The ASA pitching staff began its season on a bit of a rocky start, losing its first two games by a combined score of 16-4. But whenever they needed to end a losing streak and get back on track, coach Francisco Perez would simply tap Luis Sanchez Tejada on the shoulder and the sophomore pitcher would out the proverbial fire.
The best case in point to support Sanchez Tejada's elite status was following the early-season drubbing when he took the mound on ASA's third game of the season and squashed the team's two-game losing streak. He went four scoreless innings, allowing one hit and fanning three to earn his – and the team's – maiden victory of the season.
A native of San Francisco, Dominican Republic, Sanchez Tejada led ASA in most every statistical pitching category. And on a grander stage, when ASA really needed to string together some wins down the stretch, Sanchez Tejada (7-2) picked up two crucial wins as the Avengers won seven-straight in the final 10 days of the regular season.
Sanchez Tejada was the best of the best for ASA during that important winning streak to get the Avengers into the Region XV Playoffs. The staff overall had an average ERA of 1.42 during that streak, with Sanchez Tejada getting the 'W' twice, without allowing an earned run. Simply put, he was always at his best when ASA needed him the most – which is why the hurler was recently awarded Player of the Year honors after a stellar season for the Avengers (24-22-1).
Along with his team-high seven wins in 58 innings of work, Sanchez Tejada hurled four complete games. He had a 1.24 ERA, with an opposing batting average of just .148, and allowed just 18 runs (eight earned) with 30 hits and 85 strikeouts -- including an average of 13 strikeouts per nine innings.
Those are not only Player of the Year numbers, but All-American statistics as well. Hopefully for Sanchez Tejada the latter also comes true soon.