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Eagles Baseball Falls to Santa Barbara, Ending Their Season

MSJC Athletics

After a strong 30-win season, the Eagles saw their season come to an end at the hands of Santa Barbara College in the regional section of the Southern California CCCAA bracket. In the best of three series, the Eagles were defeated in two games, losing 8-1 and 13-1. The Eagles saw a similar fate last season, losing both their games to El Camino in the SoCal Regionals. While it was an impressive regular season for the team, capped off by a six-game win streak, including a thrilling 6-4 sophomore day win against division rival Chaffey, the Eagles certainly wish things could have ended differently.

Despite the crushing losses, there is a lot of positivity to reflect on in their 2024 campaign. The Eagles were recognized as the 12th-best team in the south polls of the CCCBA and finished 2nd in their division, just behind Chaffey College. This season also featured many remarkable individual performances that did not go unnoticed. The IEAC All-Conference first team awards featured four Eagle players, including Greg Luna, Austin Sargent, Trysten Eddy, and Christian Smith, who put together an exceptional year with a .375 BA, 1.087 OPS, 7 HRs, and 46 RBIs, which were all team highs. The All-Conference 2nd team also featured four Eagles: Adrian Vento, Tanner Aoki, Josh McAnnich, and Joseph Romero. McAninch and Smith were recognized for their defensive prowess and received Golden Glove awards. Julian Castro was honored as Conference Pitcher of the Year, and Head Coach Jake Hansen was recognized as the Conference Coach of the Year. 

MSJC Athletics

The season included some bumps along the road, but overall, the Eagles played winning baseball, which put them in position to compete in the playoffs. The Eagles were red hot heading into their first conference game, sitting at 12-3. However, they saw a three-game sweep to Chaffey in the middle of conference play, which ultimately prevented them from winning the division as Chaffey took first place in the IEAC. Following the sweep, the Eagles lost the next 2 out of 3 games. Despite the adversity, the Eagles got back on track, winning their last six games scoring ten-plus runs in five of those games. Sophomore day was an opportunity for MSJC to get back at Chaffey, and they did just that, winning 6-4 in a game that included a clutch go-ahead two-run single from Austin Sargent in the 7th inning, which ended up winning them the game. It was a proper send-off for the sophomores, who were honored for their tenure with the team and their families. 

As for their playoff opponent, Santa Barbara College, they will go on to play number three seed Golden West in the super regionals, a team MSJC beat once and lost to once in the regular season. The number one seed, Cerritos, looks to be the favorite to win the SoCal regional bracket. Still, other teams like number two seed Palomar and Golden West look like threatening opponents who all swept their opponents in the regional round. 

While the Eagle’s season didn’t end how they intended it to, it was highlighted by plenty of success as they have something to reflect on and be proud of. Going forward, Coach Hansen will look ahead to next season and prepare to replace the many sophomores the team will lose. However, Hansen has proved himself to be a winning coach during his tenure at MSJC and will have much success to build on. As for the players, the sophomores will look towards their next journeys, whether that includes baseball or not, and the freshmen are poised to make their marks for the 2025 season. 

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About the Contributor
Jaden Wright
Jaden Wright, Writer
Hello, my name is Jaden. I am a Journalism major here at MSJC and this is my firstsemester with the Talon. I’m hoping to transfer to a university in fall 2024 to pursue abachelor's degree. I love all things sports and I look forward to sharing that passion withThe Talon
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