HISTORY LESSON FROM THE WINDY CITY
Interscholastic athletics in the city of Chicago took root in the 1890s but it was not until 1914 when the Chicago Public League (CPL) was formed. In the early years, CPL teams were dominant but there has been a drought of 46 years since Hubbarb won the Ilinois State baseball tournament in 1973 (Illinois state tournament started in 1940). Most recently Simeon took fourth place in 1998. Lane Tech flaunts the most city baseball titles with 23—the most for any sport in CPL annals.
The hometown roster is stacked with multi-position players from the Class of 2020 and five rising juniors. Representing Chicago Public League champions Lake View are RHP/1B Justin Rivera who struck out 67 in 51.1 innings and 3B/SS Omar Garcia who batted .385 with a 1.124 OPS (On-base plus slugging). Lane Tech LHP/OF Caleb Berry had a .372/.460/.913 slash line (batting/OBP/slugging) with 26 RBI and RHP/IF Gabe Montenegro went 3-1 with a 1.72 ERA and hit .333. LHP/OF Casey Coates of Whitney Young went 3-2 with 34 strikeouts in 29 IP. Taft’s Ernie Day is a two-year starter on the mound. OF Jeremiah Hurt (6’4”, 200 lbs.) of Lindblom went 5-3 but did his damage as the Illinois’ state RBI king with 58 and slugged six HR and hit .544. The pitching staff is fortified by the Jones duo of Will Conley (5-0, 1.72 ERA) and of Ian Hope (4-3, 2.00). Simeon speedster DJ Butler swiped 26 bases, batted .443 and added 16 hits for extra-bases. Kennedy C/3B Gerardo Caballero was a team captain and has a .377 batting average over two varsity seasons.
2019 CPL SEASON
What started in the bitter cold of March and continued during the rains of April, the season culminated with Lake View capturing the Chicago Public League championship, defeating Jones, 6-4, on May 20 at Guaranteed Rate Field—home of the White Sox. The Wildcats (21-8) rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh to overcome a 4-3 deficit. Lake View topped Simeon, 10-6, in the semifinals and Morgan Park, 10-5, in the quarterfinals. Around the city, Lane Tech won the CPS Jackie Robinson North Conference title at 13-0-1 while Lake View was third at 10-4. Jones (24-8-1) took the eight-team South Conference with an 11-3 regular-season mark. Jones lost in the Class 4A Regional semifinals to Glenbrook South, 3-2. Lindblom made the deepest postseason run, falling in the Class 3A Sectional final to De La Salle, 6-2.
|DJ Butler||MIF||#00||Jr.||Simeon Career Academy|
|Robert Walker||OF||#1||Jr.||Kenwood Academy|
|Dorian Andrews||C||#2||Soph||Agricultural Science|
|Omar Garica||SS/3B||#3||Jr.||Lake View|
|Caleb Berry||LHP OF||#4||Jr.||Lane Tech CollegePrep|
|Jay Terrel||IF RHP||#5||Jr.||Simeon|
|Darryle Lloyd||1B||#9||Soph||Morgan Park HS|
|Ryan Wong||P||#10||Soph||Lane Tech CollegePrep|
|Asa Waites||3B/C/P||#12||Jr.||Morgan Park HS|
|Gerardo Cacallero||C/3B||#13||Jr.||Kennedy HS|
|Jeremiah Hurt||OF/P||#14||Jr.||Lindblom Math & Science Academy|
|Jalen Hardiman||LHP||#17||Soph||Kenwood Academy|
|Gabe Montenegro||RHP IF||#20||Jr.||Lane Tech CollegePrep|
|Casey Coates||LHP-OF||#22||Jr.||Whitney Young|
|Justin Rivera||RHP/1B||#34||Jr.||Lake View|
|Kevin Coe Jr.||MIF||#44||Jr.||Whitney Young|
|Ernie Day||P||#51||Jr.||Taft H.S.|
|Frankie Morales||SS/2nd/P||#56||Jr.||Roberto Clemente|
HISTORY LESSON FROM THE CITY OF ANGELS
The players from Los Angeles attend schools from the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Los Angeles City Section. The City Section was once affiliated with the Los Angeles United School District. In 1917, the LA city schools were a part of the Southern Section but in 1935 they broke away to form their own CIF section. The City Section reaches along the Pacific Coast and east into the San Fernando Valley baseball-centric towns such as Reseda and Woodland Hills. The City Section sponsors 17 sports in three seasons and is proud of its long baseball tradition.
