Riverside, CA - With Spring just around the corner, the Golden Eagles baseball season is underway. The team is excited as they start their 2013 campaign with various new faces and an optimistic outlook. And by gauging their competitiveness during the first four games, the team has reason to be optimistic and excited about their season.
Starting out, head coach Gabriel Gamboa, and his staff, have the task of filling the vacancies left by Kenny Curiel and Manny Sanchez. Curiel, who was a starting pitcher and also played outfield, is the Golden Eagles career leader in wins, innings pitched, games played, hits, and homeruns. Sanchez led the team in on-base-percentage, stolen bases, and he was third on the team in batting average.
With that task at hand, Gamboa and his staff hit the recruiting trails hard. Their hard work paid off with the addition of 30 new recruits to their program. The majority of new faces are junior college transfers, among a minority of true freshmen.
The new faces join a handful of returning players from last year's squad. Senior Ryan Diaz returns to anchor the infield at the shortstop position. Diaz had a school record 17-game hitting streak last season and was named 2nd Team All Conference.
Sophomore Tyler Sirna returns to the mound for the Golden Eagles. His freshmen season began with a one-hitter in his collegiate debut, pitching six innings against San Diego Christian College.
Junior Joe Mascarenaz will round out the middle infield, at second base. He currently holds the Golden Eagles career record for batting average and was one of two players who finished last season with over 30 base hits.
And pitcher Scott Makorow will return for his junior season. Makorow led the teams in wins and ERA last season.
As the squad begins their season, they will look to turn their optimism into reality. This year's team will also benefit from the most depth of any baseball team in the school's history. With a combination of young talent and proven experience the Golden Eagles baseball team is working towards finishing the season with a winning record.
"We plan on playing top notch defense this year," said coach Gamboa. "Our success is dependent on how well we play catch on the field and how well our pitching staff locates their pitch[es]."
The hope is that solid defense, pitching, and the ability to get some timely hits will be the ingredients to making their first ever playoff appearance in program history.
The Golden Eagles were scheduled to open their home season on Sunday, January 27, against Cal Tech University, but due to rain the game was cancelled. Their home opener will now take place on Friday, February 8, with a double-header versus San Diego Christian College. The first game of will start at 12pm.