YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollectionsIvl

Cochran leads Tigers to fifth at Desert Classic

March 13, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

For two years Imperial High School's Brett Cochran may have put in more work at perfecting his baseball skills than any other high school player in the Imperial Valley.

Cochran has put time in summer and winter baseball leagues, played on travel squads, racked up more than 100 games played and helped turn Imperial into one of the premier baseball teams in the Valley.

The 17-year-old senior again demonstrated his all-around ability at last week's Desert Classic tournament in Palm Desert, leading the Tigers to a fifth-place finish.

In Imperial's opener Wednesday, Cochran pitched a complete game, striking out 11 and allowing only three hits. He finished 1-for-3 from the plate.


Cochran's biggest performance came in the fifth-place game against Brawley Union High. In a bit of a preview of the Imperial Valley League, Cochran went 3-for-4, scored two runs and had a stolen base. His biggest hit came in the first inning as he jacked a solo home run in a 7-6 win over Brawley, the IVL's defending champion.

"That game was really big. Everybody on the team was really pumped up for that game," said Cochran, named to the all-tournament team. "We all wanted to show that we can hang with them and prove that we do belong in the IVL."

While beating the Wildcats was a big accomplishment, the thing that stood out for Cochran and his teammates was how Imperial fared in the 16-team tournament.

"Realistically going into it, I expected us to go 2-2 because we were the smallest team and the only Division IV team there," said Cochran. "So to do as well as we did was a big boost for us. I think playing against tough competition like that will definitely help us in league."

For the Tigers to make a run at the IVL title they will rely heavily on Cochran. During winter league he finished with a .425 batting average against stiff competition from the San Diego area. This season he's batting .333. He was recently named as one of the top 25 baseball prospects in the San Diego area.

"Brett is a big part of this team and is one of the leaders. He's not a very talkative guy. He just leads by example," said Tiger coach William Estes. "I think the reason he is as good as he is, is due to the time and effort he puts in. That's the reason he's a good all-around player. And that's the reason why he's one of the top players in the Valley."

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles