Good Sports: Fresno Grizzlies pitcher Tyson Perez

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Hanford native Tyson Perez still calls the Central Valley home. He's in Fresno every summer working out at Fresno City College. But to go from walking the concourse of Chukchansi Park as a fan to playing in it as a Grizzly, Perez admits that is something special.

"Saturday night, and there was like 12, 13 thousand people here," Perez recalled. "It was a really good crowd. I had my parents here; I hadn't seen them in over two months or something so to get the win, to see my parents, and to pitch in front of a whole bunch of fans, it's always great."

"Great kid, good makeup, he's been having a lot of success since he got here in his first couple outings," Fresno Grizzlies manager Tony DeFrancesco said. "Very good fastball and cutter, and we're real pleased with his performance so far."

A multi-sport star at Hanford High School only a handful of years ago, Perez smiles when thinking about his Valley championship-winning teams: a gun-slinging quarterback on the football team and a sharpshooting guard on the Basketball Bullpups.

"Football was always one of my favorites, getting to throw touchdown passes," Perez said. "Basketball, I loved basketball since I was little. And getting to win a Valley championship, playing for Coach Felder, one of the best coaches there is in the Valley, and then getting to play baseball all at the same time all for four years, it's something that I'm really proud of."

After graduation, walking on at Fresno State fell through, so Perez chose to play for Ron Scott at Fresno City College, where Pitching Coach Eric Solberg made a lasting impact.

"Playing for Coach Scott is really fun, and they always have really good teams, really good talent," Perez said. "Getting to pitch for Coach Solberg the pitching coach there, I learned almost everything I learned that I still have now, I learned from him. So getting to play for both of those coaches is a real blessing."

"He comes and works with Eric diligently every off season," Scott said of his former player. "And this time when he left, we felt this time we're going to make it. He's put the injuries behind him now and he's always been a confident kid."

And now that he's one step away from the Major Leagues, Perez stays busy with a tough balancing act: Focusing on improving every day while representing the dozens of friends and family members at the Chuk for every Grizzlies game.

"Triple-A even, though it's one step, we're still in the Minor Leagues," Perez said. "We still gotta work hard every day, we still gotta learn we still gotta get better to eventually get to the Big Leagues. That's everybody's goal here, to get to the Big Leagues."

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