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Olmedo-Barrera completes Mission

Baseball: St. Francis has two seniors named All-Mission League.

June 12, 2012|By Andrew Shortall

David Olmedo-Barrera was asked to do a number of different things in his career on the St. Francis High baseball team.

Olmedo-Barrera played second and third base before sliding over to shortstop his senior year, while also playing in the outfield at times. He also bounced from the No. 2 and 3 spots in the order before leading off for the Golden Knights this past season.

"The best thing about David is his versatility," St. Francis interim Coach Aaron Milam said. "Put him anymore and you'll get a decent performance out of him, and on top of that you can count on him to hit at any spot in the lineup."

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As a result Olmedo-Barrera, whose headed to Cal State University Fullerton, was selected to the Mission League's first team for the second consecutive season after earning second-team honors as a sophomore.

"Just to make all-league in general is a huge honor, and looking at the whole list I have no doubt all these players are going to go on to play next year," Olmedo-Barrera said. "It's a honor to be on the list with them."

Milam said it's no small feat for Olmedo-Barrera, as the Mission League was home to top-ranked Harvard-Westlake and third-ranked Alemany in CIF Southern Section Division II.

"The Mission League is one of the best baseball leagues in the country," Milam said. "You look at the guys coming out of there every year who go on to college and the pros. What [Olmedo-Barrera] did was very difficult. …The last time we had a three-year All-Mission League guy was Christian Bergman and he's in the pros now."

St. Francis struggled against league competition this year, as it finished at the bottom of the league standings with Sherman Oaks Notre Dame with identical 2-10 league marks. The Knights were 7-21 overall.

Still, Olmedo-Barrera's play, along with second-team all-leaguer Tei Vanderford, provided bright spots for St. Francis all year.

Olmedo-Barrera hit a team-high .410 (32 for 78) with 15 runs scored, nine stolen bases, five runs batted in, five doubles and two triples with team-highs in on-base (.466) and slugging (.526) percentages. The senior also walked seven times, while striking out on just five occasions.

Vanderford was St. Francis' ace on the mound, as he posted team-bests in earned-run average (1.65) and opposing batting average (.188) and struck out 23 batters in 34 innings pitched and five starts and two complete games.

"Tei is just a dependable guy and I think that's what got him his Mission League nomination," Milam said. "The games he pitched he gave us the best chance to win because of the way he performed."

Vanderford didn't always have the run support or solid defensive play needed to get the win, though, as he finished with a 1-4 record and gave up 18 runs with only eight earned.

When Vanderford wasn't on the hill, he was usually playing third base. He posted a .256 batting average (21 for 82) with 12 runs, 11 RBI, a double, triple, two home runs and four stolen bases.

"[Tei] is a great player — he played infield, he pitched and he could hit also," Olmedo-Barrera said. "He really did everything and it was great having him on our team."

andrew.shortall@latimes.com

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