This spring, Vanguard Baseball had an electric season and the success did not stop with those currently in the Lions' uniform. Former Lion Michael Bair guided Laguna Beach High School to the State Championship in his fifth season as skipper. Bair was a center fielder for the Blue and Gold from 1999-2002 and batted lead off in the order. The CIF Southern Section title was the first for the program in 78 seasons and added a 42nd championship to the schools record books. The Breakers won their league for the fourth straight season, claiming a comeback victory over Calvary Chapel on Vanguard's very own field.
Adding to the bliss of capturing the crown, the team was honored at Angel Stadium on June 14th against the Minnesota Twins. Head Coach Bair was given the opportunity of a lifetime to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. During the seventh-inning stretch, the club was invited atop the dugout and led the chorus of fans in "Take Me Out To The Ball Game". Further highlights of the night included the CIF Championship celebration being played on the JumboTron in right field of the stadium. Laguna Beach High School finished the year with the 2016 CIF Southern Section Division IV championship, ending the year with a 20-12 record – which is made more impressive after a 0-6 start to the campaign.
COSTA MESA, Calif. – The 2016 Major League Baseball Draft began June 9 in Secaucus, New Jersey and ran through June 11. A total of seven locals were taken in the draft, including Vanguard University standouts, Sean Isaac (SR/Redondo Beach, CA) and Jose Rojas (SR/Anaheim, CA). The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim selected Isaac and Rojas in the 35th and 36th rounds. Both players were also named NAIA All-Americans earlier last week after being named Golden State Athletic Conference Pitcher and Player of the Year, respectively, in May.
COSTA MESA, Calif. – The NAIA has announced the members of the 2016 Baseball All-America Teams as determined by the NAIA-Baseball Coaches Association All-America Committee. Jose Rojas (SR/Anaheim, CA) and Sean Isaac (SR/Redondo Beach, CA) were selected as First Team members of the squad for their senior campaigns, which pushed the Lions to a 40 win season and the third straight trip to the Opening Round. Previously, Rojas and Isaac had been named as the GSAC Player and Pitcher of the Year. Rojas also reached the Golden State Athletic Conference Gold Glove team for the shortstop position.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – In the third and final matchup between #3 Faulkner (49-13) and #16 Vanguard (40-17-1), home runs were flying out of the park left, right, and center and the game ended with the 5-3 advantage leaning the way of the Eagles. Today's loss ends the Lions season onE win shy of a second straight trip to the NAIA Avista World Series. Faulkner was announced a few hours later that they would be the top seed in the 10-team bracket in Lewiston, Idaho.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Vanguard University (40-16) started the day as one of three teams remaining in the Montgomery Bracket held at Harrison Field on the campus of Faulkner University. The third seeded Lions squared off against Texas A&M- Texarkana (33-20) in the first game of the day and earned a chance to play again due to a 14-7 victory. In the nightcap, the Blue and Gold excelled and beat the top seeded and third ranked team in the country, Faulkner University (48-13), by a 5-4 score in walk-off fashion.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – In a matchup of the top two seeds in the NAIA Opening Round Regional hosted by Faulkner University, the home team was victorious by a 10-0 score over the 16th ranked Lions (38-16). The Eagles, ranked 3rd nationally in the last Coaches' Top 25 Poll, are one of the most talented teams in the country and have been a factor in the NAIA Avista World Series the past three seasons.