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All in the Vikings family

Valencia’s Lopes Brothers prove to be talented tandem

Posted: July 22, 2008 1:16 a.m.
Updated: September 22, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Valenica sophomore Christian Lopes, shown in a game from the 2008 season, has had a busy summer participating in the USA Under-16 Baseball team trials.

Christian Lopes hasn't spent much time at home this summer.

Just the last five days to be exact. And in those five days, and three games the Valencia sophomore-to-be has managed to go 5-for-5 in a Valley Invitational Baseball League game against St. Francis on Friday and hit a home run Sunday against Royal.

Even more intriguing, when Lopes looked over to his left from his shortstop perch on Friday, he saw another Lopes. Timothy Lopes, his younger brother, played second base for the Vikings before taking off to one of his own tournaments in Colorado. The 14-year old freshman-to-be played short until Christian returned briefly amid his summer of barnstorming.

"I've been waiting for that day since they were eight, them playing up the middle," said their father, Jack Lopes.

Considering their youth, the all-Lopes middle infield has the potential to become a staple for the next three years at Valencia.

But it's not a certainty.

"There's still a battle going on for that second base position," Valencia coach Jared Snyder said.

Jack can't get enough of it, his boys turning the double play. They turned two once on Friday in their only chance.

"My dad loved that," Christian said.

Jack traveled with Christian, 15, spending quality father-son time in between games. Some of that time includes finding the local batting cages so that Christian, who's fond of the work baseball requires, can swing away.

"He's been getting all kinds of accolades," Jack said. "I don't get it. It's really great."

The younger Lopes has developed a similar work ethic according to Snyder.

"He has very good hands, he has quick feet, and he has some pop in his bat," Snyder said.

While the younger Lopes went to Colorado for a Triple Crown World Series Tournament with their mother Angelica, the two older Lopes' have been everywhere from Georgia to Arizona, where Christian played in the East Cobb Games and the Junior Olympics, respectively.

Christian was chosen as one of 36 players for the 16-Under USA Team that will be cut down to 18 on August 21. That, he said, has been the highlight of his summer. If he makes it, he will play in the Pan-Am Championships August 21-31.

He was also selected to the Milwaukee Brewers Blue Team for the Area Code Games on August 5-10.

The brothers only got one game in together before Timothy left. It was quite a night though, said Christian.

"It was kind of weird at first," Christian said. "He's a good ball player and I like playing with him."

And then comes this revelation. Can Timothy, who made the first cut for the 14U-USA team, top Christian?

"He's going to be better than his brother," Jack declared.


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