By John Philip Wyllie
Topping his sensational 2004 Mesa League Pitcher of the Year performance won’t be easy for Sweetwater High School’s Vidal Nuno, but he is well on his way to doing just that. With seven victories and a single loss this season, the lanky left-hander has recorded 67 strikeouts and has an earned run average of 1.89 for the 17-6, 4-0 Red Devils. Nuno is also contributing at the plate and with his glove. Sweetwater coach, Andy Sanchez considers him almost indispensable.
“I’ve had Vidal on this team for four years now and even as a freshman he had more composure than most seniors. He’s a team captain and a leader and he keeps the other kids going. Vidal knows the game, knows the hitters and knows what he has to do. Right now that is to lead us.” According to Sanchez, Nuno is doing a great job of it.
Nuno struck out 107 batters last season and has his sights on fanning even more this time around. Now a senior, he would like to secure a league banner and give the Red Devils a shot at a CIF title. As versatile as he is talented, Nuno has contributed this season from all over the field.
“He is probably the best first baseman in the county, but we usually can’t afford to put him there (because he is needed elsewhere). (When he is not pitching) he does a great job in center field where he covers a lot of ground. Nuno also contributes regularly at the plate.
Nuno got off to quick start on the diamond, already playing regularly by the time he was five.
“My Dad taught me everything and he has been a really big part of it. I improved a lot playing Pony League and even more while playing in high school. I love baseball now,” Nuno said.
As good as he is Nuno (7-1) realizes that he can’t do it alone. The Red Devils are blessed with another very fine pitcher in David Galindo (7-2) and together they share most of the load.
“David and I have been close friends since he minors. We also hang out a lot at school. We like to talk baseball and we run and train together,” Nuno said. They don’t look upon each other as rivals, according to Nuno, only as teammates battling for that same coveted banner.
“We have had some very good ball players come through Sweetwater High and I would rank Vidal right there with the best of them,” Sanchez added. “We wouldn’t be where we are right now without him.”