Dub Baseball provides wealth of experience to area athletes

Dynasty's Garrett Kinsey pitches during their game Monday at Live Oak High School.

MORGAN HILL—Erik Wagle wanted to give something back to his community.
He racked his brain for ideas to repay what Morgan Hill had given him. Then it hit him; he should do what he does best — coach baseball.
With that, Dub Baseball was born.
“Everyone told me that people were starving for something like this,” Wagle said. “There’s really good baseball players in this area who just needed the structure to sort of bring it together.”
Wagle, along with Live Oak coaches CJ Goularte and Doug Porras, started the player development program 10 months ago. It began with camps and clinics which received such positive feedback that parents requested teams be formed.
Dub currently has a 10-year-old, a 13-year-old, an 18-year-old and two 16-year-old teams which they are looking to build upon. The program has attracted athletes from not only Morgan Hill and Gilroy, but Hollister and South San Jose as well.
Part of the appeal of Dub Baseball is the wealth of knowledge and experience of the coaching staff.
Wagle has been involved in the sport since playing tee ball with Morgan Hill’s Pony Baseball program. He continued to play through college at San Jose City College, University of California Riverside and Sonoma State.
Wagle started his coaching career at Live Oak where he coached for five years before leaving to coach at San Jose City College and later at California State University Monterey Bay. He is an Associate Scout for the Washington Nationals and has performed the same role for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the past.
Gourlate is the head coach of the Acorns and played at De Anza and Gavilan Colleges. He finished up his college career at Abilene Christian University in Texas where his team won two Lone Star Conference titles.
Porras is the strength and conditioning coach at Live Oak and played at West Valley College and Lewis & Clark State in Idaho before playing his final two years at Cal State Stanislaus.
Their roster of coaches also includes Seth Hudson, an assistant coach at Live Oak and San Benito grad, Christopher High School coach Ryan Dequin and Gilroy’s head coach Billy Holler. Dennis Castro, a Gilroy High Hall of Fame member, is the program’s hitting instructor and Ralph Villafuerte, a 15-year Pony baseball and 10-year coach of the Live Oak freshman team, coaches the 16U Black Dynasty team.
“It’s a really good program because they teach the kids really well,” Michael Porras, Black Dynasty first basemen and Live Oak varsity player said. “All the coaches have all been through really high levels of baseball, so they know what they’re talking about.”
But Wagle isn’t content with just giving his community an elite baseball program, he wants to do more.
One of the core values of Dub Baseball is service, meaning that those involved with the program must help the community. The program has acted on this value by hosting free baseball clinics for underprivileged youths and volunteering at the Relay for Life in Morgan Hill in May.
“It’s (service) the core of what we do,” Wagle said. “This community gave so much to us, the founders. We’re all natives here. We’ve all lived here our whole lives. It provided us with so many great opportunities and so many great experiences that when we sat down and started this, that was a huge focus.”
Dub Baseball — which is a play off of Wagle’s nickname E-Dub — runs year round, breaking for the holidays in December. Tryouts for the teams are held in January, while the high school aged teams start up league play in the summer at the conclusion of the prep season.
Sobrato JV pitcher and infielder Marcus Alipaz is hoping that his work with Dub over the summer will help improve his game to make the Bulldog’s varsity squad next spring.
“My experience at Dub so far has been fun. There’s a lot of competitive baseball,” Alipaz said. “I’m trying to get better at my positions — third and short(stop) — and be a better pitcher. I’ve seen improvement in my foot work in the infield.”
As the program grows, Wagle is starting to see his vision take form. He’s hoping that the rapid growth they’ve already experienced is only the tip of the iceberg for his program.
“We want this to grow into the largest and most recognizable youth development program in the state,” he said. “We can’t snap our fingers and get there — but that’s the plan. We would love to have a hitting facility where we could kind of have our headquarters and offices. …
We just want a program that could serve everyone, not just a few kids. From 7-18 we want to be able to be able to have a program that can serve everyone’s needs.”

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