April 1, 2021

RIVERSIDE: The two teams on the field Thursday looked almost alike. Blue jersey, red and white lettering, La Sierra and King were a bit like twins on the diamond.

On the box score there was a big difference between the two as King would win 6-2 in 7 innings.

The victory wasn’t easy, however, as the Eagles put up 2 points in the top of the first and King would take until the third frame to even it.

The Wolves took the lead in the fourth with a 3-run burst and added another for good measure in the 5th.

Sophomore and right-handed pitcher Austin Castillo started the game, and while the Eagles did put two runs on the board, Castillo was able to pitch out of a jam right in the heart of LS’s order.

Fellow soph, Landon Greenhouse tied the game for the Wolves with a single in the third, while Mechor Flores (Sr) went 2-3 on the day with a double, while Adrian Diaz (So) added an RBI.  Jake Mitchell (Jr) came on in relief of Castillo and simply dominated, pitching 2 inning with 3 K’s and allowing no runs.

Coach Steve Madril was pleased, especially with the tenacious ability of Castillo to get out of the first-inning traffic.  “He kept his confidence and composure while dealing with adversity … it was amazing to see” Madrill said. “He’s a great young player for us.”

Flores’ knock seemed to relax the team, causing them to play with greater confidence in the later innings.

Having lost most of  the 2020 season to the pandemic and with all of the uncertainty swirling around a return to the field, Madril couldn’t help but be happy about not only the win, but the chance to take the field again.  He noted the amount of work and support of many who have labored behind the dugout to get the season up and going, and done safely.

“I can’t help but smile every time we take the field” Madril said.  “I feel blessed that our boys are having a season and experiencing some normalcy in all of our lives that we so greatly need.  We are talking about a group of baseball players and coaches that have experienced not only a school cancellation, activities cancellations, but also know what it is like to have their ’20 athletic season completely cancelled. Not many programs and athletes can say that.”

Madril continued , “I think we all now understand how fortunate we are to be playing and how we all no longer take playing our sport for granted for one second. Our boys have shown resilience in the eye of adversity that is way beyond their years and they have all grown stronger as young men and young adults because of it. I am very proud of our boys. I couldn’t even tell you what our overall record is right now…our record doesn’t really matter. Wins and losses are the furthest thing from our minds. The only thing that matters is that we were there, we played, we had fun, we supported each other and we loved. It is an honor for us to be a part of MLK Baseball.”

Well said. Words and sentiments we can imagine the boys of La Sierra would wear as well.