As we continue this special San Pedro News Pilot Class Of 2020 Spotlight feature series on student athletes at the San Pedro-based high schools whose senior years were cut short due to the coronavirus, here is our feature on San Pedro High baseball pitcher & first baseman Travis Connelly.
Having a wonderful 2020 season before the outbreak of COVID-19 forced the abrupt cancellation of Spring Sports, Connellly's performance in a short time spoke volumes to how great he was for the Pirates in his four years with the program: a two-time Marine League Co-Player Of The Year, three-time SPNP Prep Baseball Player Of The Year, two-time CIF-Los Angeles City Section All-City Open Division, and a member of three straight Marine League championship teams.
Connelly produced a 3-0 record, a squeaky clean 0.00 ERA (only allowed one unearned run at Palisades), a no-hitter at Bellflower on February 21, with 26 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched, only allowing three hits, walking two, and hitting .375 at the plate with four runs batted in. San Pedro finished 4-2-1 on the shortened season.
Other notables in the prep career of Connelly came during a sensational junior campaign where he and the Pirates raised the bar for what promised to be a special 2020 season by going 27-5, winning 18 games in a row at one point during the year and going undefeated in Marine League play before losing in the CIF-LACS Open Division quarterfinals to eventual champion Birmingham of Lake Balboa.
During that season, Connelly, who plans to play next year at El Camino College in Torrance, crushed a 420-foot home run in a league victory at Narbonne.
WHEN YOU FOUND OUT THE SEASON WAS ENDING DUE TO COVID-19, HOW DID YOU FEEL IN REGARDS TO THAT TURN OF EVENTS?: ""My first thought when I found out our season was over, I was sad because I know I will never be able to play with my teammates again."
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE SEASON OUT OF YOUR FOUR YEARS AT SPHS?: "My favorite season was my junior year (2019)."
WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT IN A GAME?: "When I tied Marshall during my freshman year with a double.It was a back and forth game when I tied it in the sixth inning."
WHAT WILL YOU MISS THE MOST AT SPHS?: "What I will miss most is what kind of team we had. Not only were we so competitive we had all our dreams and goals, but we were a family. Every single person on that team felt belonged and a big brotherhood. Everyone pushed each other to be better and everyone would be there when someone fails or just needs the extra push to get to their goal. We all loved each other like family because that's what we were."
FAVORITE QUOTE?: "Be phenomenal or be forgotten" & "Woke up feeling dangerous".
WHAT WAS YOUR TRUE APPROACH WHEN YOU'RE IN THE BATTERS BOX?: "Depending on runners, my approach is usually always the same which is hit the ball hard somewhere. If I need to move a runner over that would be it or a deep fly ball to score someone would also be one but usually it's to hit the ball hard somewhere which will find gaps."
WHAT IS YOUR MAIN GOAL THAT YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE ONCE YOU SET FOOT ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS: "To be welcomed to the team and earn a starting spot being able to compete in any way."
THE 2019 TEAM HAD AN IMPRESSIVE WINNING STREAK OF 18 GAMES. YOUR THOUGHTS ON HOW THAT CAUGHT THE ATTENTION OF NOT JUST THE SCHOOL, BUT THE ENTIRE CIF-LACS?: "It got us a lot of attention definitely. What I liked most was it put a target on our back and every team wanted to come at us with the best they got, and everyone loves a good, competitive game. Unfortunately the season didn't end the way we wanted which was disappointing."
FINALLY, IF YOU HAVE A MESSAGE FOR THE TEAMMATES AT SPHS YOU LEAVE BEHIND, WHAT WOULD THAT MESSAGE BE?: "Always give your 110% every game, every practice. You never know when your last one may be. Always push yourselves, never give up on each other. Get the job done next year and bring that title back home."