No. 2 pitcher Jose Reyes threw a complete game in an 8-6 win over Chatsworth at Dodger Stadium.

— Eric Sondheimer


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