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Cabrillo Making Marked Improvements

Baseball Preview: Cabrillo Making Marked Improvements

Cabrillo is the dark horse pick this season after the Jaguars and pitcher Dylan Gambino upset Poly in league play last year.

“We’re going to be way better than last year,” Gambino said. “I know that for sure.”

The junior only allowed two hits in 6.1 innings of that win over Poly thanks to his deceiving change-up. Gambino said he’s worked hard on improving his out pitch, and expects to go up against the top teams in the city throughout league play.

“He’s my number one guy,” Cabrillo second-year coach Pedro Torres said. “With 27 scheduled games, there’s going be a big workload, but we won’t have to use his full pitch capacity because we’ve got some better pitching this year. We’re going to take it slow and at the end of the season he’s going to be our horse.”

Senior Jayson Luithle and junior Apolinar Gonzalez will be the next two starters up behind Gambino, and freshman lefty Carlos Monreal will be the first out of the bullpen after impressing coaches during offseason practices.

“We have finesse pitchers,” Torres said. “These guys aren’t afraid to throw strikes to anybody.”

Torres still hasn’t decided who will be catching that staff, and will use the nonleauge schedule this month as a glorified tryout for players like Gonzalez, junior Issac Vera and senior Anthony Carranza to win the job.

Senior shortstop Tommy Earl is back at the top of the Cabrillo lineup, and sophomore transfer Jarel Banes will add some speed there as a utility infielder. Freshman third baseman Tyler Harvey also will be a key newcomer in the infield.

In the outfield, Luithle has won the job in center field, but the other two spots are still open with players like returning senior Juan Salazar battling for playing time.

Based on the vast improvements last year in league play, Torres put his growing program up against Division 2 and 3 talent in offseason scrimmages to get them thinking at the Moore League level. Cabrillo will compete in Division 6 this season.

“I have a lot more skilled players this year and they’re mentally strong,” Torres said. “That win over Poly last year was something that we really needed to change the culture on the west side. It’s no longer Lakewood, Millikan, Poly and Wilson. Now they have to worry about Cabrillo.”

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