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CCC coaches recognize CV talent
Chris Garcia starred at pitcher
Chris Garcia starred at pitcher on Central Valley’s baseball team as a freshman. He had a 1.35 earned-run average with 83 strikeouts and just 15 walks. - photo by DALE BUTLER/ Courier file photo

Gabrial Lopez, Chris Garcia and Alan Lopez filled key roles as Central Valley High School’s baseball program finished fourth overall in the ultra-competitive Central California Conference with a 6-6 record.

Garcia, Gabrial Lopez and Alan Lopez were recognized during the CCC’s season-ending head coaches’ meeting.

“It’s well-deserved,” Hawks’ leader Derrick Goblirsch said. 

Gabrial Lopez earned first-team, all-league honors for his outstanding player at pitcher.

He compiled a 7-5 record on the year with a 2.42 ERA, 112 strikeouts, 34 walks,  one no-hitter, one shutout and two complete games.

“Gabrial had a great year for us,” Goblirsch said. “He played a big part in our success. He won four of our six games in league.”

Gabrial Lopez competed at the varsity level for four seasons.

“Pitching-wise, Gabrial is the best I’ve seen come through Central Valley,” Goblirsch said. “His work ethic and learning how to pitch were the keys to his success. He was also his own biggest critic.”

“He was really locked in these last two years,” he added. “He had a different mentality. Credit to him for staying locked in. We always believed we had a chance to win whenever he was on the mound.”

Garcia, a 6-foot-3 freshman southpaw pitcher, was an honorable-mention selection.

“I thought Chris was second-team worthy,” Goblirsch said. “It’s unfortunate he didn’t get it. He had a really low ERA. But our league was really tough because there were so many good pitchers.”

Garcia posted a 5-5 record this spring with a 1.35 ERA, 83 strikeouts, 15 walks, two complete games and one save.

“We knew he was going to be good,” Goblirsch said. “But he exceeded our expectations. He was very confident on the mound. He wasn’t scared. His ability to throw all of his pitches for strikes was a huge reason behind his success. For as well as he pitched for us, he can still get better.”

Senior Alan Lopez was named to the CCC Sportsmanship Team.

A transfer from Pitman High School, Lopez logged playing time at designated hitter, third base and first base.

Lopez collected one double, nine singles, six RBIs, one run and eight walks in 48 at-bats.

“He was a savvy baseball player,” Goblirsch said. “He was always positive. He was the glue that held our team together. He was always a great teammate. He picked guys up. He was respectful to other teams.”

Gabrial Lopez compiled
Gabrial Lopez compiled a 7-5 record with a 2.42 ERA and 112 strikeouts during his final season with Central Valley’s baseball team. - photo by DALE BUTLER/ Courier file photo