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By SHEL SEGAL
The season might be finished, but one major reason for the Pasadena High baseball team’s success this season came from the addition of pitching coach Michael Gonzales.
Under the tutelage of Gonzales, the Bulldogs won 20 games – the most in school history – and made it to the CIF Southern Section playoffs.
Gonzales said he came over to the Bulldogs after serving as the pitching coach at Temple City High for six years, adding it looks like it was the right move.
“We overachieved other people’s expectations,” Gonzales said. “But I still feel like we could have done more in the aspect of winning, but, all in all, we had a great season. Coach (Mike) Parisi and I couldn’t be happier.”
Gonzales added he thinks the team will just continue to get stronger.
“In my opinion, we can compete with any of the teams in (CIF Southern Section) Division II,” he said. “It showed from all the games we played. We had a big win total and were very competitive in all of our games.”
But it’s the guys on the team they make the job rewarding, he said.
“We have some special, special arms in our program,” said Gonzales, 27. “It’s been a lot of fun. Just being around kids, they keep you young. It’s a great feeling.”
And Gonzales explained why it was an easy choice leaving Temple City for Pasadena.
“It was a move that everything fell into place,” he said. “The head coaching job at Temple City didn’t work out and Mike asked me to come over on his staff. He said he’d allow me to call pitches and once he said that I was sold. For him to … give that up and entrust that in me, that was a great compliment. We put up numbers to back it up, so I think he made a good choice.”
Parisi said Gonzales was just a real asset to have on the bench with him.
“Michael did a heck of a job calling pitches for us this year,” Parisi said. “I felt like we really did well managing our games together. We seemed to be on the same page for most of the year. This was a great season for our program.”
(Shel Segal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him via Twitter @segallanded.)