Baseball year 2019 exceeded most expectations since there was only 1 inning on the mound returning from their 2018 squad and 160 AB’s from the line-up. The Bells (16-14) showed flashes of brilliance throughout the season putting together stretches where they racked up several tough wins and finishing in a three-way tie in league only 2 games out of first. The year was definitely highlighted with their tournament run in the Boras classic, reaching the championship game for a third consecutive year. Although they came up short in their ultimate goal of winning the north again, they used that momentum to finish the season off strong with a CCS run that led them into the CCS semi-finals before their season came to an end. The Bells of 2020 will look to build off of those tournament and playoff runs with many of their returning players seeing time and gaining experience, which should provide the necessary leadership and toughness that it will take to find their way to the top of the WCAL, and CCS at the end of the season.
Players such as Garrett Arnold, Joey Cerrito, Sam Kim, Nate Chaple, and Aidan Kelly will all be looked to as leaders in the pursuit of reaching Bellarmine’s ultimate goals of winning WCAL and CCS championships.
2020 will be like the previous 11 years in that Coach Rodriguez will have the Bells playing one of the toughest schedules that they can in hopes to prepare the team and battle test them as much as possible for the WCAL which many would argue is the toughest high school baseball league in the entire country.
Michael Rodriguez is a class of 1993 Bellarmine graduate. Rodriguez then attended Bates College in Lewiston, MA, to pursue both basketball and baseball, then had a short stint at College of San Mateo in order to pursue baseball exclusively. Following CSM, Rodriguez finished his college career at Sonoma State University.
Professionally, Rodriguez has coached at many different levels. He started his coaching career under two of Bellarmine's great coaches in Patrick Schneider (basketball), and Gary Cunningham (baseball). For Rodriguez, baseball quickly emerged as his true passion, and he went on to further his coaching career at College of San Mateo under the very successful Doug Williams. While at CSM, Rodriguez became involved in summer coaching where he coached in the prestigious Cape Cod Summer Baseball League for the Brewster Whitecaps. This experience then led to Rodriguez taking an opportunity at a Division 1 baseball program, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. During that stint, Rodriguez moved up the ranks from the number 2 assistant to the lead assistant/recruiting coordinator. In 2005 he once again took an opportunity to be a head coach for the Alexandria Beetles in the North-woods League.
Coming back to Bellarmine has always been a dream of Rodriguez's, and in 2008 that dream became a reality. He spent one year as the JV baseball coach before being selected to follow Gary Cunningham as the head coach of the Bells. Coach Rodriguez has led the Bells to many wins, amassing over 200 (220) through his 11 year stint at the helm. During that time, Rodriguez has been blessed to see many of his players continue on with their baseball careers both in college and in professional baseball. As his 12th year approaches in 2020, Rodriguez looks to continue the strong Bellarmine tradition of helping boys grow into men while having the opportunity to pursue their passions both in baseball and out.