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Teams deal with change

Two new coaches take over and one team opts out of league for this season.

March 06, 2012|BY JEFF TULLY,

There have been big changes with three of the four local baseball teams this season.

Burroughs will try and get its program back on track with a new coach. The Indians are hoping to put a 2011 season in which its year was ended because of an underage drinking scandal behind them.

Bell-Jeff also has a new skipper after longtime coach Hector Perez was laid off at the school after leading the Guards to a stint of nine consecutive CIF Southern Section playoff appearances, the longest streak in the city.


After a disappointing and winless season in 2011, Providence has decided to opt out of the Liberty League until the program gets back on its feat.

Burbank is the lone squad that has remained constant. The Bulldogs will be trying to get back to the postseason after missing the playoffs by one game a year ago.

Here is a closer look at the teams.


The Guards (11-9) were the only area group to make it to the playoffs last season. Although the numbers have been down in the program, new Coach Kiko Garcia is hoping a core of returning players will lead the way this season.

"The kids have been pretty receptive to what I've been doing and I've come in and tried to change as little as possible," he said. "We've had six guys out at our practices at times. But before the season, we technically had 12 players on the team."

The core that Garcia hopes will led the squad are senior shortstop-catcher Matt Landini, junior catcher-shortstop Mitch Kellogg, junior first baseman-third baseman Ryan Okiishi and senior third baseman Sam Kachikian.

Kellogg and Landini were both first-team all-league honorees last season. Kellogg had a .362 batting average (21 for 58), .449 on-base percentage, scored 18 times, collected 15 RBI and stole five bases. In addition, he caught 10 runners stealing from behind the plate. Landini posted a .355 batting average (22 for 62) and .406 on-base and .532 slugging percentage. He also scored 24 runs, drove in 14 and led the team on the mound with a 3.15 earned-run average.

"That will be our main group," Garcia said. "I also told the guys that everyone is going to be a pitcher this season, so they have to be ready."

Bell-Jeff placed second in the Santa Fe League last season.


Former Indians player and 2003 graduate Kiel Holmes takes over a program that has faced its share of struggles during the past year.

Burroughs fired coach Eddie Alvarez on Oct. 30 after spending less than five months heading the program.

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