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SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. — JSerra High School hosted the annual Trinity League baseball and softball media day on Tuesday. JSerra baseball coach Brett Kay organized the event. Here's what we learned about all six Trinity League baseball teams.


2021 league finish: 5th


The Eagles went 17-13 a year ago and lost a 1-0 extra innings heartbreaker to Huntington Beach in the first round of the Division 1 Southern Section playoffs. Coming into this season, Santa Margarita has a lot of depth, especially on the mound and the Eagles think they can make a deeper playoff run.

"Our pitching staff cut their teeth last year in the Trinity League," head coach Chris Malec said. "We pretty much got all but one of those guys back from last year. They're a lot stronger. They worked really hard in the weight room. Their bodies have changed significantly."

Junior Jack Svinth (Stanford commit), junior Sammy Cova (Oregon commit), senior Matthew Porchas (Texas commit), senior Tanner Warady, and junior Collin Clarke will all pitch this season.

Santa Margarita was shutout at least once by four of the other five Trinity League teams last season. If the Eagles improve at the plate this spring, they'll emerge as a dark horse league title threat.


2021 league finish: T-3rd


This year's Servite team has high expectations for themselves. The Friars finished in a tie for third in the league last season and made the Division 1 playoffs. With a large group of returners, Servite expects to push for a better league finish and deeper playoff run this spring.

The starting pitching trio of senior Chris Grothues (UCLA commit), senior Mikiah Negrete (San Diego commit) and senior Xavier Cardenas (San Diego State commit) gives the Friars a chance to beat anyone on any given day. Grothues is recovering from an injury and should be back to full health in a few weeks.

Head coach Shawn Gilbert called senior infielder Augie Gutierrez "the best player no one knows about" and senior outfielder Jarrod Hocking, a UCLA commit, is an MLB Draft prospect.

The Friars should not be taken lightly.


2021 league finish: 1st


JSerra graduated a large number of seniors from last year's group that won the Trinity League title and Division 1 CIF State SoCal regional championship in 2021. Two of those seniors, Eric Silva and Gage Jump, were selected in last year's MLB Draft. Head coach Brett Kay called that team the best he's had in his 16 years at the school on Tuesday.

On paper it may look like a rebuilding year for the Lions, but this year's group has a shot to repeat as league champions despite their inexperience. Senior David Horn is the Lions top pitcher. He's committed to Vanderbilt. Senior utility pitcher Tristan Lamaison, a San Diego commit, is another key returner for the Lions. He's injured and will be back in March.

JSerra carries 29 players on its varsity roster and Kay expects most to play. "There will be more rotations [than last year]," he said. "I'm not going to sit back and watch like last season."

Expect multiple players who didn't get a ton of time on varsity last season to step up this season. Sophomore pitcher Matthew Champion, junior catcher and outfielder Brandon Chang and junior shortstop Lou Fujiwara are all candidates for breakout seasons. Fujiwara moved to Southern California from Japan and will bat third for the Lions this spring.


2021 league finish: 2nd


Just like last season was JSerra's year on paper, this season looks like the year of Orange Lutheran in the Trinity League. The Lancers are loaded and nationally ranked in multiple publications.

Senior Louis Rodriguez, a TCU commit, is arguably the top arm in the state. Catcher Karson Bowen is another TCU commit and senior shortstop Mikey Romero is committed to LSU. Those three represented Orange Lutheran at media day, but there is plenty more talent on this season's Lancer squad.

Junior third baseman Casey Borba, son of head coach Eric Borba, is committed to Texas. Senior pitcher Oliver Santos is committed to Duke. Senior first baseman Gabe Miranda is the team's third TCU commit. Senior outfielder Bryan Martinez is committed to Long Beach State and Borba says he's primed for a breakout year.

Other names to know include sophomore pitchers Brady Strohm and Ross Clark -- they're two prospects Borba is excited about.


2021 league finish: T-3rd


The Monarchs missed the playoffs a year ago and are hopeful ace pitcher and Cal commit Jack Kirrer can lead them back. Another impact player for Mater Dei is senior shortstop Cade O'Hara. He's committed to Texas Tech and made only one error last year. Senior pitcher and third baseman Ethan Hedges will start games on the mound in addition to batting in the middle of the order for the Monarchs. Hedges is committed to USC and is a 2022 MLB Draft prospect.

Mater Dei clearly has the top end talent, but depth is a concern. There's still a competition occurring to determine the team's third starting pitcher.


2021 league finish: 6th


The Braves took their lumps last year going 1-14 in the Trinity League, but don't expect another season of that nature for St. John Bosco. Head coach Don Barbara has 22 players with varsity experience on the roster this year compared to only having two heading into last season. Senior San Jose State commit Dylan Lina provides the Braves with power in the middle of their order and seniors Julian Orozco and Jace Paderez will headline St. John Bosco's pitching staff.

Barbara put his team through a Navy seal workout in the offseason to build team chemistry. The Braves slept in the gym and then went to the beach at 4:45 am to train in the water. Barbara says this year's team reminds him of his 2017 group that went 28-7 and made the Division 2 Southern Section semifinals.