Gabrial Lopez joined rare company on May 4 while leading Central Valley High School’s baseball team to a 1-0 home win over El Capitan in Western Athletic Conference play.
The junior became just the second pitcher in program history to toss a no-hitter, matching Ruben Casas’ feat. Casas totaled 13 strikeouts in a 4-0 victory against Modesto High in March of 2013.
“It was bound to happen the way he’s been pitching this year,” Hawks’ head coach Derrick Goblirsch said. “He hasn’t been hit a lot. He’s been racking up strikeouts. I’m super happy for him. Baseball is his life. The hard work he’s put in is finally paying off.”
“Personally, I think it’s the best accomplishment I’ve had at CV so far. It definitely wasn’t a one-man show. I wouldn’t have done it without help from my teammates.”Gabrial Lopez
“Personally, I think it’s the best accomplishment I’ve had at CV so far,” Lopez added. “It definitely wasn’t a one-man show. I wouldn’t have done it without help from my teammates.”
It was redemption for Lopez, who yielded five runs in the first inning of Central Valley’s 11-0 loss to El Capitan in 2018.
“They killed my confidence freshman year,” Lopez said. “They humbled me.”
Lopez had 12 strikeouts versus the Gauchos this past week.
He threw strikes with 81 percent of his pitches.
“He was able to go deeper into the game with a lower pitch count,” Goblirsch said. “His efficiency was way up.”
Angel Vega and Ryan Estermann provided the run against El Capitan.
Vega tripled and scored on Estermann’s sacrifice fly to left field in the third inning.
Lopez improved his pitching record to 4-0 with 49 strikeouts in 26 innings of work.
He took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and totaled 15 strikeouts as Central Valley topped Los Banos 5-1 during his second start of the season.
He fanned 13 batters in a 6-1 victory over Patterson.
“He’s so much stronger and in better shape now,” Goblirsch said. “He understands the game more. With the way he’s been pitching, you never know what’s going to happen (the rest of the season). Anything is possible with him.”
“I did a lot of preparation, mentally and physically, during the offseason,” Lopez said.
Central Valley has enjoyed a success-filled start to the 2021 season by winning eight of its first 10 games.
The Hawks had a 5-1 record in Western Athletic Conference play as of Monday.
Central Valley will play a non-league game at Escalon this Friday at 4 p.m.
“I’m not surprised,” Goblirsch said. “We knew this group would have success. They’ve put in a lot of hard work the past three seasons.”