May 25, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

HONORING SEGERSTROM: Baseball team was expected to battle for league title

Segerstrom’s baseball team gathered for a team photo earlier this season. (Photo courtesy Segerstrom baseball)

Segerstrom baseball coach Erasmo Ramirez said Monday that when it is deemed safe for all he hopes to honor his players, especially his seniors for their accomplishments in the 2020 season which ended early.

“To everyone in our program, once we get past this thing, we will find a way to get together and honor our players, especially our 11 seniors,” Ramirez said in an Email to OC Sports Zone. “We all look forward to this.”

Segerstrom finished 6-5 and had won three of its first four Golden West League games and was expected to battle for the league title.

Ramirez wanted to honor his baseball team in a letter to his players, which he shared with OC Sports Zone:

“Every fall we start a journey towards the spring. We begin our strength and conditioning program, we get re-acquainted with the fundamentals out on the baseball field, and we continue competing against other schools with our off-season games. But most importantly, we begin, or continue, to build relationships. 

“These relationships are what fuel our baseball program. Getting to know these young men during their time at Segerstrom is what we, as coaches, set out to do. They come in as wide-eyed freshmen, trying hard to impress both coaches and the older guys. Once this first year is behind them, as returning players, they’ve become familiar with what is expected, both on campus and within our program. They walk around campus with their heads held a little higher, the confidence that comes with, not only being a Segerstrom student-athlete, but a part of the Segerstrom baseball program. They continue to work hard, pushing themselves to succeed in order to grab hold of a varsity roster spot. We get to know each young man, each an individual who may require a different method of motivation. Sometimes, it’s ‘tough love’ that is required. Whatever is needed to get a kid to succeed, on and off the field. 

“The bond we all create in getting to know one another and these relationships are what matters most. We are all heartbroken that our season was cut short. Our freshmen and JV teams were off to good starts. Coaches Russ DeMent, Dave Madrid, Aaron Mendez, and Ruben Ortiz…I thank you. You guys are very important pieces of our program, playing a vital role in the development of our players. Our varsity team was playing solid baseball, highlighted by an emotional, high-intensity win on a walk-off bomb. The mindset of this year’s team was strengthening, the confidence increasing, and the goal of hanging another league championship banner was gaining steam. A lot of baseball remained to be played, but this team had what was needed. Coaches Nick Madrid, Elias Landeros, and George Jimenez…we put in a lot of time together, countless conversations about our players and opponents, the goal always to find ways for Segerstrom Baseball to continue forward. Thank you guys.

“Our seniors, we’re so sorry. This wasn’t the way we wanted our season to end. You’ve put in a lot of time and effort into our program. Please know that this has not gone unnoticed. We appreciate this, we value it tremendously, and we will never forget the contributions you made. You guys deserved more. More time out on the baseball field, more time spending with each other, more time bonding.

ANDREW BARAJAS … Without a doubt, one of the best hitters we’ve ever had in our program. Some serious pop in that bat. You came in as a freshman, showed maturity beyond your age, and an ability to play at the varsity level immediately. Not many people can say they were a four-year varsity starter at a program like our’s. I’m proud of you Andrew.

“ANDREW SALCIDO … There’s a lot to be said about a kid who comes out to the field everyday, puts in a lot of work, has a good attitude, and sets a good example for everyone else. I really hope that others saw this and were motivated on how to do things the right way with the right mindset. Andrew, thank you for being the kid you are.

ANTHONY PATIÑO...A perfect example of not giving up. You’ve been waiting for the opportunity to start behind the plate for a while. For a while, you may have not been happy with your role on the team. But you kept working hard, showed the right attitude, said the right things, became a leader, and you took advantage of an opportunity. Your name ended up being in the lineup consistently, pretty much shutting down the running game for the opposition. It was a lot of fun seeing it. Thank you.

DAVID SAUCEDO...One of the kids who I’m going to miss the most. It’s always refreshing to have a kid who comes out to the field day in and day out, asks questions on how to get better, and puts the team first. Not everyone gets the role they want, but the sight of you consistently going out to the cages after practice to get better is something I’ll never forget. I’ll always be grateful that you were a part of our program.

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ…Llallo, it didn’t matter that you were a bit undersized, you ended up being one of the best defensive infielders we’ve ever had. You don’t say much, but you led by example, you endeared yourself to everyone on the team, being a good teammate and friend to everyone. We’ll miss you Llallo.

ELIJAH VILLASEÑOR...One of the best attitudes on the team. You always came to practice with a smile on your face, ready to set up the field as quickly as possible, ready to work, and always had a positive attitude, no matter the role you had. Successful programs can’t succeed without young men like yourself Elijah. Thank you.

ISIDRO PEREZ...One of the most responsible kids we’ve had. You may have not been able to dedicate as much time on the game as you would’ve liked to, but your determination and work ethic to work and help your family out is very honorable. You were a part of our program because of this and how you always pushed everyone in the weight room. You’re a strong young man, both physically and mentally. Thank you Chilo.

IVAN BAILON…I’m very glad that you decided to come back out to us. You were determined to make the team again, came out to tryouts as a senior, were told that your role may be minimal, and you had a great attitude about all of this. It says a lot about you Ivan. You spent time away from the game, returned to it, and wanted to be a part of something bigger than yourself, a part of the school’s varsity baseball team, no matter what the role was.

KRISTIAN LANDEROS-SOSA...I knew you could run, but I had no idea that you would become the hitter you are and you could run down pretty much everything hit to the outfield. Another four-year varsity starter, at the top of our lineup, and a terror on the bases. We’ll miss the caliber of player you are Kristian. Thank you for the great four years out on the varsity field.

NICK OCHOA...You’re the best pure baseball player we’ve ever had Nick. It’s easy to see that you were taught how to play the game the right way. Very fundamentally sound at multiple positions, not an easy thing to do. I’m very proud to say that I had the  opportunity to be your coach. And that walk-off home run you hit earlier this year…you gave us one of the more memorable moments in our program’s history. Thank you Nick.

SABAS DIAZ...I saw you mature before my very eyes into a young man who wanted to be a leader on this team. You became a starter, but most importantly to us, you became the leader we thought you could become. You asked questions, wanted success for yourself and the team, and never gave up, even when you weren’t experiencing success. Not giving up, this is why you remained in the lineup. I’ve known you for a while Sabas, and you will be missed kid.

“Andrew Barajas, Andrew Salcido, Anthony Patiño, David Saucedo, Eduardo Rodriguez, Elijah Villaseñor, Isidro Perez, Ivan Bailon, Kristian Landeros-Sosa, Nick Ochoa, and Sabas Diaz…we love you and you will always hold a special place in our program.”

If you took pictures before the season, we would like to share team pictures of spring teams with our readers. These can be pictures of seniors or the entire team and we will run these throughout the coming months to salute the dedicated athletes of Orange County who have had their seasons cut short. Please email pictures, names of the players and some highlights to timburt@ocsportszone.com so we can share with our readers. Horizontal pictures similar in size to the one above work best. Please do not take pictures now for us.