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By Fred Altieri
Sports Reporter 

CCHS Boys Baseball Tryouts Underway


Despite the 2019-20 school year not starting until late August, Culver City High baseball players continue to workout throughout the summer. The players participate in travel and summer programs while others prepare for upcoming high school Fall Ball and later CIF Ocean League ball in the Spring.

Over the past four years a number of Culver City baseball players have tried out, developed and competed in the Playa Vista Orioles baseball program and training camps. The program was designed for baseball players seeking the upper levels of success.

"The Playa Vista Orioles allows our future players at Culver City and Culver City High School to get exposure for the possibility to play at the next level," said Culver City High baseball head coach Rick Prieto.

"We have merged with the Orioles for the past four years. We basically have a 14-U team and 90% of our players are from our Culver City Middle School. So it's like a feeder program into our high school at Culver City."

The Playa Vista Orioles will be holding their USA Baseball tryouts for elite players for the upcoming 2019 Fall / 2020 Spring seasons this Saturday, July 13, at Culver City High School. The tryouts will take place on the high school baseball field from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

All players 12, 13, 14 and 15 years old are eligible to try out. Please call (310) 339-6413 or go online at for more information. General manager Tim Olivarez leads a staff of ten baseball coaches who have a long and successful history of developing players in area. The Playa Vista Orioles are a 2019 USA Baseball Bronze Medal winner.

Along with Olivarez the staff includes: Basil Reale, Steve Fedor, Dean Jelmini, David SiFuentes, Ricky Guzman, Zack Domingues, Steve Rodriguez, Chip Netzel and Pierce Romero. Many of the staff have been very instrumental in developing baseball in the Culver City, from Little League through the high school level.

Prieto: "Coach Olivarez has a lot of ties in the coaching community. His connection with UCLA, Long Beach State, Fullerton, Oregon and other schools is important for us down the line if our players meet the expectations of the next level."

Last season the Orioles held a seminar at Culver City High that featured UCLA head coach John Savage. The Bruins won the 2013 NCAA World Series under Savage, who has coached at the school for the past 15 years. He spent the previous three years as the head coach at U.C. Irvine, guiding the Anteaters to the 2004 NCAA Regionals.

"Our high school players currently have been Orioles. Our juniors played in the Orioles organization when they were on the 14-U team," said Prieto. "The current incoming freshmen such as Gabriel Amore, Martin Lucero and Tommy Peacock have had the opportunity to tryout last Fall and made the team."

So now they're getting exposure. They went to Arizona this past month and now they're in Irvine playing in tournaments. So it helps our school because they're from Culver City High School.

The Playa Vista Orioles started in 2000 and the results are proof of the program's success. Local players participating with the Orioles have achieved Major League and NCAA acclaim. UCLA players that went through the program include Brenton Allen, Trevor Brown, Shane Zeile, and David Berg, also with U.S.A. Collegiate Team and current pitching coach at UCLA under Savage.

MLB slugger Giancarlo Stanton of the New York Yankees is an alumni. So are Daniel Robertson and Tyler Glasnow of the Tampa Bay Rays; Bryce Fehmel at Oregon State; Brice Turang – 2018 MLB 1st Round Draft pick, Milwaukee Brewers and starting pitcher Trevor Bauer of the Cleveland Indians.

"The Orioles are located in Playa Vista. The purpose of merging with the Orioles is trying to get our high school players and community members exposure," said Prieto.

"It's also an opportunity for the ones that do very well for them to play at the next level, which would be the 16-U and 17-U teams or the Playa Vista Orioles. They get their opportunity to go out and play in Arizona, the Irvine Tournament and all the other big tournaments they participate in."

The Playa Vista Orioles commitment to its players: "It is our goal to build our program with a winning and successful tradition. It is also our desire to help our athletes develop qualities that will enable them to achieve success, not only on the athletic field, but in future endeavors as well."

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