Baseball: Triano pitching like an ace

Tyler Triano is pitching like an ace for San Benito High.

Entering the season, Tyler Triano had plenty of high expectations to play well—at catcher, not on the mound. But the San Benito High junior right-hander has been downright filthy this season. Through last week’s play, Triano was 4-1 with a microscopic 0.80 ERA.
The 6-foot, 160-pounder has 34 strikeouts in 35 innings, with a .829 WHIP. Opposing batters are hitting just .144 against Triano, who has been lights-out by being aggressive and mixing up his pitches. In a 9-1 win over Monterey on April 29, Triano was at his absolute best, allowing just one run while striking out 11 over six innings.
“I really felt good warming up in the pen, and that’s usually a really good indicator if I’m going to have a good start or not,” he said. “My arm was very warm, and I was throwing pretty hard, too.”
Armed with a strong fastball, curveball and change-up, Triano mixes speeds nicely while challenging hitters from the get-go. He threw 17 first-pitch strikes against Monterey, which was behind the count for the majority of the game.
“He goes right after hitters,” Balers coach Billy Aviles said. “What makes Tyler so effective is he has a little different arm slot, a lot like (former San Benito High standout) Greg Steinbeck. He’s got a three-quarters arm slot (which makes his delivery deceptive to hitters). He’s got velocity and throws all of his pitches for strikes. And he’s not scared to pitch backward in counts.”
Triano has been a vital cog for a San Benito pitching staff that has been one of the best in the Central Coast Section. A year ago, Triano was a standout on the junior varsity team, both as a pitcher and catcher. Triano got called up to the varsity squad late in the season, and figured he would be playing catcher this year.
However, once Triano did well in the preseason scrimmages, Aviles knew he had a keeper. When asked to comment on what pitches Triano throws well, Aviles said: “Take your pick—he’s got a lot of money pitches.” Triano grew up playing soccer, and only started playing baseball at 9 or 10 after one of his youth soccer coaches, Alex Soto, said he should take up the sport.
Soto had a pretty good intuition, as Triano excelled almost immediately. He made the Hollister Little League All-Star teams at every age level, improving with each passing year. This has been one of Triano’s most enjoyable seasons yet, as the Balers are peaking at the perfect moment—with the playoffs just two weeks away.
“It’s been really exciting playing for this team because we’ve known each other for a long time,” Triano said. “We’re on a roll, and we’re having a lot of fun.”
Entering Tuesday’s game against Salinas, the Balers were averaging over 10 hits a game over the last seven contests. For a team that has struggled scoring runs at times this season, the latest offensive production has been a boon.
“I like where we’re at right now,” Aviles said. “Our situational hitting is much better, and it’s been a good turnaround.”
The performances from Triano and fellow ace starter Diego Fisher are reminiscent of two years ago when the Balers had outstanding starters in Steinbeck and Hunter Haworth. That duo finished as the Monterey Bay League’s co-MVPs that season, and a similar scenario could unfold this season.

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