Bronco pitcher Caleb Reyes earns All-American preseason honors

By Christian Park-Gastelum, Feb. 13, 2024

Pitcher Caleb Reyes became the 34th All-American in the history of Cal Poly Pomona’s baseball program Jan. 26, after also earning the NCAA Division II West Region Pitcher of the Year award following a dominant 2023 baseball season.

He finished his first season as a Bronco with a 7-3 record in 11 starts, struck out 68 batters in 77.2 innings pitched and posted a 2.67 ERA while batters only hit .223 average against him.

For Reyes, the award came as a welcome and heartwarming surprise.

“I remember breaking down in tears because when I came into college, my goal was to be All-Conference,” Reyes said. “I want to be an All-American. I want to prove that I am one of the best in the country. Five years later to have that come true was so amazing.”

Reyes began his collegiate career as a catcher for Occidental College and made the transition to pitching entering his senior year.

Then, when the National Collegiate Athletics Association announced a change in eligibility, from four years to six, following the COVID-19 pandemic, the All-American saw the opportunity to extend his eligibility at CPP. As a graduate student, he is taking advantage of his last year in collegiate play.

Reyes has gone above and beyond to stay active during the offseason, spending four days a week working out throughout the winter. He added that due to his strict practice regimen, he entered the team’s preseason scrimmage prepared and in better shape than ever before.

Along with his All-American and West Region Pitcher of the Year awards, Reyes earned several other awards throughout the 2023 season including the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s Most Valuable Pitcher, two CCAA Pitcher of the Week awards, CCAA Spring Academic Honor Roll and the Division II Athletics Directors Association’s Academic Achievement Award.

Reyes’ success is fueled by his drive to stay consistent and improve at all costs.

“As a perfectionist and a very analytical person, it is very easy to nitpick at mistakes I made and try harder,” Reyes said.

Reyes added that even among his recent success, some of the memories that stick with him the most are the mistakes he made early on in his career as a pitcher. It is these memories that encourage him to always focus on improvement and progress.

With Reyes at the helm, the team finished the 2023 season with a 29-23 record. While the Broncos made it to the CCAA tournament, they were knocked out in the semifinals of the CCAA tournament by Cal State San Bernardino before ultimately ending their season with a loss in the NCAA West Regional at the hands of Cal State Monterey Bay.

Entering the 2024 season, CPP was ranked third in the CCAA and fifth in the NCAA West Region. The team opened the season with a 3-1 win in its opening series against Azusa Pacific Univeristy last weekend from Feb. 9 to 10. CPP’s conference opener against Chico State will take place from Friday, Feb. 23 to Sunday, Feb. 25.

“I’m here; I’m ready to go; I’m worthy; I’m playing with this chip on my shoulder,” Reyes said. “I need to put myself and my team in the best position to succeed every start.”

Looking ahead, Reyes echoes the same sentiment as the rest of his team when it comes to his aspirations for this season.

“My individual goals encompass the team goals,” Reyes said. “We want to go to the Division II World Series. We all believe that we’re more than capable. We have the tools, the mental, and physical strength.”

The Broncos are three-time National Champions, last winning in 1983. The team has also won the CCAA regular season nine times and the conference tournament three times, with the most recent tournament victory coming in 2022.

Now, the All-American pitcher is looking to help lead CPP to one of their most successful seasons yet as he aims to forever be a part of CPP’s historically winning baseball program for his last season as a Bronco.

Feature image courtesy of CPP Athletics

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