_____________________________ ST. NORBERT CHURCH           RATES ________________________         EBOOK


2024 BASEBALL PREVIEW-Gahr, La Mirada miles apart from everyone else in the area and Gateway League

March 6, 2024

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on X

Last season, the Gateway League was decided in the final week of the regular season with La Mirada High taking two of three from Gahr High to win the circuit by a pair of games as Warren High finished a distant third with a 5-7 mark. Expect the Gladiators and Matadores to battle it out again for league supremacy and if all goes well, their three-game meeting on the last week of the regular season will decide the title. Norwalk High, with a much less experienced varsity team, joins the Gateway League while Cerritos High will have a target on its back again, trying to repeat as 605 League champions. And Whitney High brings back its program after a three-year hiatus.

Returning players in italics.


13-14 overall last season, 4-4 in the 605 League, third place in the 605 League, lost to Fillmore High 7-1 in the Division 7 quarterfinal playoffs.

Head coach: Jose Serrano (fourth season, 31-36)

Team’s record previous five seasons: 33-62

Last time missed the playoffs: 2021

Division 7

Key losses: Brandon Garcia, Kyle Henderson, Joshua Peck, Vincent Rodriguez, Richard Saad, Phineas Shahon, Reggie Steele, Alex Valdivia

Projected lineup:

P-Angel Estrada (JR)/Daniel Carbajal (JR)/John Ceballos (SR)/Ramon Chavez (FR)   

C-Daniel Loera (JR)/Carbajal

1B-Jorge Vidal (FR)

2B-Michael Nava (FR)/Landon Ahlgrim (JR)


SS-Victor Sanchez (JR)/Estrada/Ahlgrim

LF-Chavez/Daniel Serrano (JR)

CF-Jose Garcia (JR)

RF-Alex Escobar (JR)                                                                   

Artesia High is starting to get its groove back like the program had in the early 2000s when the Pioneers went to the playoffs in three straight seasons and four times in a span of five seasons. That happened from 2003-2007 and during that time, Artesia had a winning record four times. Now, head coach Jose Serrano is gunning for his third straight playoff appearance and hopes to put the Pioneers on the north side of .500 for the second time in the past three seasons. Artesia’s trip to the CIF-Southern Section Division 7 quarterfinals was the farthest the program had gone since 2003 when that team went to the quarters.

“Looking back on last year, our goal was to win the league,” said Serrano. “It really was. I felt like we had a team to win it. But, once we made the playoffs, I felt like the team was clicking; the lineup clicked, and we made a nice run [to the quarterfinals]. But I was a little disappointed with how we ended up in league play.”

Serrano was reflecting on how the Pioneers had to sweep John Glenn High to get third place and the final automatic playoff berth. This season presents a bigger challenge as Artesia returns just one senior and four other players. Still, the former Artesia standout believes the program is improving, especially after having consecutive seasons of at least 13 wins. That has not happened since the 2004 and 2005 teams each went 14-13.

“[Former head coach Mike] Gaoghagan left a heavy tag on kind of turning the program around, meaning a lot of our good talent went away to other schools,” said Serrano. “Them not going to Artesia kind of affected the program for many years. But I think now, going back to back with 10 wins or more is a big improvement, just because of the kids. Those kids are amazing, and if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have as many wins as we have. We’re improving, but to be honest with you, we’re just starting. This is nothing. I have a feeling that our future is bright, and our kids are getting so much better.”

Serrano sees 2024 as a rebuilding season and if all goes well, he believes the Pioneers can win the 605 League next season. He is relying on his four returning juniors-Daniel Carbajal, Alex Escobar, Jose Garcia and Victor Sanchez to be the leaders of the team who will guide the remaining 13 into the playoffs. Serrano added that all four of them have the experience of seniors. Sanchez moves from first base to shortstop and is the lone experienced infielder while junior Angel Estrada and senior John Ceballos are slated to be the top two pitchers with Carbajal and freshman Ramon Chavez in the mix. The right side of the infield will be occupied by freshmen.

Serrano isn’t concerned about the lack of seniors and in fact, is building the team around the 10 juniors, six of whom were on the junior varsity team last season. He also said it will be tougher to crack the top three in league and get an automatic invitation to the playoffs.

