By Brian Reed-Baiotto, Sports Editor
There were signs early on that Don Furnald was going to be successful at Etiwanda, and that his Eagles would never go down without a fight.
In Furnald’s first season at the Rancho Cucamonga school, the rookie coach nearly pulled off a miracle.
With two weeks to play in the 2011 regular season, the Eagles found themselves in dead last in the Baseline League standings, after going 1-9 between April 6th and May 6th.
Along with the senior leadership and his staff, Furnald was able to get his boys to reboot and regroup, and twenty-six days and seven consecutive wins later, Etiwanda found itself at Dodger Stadium in the CIF-SS Division 2 title game.
The Eagles fell, 6-2, to Mission Viejo, but the bar for what Furnald and his staff would demand from their players was rooted from that maiden voyage.
Eleven years later, Furnald has tallied 197 wins, three league titles and a pair of CIF-SS Division 2 championships.
In 2022, Etiwanda finished 27-9, including a 12-3 run to a Baseline League title.
In the CIF-SS playoffs, the Eagles defeated Temecula Valley (10-2), Warren (10-1), Pacifica (10-0), Palos Verdes (5-0 in 11 innings), and Torrance (6-1) in the D-2 championship game at Cal State Fullerton.
Ten days after wrapping up the CIF-SS title, EHS would pick up wins over Maranatha (6-1) and Birmingham (12-1) before falling to Torrey Pines in the CIF State Division 2 Southern California Regional title game.
It is for all of that success that we name Don Furnald the 210 Prep Sports Baseball Coach of the Year.
Aside from making history, part of what made 2022 so special was knowing that no one outside of their dugout expected too much from Etiwanda.
After all, the Eagles went 12-14 in 2021, and their 6-9 mark in Baseline League games positioned EHS just one spot ahead of last-place Upland.
As they entered the 2022 season, the Etiwanda pitching staff was coming off a year in which sophomore (at the time) Dylan Goff and juniors Alfredo Capacete and Garrett Mnich tied for a team-high three victories apiece in 2021.
Who could have predicted that Goff would break out and have the most successful season of any pitcher in the area, going 12-0 with a 0.73 ERA?
And even though Brady Ebel comes from elite genes, it would have been difficult to forecast the 14-year-old would throw a no-hitter in his first career start, go 6-0 with an 0.32 ERA, and earn the title of Baseline League MVP.
Furnald didn’t have to rely solely on his pitching staff, which finished with a 2.31 team ERA.
Th EHS offense had a collective batting average of .326, scored nearly eight runs per game, and featured 10 guys with 19 hits or more.
Nine Eagles’ batters hit .292 or higher, and Austen Roellig led the way.
Roellig batted .446, with 37 hits, 34 runs, 19 RBIs, 12 doubles, one triple & two HR’s.
Tyler Shigenaka (.385, 35 hits, 25 runs, 20 RBIs, eight doubles, one triple & one HR), Armando Briseno (.382, 47 hits, 35 runs, 24 RBIs, six doubles, four triples & three HR’s), Mike Harrison (.347, 25 hits, 20 runs, 23 RBIs, eight doubles & three HR’s), Brady Ebel (.330, 35 hits, 23 runs, 36 RBIs, six doubles, two triples & five HR’s, Tyler McEvoy (.326, 30 hits, 24 runs, 26 RBIs, nine doubles, three triples & two HR’s), Alfredo Capacete (.299, 23 hits, nine runs, 14 RBIs, six doubles & one triple), Parker Sobiesiak (.296, 21 hits, 19 runs, 16 RBIs & three doubles), Abraham Zapata (.292, 19 hits, nine runs, 12 RBIs, four doubles & one triple) and Kaedon Mas (.271, 19 hits, 22 runs 17 RBIs, one double, one triple & one HR) all played invaluable roles in this historic season.
That balance, both on the mound and at the plate, allowed Etiwanda to tie its 2017 squad for most program wins (27) in school history.
In Baseline League play, EHS defeated Damien, Los Osos and Rancho Cucamonga, two games to one, and they swept Upland and Chino Hills.
Perhaps the best example of this program not folding was the semifinal round of the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs.
The Eagles were locked in a 0-0 tie at Palos Verdes and the Sea Kings had the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Brady Ebel, however, got out of the jam, and thanks to four more scoreless innings from Yahir Ramirez, and five runs in the top of the 11th inning, Etiwanda earned a spot in the D-2 title game.
Dylan Goff would go to the distance, allowing just an unearned run in the 6-1 victory over Torrance.
Furnald would be the first to deflect the credit to his players and coaching staff, which included Dan Meltreger, Paul Gonzales, Bob Anton and Al Montes de Oca.
“All of my coaches work tirelessly throughout the season, whether its throwing batting practice, prepping the fields, talking about the game with the players or game management. We all work together well for the program,” Furnald said.
Furnald wouldn’t be in this position, as both the school’s athletic director or baseball coach if it weren’t for the love, support and sacrifices of his wife, Karla, who teaches sixth grade in the Ontario-Montclair School District.
