The Golden Eagles are prepared for the mental battle conference play


Xavier Zamora

The Golden Eagles celebrate their 6-5 win over Cal State San Marcos in game one of a doubleheader sweep on Saturday, March 18, 2023, at Reeder Field. Photo by Xavier Zamora.

The Cal State LA mens’ baseball team is building chemistry and feel they are gaining momentum at the right time to make a push for the playoffs in the second half of the season.

In sports, there are three main ways to learn almost anything there is to know about a team. Word of mouth, on paper, and the “eye test.” On paper, this team may not grab attention due to their record. However, their performance on the field and talented roster would pass the eye test for any person that watches them play.

On the field, the Golden Eagles have had amazing veteran leadership from the seniors on the roster, as well as breakout performances from young players. Senior infielders Andrew Tovar and Matthew Piotrowski have been having an amazing season. They are both ranked in the top five in the conference (CCAA) in batting average, and Piotrowski is top five in home runs as well.

Piotrowski’s efforts so far have earned him CCAA Player of the Week and West Region Player of the Week from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America.

Big performances and leadership from the seniors have impacted younger Golden Eagles like freshmen Kadyn Victorian-Young and Ethan Gonzales, who have both started most of the games for the team. They had to step into big roles in the defense and batters box this season and have delivered when needed.

The two freshmen have totaled 28 runs, 33 hits and 17 runs batted in for the Golden Eagles.

The team has had a very similar start to this season as they did last year with almost an identical record to date. Even with what some may see as a slow start, the Golden Eagles feel that they are starting to get into the groove of things.

Senior outfielder Michael Rosales, who has been a key player on the team since joining last year, feels the team is in position to shake up the conference.

“I feel we are in a pretty good position so far,” he said. “We are starting to come together on both sides of the ball and we have a chance to pass up some teams in the [conference] standings.”

No matter how tall the task may seem, the Golden Eagles have been preparing for this exact moment. Flying under the radar, the team is planning to swing for the fences and move up in the conference rankings with some tough opponents ahead.

Senior pitcher Mikell Chavez believes that this team has what it takes to shake up the conference standings. He, along with other leaders, are pushing for the guys to believe in their abilities, because they know they have the talent to make a playoff push this year.

“We are a very solid team offensively and defensively,” he said. “We just need to believe we are a good team and we can beat anyone.”

The team is aware of the mental test ahead and feel now is the time to show up and play.

“We will have a true test on our mental strength with some of the best teams in the conference coming up,” said Chavez. “If we are there mentally we can compete with anyone.”

The Golden Eagles will be in action on April 3 against Cal State San Bernandino, at Reeder Field. After that, they face Cal Poly Pomona in a four game weekend series  starting April 6.