The California squad leans heavily on the experience of players from the Class of 2020 and head coach Matt Mowry, who has guided Birmingham (Lake Balboa) to four CIF-City Section titles in the last six seasons. More than half of the roster achieved All-City Section this spring. Mowry will have the luxury of triumvirate of his players in Chicago, including Domenik Cervantes (.350), Erik Rivas (.310, 19 RBI) and hurler Gavino Rosales-Espinoza (1.52 ERA). Banning’s Anthony Joya (7-5, 1.64) struck 135 in 72.2 innings. Josh Hernandez (.441 OBP) of Marshall is the batter at the top of the order who drew 25 walks and rapped 28 hits and Vicente Vargas Casiano of Vaughn scored 33 runs and added 35 hits. Isaiah Velazco of Granada Hills batted .319 and drove in 23 runs. At 6’4”, 230 lbs. Ivan Blanco (8-3) of Roybal L.C had 70 strikeouts and batted .375. SS Joshua Duarte of San Pedro (Miami) and David Medrano of Garfield (Cal State Fullerton) have committed to big-time programs. More pitching depth is bolstered by Travis Connelly of San Pedro, who had five complete games and seven wins. Nathaniel Flores (4-0, 2.40) and Vincent Esparza of Kennedy (2.25 ERA, .423 batting average). The heart of the order will feature slugger David Felix of Maywood CES, who homered seven times and knocked in 35 runs.
2019 CITY SECTION SEASON
The CIF-City Section crowned two of four baseball champions on May 25 at Dodger Stadium: Birmingham (Open Division); Harbor City Narbonne (Division I); Granada Hills Valley Academy of the Arts or VAAS (Division II) and Vaughn (Division III). Birmingham became the third City Section team to capture a third straight Open Division title, topping Palisades, 9-5. The Patriots were up 5-0 but Palisades evened it in the fourth. Kevin Olmos laced three RBI singles and David Velazquez ripped a two-run double to clinch a Valley school’s 46th upper division baseball title in the last 47 years. In Division I, sophomore DJ Orona whiffed seven and shortstop Julio Camarena had a two-run single as Narbonne beat Marshall, 4-0. At USC’s Rod Dedeaux Field, Rasheed Bilal went 3-for-4 with two RBI and scored the go-ahead run in VAAS’s 5-2 win over South Gate in Division II on June 1. Elsewhere, Vaughn, a school with less than 300 students, won its second consecutive Division III crown, defeating Maywood CES, 6-5. Senior starter Ismael De Haro went four innings allowing two runs and striking out three to pick up the win.
|Vicente Vargas Casiano||2b||00||Junior||Vaughn|
|Joshua Duarte||SS||3||Senior||San Pedro|
|Travis Connelly||Pitcher||5||Senior||San Pedro|
|Josh Hernandez||OF||10||Senior||Marshall HS|
|Christopher (Chris) Lozano||Pitcher||15||Senior||Cleveland|
|Isaiah Velazco||Catcher||16||Senior||Granada hills|
|Antonio (Tony) Meza||3b||23||Senior||San Fernando|
|Ivan Blanco||Pitcher||27||Senior||Roybal L.C|
|Gavino Rosales- Espinoza||Pitcher||28||Senior||Birmingham|
|Daniel Eric Martinez||2b||33||Senior||San Fernando|
|Waldier Perez||Catcher||35||Senior||San Pedro|
|Nathaniel Flores||1b||44||Junior||San Fernando|
|Anthony Rodrigo Joya||Pitcher||99||Junior||Banning|
HISTORY LESSON FROM MIAMI-DADE COUNTY
South Florida and Miami are flush with baseball history due to Latin American influence and plenty of sunshine. MLB fans flock to the Miami Beach area when spring training rolls around as the Phillies, Pirates, Giants, Orioles and Dodgers call the Grapefruit League home. Year after year, future generations of baseball talent are built by The Greater Miami Athletic Conference (GMAC). Trust us when we say that FHSAA Region 4 is fertile ground for prospective talent.
