As defending Trinity League champions for the last two consecutive seasons, the Orange Lutheran baseball team is set to take the diamond this week to defend their title.
Although 2019 saw many of the Lancers’ talented roster graduate, a solid core remains. Senior pitchers Christian Rodriguez and Max Rajcic, as well as Elijah Buries, are all four-year varsity starters in the program, and Rodriguez and Rajcic are regarded as two of the top pitchers in the state.
They are joined by senior Lancers and three-year varsity starters Chad Born and Tank Espalin. Add to the mix some talented incoming sophomore players, and OLu baseball head coach Eric Borba feels this team is again poised for success.
“I think that this group, being that we have so many guys that have been here for awhile, have been the closest,” says Borba. “It’s been the best four-year run of any class we’ve ever had as far as wins and how successful we’ve been.”
The varsity team’s tournament schedule this season includes a trip back to North Carolina to play in the National High School Invitational (NHSI), a tournament where the Lancers have been crowned champions for the last three years. OLu will also participate in the competitive Boras Baseball Classic.
The Los Angeles Times recently released their preseason prep baseball rankings and have OLu at No. 2 on the list, right behind La Mirada High School, a team the Lancers will face February 19.
The season kicks off this weekend with a double header against reigning CIF-SS Division 1 champion Cypress High School. They will also host Marcus High School from Texas and Valley Christian High School from San Jose this season, as well as battle through their tough Trinity League opponents. With an intense schedule, staying true to the process will be key for the Lancers.
“Our focus has to be playing one day at a time,” says Borba, “and being the best that you can each day.”