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Orange County baseball pitcher of the year: Louis Rodriguez, Orange Lutheran

Orange County Register logo Orange County Register 6/14/2022 Steve Fryer, The Orange County Register

Orange Lutheran pitcher Louis Rodriguez thrived against the toughest competition in Southern California.

In the Trinity League, which saw four of its six teams reach the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs, Rodriguez went 5-0 with 41 strikeouts and three walks in 30 innings.

Overall, the senior was 8-1 with a 1.17 ERA and struck out 70 with only six walks in 53 2/3 innings.

He has been selected The Register’s Orange County Pitcher of the Year for the 2022 season.

Among his many notable Trinity League efforts was shutting out St. John Bosco on two hits over six innings and blanking JSerra on four hits over six innings with seven strikeouts. Rodriguez also had 14 strikeouts in a complete-game win over Mater Dei and eight strikeouts over four scoreless, one-hit innings against Santa Margarita.

He evaluated the wins over Mater Dei and Santa Margarita as his sharpest outings.

“I had all my stuff in those games,” Rodriguez said.

He pitched a complete game in the Lancers’ 4-2 win over La Mirada in the Boras Classic South tournament, limiting the Matadors to three hits with seven strikeouts. He shut out Huntington Beach, this season’s CIF SoCal Division I regional champion, over four innings with eight strikeouts in a nonleague game.

“He relentlessly pounds the strike zone,” said Orange Lutheran coach Eric Borba. “He throws in the upper 80s (miles per hour) and has a cutter a la Mariano Rivera that’s very hard to square up.”

Rodriguez (6-1, 200 pounds) was named Trinity League Pitcher of the Year. He was a key reason the Lancers won the Trinity title with a 13-2 league record and finished 25-5 overall. Orange Lutheran advanced to the CIF-SS Division 1 quarterfinals.

His repertoire of pitches includes the cutter, a four-seam fastball, a slider, a knuckle-curve and a changeup.

“It took me a lot of time to develop all of those pitches,” he said.

Rodriguez signed with Texas Christian University. He is an MLB Draft prospect. Online projections have him likely going in rounds 5-7.

He said he will miss being in the Orange Lutheran baseball program.

“I enjoyed growing together with my teammates and the brotherhood we built at Orange Lutheran,” he said.

And he enjoyed watching his team excel.

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“Our pitching was really good,” Rodriguez said. “I enjoyed watching all of our pitchers get after it. And our outfield was amazing.”

“Having Karson (Bowen) as my catcher was amazing,” he added. “All of those guys are top quality guys.”

Rodriguez had a top quality season, against top quality competition.

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