(Walnut, CA) After reaching the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Playoffs for the first time in 53 years in 2018, the Mt. SAC Baseball Program has high expectations out at Mazmanian Field these days.
With a state final-four appearance behind them, third-year coach John Knott hopes to again make a deep run in the playoffs and defend the South Coast Conference North Championship title.
"Our conference and nonconference games are very competitive," Knott said. "We know we will have to be ready every game/practice if we want to make another successful run."
In the 2019 California Community College Baseball Coaches Association Poll, Mt. SAC comes in as the No. 2-ranked team.
The Mounties 2019 home season opener will be on Friday, January 25, against Victor Valley. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 pm.
Last years team had a magical playoff run, winning six of seven games before advancing to the state championships in Fresno.
"Last year was very memorable for all of us, but this is a new year and new team," Knott said. "We are excited about this group as a whole and know our success will be determined by our consistency and ability to make in-game adjustments.
"It takes every person contributing and doing their part in order for us to succeed."
Not since Mt. SAC won back-to-back California state titles in 1964-65, had a Mounties team been one of the final teams standing at the end of the season.
Last season the Mounties won 35 games for the first time in over 18 years, captured the South Coast Conference North title, Knott was named SCC Coach of the Year, and three players – sophomores Anthony Walters, Elijah Greene and Zach Bromstead - were named to the CCCAA All-State So Cal team.
The Mounties were second in the state in hits and third in runs scored.
Sophomore returner Jacob Kampen (RHP) will lead the Mounties and look to defend his South Coast Conference North Pitcher of the Year honor for the Mounties. Kampen was a perfect 5-0 (1.62 ERA) in conference and 7-1 (3.32, 57 Ks) overall.
Returning sophomores include: Kampen, RHP Steven Ordorica, RHP Matt Garcia, INF Michael Sandoval, RHP Wyatt Regis, RHP Tyler Lawson, RHP Pablo Valenzuela, OF Kyle Koontz, OF Derek Zavala, RHP Dylan Needham and RHP Christian Longoria (2017 team). Ordorica was 6-2 overall with five saves in 28 appearances as a reliever last season and Sandoval was fourth on the team with 53 hits and batted .290 for the season.
Long Beach State transfer, LHP Ryan Mauch, returns from injury and will complete the pitching staff.
Fifteen freshmen will make up the newcomers, along with five transfers. The transfers include: C/1B Omar Veloz (Fresno St), C/1B Tyus Santa Anna (UC Santa Barbara), INF Albert Luevano, INF Jacob Dominguez (Cal St. Fullerton), RHP Tyler Hazlett (Hawaii Pacific University) and LHP Ryan Mauch (Long Beach St.).
"We have a number of new faces that will need to contribute immediately to be successful and mix in with the veterans we have coming back," Knott said. This level is very fluid as there is often moving parts. Team chemistry and players ability to adapt to a new situation is pivotal in the team being successful.
"Our team will be defined how we handle adversity and work through the challenge of a season.
Assisting Knott will be Scott Zine, Ryan Doran, Rob Prieto, Matt Silberman and Larry McCann.
Follow Mt. SAC Baseball on twitter @mtsac_baseball
For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.