UYA Barons Season Preview
As the Barons prepare for the 2016 season, ambitions are high for their ninth campaign. The Barons had an overall record of 20-19 and were 12-15 in the California Collegiate League (CCL) last year and are looking to make significant strides this season.
The team returns 11 players including two who led the CCL in multiple offensive categories. Infielder Aaron Cisneros of UC Riverside led the league in home runs and RBIs with 10 and 31 respectively. Cisneros earned all-league honors for his performance. Outfielder Keyon Allen of UNLV returns after leading the league in stolen bases last season with 20.
The Barons return five of their six all-stars from the 2015 season including Cisneros. Catchers Jonah Hargroves of Jackson State and Albert Perez of Rio Hondo College will return, as well as right-handed pitchers Gary Smith of El Camino College Compton Center and Oscar Munoz of Bethesda University of California.
The Barons begin their 2016 stride at the Urban Youth Academy on June 1 against the Signal Hill Oilers. This season marks the Oilers first in the Sunset Baseball League.
Toward midseason, the Barons face the USA Baseball National Collegiate team twice. Their first meeting is set for Thursday, June 30, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. The second is scheduled for Saturday, July 2, at the Academy. Barons Manager Kenny Landreaux said the matchups against Team USA will serve as a valuable experience for his team.
“It will be a nice challenge for our guys,” Landreaux said.
Landreaux is preparing for a tough CCL schedule though.
“The CCL is a very competitive league so we have to come ready to play,” Landreaux said, specifically noting matchups against the Conejo Oaks, San Luis Obispo Blues, and Santa Barbara Foresters.
“Those games in particular will be games that our guys will be able to use as a measuring stick,” said Landreaux.
The Barons play in the South division of the CCL and will play the majority of their games against the Long Beach Legends, Orange County Riptide, and SoCal Catch. Both the Legends and the Riptide enter their first season as members of the CCL this summer.
The Barons open the season with four consecutive home games beginning with the game against the Oilers on June 1.
By Barons Staff