If you just saw the stats of Wasco senior Lalo Barraza you'd instantly think ace. He's posted a league best eight wins and an ERA under 1.20. But "For his size you wouldn't think that he throws that hard," said fifth year head coach Jeffrey Wedel.
Standing at 5'8, Lalo's heard it all before. "I've faced teams where they've made fun of me and it kind of just boost me up like 'you're not going to beat me I'm gonna give it my all," Barraza said. While his stuff is no joke, for the first time in more than 20 years, the same can be said for the Tigers.
"The biggest thing was getting the boys to learn how to play the game the right way," Wedel said. This year the Tigers have started the year with a 22-2 record and a perfect 9-0 in league play.
"We've had more scouts come to the park this year than we've ever had," said Wedel. While scouts have loved Lalo's stuff on the mound, his stuff at the plate has been just as good. Batting .460, what he calls just "alright", the senior says it wasn't always like this. "I was a red light guy. You start getting frustrated in situations you have to kind of hide the emotions."
After struggling with the mental side of the game, a call from a coach at Monterrey Bay changed his next four years. "They told me 'We'll give you the opportunity to come play with us.' That relieved a lot of stress, have fun a little bit more and go out there and compete the way i can."
So if he was seeing red lights before now..."Nothing but green lights," he said.
Wasco plays at Taft (6-17-1, SSL 1-7-1) Friday at 6:00 PM where the Tigers can clinch their first league title since 1993.
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