Saints Seek Strong Start: Arroyo Seco hits the road for season opener versus Riptide

PASADENA, CA- The Arroyo Seco Saints (0-0) will kick off their 2024 California Collegiate League Season Friday night in Irvine against the Orange County Riptide (0-0).  

Danny Veloz (Hawaii) will take the mound for Arroyo Seco. Saints’ manager Aaron Milam said that the plan is for Veloz to throw around 60 pitches.  

Tomorrow’s game will ring in a summer season that marks the Saints’ 30th anniversary and their ninth season as a member of the CCL. 

The Saints hope to compete for their first CCL championship this season, one year removed from falling one game short of the ultimate prize. In 2023, the Saints fell in the deciding third game of the CCL State Championship Series 8-5 to the Healdsburg Prune Packers, ultimately finishing as the CCL runner up.  

The Saints hope to return to the state championship, but for now they’re focused on putting together a good beginning. Coach Milam thinks the Saints can start the season off 1-0 if the pitching staff pounds the strike zone and the lineup hits like he knows they’re capable of.  

“I think we’ll hit, if we can throw some strikes, we’ll be okay,” Milam said. “That’s kind of the name of baseball, right? If you don’t throw strikes you don’t win.”  

The CCL, being a college league, sees a lot of roster turnover, which the Saints are no stranger to. Milam said the constantly changing roster is “what summer ball is.”  

But this year, the Saints have the luxury of returning several key players from their ‘23 CCL South Division Champion roster to headline this year’s squad.  

Right-handed pitcher Caleb Reyes will likely star for the Saints in the starting rotation as he builds upon his ‘23 campaign with Arroyo Seco in which he put up a stellar 1.73 ERA in 32 innings.  

Out of the ‘pen, righty Carter Herrera (Cal State San Bernardino) returns, looking to one up an exceptional ‘23 Saints season of his own where he had 35 strikeouts and threw 24 consecutive innings without allowing a run to end the year.  

And at the plate, catcher Alex Birge (Transfer Portal) hopes to have another big summer. Birge led the team in extra base hits last season with eight, three of those being home runs. 

For Birge, the decision to return to the Saints was an easy one.  

“I had a lot of good relationships last year coming here,” Birge said. “Love the coaches, and you can’t beat the area around [Pasadena].  Just look to your right when you’re on the field and see the Rose Bowl, it’s really cool.”  

The Saints are hoping for a better season series against their Orange County rivals this season, after winning three games and losing four in their seven matchups against the Riptide last season.  

The two teams will renew their rivalry Friday night at Great Park at 7pm.  

Tune into the matchup live on our YouTube Channel! 


  • Saints reporter Ethan Inman (USC)
  • Saints photographer Noah Pineda (UT Austin)





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