Central Valley's varsity baseball team struggled to a 5-21-1 overall record and finished in last place in the Western Athletic Conference standings in 2017.
"We talk about last year a lot," Hawks head coach Derrick Goblirsch said. "We use that as motivation. That's something we don't want to be a part of again."
Will Central Valley experience a reversal of fortunes this season?
"If we play clean baseball, we'll have an opportunity to win games," Goblirsch said.
Alex Solis (sophomore shortstop/pitcher), Gabe Campos (senior centerfielder), Robert Garcia (senior first baseman/pitcher), Israel Anaya (senior second baseman/pitcher) and Joel Branco (senior catcher) returned to the team.
Solis earned second-team all-WAC honors at the varsity level as a sophomore.
Alex batted .324 from the plate with eight doubles, 10 RBIs, 15 runs and 15 stolen bases in 27 games.
He posted a 1-9 record with a 4.17 ERA and 53 strikeouts on the mound.
Just 25 of the 55 runs he allowed were earned.
"When we need someone to step up, he's usually the guy that gets us going," Goblirsch said. "He does a lot of things right."
Campos batted .293 with two triples, one double, seven RBIs, seven runs and two stolen bases.
Garcia batted .241 with four doubles, 10 RBIs and six runs.
Anaya batted .180 with five RBIs and five runs.
He compiled a 2-2 record with a 2.14 ERA, 20 strikeouts and one complete game at pitcher.
Branco batted .115 with two RBIs and five runs.
Central Valley's top newcomers are Sergio Solis (freshman pitcher/catcher/infielder), Ryan Palecek (junior first baseman/outfielder) and Andrew Nowaya (senior outfielder).
Sergio is the younger brother of Alex, a third-year varsity player.
"He's really similar to how Alex was as a freshman," Goblirsch said. "Their mental approach to the game is impressive. They're very knowledgeable. They've played at a high level for a long time."
Nowaya transferred from Ceres High.
Andrew had three RBIs, three runs and one stolen base with the Bulldogs.
"Experience is definitely one of our strengths," Goblirsch said.
The Hawks won just a total of five games and went 1-14 in WAC play a year ago.
"This isn't last year's team," Goblirsch said. "We got a lot of experience. We want to be competitive every game and get better as the season goes on."