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St. Francis group Knighted by Mission League

Baseball: First-teamers Hubinger, Olmedo-Barrera lead pack of Golden Knights honorees.

June 10, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com

GLENDALE — As its 6-6 record would indicate, the St. Francis High baseball team had its ups and downs competing in the Mission League this season.

But following a campaign that saw the Golden Knights register enough quality wins against the rest of the league to secure a fourth-place finish and a CIF Southern Section Division II playoff appearance, the glass is definitely looking half full to Coach Brian Esquival.

"I was really pleased [with how we did in league], we were a pretty young team," said Esquival, whose team finished 14-13 overall and won its final three league games to muscle its way into a third-place tie to end the season. "When you have a young team, you just don't know how they're going to come out, game in and game out, and I think that kind of showed just by our play not being very consistent, but it's definitely a bright future for us.

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"I'm just very pleased with how they conducted themselves all season long, for the most part."

Youthful as the Golden Knights were overall, it was a quartet of upperclassmen that gained recognition on the recently released all-league honor roll, as voted on by the league's coaches.

Senior catcher David Hubinger and junior shortstop David Olmedo-Barrera were named to the first team, while senior starting pitcher Joey Malham and junior utility Jeff Garavaglia made the second-team list.

From his central position behind the plate, the Pepperdine University-bound Hubinger was a dependable leader and provided some offensive spark with a .387 batting average, 24 runs batted in, eight doubles and 14 walks.

"Hubinger was our captain, he did everything for us," Esquival said. "He not only played a tough position, but just his presence alone for us was more than enough. He did a great job defensively, helping the pitchers and taking control of the defensive side and everything we got from him offensively was just a plus.

"That's going to be a tough void for us to fill down the road."

Olmedo-Barrera followed up a breakout sophomore year, in which he batted .500 in league to notch second-team honors, with a solid junior line that included a .415 batting average (.394 in league), 19 RBI, 11 doubles and 11 stolen bases.

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