The St. Anthony baseball program continues to build under head coach Kris Jondle, now in his eighth season with the Saints. This year the team moved up from Division 6 to Division 5 and is the frontrunner to win the Santa Fe League. Jondle has been scheduling local teams, scrimmaging against Wilson and playing Long Beach Poly, Cabrillo, and Jordan so far during the Saints’ 5-2 start.
“Our kids like to play the local teams,” said Jondle. “They grew up playing Little League with the guys on those teams, they always get fired up to play the Moore League teams. And we play other local public schools like Mayfair and Bellflower. There’s a lot of good teams around so we don’t have to travel.”
The Saints will do plenty of traveling for their league games, which are set up as back-to-back home and home stands. St. Anthony has started the year 5-2 with two wins over Cabrillo and one over Jordan, and a wild 28-18 victory over Mayfair.
“You can put that we’ve got good special teams, we made all our extra points,” joked Jondle.
The Saints have strong pitching and are led on the mound by senior Chris Jones, who has signed a Division 2 scholarship to Western Oregon, as well as Ethan Shepherd, as well as Jake Malloy, a talented third option.
The Saints can hit, too, and are led by 6’3” outfielder Nick Salcido, a lefty power hitter. Jesse Pacheco has another outfield spot, with Nyle Leomiti in the other outfield. Shepherd plays third when he’s not pitching, and Malloy plays first. Jason Porter is the starting catcher, and Ethan Walker and Jude Jackson hold down shortstop and second base, respectively.
“We’re looking good, we’re strong on the mound and our hitting has been a little better than I thought,” said Jondle. “Our goal is to have a full season and playoffs, that would be great for these kids after the last year.”