“I know Glenn improved so much,” he said. “Oxford [Academy] is just getting better, and Pioneer is very scrappy. So, I think this year is going to be tough getting that third spot. It’s not going to be a walk in the park.”


17-10 overall last season, 7-1 in the 605 League, tied for first place, lost to San Clemente High 7-5 in the Division 3 first round playoffs.

Head coach: Matt Joyce (1st season)

Team’s record previous five seasons: 83-32

Last time missed the playoffs: 2017

Division 4

Key losses: Wyland Aulick, Dylan Burton, Brandon Casas, Paul Kim, Aiden Manzo, Ryan Martinez, Raymond Sierra

Projected lineup:

P-Carter Chi (SR)/Nathaniel Corrigan (SR)/Johan Gibbs (SR)/Jack Lake (SR)/Christian Wright (JR)

C-Jonathan Masella (SR)/Owen Mendez (SR)/Adam Rosa (SR)/Kaden Brickner (JR)

1B-Elijah Pannell (SR)/Corrigan/Wright

2B-Justin Sagun (SO)/Andres Rubalcava (SR)

3B-Carter Chi/Fabian Mejia (JR)

SS-Dalton Chi (JR)/Adrian Regis (JR)/Rubalcava

LF-Noah Gapuz (SR)

CF-Gibbs/Braxton Reed (JR)

RF-Tristen Chen (SR)/Reed

For the fourth straight season, there is a changing of the guard once again as former Artesia standout Matt Joyce replaces Chris Masella, who guided the Dons to a 17-10 season and the program’s fourth straight 605 League title. Masella remains on the coaching staff, though, as Cerritos continues to be the team to beat in the league. Joyce was hired about a month before school began last August and this is his first high school head coaching job.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Joyce. “I’ve coached baseball in some way, shape or form. I’ve assisted at different high schools, but I’ve been coaching baseball my whole adult life. I have kids, so I have a 17-year old who goes to Los Alamitos, and he’s playing right now. But I’m here and I love doing this. I’ve been wanting to coach high school baseball for a long time, but I was coaching my son and my daughter plays club soccer. The opportunity came up and I jumped at it and [school administrators] offered me the job on the spot and I couldn’t say no.”

Joyce is no stranger to the league or the area. He was a four-year varsity starter with Artesia and played a lot of games on Cerritos’ field, including Sunday adult league baseball for many years. The one thing Joyce had to do when he got the job was take some of the players out of their shells and convince them that they are better than they think.

The one thing that stands out immediately is the number of seniors. Cerritos will field 21 players on varsity with a dozen of them being 12th graders and 11 of the 21 are returners. The pitching staff is well-experienced, and Joyce has penciled in his top three in the rotation-seniors Johan Gibbs, junior Christian Wright and senior Nathaniel Corrigan. Senior Carter Chi goes from a starter to being the team’s closer in tight games. When he is not on the mound, Gibbs can cover a ton of ground in centerfield. Senior Noah Gapuz goes from the right side of the outfield to left field and junior Dalton Chi is one of the finest shortstops in the area.

“It’s a pretty tight group and everybody knows their role,” said Joyce. “We can hit a little bit; we can hit, and we have some really, really mature hitters. But I think our ability to throw strikes is going to serve us well all year.”

Joyce said the program has high expectations and he plans to keep that going. The Dons have not had a losing season since 2014 after going 16 straight seasons finishing under .500. Joyce’s top goal is winning a game in the playoffs win as the Dons have lost at least seven straight playoff contests. In fact, the last time Cerritos won a playoff game, it defeated Hart 4-1 in the 1989 4A Division championship game.

“I’ve really, really beefed up our non-league schedule,” said Joyce. “Counting with [this one], our next five games are Tustin, Newport Harbor, Laguna Beach, St. John Bosco and Millikan. This is a challenging stretch for us. Point being, in the non-league games, that’s where they’re going to earn our stripes; to get us through that different stretch in league, which cannot be as challenging. I want to challenge them early, and then challenge them with a couple of games late. We play San Marino, another Division 4 team.”


23-7-1 overall last season, 9-3 in the Gateway League, second place, lost to Calabasas High 3-1 in the Division 2 quarterfinal playoffs.