The Miami team is lead by veteran coach Armando Pelaez, and his players certainly bring talent to the table. Over three-quarters of the roster earned All-Miami-Dade County or district honors. The Floridians are armed with pitchers including Brandon Andrade (4-2, 4.36 ERA) of Southwest, Christian Olazabal (4-5, 1.51, 44 strikeouts) of Coral Gables, Florida Gulf Coast commit Brandon Cabrera (4-2, 2 saves, 1.89, 0.84 WHIP) of Southridge, Frank Elissalt (1-2, 2.31) of Sunset, Erick Andujar (7-3, 2.20, 88 strikeouts, 63.2 IP) of Hialeah, and Southridge southpaw Johnny Vazquez (3-0, 0.57, 0.69 WHIP). Fueling the offense is Romeo Sanabria (23 RBI, .532/.583/.723 slash line) of Killian, C/OF/1B Manny Jackson (.421, 12 RBI) of Coral Gables, FIU-bound OF/1B Kendry Noriega (.326, 15 stolen bases) of Miami Senior, and OF Carlos Marrero (.430, 8A-16 hitter of the year) of Westland. At the top of the order you’ll see SS Eddie Sierra (.361, 17 RBI) of Southwest, SS/2B Daniel Resillezo (.380, 15 RBI) and OF Marlon Cuesta (.340, 15 RBI) of Westland. RHP Osly Lopez (verbally committed to Fairleigh Dickinson) of Reagan and Ronaldinho Alcin ((4-1, 3.73, 45 K, 30 IP) of North Miami Beach are also ready to contribute.
2019 MIAMI-DADE SEASON
The GMAC had great representation in the state finals, Miami Christian ran away with a second straight Class 2A title. The Victors defeated Seacrest Country Day, 3-1. GEICO Baseball City Series players Gabriel Vasquez (tripled in two runs in the three-run first inning) and Alejandro Rosario (pitched six innings, striking out eight and only allowing two hits) contributed heavily. In Class 9A (Florida’s largest classification), Coral Reef fell to Seminole, 1-0. Junior right-hander Samuel Cheng scattered six hits in going the distance but surrendered a solo home run in the top of the sixth. Junior shortstop Michael Ogden went 2-for-3 in the loss. The Class 7A final saw Doral Academy battle but ultimatley fall to Venice. FIU-bound Adrian Figueroa contributed heavily with multiple RBIs. Miami Springs, the Region 4 champion, was eliminated in the Class 6A semifinals in a 6-2 decision to Tampa Jesuit. In May, the GMAC championship game was cancelled to due inclement weather, school commitments and the upcoming district playoffs. As a result, Westland Hialeah and Columbus were declared co-champions. According to reports, it was the first time in more than four decades since the tournament’s inception that no definitive champion was crowned.
|Giulianny (Tico) Perera||CF||6||Senior||Southridge|
|Ronaldinho (Dino) Alcin||SS/P||7||Senior||N.Miami Beach|
|Osly Lopez||P||8||Senior||Ronald Reagan|
|Dylan Quintana||P||9||Senior||South Dade|
|Eduardo Diaz||SS/C||10||Senior||Coral Park|
|Samuel Cheng||P||16||Senior||Coral Reef|
|Kendry Noriega||CF||19||Senior||Miami High|
|Manny Jackson||OF/C||23||Senior||Coral Gables|
|Daniel (Danny) Resillez||2B/SS||27||Senior||Westland|
|Christian Olazabal||P/1B/3B||40||Senior||Coral Gables|
|Kevin Serrano||P||66||Senior||South Miami|
HISTORY LESSON FROM THE FIVE BOROUGHS
The Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) is the governing body for New York City public schools from the boroughs of Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. It was founded in 1903 and by 1907 baseball became an official sport. The PSAL fields 25 varsity sports for more than 45,000 student-athletes. So, for many schools, winning a city championship is akin to a state title. PSAL schools do not compete in the New York State tournament but remain home for local bragging rights among the nearly 9 million residents.
