Throughout the spring, The Times will interview high school seniors whose athletic careers were cut short by the coronavirus outbreak.
Name: Jared Jones
School: La Mirada
Sport: Baseball, pitcher
Key stats: He was 2-1 with an earned-run average of 0.82 and 28 strikeouts in 17 innings when this season was halted. He went 7-1 with an ERA of 0.77 in 2019.
Summer plans: He will prepare for the Major League Baseball draft.
Fall plans: He will either sign a pro contract or enroll at the University of Texas, where he could join up with Sherman Oaks Notre Dame’s Lucas Gordon.
On life without sports:
“My entire life, I grew up around sports. Even when I was a kid, when I finished baseball season, I’d play a different sport. My entire life since I was 5 years old, I’ve been playing sports.”
The creative ways he’s deploying to stay in shape:
“I have a gym at my house. When I need to throw, I’ll either call Darius Perry, my old catcher, or my dad.”
The secret behind his hallmark slider:
“I just started throwing that my freshman year. I kept working at it. I have a three-quarters arm slot, and that arm slot and the way I spin it comes off pretty good.”
How the sports stoppage has changed his outlook:
“You really get more of a love [of] the sport. Not playing for the past month is tearing me up inside.”
The highlight of his high school career:
“I’ll never forget sophomore year when we played 12-13 innings against Woodbridge. I came in relief and pitched seven innings, struck out 13 and hit a walk-off grand slam.”
The new thing he’s trying with his free time:
“I’m learning how to throw a curveball because I need a fourth pitch.”
Video interviews of each athlete can be found at latimes.com/sports/highschool.
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