Head coach: Gerardo Perez (20th season, 347-200-4)

Team’s record previous five seasons: 67-60-2

Last time missed the playoffs: 1998

Division 1

Key losses: Jaden Alba, Noah Andrunas, Victor Morales, Kyle Panganiban, Alahni Salcedo

Projected lineup:

P-Andrew “AJ” Gonzalez (SR)/Bryce Morrison (SO)/Jake Ourique (SO)/Matthew Sandoval (JR)

C-Jose Perez (SR)/Oscar Grijalva (SO)


2B-Gonzalez/Julian Lucero (SO)

3B-Andres Gonzalez (SO)/Perez

SS-Jake Curneen (JR)/Andres Gonzalez

LF-Mike Lee (SR)Jose Jojo Eljaik (SO)

CF-Curneen/Adrien Ramirez (JR)/Eljaik

RF-Aiden Baysa (JR)/Eljaik

Gahr had a bounce back season in 2023, winning over 20 games for the first time since 2018 and the sixth time since 2013. The Gladiators also advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2018 and the 10th time since 1999. All that came after the Gladiators won 12 of 29 games in 2022 and got ousted in the playoffs in the first round. Because of the success of last season, Gahr moves up to Division 1 where every playoff game will seem like a championship game.

“Last year was a success for so many different reasons,” said longtime head coach Gerardo Perez. “I wasn’t even thinking of comparing the two seasons because every season is unique to itself. Every year is different; every year you have a different group of seniors. Last year was a very successful year against really good teams and competition, which we always face.

“Last year was really rewarding because some of those kids had been with me for four years,” he continued. “It was really good for those guys to see it all come together before they moved on to greener pastures as they say.”

The area of concern for Perez and his team comes from the pitching department where the Gladiators graduated their top hurlers. But the 20-year veteran head coach says he feels very confident with the young group he has this season. Sophomore Jake Ourique is tabbed as the number one starter followed by senior Andrew “AJ” Gonzalez, who will get more time on the mound. Sophomore and University of Southern California commit Bryce Morrison is another top pitcher.

“It’s just going to take a little bit, but I feel confident with the arms that we have,” said Perez.

The Gateway League figures to be just as competitive as it was last season, and all signs point towards the last week of the regular season when Gahr hosts two of three games with La Mirada with the potential league title at stake. Last season, the Matadores took the first two in one-run fashion to clinch first place before Gahr won the third game, 8-1, with nothing at stake as the Gladiators had already wrapped up second place. Gahr will face Norwalk High for the first time as a league opponent as the Lancers moved over from the Mid-Cities League.

“I like this team; I think we have an opportunity to go as far as our pitching is going to go,” said Perez. “I think [the games with La Mirada] are going to be close. I think it’s going to be a play here, a play there. It will be competitive. We’ll just see where we’re at.


5-12 overall last season, 1-7 in the 605 League, tied for fourth place

Head coach: Juan Loza (first season)

Team’s record previous five seasons: 20-52-1

Last time made the playoffs: 2019

Division 8

Key losses: Joseph Chavez, Robert Iniguez, Andres Martinez, Alex Renteria, Gabriel Salcido

Projected lineup:

P-Benjamin Iniquez (SR)/Angel Aguilar (JR)/Brandon Rivera (JR)/Evan Perez (SO)

C-Raymond Acosta (JR)

1B-Lake Mason (SR)

2B-Jonah Mason (SO)






After four disappointing seasons since its last playoff appearance, John Glenn High turns to Juan Loza as its new head coach. Already, the Eagles are 3-3 with the last two wins coming in the form of shutouts. Seniors Benjamin Iniguez and Ivan Vera plus juniors Angel Aguilar and Brandon Rivera are the top pitchers while junior Raymond Acosta is an experienced catcher. Sophomore Jonah Mason was leading the team with a .429 average and six hits while Iniguez had driven in six through the first six games.


22-8 overall last season, 11-1 in the Gateway League, first place, lost to Santa Margarita High 9-4 in the Division 1 quarterfinal playoffs.

