Bio: Lopez a Downey, Calif., native, was named to the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s honorable-mention team for a second consecutive year after a solid 2019 season. He hit .316 with five doubles and 22 RBI’s in 48 games for the Mustangs.
Cesar registered one four-hit game this season. It came in a 9-4 win at Sonoma State on March 23.
Cal Poly finished 30-28 overall and reached the NCAA Division II West Regional Tournament.
Lopez hit .302 for the Sweets last summer with a couple of home runs and 19 RBI’s, and slugged at a .409 percentage in 43 games. He had 45 hits including eight doubles and a triple.
Cesar was acclaimed last summer as a West Coast League honorable mention choice and was named co-MVP of the WCL All-Star game in Port Angeles.
Lopez played in 62 games during his high school career at St. John Bosco and swung his way to a .273 all-time batting average.
Cesar, the son of Araceli Lopez, feasts on steak, tacos, pizza, and hamburgers. He said he can’t do without WiFi and AC.
Lopez is set to return for the 2019 season. Following an All-Star season where he was the Co-MVP of the game (played in Port Angeles), he is looking forward to returning to the friendly confines of Borleske Stadium.
“I felt like it was a great opportunity and that I could contribute to the team,” Lopez said of his 2018 campaign. “It’s the kind of experience where I can develop my game around some older guys, see what they do, how they go about their business and learn from them.”
Lopez went to St. John Bosco High School and was a solid player. He finished his senior season with a .304 batting average, 16 runs scored, 10 RBI’s and five doubles.
“It was a really good experience at Bosco, we had a really close-knit group,” Lopez said. “My sophomore year we got a new head coach for the team, Don Barbara. He could get emotional at times, but you could tell he was passionate about the game. He was a great hitter when he played at Long Beach State, so he was just a great teacher to have.”
Coming out of high school, Lopez drew very little interest from the baseball programs that he had eyed as potential suitors. He chose to attend Cal Poly Pomona primarily for the academics, but he said he realized that the Broncos had a winning baseball team, a great program and he wanted to be a part of it.
Lopez talked with the coaching staff and attended the walk-on tryout that the team held this past fall. He said there were give or take around 20 players who participated in the tryout, and that out of those 20, Lopez was the only one selected to be a part of the Broncos baseball team.
“It was a little bit nerve wracking, but at some point, you just have to go for it,” Lopez said. “I had to put a lot of work in, but the time and effort paid off. I was able to get a spot and an opportunity to get some playing time.”
The opportunity for playing time was not always on the table, as the coaching staff had originally planned to redshirt Lopez. However, a last-minute change of heart gave the walk-on outfielder an opportunity to play in the opening series of the season against California State San Marco and he took full advantage.
Over the four-game series, Lopez went 5-for-14 with three runs scored and two walks. After that, the coaching staff felt like he had proven himself to be a more than capable player and Lopez was able to work his way into a starting role for the team. He started 46 games and finished the season with a .291 batting average, 25 runs, 26 RBI, nine doubles and three homeruns.
“Overall it was just a really great season and a good learning experience to have,” Lopez said. “The game is a lot faster at this level because everybody is good. The coaching staff was great too, I learned a lot from them and they helped me out a lot when I was struggling a bit.”
Sweets team president Zachary Fraser said he is pleased to add yet another quality player to the team’s talented roster for the 2018 season, noting that the work ethic and determination Lopez displayed in earning a walk-on spot at Cal Poly Pomona is an invaluable asset to any team.
“We’re excited to welcome Cesar to #SweetsCountry,” Fraser said. “I am particularly impressed with his back-story, and our coaching staff – Raul especially – was very excited when he saw what he could do during games. Lopez will provide depth and versatility, and most importantly, an attitude of not settling that is important to clubs looking to win titles.”
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