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Bruin Baseball Manager Finishes Round One
Riverbank High head varsity baseball coach Ismael Mercado took over the reins of a somewhat disorganized Bruin baseball program about 300 days ago and after a full season on the grind, the Bruins are hopefully turning the corner in a new direction.

The Bruins' climb out of the Trans-Valley League's cellar is not something that the Riverbank community can expect in any sort of a hurried fashion. The Bruins history amongst the TVL giants like Escalon and Hughson is well documented and none of the other TVL programs are standing pat waiting for the Bruins to become the next hottest thing.

Everything that Riverbank will get between the lines in TVL action will come from the new foundation that Mercado has implemented since coming from the Johansen High program and becoming the Bruins' head skip.

"When I got the job over here I just approached it like, baseball is baseball," Mercado said. "Baseball has been part of my life forever. It was the number one thing that I wanted to do with teaching and coaching. Coming into the season I knew it was going to be a challenge.

"It was just a challenge that I was willing to take."

Mercado has definitely left his feel for the game on his ball club, evident with the turnout for the Bruins summer league schedule. Riverbank put up a quality showing over the brief summer season, giving Mercado an extended glance at what he'll be working with during his sophomore season at the helm.