Head coach: Jimmy Zurn (10th season, 185-69-1)  

Team’s record previous five seasons: 95-36-1

Division 1

Key losses: Alejandro Diaz, Aidan Haller, Pablo Hidalgo, Eric Jeon, Benjamin Kim, Jonah Rowenhorst, Jeremiah Sotelo

Projected lineup:

P-Walker Calvo (SR)/Carson Flores (SR)/Donald Murray (JR)/Jacob Oropeza (SO)/Luke Armijo (FR)/Carson Calvo (FR)

C-Jacob Celiz (JR)/Justin Torres (SO)

1B-Kevin Jeon (JR)/Oropeza/Armijo                                 

2B-Calvo/Michael Burgueno (FR)

3B-Maverek Russell (JR)

SS-Aiden Aguayo (JR)/Calvo

LF-Noah Rodriguez (SO)/Jakob Ortega (SR)

CF-Travis Friend (JR)/Ortega

RF-Tyler Primanto (SR)/Jeon

It was status quo for La Mirada once again as the Matadores won their seventh consecutive league title last season, then came up short against Santa Margarita High in the Division 1 quarterfinals. In six of those seven seasons, La Mirada won at least 20 games and this season’s team is primed for another banner season, one that head coach Jimmy Zurn hopes to end farther in the postseason.

“If you go back and look at last year, we played a very good Ayala team in the first round [and] won by one run,” said Zurn. “We played a Torrance team in the second round that was a league champ; they only had two losses on the year. Obviously, playing Santa Margarita in the quarters, which was the number one seed, we were up 4-1 with six outs to go. We were six outs away from the semis and tip of the cap to them; we didn’t have enough gas in the tank.”

Zurn returns more than enough experience from last season’s team to make another deep run in the playoffs where every game has that championship game atmosphere. The pitching staff might be deeper than last season, starting with senior Walker Calvo, who committed to United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. and will be the team’s top ace on the mound. Behind him in the rotation is scheduled to be sophomore Jacob Oropeza with senior Carson Flores, junior Donald Murray and freshman left-hander Luke Armijo, a transfer from Mater Dei High who throws around 89-90 miles per hour also in the mix to get a lot on innings. Zurn says that Oropeza, whose velocity has gone up, has improved the most of the pitchers during the offseason. He saw action against Santa Margarita as a freshman and has seen just about every big program in the fall and winter.

“We’re expecting big things from him,” he continued. “As a sophomore, colleges can’t talk to him until he’s a junior. But he’s going to be one that’s going to be committed pretty quick once colleges can talk to him.”

Junior Jacob Celiz and sophomore Justin Torres can be considered as No. 1’s behind the plate instead of 1 and 1A and matchups along with who is riding the hotter bat will dictate which one will start what game. Zurn said a good way to put that situation behind the plate is simply they are identical right now.

The left side of the infield just got better as junior Maverek Russell moves from first base to third base, replacing Eric Jeon who is displaying his talents at Columbia University as a shortstop. He will be positioning himself to the right of junior shortstop Aiden Aguayo.

“Obviously, Maverek’s as talented and athletic as can be, but it’s good for him from a long term standpoint of being able to play multiple positions,” said Zurn. “He was probably the most athletic first baseman you’re going to find last year. He’s only going to continue to get better.”

Freshman Carson Calvo, who is ranked fourth nationally by Perfect Game for 2027 graduates, is the leadoff hitter and will occupy second base. He can also close some games on the mound.

Of the 27 players on the roster, eight are seniors, meaning the juniors and sophomores this season will get an abundance of experience which will make the Matadores that much better for 2025. The schedule is once again another tough one as La Mirada has already participated in the Prep Baseball Report Tournament and Stony Brook, state finalist out of New York. The Matadores are scheduled to play Missouri-based Nixa High, another state finalist, compete once again in the Boras Classic, Ayala High, Corona High, Maranatha High and West Torrance High to name a few. That’s not including another brutal Gateway League schedule.

“At La Mirada, we want to play the very best to get us ready for the playoffs,” said Zurn. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned over my time, your record is great, but it doesn’t matter unless you win in league and you’re trying to make a run in the playoffs. I would rather take tough losses and that kind of stuff early in the season playing high caliber teams than putting a schedule together where we’re beating up on teams. That doesn’t get us better.”


23-5 overall last season, 15-0 in the Mid-Cities League, first place, lost to Hesperia Christian High 8-3 in the Division 6 quarterfinal playoffs.

