Photo by: Nova Blanco-Rico
By Jessica Olvera, Co-Sports Editor
The 2020 season is on the horizon for the CSUDH baseball team as they are faced with the task of not only improving from their 16-30 overall record last year but proving the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s annual preseason wrong as they were picked to finish 10th for the upcoming season.
The Toros finished 11th in the CCAA last year and have struggled to remain consistent in the win column as they have not made the playoffs or achieved above a .500 winning percentage since 2015.
Last season, the team finished seventh in the CCAA in batting average (.281), eighth in ERA (5.57), and fourth in fielding percentage (.967).
Leading the charge is fifth-year head coach Tyler Wright, who has coached 12 All-California College Athletic Association selections and four All-West Region winners, along with three players being drafted to their respective MLB teams.
Wright returns 17 letter winners from last year’s team, including senior first baseman Pierson Loska, who was a first-team All-CCAA selection, along with leading the conference in home runs (15), slugging percentage (.630), and RBI (59).
He was an All-CCAA First-Team selection, CCAA Newcomer of the Year, D2SIDA All-Region second team member and voted CSUDH 2019 Male Athlete of the Year.
Also returning is junior outfielder Jeremy Ciolek, who was an All-CCAA Second Team selection and led the team in batting average (.365), and on-base percentage (.449), and senior utility player Domenic Colacchio who was an All-CCAA Honorable Mention last season.
Returning on the hill for the Toros is junior ace pitcher Tristan Garnett, who went 5-6 with a 4.57 ERA and led the team in innings pitched (63), strikeouts (55), and walks (28).
The baseball team will first take the field on Jan. 31 for their home-opener series against Concordia University Irvine at 1 p.m., and open conference play on Feb. 14th at 2 p.m. against Cal State San Marcos for a four-game series.