Hints of spring are in the air, and the Orange Lutheran baseball team is headed back to the diamond as they kick off their 2023 season this weekend.
As defending Trinity League champions, the Lancers are looking to hold onto the top spot in what remains a strong and competitive league this year. OLu’s varsity roster will field 26 players, including eight seniors and an influx of talent at the freshman and sophomore levels.
“There's a lot of youth with a lot of talent coming out,” says OLu baseball head coach Eric Borba. “It's an interesting dynamic we're trying to work through. There are a lot of options, a lot of variety in the lineups. Day by day, it could be a little different.”
The Lancers will be led by a core of three-year starters in senior Casey Borba and juniors Derek Curiel and Ben Reiland. Other seniors who are looking to have strong seasons include Richard Tejeda, JJ Robles and Brock Wirthgen, as well as pitchers Jordan Cole and Evan Miranda.
“I'm really proud of the seniors,” says Borba. “The relationships they’ve built with the freshmen are really good. Seeing our guys in practice every day, working with the younger kids and teaching them not only how to be better players, but how to be better off the field too in their work ethic, in the weight room. It's really fun to see that.”
OLu will take the field this Saturday versus Redondo in the PBR California Preseason Invitational and then will head on the road to Arizona at the end of the month to face off against some of the top teams in the country.
Trinity League play opens the beginning of March, but the Lancers will also continue playing key nonleague contests when they travel to Alabama at the end of March. The end of April brings the Boras Classic, one of the top tournaments in California.
It will be a challenging schedule from beginning to end, but Borba is looking forward to seeing how the returners and the newcomers mesh and how the team comes together as the season progresses.
“We've seen a lot of good things out of our team,” says Borba. “I'm really looking forward to seeing the growth of this team from now to the end of the season.”