Fallbrook High School’s baseball team began Avocado West League play with an 8-12 overall record, but a 1-14 league mark gave the Warriors a final overall record of 9-21 as well as last place in the league standings.
“We were challenged in a league in which we were over our heads,” said Fallbrook coach Mark DiBenedetti.
The Warriors’ final game prior to league play was an 18-2 victory April 4 at Mission Vista which gave Fallbrook a three-game winning streak. Fallbrook then endured a 13-game losing streak before a May 13 home win over El Camino gave the Warriors their only league triumph. The Warriors led in eight other league games. “We were ahead in many of the games, but we just couldn’t finish it,” DiBenedetti said.
Fallbrook was the only team in the Avocado West League which did not receive a CIF playoff invitation. Rancho Buena Vista and La Costa Canyon both reached the Open Division semifinals, Vista was in the Open Division quarterfinals, Carlsbad advanced to the Division I semifinals, and El Camino was eliminated in the Division II semifinals.
“We knew it was going to be a tough year,” DiBenedetti said.
Fallbrook’s roster had five seniors, including two starters. “We’re very young and it’s going to be a rebuilding year next year for them,” DiBenedetti said.
Although the 2013 statistics constituted the worst won-loss records DiBenedetti posted in his three years as Fallbrook High School’s coach, the Warriors reached the finals of the Lions Tournament. “The highlight of the season, I thought, was going to the championship of the Lions Tournament,” DiBenedetti said.
“I was very happy with the work ethic and their desire. I thought they tried hard,” DiBenedetti said of his players. “It was my most enjoyable year.”