Mission Viejo High School and Capo Valley High School enjoy an intense baseball rivalry that dates back for decades. This did not prevent players from the two schools coming together to help the less fortunate.
Co-founder Kyle Candalla (2013 Mission Viejo High School Catcher) was conducting a Going to Bat equipment collection drive at a Trosky Baseball event in San Diego when he met Josh's mother Susan and explained the mission of his foundation. She was so impressed that she enlisted the help of her son Josh Keithly (2013 Capo Valley High School Pitcher) and Aaron Barnett (2013 CVHS Catcher) and set up ongoing collections at CVHS. With the support of Coach Zamora she spoke to the team at a their parent meeting. The Capo community was enthusiastic and has since been bringing their items to the field. Susan's team has collected and delivered badly needed items (bats, cleats, gloves, helmets, catchers gear, pants, etc.) to the Going to Bat Foundation. Both Josh and Aaron have led the charge and collected a large amount of items on their own. The two boys were especially inspired because both have a great desire to give back to the less fortunate baseball community and they would like to be a continuing part of Going to Bat.
Next season Josh will be pitching for Pacific University in Oregon, while Aaron will be playing for Pepperdine. They've grown up together and have been the battery since they were very young. Additionally, Aaron has been selected to play in the OC All-star game and the Ryan Lemmon Sr Showcase.
About The Going to Bat Foundation
Going to Bat Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization focused on improving the lives of our youth by providing the opportunity to participate in baseball or softball as a viable alternative to other destructive options. Conceived in 2009 by three talented high school baseball players, teammates and friends, Going to Bat collects “experienced” and new equipment, and to date has provided hundreds of players from Africa to Alaska the means to compete and enjoy their sport. To learn more about the Going to Bat Foundation, please visit www.GoingtoBat.org