by Amanda Egan
A La Verne native has proven to be the ace of the University of La Verne baseball team’s pitching staff and an all-around exceptional guy.
Ruben Del Castillo, a senior criminology major, grew up in La Verne and attended Damien High School. He began playing baseball at age 5 and continued his career into high school and college.
Out of high school, Del Castilllo attended St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. to pursue baseball at the Division I level. After his freshman year, he decided to transfer back home to ULV and has now been here for three years.
“I saw more opportunity for my future in baseball at La Verne,” said Del Castillo.
“Ruben was the best pitcher on our staff this season,” said coach Scott Winterburn.
In the spring of his junior season, Del Castillo received the news that he and his fiancée, Melissa Mijares, a ULV senior also graduating this month, would be having a child in the fall. Del Castillo considered working full time and not playing baseball but was convinced otherwise.
“Ruben really wanted to do the right thing for his situation,” said Winterburn.
With the support of Del Castillo’s family and fiancée he continued to play ball. In the following November, Del Castillo’s son, Ruben, was born.
“My family and Melissa were extremely supportive, they encouraged me to play and they helped with everything,” said Del Castillo.
Del Castillo decided to continue playing in his final year of college. “This season was very enjoyable, the camaraderie of the team was great,” he said.
Del Castillo also works part time as a mentor for junior high school students in the Early Outreach Program in the Pomona Unified School District. He helps younger kids set college goals and keeps them on the right track.
Del Castillo plans to graduate this month and pursue a career in law enforcement or teaching high school students.
“Ruben is the politest guy I have ever met,” said Winterburn.