Male Athlete of the Week: Julian Lopez

Posted at 11:11 AM, Jun 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-03 18:12:23-04
Chavez baseball coach Scott Neal is practically an expert on building from the ground up. "When we first started this program there was nothing out here," said Neal. "We had a chain link fence and little tiny dugouts you couldn't get through."

His first year as coach the team had just one win all season. But the winds of change have brought a winning culture to where today's team doesn't know anything else. 
"I mean that's (win) all we've done," said senior pitcher/shortstop Andrew Renteria. 
Last year the Titans won their first ever valley title and this year found themselves in another championship game. With a three run lead in the seventh inning coach Neal brought in junior Julian Lopez to get the save. "During games he's really got the spark where he wants to get after it," said coach Neal. "He wants to get that win."
Lopez, who moved to Delano from Mexico two years ago, admits to being nervous and uncomfortable in the moment. "All the people and everything that was going on in the environment," said Lopez. 
While he was nervous, his teammates never had a doubt. "No one can really touch his off speed," said Renteria. "If that's on we know we're going to have a really good chance at getting the win."
With the bases loaded that off speed pitch helped him get a huge strikeout and was enough to force the final out to set off the Titans' second celebration in as many years.
"For the school never winning a valley championship to winning two in a row, that's something that I can't even explain," said Lopez.

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