On Tuesday, the boys’ varsity baseball team traveled to Santa Maria High School with the opportunity to advance to the third round of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division VI Playoffs, a feat that had yet to be achieved in the short history of the program. However, the Dragons’ playoff quest was cut short after a closely contested game, resulting in a 4-2 loss against the Saints.
Despite the loss, the Dragons were one of the best teams in Division VI over the past month. Along with winning the Frontier League title, they rode an eight-game win streak into Tuesday’s game. The contest against the Saints was their first loss since April 18, when they fell to Cate High School in a road game.
Foothill’s starting catcher Trey Casswell ‘18 put aside the season-ending loss and noted how far the team had come since the start of the season.
“We all improved so much this year and even came closer as a team,” Casswell said. “I would say [that] today’s game, despite the loss, showed our progress as a team both physically and mentally.”
The makeup of next year’s squad will be notably different, as Dale Starr ‘17, Ryan Tamburri ‘17, Dylan Tamburri ‘17, Winfield White ‘17, and Zach Castro ‘17 are all set to graduate in the coming weeks. Despite this, Casswell is still “very optimistic” when considering Foothill’s chances in 2018.
“I’d say the only place where we will have some trouble next year is pitching,” he acknowledged. “[But] if we can lock that down, then we will be even better…I believe we have a huge chance of being league champions next year and going farther in CIF than we went this year.”
Head coach Clint Ellison feels similarly and believes that the Dragons have more than a fighting chance to compete.
“I am optimistic about next year [and] although we are losing some very key starters, we do have quite a few impressive young returners,” Ellison said. “It will be a tough battle with Bishop Diego for the league championship, but I think we are up for the challenge.”