LBHS 2023 baseball season recap

Julian Mejia, Reporter



With the start of the 2023 high school season, there were rainstorms throughout the month that delayed the team from practicing on the field and even cancelled some games. The first preseason game of the year got cancelled because of the rain which would not be made up. Our next preseason game was against El Capitan which resulted in a loss. The last three preseason games resulted in a win and loss with another game being cancelled yet again due to the weather.

At last the season begins with games being played on Wednesdays and Fridays. Our freshman, Julian Cazares, got the start and went 6 2/3 innings striking out 9 and walking one. Jackson Silva got the save for the last 1/3 of the game with a victory of 2-0 against Beyer. The same result happen the next game with Julian Mejia throwing 6 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts and one walk. Armando Cazares got the save for the last 1/3 of the game with a victory of 4-0 against Beyer. The Tigers won the next series against Grace Davis winning 4-1 and 10-1 on a double header.

Our biggest out of town rival, Mountain House, was our next series and with the Tigers having a 4-0 start they were going into the series with momentum. Our first game got rained out on Wednesday which meant a doubleheader on Friday at Los Banos. The first game was all freshman with him shutting out Mountain House with 9 strikeouts and only giving up 3 hits resulting in a 4-0 win for the tigers. The second game was a closer game but the Tigers could not pull through with a loss 4-3. The Tigers won the next series against Johansen 19-1 and 22-0 heading into the mid season tournament in Oakdale.

The Oakdale tournament is tough with there being many good teams. The first game of the tournament was against Downey which was a close low scoring game. The game was later won by Downey 2-0 with their team having 11 hits to our 3 hits. The second and third game were lost as well against Oakdale 8-1 and Las Plumas 10-8. Now with the tournament out of the way, Ceres was our next series with game 1 being played at home on Wednesday. Unfortunately, errors costed us the game as the score was 2-1 Ceres. This was a big loss since it pushed us one game back from first place with Mountain House so we needed to win out if we wanted a chance to win league. The Tigers headed to Ceres on Friday needing to win which we ended up doing. The score was 7-5 with the help of Kayson Welch (hr) and Julian Cazares with 2 rbi’s each.

With the last two series being against Pacheco and Lathrop, the Tigers could not afford to lose a game. The Tigers put up 17 runs total to Pacheco’s 3 runs. The first game was 8-0 Tigers and 9-3 Tigers. Heading into the last series of the 2023 year, the Tigers were 10-2 going against Lathrop while Mountain house was 11-1 going against Ceres. We were hoping for Ceres to beat Mountain House twice but even one win will help us. The Tigers played Monday and Wednesday because of the fair coming into town on Wednesday. The first game ended up in a victory 6-4 and on Senior Night, we also came out victorious 11-2. And right after Wednesday’s game news came out that Ceres beat Mountain House 5-1!  Ceres ended up losing the last game but with that upset, the Tigers and Mountain House ended the season as Co-Champions.

Playoffs were next week and with the Tigers getting a tough seeding; they played against Central Catholic at their house. The team was very excited, yet nervous for the game since CC was a pretty good baseball team. The Tigers held the Raiders scoreless through two innings until the bottom of the third when they scored one run when the bases were loaded but a triple play was also made after that one run. The Raiders held the Tigers scoreless the whole game and the Los Banos’s season ended with a loss to CC 4-0.

Overall, the Tigers record was 13-8 and ended their league 12-2. This year’s team was fun to be around with good chemistry throughout the players and coaches. Freshman Julian Cazares earned MVP for the league with Kayson Welch and Julian Mejia getting 1st team All Leagues. Kai Mays got 2nd team All League and coach Pat Fuentes got Coach of the Year. It was a great season and we’ll see if the Tigers win another League Championship next year.