SAN LUIS, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - From when he could pick up a ball and throw it, Alejandro Vanegas fell in love with the game of baseball.
To him, it's always been a game to have fun and compete no matter the setting. Many years later, it's the same deal; the only difference being that Vanegas was able to see his potential to play at a higher level.
After three stellar seasons on the mound, and still one season to go as a San Luis Sidewinder, Vanegas made his commitment to Cochise Community College in Douglas, Arizona at the NJCAA level.
With family and administration surrounding him, Vanegas was able to mark the next step in his lifelong dream of playing baseball by signing his Letter of Intent.
"Since I was little, baseball was in my blood, it's in my family," said Vanegas. "Since I was three-years-old, I was just playing for fun until I got older. I saw the potential I have, working really hard."
Shined on the mound
Vanegas has shined on the mound as a pitcher and plans to take his talent to the ACCAC at Cochise - a place that made him feel comfortable, especially with past teammates being there, as well.
"I have several teammates there and it just fit me," added Vanegas. "That's my perspective and point of view of seeing myself in the future and being better myself, not just in the field but in life also."
Off the field, Vanegas plans to study athletic training as his educational focus. He hopes that he can thrive in that field in case baseball doesn't end up working out someday. Vanegas calling it a future "plan B" in case "plan A" of baseball eventually ends.
Some of that athletic training influence coming from his own trainer, Roberto Madrigal. Madrigal - who is also the assistant coach of the Arizona Western volleyball team - praised Vanegas' work ethic. Madrigal told News 11 that he was willing to do whatever he told him to do in his training.
One more round
After taking in the moment by taking pictures with family on Friday afternoon, Vanegas' head baseball coach Cesar Castillo gave some kind words to both Vanegas and his family, wishing him the best.
"Due to you guys, and doing what you do to be a part of his life, he can continue his education and play baseball," said Castillo. "We still have him for one more season but we wish him the best."
At the end of it all, Vanegas will always remember the memories he made at San Luis and plans to make a state title run this coming spring. And when he leaves for Cochise, he wants people to remember him as a good person.
"I'm a student-athlete. A student first and how I am in the classes as a good guy and good friend" said Vanegas. "I want them to see me as a good athlete, always practicing and trying to be the best working hard. But also that I'm kind and helpful to others, as well."
Vanegas will get one more round of high school ball before he heads go the next level. San Luis kicks off their 2023 season in the "Lefty Martin Invitational" at San Luis High School on February 22nd.