It was a bounce back year for the Loyola Baseball program, as the 2019 season saw the Cubs return to the CIF postseason under head coach Sean Buller and put four players on the All-Mission League teams. Earning First Team honors were Kevin Parada ’20 (C/1B) and Joey Phelps ’19 (RHP/SS), while Connor Roggero ’19 (CF) and Derek Yoo ’20 (RHP/RF) were both named to the All-Mission League Second Team. Parada also earned an invitation to the USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline Program this summer, where he will compete for a spot on the 2019 U18 World Baseball Championships roster for competition in Busan, South Korea later this fall (Aug. 30-Sept. 8).
Buller, joined by assistant coaches Mike Barnhill and Vince Fraga, helped lead the Cubs to a 17-12 overall record and a trip to the CIF-SS Division II Baseball playoffs. The Cubs earned a wildcard entry after finishing fourth in the competitive Mission League, bowing out to Oaks Christian on the road to complete the season.
Loyola put up two seven-game winning streaks (Feb. 9-Mar. 4; Mar. 29-Apr. 10) during the year, including wins in their first seven games to begin the 2019 campaign. The Cubs also took the Century Baseball Classic Championship back on Apr. 4 as Phelps fanned 13 batters to lead Loyola to the title.
Though the Cubs will lose 10 seniors next season (Phelps, Roggero, Jackson Savant, Colin Livingston, Jacob Calderon, Nate Priestley, Tommy Mix, Joseph Augustine, Tommy McMahon and Andrew Coles), 14 letter winners will return, including Parada and Yoo. Four from the Class of 2019 will go on to play collegiate baseball: Phelps (Tulane), Roggero and Augustine (NYU) and Savant (Lewis & Clark).
Congrats to all of our Cubs and coaches on a great season!