The varsity boys baseball team hits off their season with hopes it will end in a home run.
In the Boras Classic baseball tournament which took place over spring break, the boys came out with a 2-2 record. However, this record could not reflect perhaps one of the most victorious wins of the season.
The Raiders beat the number nine team in the nation, Buchanan High School. The game seemed endless, going seven innings without a run on either team’s end.
In the eighth inning, with two players on base, senior Guillermo Salazar hit a homerun, thus raising the score 3-0. The Raider lead held tight and the boys celebrated their underdog win.
“It was the most adrenaline I’ve had in my four years playing baseball for Rio,” said senior and team captain Alec Kazanjian. “Nothing even compares.”
After their win in the Boras Classic, the boys set their sights on league. With a pre-league record of 6-5-1, the boys swung into league in their opening game against the El Camino Eagles.
With a total of 15 league games, are set to face off against El Camino, Cordova, Whitney, Mira Loma and Antelope.
The team’s attitude about league play holds strong. “I feel like if we continue playing well as a team, we should not lose many games in league,” said Kazanjian.
“We have a chance of making playoffs considering teams we have beat in preseason play,” said junior and outfielder Auston Chastain.
Despite wins or losses, the team remains dedicated and motivated. “We are gaining a lot of confidence and starting to get rolling as a team,” Chastain said.
However, physical prowess is not everything. The team’s demanding practices help the team to cooperate better.
“The strongest aspect of our team is our mentality. Everyone wants a section title and is willing to work for it,” Kazanjian said.
On an individual basis, the top hitters remain Alec Kazanjian, Guillermo Salazar, Josh Savea and Mark Ledbetter. Salazar is also the top pitcher on the team, with an earned run average of 0.82.
In a recent game against the Whitney Wildcats on Apr. 8, the wind played a serious factor in the loss for the Raiders. However, the boys stand by their teammates and seek a win in their next game.
At bat next, the boys face off against Antelope. Today at 4 P.M. the Raiders will duel the Titans on their field.