The roster is composed exclusively of players from the New York Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL). That means culling five boroughs of talent that must withstand a month of brutal weather in March to reach their goal that culminates amid the June heat with three championship games at famed Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Speaking of the PSAL champions, Lafayette’s OF Jean Peralta and RHP/INF Anthony Bocchino (.429, .552 on-base percentage) rep the Class AA city titlist. Mott Haven OF Reidy Diaz (14 RBI, 1.420 OPS) is a true slugger as is Tottenville 1B Michael Biuso (.412, 15 RBI). James Monroe, a traditional power from the Bronx, will be represented by Bryant Bassett (.297, 25 RBI, 28 runs) and Luis Rodriguez (.373, 53 RBI, 20 hits for extra-bases, 1.044 OPS). Juan Carlos Juarez (.388) of West 50th Street is a clutch run producer. The pitching staff has plenty of aces, including Alex Zavala (1.19 WHIP, 52 strikeouts, 46.2 IP), Henry Bravo Gil (5-3, 1.97 ERA), Mike Diforte (7-1, 1.19), Angel Rondon (3-3, 3.00) and Jose Belliar Aracena (7-2, 1.02). Aracena batted .380 with a 1.320 OBS and Diforte hit .488 with an on-base percentage of .604.
2019 PSAL SEASON
The PSAL season ended in grand fashion at Yankee Stadium with the Class AA and AAA championship games on June 12. It was a battle of Brooklyn in the featured AA final as top-seeded Inwood Campus lost to Lafayette, 2-0. Jason Jimenez fired a complete game, four-hitter. Jimenez also rapped two hits, including a single in the fourth and would score the insurance run. Brandon Prescott blasted an RBI double in the top of the third to make it 1-0. It was Lafayette’s 15th overall city title and first since 1991. In the AAA final, Luperon (Manhattan) edged Beacon (Manhattan), 5-4, in 12 innings. Senior Henry Pena Mercedez singled in Angel Castillo Lopez for the walk-off victory. Luperon won the best-of-three semifinals over Monroe (Bronx), 2-1, while Beacon beat Grand Street Campus (Brooklyn) in three games. Luperon went unbeaten in the Class AAA Northwestern Division and the Beacon Blue Demons won the AAA Western regular season title. Collaborative Education (Manhattan) bagged the Class A title, blanking KIPP College Prep (Bronx), 2-0.
|Anthony Bocchino||SS||4||Senior||Lafayette Educational Complex|
|Reidy Diaz||OF/P||5||Senior||Mott Haven Educational Campus|
|Andrew Partnow||OF/C||6||Senior||Susan Wagner|
|Jackson Pena Rodriguez||P||7||Senior||Newton|
|Gavyn Soto||P||8||Senior||Graphics Campus|
|Noah Lunn||C||13||Senior||Millennium HS|
|Jean Ortiz Melendez||P/3B/OF||17||Senior|
|Owen Potter||P||18||Senior||Stuyvesant HS|
|Jose Belliar Arecena||INF/P||19||Senior||Academy of American Studies|
|Mychal Mondone||1B||23||Senior||Susan Wagner|
|Alex Zavala||INF||30||Senior||Benjamin N. Cardozo HS|
|Shane Werther||OF/P||31||Senior||Townsend Harris HS|
|Henry Bravo Gil||P||52||Senior||West 50th Street Campus|
|Joan Peralta||C||54||Senior||Lafayette Educational Complex|
|JuanCarlos Juarez||C||55||Senior||West 50th Street Campus|
|Angel Rondon||P||1||Senior||John F. Kennedy Campus|