Head coach: William Wenrick (10th season, 82-104)

Team’s record previous five seasons: 50-47

Last time missed the playoffs: 2021

Division 5

Key losses: Caden Barnhill, Gabriel Cancino, Kevin Carrillo, Michael Casteneda, Rudy Gonzalez, Jonathan Guzman, Ricardo Guzman, Randy Martinez, Steven Martinez, Kaleb Nakano

Projected lineup:

P-Francisco Rodriguez (SR)/Cesar Urueta (JR)/Ruben Ramirez (SR)/Luis Salazar (SR)/Hector Alvarado (JR)

C-Brian Marroquin (SR)/Israel Molina (JR)

1B-Joseph Davis (SR)/Drake Davis (SR)

2B-Juan Bustamante (SR)/Ruben Ramirez (SR)

3B-Urueta/Omar Hernandez (SR)/Alvarado

SS-Rodriguez/Aaron Aguilar (SR)


CF-Angel Martinez (JR)/Molina


It was a season to remember for Norwalk last season when the Lancers won 23 games, carved through the Mid-Cities League and advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1999. But having nearly the same success this season will be easier said than done. The Lancers lost 10 seniors, return five and move to the Gateway League where they are predicted to finish in last place. Still, head coach William Wenrick has the program heading in the right direction.

“It was just unbelievable,” he said of last season. “It’s the first time in school history I think we went undefeated [in league] and we had not won league in 18 years or something like that. Just the group that I had…I had two players that made varsity as a freshman and the other eight that really contributed that I had for three years. It was just a good time.”

So, what does Wenrick do as an encore with just the four returning seniors and lone returning junior? For starters, most of the 10 seniors on this season’s team have played the last three at the junior varsity level. He says it’s almost like a rebuilding year even with the roster he has assembled.

“With the makeup of my team, because I have seniors, you can’t really say it’s a rebuilding year because I have so many seniors,” said Wenrick. “I wouldn’t call it rebuilding; I would call it more like trying to maintain.”

Norwalk won’t have the pitching as it did last year, meaning it doesn’t have a hurler who can go six or seven innings. What you’ll see this season is two or even three guys pitch each game. Senior Francisco Rodriguez and junior Cesar Urueta will be the top two pitchers with senior Luis Salazar the third guy in the rotation.

Early in the season, the varsity newcomers were impressing Wenrick more than the returning players, however Rodriguez, who has moved from the outfield to pick up the shortstop position ‘really well’, according to the nine-year head coach, has been the most consistent.

By moving to the Gateway League, the Lancers will be reunited with La Mirada, which has won 19 straight over Norwalk, and Warren High, who they have not faced since 2016. Last season, Warren came in third place at 5-7 and getting that same mark in league is asking too much with a team that is inexperienced at the varsity level.

“I guess you could say it’s kind of a nice reward knowing that hey, we’re the champions [of the Mid-Cities League] and we get to move up and play where we want to be with good competition,” said Wenrick. “Then on the other hand, the areas that they draw from and the areas I draw from; the population count that they have and the quality of players that they get…it’s going to be really tough. Winning preseason games is crucial. We just have to work somehow to win in the Gateway.”


10-12 overall last season, 6-6 in the Olympic League, tied for third place

Head coach: Tim Blume (second season, 10-12)

Team’s record previous five seasons: 55-43

Last time made the playoffs: 2021

Division 6

Key losses: Jaidon Carter, Shawn Del Ray, Kenny Hoogerheide, Nolan Lynott, Evan Sawai, Jacob Smith, Quinn Unfried

Projected lineup:

P-Kai Delahanty (SR)/Luke Garcia (SR)/Riley Jones (JR)/Lucas Witt (SO)/Max Douglas (SO)/Joshua Hulse (SO)

C-Gavin Murphy (SR)/R.J. Estrada (SO)

1B-Seth Dahlenburg (JR)/Witt/Tyler Hayes (SR)

2B-Nico Villafana (SO)/Estrada


SS-Ethan Mertz (JR)

LF-Douglas/Ryan Caracoza (SR)/Micah Tamminga (JR)

CF-Austin Abrahams (JR)

RF-Weston Lynott (JR)/Caracoza/Tamminga

It wasn’t the first season Tim Blume was looking for when he replaced Matt Dahlenburg and became Valley Christian High’s sixth head coach since 2012 and 11th in the past 26 seasons. The Defenders tied Village Christian High and Whittier Christian High for third place and lost to the Heralds 7-2 in a tiebreaker contest to see who would go to the playoffs as the Olympic League’s third place representative. V.C. had previously defeated Whittier Christian twice in three games. The 10 losses were the fewest for the Defenders in a complete season since going 7-19 in 2010.

