Loyola’s Junior Varsity and Freshman Baseball teams concluded their 2019 seasons in mid-April. The JV team, coached by Kevin Jenkins and Bryan Haley ’12, was made up of 17 sophomores, while the 16-member Frosh squad was coached by Tom Peck ’85 and Alex Graham.
It was a solid start to the season for Loyola’s newest Cubs as they went 10-3 in the first month and a half of the season. The Frosh team lost just twice in March, with one of those three early blemishes on the record coming at the hands of the JV squad in the first game of the season back on Feb. 9. The Cubs did, however, win seven in a row and ended March victorious in three of its last four. Sweeps came against St. Francis and Crespi, while splits came against Notre Dame and Alemany in a pair of home-and-away series.
The last game against Alemany was an 11-1 victory after the Cubs totaled 12 hits, with five runs coming in the seventh and final inning. There, Parker Pratt ’22, Erik Estrada ’22, Jackson Shea ’22 and Brennan Calderon ’22 had RBIs to put the game out of reach. Shea and Will Richardson ’22 recorded multiple hits that morning, with Shea going a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate. Additionally, a dramatic walk-off back on Mar. 23 gave Loyola the victory over Notre Dame by a 4-3 score. Tino Valdez ’22 had a single that pushed the winning run across, while Shea earned the victory on the mound after going six innings and also striking out six. Valdez would lead the Cubs with a 3-for-4 day at the plate, and Joey Frey ’22 threw two innings out of the bullpen to secure the win at Hernandez Field. In the Mission League, Loyola went 7-4-1 to finish their first season in a Cub uniform at 11-6-1 overall.
The team of sophomores also got out to a solid start in 2019, going 6-2 to begin the year before hitting a skid in late March. Loyola’s JV team strung together three victories in a row from Mar. 8-15, bouncing back after a series split with St. Francis with a win in Glendale and a sweep of Crespi with a pair of 3-2 and 7-4 victories. In the win over the Golden Knights, sophomore Lane Johnson ’21 struck out five and walked just one, while fellow sophomores Henry Kraft ’21, Sammy Morales ’21 and Jalen Priestley ’21 each recorded a hit.
Game 1 over Crespi was also a victory for the Cubs, as Nicolas Goethals ’21 was credited with the win after tallying three strikeouts. Morales threw three in relief out of the pen, recording the final nine outs for the save. Kyle Hampton ’21 was 2-for-3 at the plate to lead Loyola back on Mar. 13. Two days later, Loyola claimed a 7-4 win over the Celts after pulling away in the fifth inning. Nico Morales '21 got the win that day, allowing just two hits in three innings but recording 4 K’s and zero earned runs. In relief, Clyde Thrasher ’21 had the save after recording the final three outs. Nick Valdez ’21 was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate, leading Loyola in hits. JV Baseball concluded its season with a record of 9-10.