Spring is in the air
thebreezeonline.com | Jan. 30, 2012
SPENCER BRUNO ith Super Bowl XLVI less than two weeks away and the NBA in full swing, baseball season is just around the corner. Most Major League Baseball teams are set to have pitcher and catchers report to camp in mid-to-late-February, but the Chaffey Panthers baseball team that been practicing for some time now. Led by head coach Jeff Harlow, who is part of the Panther Alum, the Panthers look to continue to build off their previous season’s success. A year ago, the always-competitive Chaffey baseball team finished with an overall record of 28-11, something Harlow believes has his team heading in the right direction. ” I think we had a great season last year, but we want to win a State Championship.” Harlow said. “We have a lot of returning guys that could help us reach that goal moving forward,” he said. That record 2011 was good enough to punch their ticket to the postseason for the eighth consecutive time under Harlow. However, in the Regional playoffs, the Southwestern Jaguars bounced out the Panthers in the first round. The loss ended slugger and pitcher Matt Anderson’s tenure on Haven Ave. Anderson led the team with a 7-2 record last season and was twice named to the Foothill All-Conference team. Anderson has since been drafted by the Florida Marlins and will start the season in their minor league system. While Anderson’s presence will be missed, he left the team in good hands. Among the team’s many returning players, none is bigger than now-sophomore infielder Elijah Briseno. A Rancho Cucamonga High School graduate, Briseno, who played in all 39 games last year, led the team in numerous offensive categories, including batting average (.386), hits (49), runs batted in (37) and doubles (14). Fresh off his first Foothill All-Conference selection, he is happy to return. “We have some unfinished business to attend to this season,” Briseno said. “I think we are going to be a really good team this year and be better than most people think,” he said. “I just hope I play as well if not better than I did a year ago.” Since Harlow was hired in 2003, the Panthers have added four Foothill Conference titles to their resume, including backto-back-to-back titles from 2006-08, bringing Chaffey’s total to 11. They look to have a formula for success. The Panthers kick off their 2012 season on Feb. 3 in the Desert Tournament against Fullerton at 6 p.m.
Julio Espinoza, pitcher and shortstop, warms up his throwing arm at a scrimmage before the season opener at Lowder Field.
Febuary Baseball Schedule February 5 Desert Tournament v. Oxnard (home) 10 a.m. February 7 Saddleback (home) 6 p.m. February 10-11 Southwestern Tournament February 14 Saddleback (away) 2 p.m. February 16 LA Mission (away) 2 p.m. February 17 LA Mission (home) 2 p.m. February 21 Victor Valley (home) 2 p.m. February 23 Victor Valley (away) 2 p.m. February 25 Victor Valley (home) 12 p.m. February 28 Antelope Valley (away) 2 p.m.
Published on Jan 30, 2012