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Lopez leads Calexico to postseason success

May 29, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer
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It was an up and down week for the Calexico High School baseball team last week.

On May 21, Calexico kicked off the CIF San Diego Section Division II playoffs with a 2-0 win over Mira Mesa High School in San Diego. On Thursday the Bulldogs fell 11-5 to Grossmont High in La Mesa, ending their season.

While all team members contributed, 18-year-old senior Juan Lopez may have had the biggest impact on both games.

Lopez got the start on the mound and pitched a gem against Mira Mesa, throwing a complete-game shutout, only allowing two hits and striking out three.

"I think I did pretty good that game, but it was the defense behind me that made the difference," said Lopez. "Going into that game we were pretty upset because we had to play on the road. We were league champs and we still had to play on the road. But before that game we all knew we had the talent to win it. We just had to play a good all-around game to get it and that's what we did."

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If the game against Mira Mesa was one of Calexico's better all-around games of the year, the contest against Grossmont may have been the opposite, at least for two innings. In two innings the Foothillers scored 10 runs, capitalizing on three Bulldog errors and forcing Calexico to play catch up.

Lopez, though, had two hits, scored a run and had two RBIs, leading a late Calexico rally.

"Errors killed us. That's what cost us that game. I didn't think they were better than us. I just think we made too many errors," said Lopez. "We just played bad for two innings. Other than those innings, I thought we played a pretty good game."

While the Bulldogs' postseason was shorter than what Lopez would have liked, he doesn't think that in any way takes away from what the team accomplished.

Calexico finished as Imperial Valley League champion with an 11-1 record and was 18-11 overall.

"I think the season went great. I was pretty disappointed with that loss in CIF, but I'm still happy with how the year went," Lopez said. "We would've liked to go undefeated in league, but at least we can still say that we are the champions."

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