“It was tough; we didn’t have a fall [season],” said Blume. “I came in in November and we had to get going. We had to get the wheels turning pretty quickly and at the end of the day, we didn’t have a lot of pitching depth, at least enough to get us through the tail end of games. that was kind of what we ran into.”

However, the 2024 season is night and day compared to last season. With a full fall season, the Defenders have started off well, splitting their first eight games, including a four-game winning streak. Even though Valley Christian lost its Olympic League opener to Maranatha High, the favorite to finish on top again, last season’s 6-6 league mark was just the fifth time since 2011 the Defenders have had at least six league wins.

“It is tough,” said Blume of the league. “There are some schools that have an incredible amount of talent depth, in particular Maranatha, who we saw the other night on their field. We faced a guy throwing 93 [miles per hour]. They have a giant roster; they’re loaded with talent and they’re the Goliath and [the rest of the league] are David’s.”

The pitching staff should be okay as junior Riley Jones is tabbed as the number one starter while sophomore Lucas Witt is on limited pitching as Blume doesn’t want him to throw more than 50 pitches in any game. However, his bat is ‘pretty vital in our lineup’ according to Blume. He is also the starting third baseman. Seniors Kai Delahanty and Luke Garcia figure to get a lot of starts behind Jones. Junior shortstop Ethan Mertz is a transfer from Servite High and Blume will have him batting within the top three spots.

“At the end of the day, we’re a pretty young team,” said Blume. “I believe there are seven seniors and I like our sophomore and junior group quite a bit. I think their future is pretty bright and I’m excited to see them as we get to mid-league.

“I do believe this is a playoff-caliber team and I think they have the capabilities of going far once they start to sniff the playoffs,” he later said. “I really do. There’s a lot of fight in the team. More fight than last year and a lot more love.”


4-1 in 2020 (last time the school had a program)

Head coach: Daniel Morales (first season)

Team’s record previous five seasons (2015-2020): 27-48

Last time made the playoffs: 1984

P-Sohan Govan (JR)/Aaron Victoria (JR)/Ryan Kim (JR)/Kavi Stris (FR)

C-Victoria/Nathan Kim (FR)

1B-Andrew Chavez (SR)/Sarthak Bathla (SO)

2B-Jacob Nunag (FR)/Nathan Kim

3B-Govan/Aahan Nellutla (FR)

SS-Ryan Kim/Nuang

LF-Cameron Raufdeen (FR)


RF-Nellutla/Nunag/Nathan Kim

The last time Whitney played a baseball team, it defeated Calvary Chapel Downey High 14-7 on Mar. 9, 2020. There were 11 players on the team, seven of whom were seniors, and the Wildcats were primed to finish in the top three of the 605 League. Then came the pandemic and the school has been unable to launch the program until now. Whitney also did not have a team in 2016 and has one winning season in at least 26 seasons. That came in 2017 when the Wildcats went 10-9 overall and 3-9 in the old Academy League.

Daniel Morales, who is the president of the Frontier Youth Baseball League, said he was given the green light on Jan. 10 to bring baseball back to Whitney. This is the first time Morales has coached at the varsity level. He previously was a freshman and junior varsity coach at Gahr for two seasons.

“The opportunity came up in late December of the possibility of having a team,” said Morales. “The [ABC Unified] school district was talking about it, as was the high school. The problem is there are not enough players at Whitney that are interested in playing baseball. So, the staff decided to go ahead and give it a go with [13] players.”

Morales added that he knows the job comes with no pressure, which helped sway him to take the position and start up the program. He has told the players that the expectation to win is not going to be this season, and about half the team has never played baseball before. The Wildcats will have six freshmen, four juniors, two sophomores and one senior.

“We’re starting from scratch, teaching them the rules; teaching them why this can happen and why that can’t happen,” he said. “Just explaining them the game, so the expectation of having new players win at the varsity level is not really there this year. It’s more about development and getting them ready for next season.”

One area of experience is in the pitching department as Morales has coached juniors Sohan Govan and Aaron Victoria in travel ball. Morales said Victoria is the better of the two, but because he is also the starting catcher, Govan is tabbed as the number one guy on the bump.