By Jocelyn Cervantes
On Thursday May 14, Tustin High Varsity Baseball was scheduled to have their Senior Night, but due to the unpredictable rain, it was cancelled. The Varsity Team is made up of nine seniors: Dustin Durand, Tyler Ryan, Hector Rivera, Brennan Black, Jose Ayala, Jesus Inocencio, Dalton Rasmussen, Corey Bradley, and Domnick Lokeijack.
Jose Ayala (Captain)
Ayala was accompanied by his mother, Ana Rodriguez and brother, Francisco Ayala. Statistics for this pitcher: 4 at bats 2 hits/.500 BA. 15 Pitched/30 K’s/4 wins/1 save. Ayala plans to attend Irvine Valley College to study in sports Medicine. Ayala has been on Varsity for two years. His favorite memories include making playoffs and traveling to Palm Springs. Ayala’s message to the returners: Always trust your coaches and what they have to say.
Black was accompanied by parents, Mark and Chrissy Black. Statistics for Infielder: 12 Hits/4 RBI’s/5 runs. Black will be attending Manhattanville College in New York and plans to play baseball while majoring in physical therapy. Black has been on Varsity for about two years. His favorite memory is hitting a walk off during the red-black series last year. Black’s message to the returners: Enjoy every moment and work hard because it’s over before you know it.
Bradley was escorted by his father. Statistics for this pitcher: pitched in games/5 K’s. He plans to attend Santa Ana College continue to play baseball. This is his first year on Varsity. His favorite memory was travelling to Palm Springs and dominating every team. Bradley’s message to the returners: Buy in to what the coaches are saying and things will happen.
Durand was escorted by his mother, Rhonda and grandma, Rose. Statistics for this outfielder: 19 hits/2 DBL’s/11 runs/9 RBI’s. He plans to attend Cal State University San Marcos this fall. Durand has been on Varsity for two years. His favorite memory was winning his first CIF game last year and going three for fours in CIF. Durand’s message to the returners: Cherish each moment.
Inocencio was accompanied by his mother and father, Silvia and Jorge Inocencio. Statistics for outfielder: .500 BA on the year, 1.00 Fielding percentage. He plans to attend Grand Canyon University and major in criminal justice. Inocencio was pulled up to Varsity for playoffs last year. His favorite memory was the rap battles they had on the bus on their way home from playoffs last year. Inocencio’s message to the returners: Have fun while it lasts.
Lokeijack was escorted by mother Melphina Harry, cousins Joseline and Wiana, and friend, Joey Ear. Statistics for outfielder/pinch run specialist: 11 runs scored. He plans to attend Irvine Valley College and then transfer to a four year university, Long Beach, Arizona State, or Grand Canyon University. Lokeijack has been on Varsity for two years. His favorite memory includes their trip to Palm Springs and the games that brought the team really close as a family. Lokeijack’s message to the returners: Keep up the hard work during practice. As hard as they are, you’re gonna miss it. Enjoy the time you have with the team while it lasts.
Statistics for pitcher/outfielder: .286 BA/5 BZ’s/10 RBI’s/13 runs/1.9 ERA/57 K’s/6 wins/2 saves. He plans to play baseball in college. Rasmussen has been on Varsity for about three years. His favorite memory was sophomore year when he was the starting pitcher on senior day. Rasmussen’s message to the returners: Keep it rolling. It’s your moment to shine; keep Tustin on the map.
Hector Rivera (Captain)
Rivera was escorted by by his mother, Emma Gastelum and father, Nohe Salgado. Statistics for catcher/DH: 14 hits/2 DBL’s/6 RBI’s. He plans to attend Grand Canyon University and major in computer science. Rivera was called up to Varsity his freshman year. His favorite memory was getting called up to Varsity freshman year and getting playing time. Rivera’s message to the returners: Play baseball for yourself and not for everyone else. Baseball is 100 times better when you play for yourself.
Ryan was escorted by by his mother Kristina and sister Lillian. Statistics: on base percentage: .400 fielding percentage: 1.000 He plans to attend Cal State Fullerton to study Kinesthesiology this fall. Ryan has been on Varsity for two years. His favorite memory includes the bus ride after their first playoff game from Burroughs High School and the rap battles and the roasting they had. Ryan’s message to the returners: Enjoy your time, it goes by fast.
How would you describe your experience on the team?
Ayala: “Phenomenal. This experience is a once in a lifetime. You will never get to do this again with high school students.”
Black: “It’s been fun. I’ve had a lot of good times and just the bond I have with these guys is one I’ll never forget.
Bradley: “It’s been fun. We’ve been through ups and downs, it’s been a long season.”
Durand: “It was very fun and I enjoyed every moment with these guys.”
Inocencio: “It’s been really fun, and it’s been a once in a lifetime experience.”
Lokeijack: “It’s been really fun. Practices are very hard but the fact that we get to get afters it made it that much more fun.”
Rasmussen: “My experience on the team would be very fun and we had a lot of ups and downs.”
Rivera: “It has open my eyes. It’s made me a better person. It’s made me have a stronger mentality because of all the training and bonding we’ve done. And it’s taught me that family sticks through everything.”
Ryan: “My experience on the team has definitely been a good one because I’ve made a really strong relationships with a bunch of people that I hope to continue to have in my life.”