Reedley College, the 19th ranked community college baseball team in Northern California, defeated Cabrillo College, the 11th ranked team, twice to open the new season last week.
Reedley won last Thursday's season opener against the Seahawks 7-4 on the road before an 8-6 win on Sunday in Reedley.
The 2-0 Tigers went back on the road Tuesday, headed to Salinas to face the 0-3 Hartnell College Panthers. Reedley hosts Hartnell on Thursday before entertaining the Barstow College Vikings (0-1 through Sunday) in a weekend series. The first pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday and noon on Saturday.
According to veteran head coach Steve Pearce, 23 players on the Tigers 35-man roster have experience with the Tigers. One of those veterans is left fielder and lead-off hitter Leo Arreguin (Selma), whose bat played a key role in both victories last week. Other veteran position players are Ryan Tiger (Clovis), Nilen Peoples (Bullard), shortstop Justin Tiger (Clovis), and two catchers, Kody Kropf (Clovis) and Jordan Smith (Clovis). Kropf will also see action at first base and the outfield.
Returning pitchers include Ryan Garza (Central) who also saw action at third base last year; opening day pitcher Alex Trukki (Madera), workhorse Eddie Avalos (Selma, the winning pitcher in relief on Thursday), Zack Dennis (Sierra), and Elijah Acosta (Clovis East), who recorded the save on Sunday and closed both wins.
The coach said that Mike Rios, a Reedley High grad, is doing a good job at second base. Sharing the third base spot in the early season will be Brayden Nicholson (Clovis) and Elias Mart (Clovis).
Outfielder Orin Hirschkorn (Caruthers) is doing well after missing about two weeks of workouts due to a bout with both Covid and mononucleosis, according to the coach.
Other pitchers to watch Sunday starter Jayden Jones (San Joaquin Memorial), Austin Beno (El Diamanté), and Brandon Burgos (Hanford), the winning pitcher on Thursday, who probably has the best arm on the staff, according to the coach.
''The Tigers missed a week of workouts earlier because of Covid. 'We will learn a lot about the team as we go," added the coach, who said that Reedley has a tough 2022 schedule.
By: Will Goldbeck