Among other duties is Karla’s role in the lives of their 16-year-old son Jacob, who will play varsity baseball next year for his dad, as well as 13-year-old Lauren, who has been described as a ‘stud’ volleyball player.
“She sacrifices a great deal of her time during baseball season,” he said. “Karla has to take our daughter Lauren to club volleyball practice three days a week and attends our son Jacob’s JV games for Etiwanda as well. Being a head coach’s wife is a challenge and she does an amazing job of managing all the stress.”
Dylan Goff (12-0, 0.73 ERA, 86IP, 25 walks, 93 strikeouts)
Brady Ebel (6-0, 0.32 ERA, 44IP, nine walks, 35 strikeouts)
Yahir Ramirez (3-2, 2.87 ERA, 31 2/3IP, eight walks, 21 strikeouts)
Jorge Solares (3-1, 6.18 ERA, 11 1/3 IP, 14 walks, 11 strikeouts)
Austen Roellig (.446, 37 hits, 34 runs, 19 RBIs, 12 doubles, one triple & two HR’s)
Tyler Shigenaka (.385, 35 hits, 25 runs, 20 RBIs, eight doubles, one triple & one HR)
Armando Briseno (.382, 47 hits, 35 runs, 24 RBIs, six doubles, four triples & three HR’s)
Mike Harrison (.347, 25 hits, 20 runs, 23 RBIs, eight doubles & three HR’s)
Brady Ebel (.330, 35 hits, 23 runs, 36 RBIs, six doubles, two triples & five HR’s)
Tyler McEvoy (.326, 30 hits, 24 runs, 26 RBIs, nine doubles, three triples & two HR’s)
Alfredo Capacete (.299, 23 hits, nine runs, 14 RBIs, six doubles & one triple)
Parker Sobiesiak (.296, 21 hits, 19 runs, 16 RBIs & three doubles)
Abraham Zapata (.292, 19 hits, nine runs, 12 RBIs, four doubles & one triple)
Kaedon Mas (.271, 19 hits, 22 runs 17 RBIs, one double, one triple & one HR)
Etiwanda junior, Parker Sobiesiak: I feel Coach Furnald and the coaching staff puts little stress on the guys as a team. He just wants to win and we all know what our jobs are, and he lets us go at there and do what’s expected of us.”
Etiwanda junior, Tyler McEvoy: “Coach Furnald played a big part for our team and our program win in the Div. 2 CIF championship because he was able to teach us that we need to come together as a team and play with each other rather than for ourselves.”
Etiwanda junior, Dylan Goff: “Coach Furnald and his staff have helped me improve my game and helped put us in a position to be successful. They were able to get everyone to accept our roles and we put the needs of our team above our own individual goals.”
Former Glendora coach, Dan Henley: “Donnie’s teams were always prepared and competed on each and every pitch. The games against his teams were never over until the last out.”
Former RCHS coach, Tony Garcia: “I knew that each time we played Etiwanda that Donnie was going to have his players well prepared and ready to unleash an aggressive attack, both at the plate and on the bases. His team was fierce, with a never give-up mentality. The kids were tough and knew how to hit the ball where it was pitched, and expected to go for the extra-base out of the box. His team was well-schooled on the game-plan and they executed it well.”
2022 Baseline League Standings:
Etiwanda (27-9, 12-3)
Damien (17-12, 10-5)
RCHS (18-12-1, 8-7)
Upland (12-16, 6-9)
Los Osos (14-12-1, 4-10-1)
Chino Hills (12-14-2, 4-10-1)
2022 CIF-SS & State Playoff Scores:
5/5: Etiwanda 10, Temecula Valley 2
5/10: Etiwanda 10, Warren 1
5/13: Etiwanda 10, Pacifica 0
5/17: Etiwanda 5, Palos Verdes 0 (11 innings)
5/21: Etiwanda 6, Torrance 1
5/31: Etiwanda 6. Maranatha 1
6/2: Etiwanda 12, Birmingham 1
6/4: Torrey Pines 19, Etiwanda 8
Etiwanda Record Under Don Furnald:
2022: (27-9, 12-3)
2021: (12-4, 6-9)
2020: (3-2, 0-0)
2019: (18-11, 10-5)
2018: (22-8, 12-3)
2017: (27-3, 14-1)
2016: (17-9, 8-7)
2015: (19-7, 10-5)
2014: (12-13, 6-9)
2013: (12-13-1, 7-8)
2012: (10-14, 6-9)
2011: (18-12, 6-9)
Total: 197-105-1 overall, 96-68 in Baseline League, & 20-7 in the playoffs
League titles: 2017, 2018 & 2022
CIF-SS Division 2 championships: 2017 & 2022
CIF-SS Coaching Titles From Schools in 210 Prep Sports Zone:
Don Furnald, Etiwanda (2022 & 2017)
Darren Murphy, Northview (2008) & South Hills (2016)
Matt Shupper, Maranatha (2018)
John Knott, Bonita (2012)
Dan Henley, Glendora (2010)
Mike Regan, San Dimas (2009)
Brad Blackmore, Monrovia (2006)
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