Former Valencia Viking Kyle Barileau is having quite the year for himself. The sophomore was part of a dominant Ohlone College baseball team that reached the CCCAA State Championship. Barileau’s level of play has recently earned him a spot on the Filipino national team.
The Ohlone Renegades (45-6, 20-0) had one of their most dominant seasons ever, which included an astounding 36-game win streak. The season did not come to an end the way the team envisioned as they lost a heartbreaker, 10-9, to Folsom Lake.
Barileau was unable to compete with his team in the semi-finals game due to a concussion but doesn’t regret anything.
The team was a force and had to grind to get to that point. However, one of the key things head coach Mike Curran tried to establish in his players was to just have fun.
“We had a pretty good year,” said Barileau, “But it was probably the most fun year of baseball I’ve had in my life.”
The middle-infielder spent the past few years at CSU Bakersfield where he was stuck in the mindset of forcing himself to constantly improve. Barileau was benched early in the year during a cold stretch, giving him time to decompress. Curran told his young star to just have fun with it as he re-entered the starting lineup.
“Kyle is an outstanding young man,” said Curran. ‘He is hard-working, driven, and just has a tremendous work ethic and will to succeed. We were very lucky to have him with us this season. He was a spark plug for us. He always got our offense going and made some tremendous defensive plays at key times throughout the season.”
Barileau recalled that, during his first visit to Ohlone, Curran told him to continue to work hard for a spot on the field. The skipper wanted his new player to always have a chip on his shoulder and never feel complacent or comfortable.
“[Curran] was the biggest influence on me,” said Barileau. “He told me if he’s not invited to my wedding, he’s doing something wrong. He believed in me 100%.”
Barileau was grateful for the time on the bench as it gave him a new look at the game. The former Viking hit 2-3 in his first game back in the action and kept the team’s win streak rolling. Barileau registered 32 hits in his final 31 games, hitting about .340 in that stretch to finish his season.
The Filipino national teamer’s favorite memory at Ohlone came through the success of others. Some of Barileau’s favorite moments came in the playoffs, where the team had three walk-offs including an 0-2 count walk-off grand slam by Jimmy Garcia.
The stellar play earned the Valencia native a first team All-Conference award as well as a spotlight with the Filipino national team watching him.
The opportunity to play for the team is one of the highest honors a player can hope to achieve. Barileau is looking forward to more than just playing the game he loves.
“It’s extraordinary to play among Filipinos,” said Barileau. “I find it very personal to me to be around other Filipinos. It’s something I didn’t really have growing up.”
Barileau was adopted when he was two days old by Terri and Randy Barileau. Kyle started playing baseball at 5 years old and says he’s loved it ever since. The Renegade played all over the Santa Clarita Valley in youth leagues, playing on plenty of all-star teams before finally reaching the high school level at Valencia.
Kyle was undersized at the time and rose through the ranks, reaching the varsity level in his junior year. The Viking would grow tremendously going into his senior year. After working out all summer, Barileau had gone from about 120 pounds to 180.
Valencia baseball head coach Mike Killinger wasn’t surprised by his star’s growth, citing Barileau’s work ethic among the best.
“He went from a player who you can count on to a player you can lean on,” said Killinger. “From an eight-hitter switch hitting and bunting, to a guy who can drive the ball.”
Barileau said one of the biggest parts of his growth was due to his best friend John Haimowitz.
“[We were] getting each other better every single day,” said Barileau. “He’s one of the biggest [reasons] why I’m succeeding and I’m one of the biggest reasons he’s succeeding. We were doing anything in our power to make our physical and mental game better.”
Haimowitz is another collegiate baseball product from Valencia, currently playing at Nebraska Wesleyan University.
Killinger also noted Barileau as a great leader on the team alongside teammate Davis Cop. Cop currently plays at Utah, where he recently was named a Pac-12 honorable mention as a sophomore.
Cop and Barileau’s play is a testament that players can find success somewhere if their first collegiate stint doesn’t go as planned.
The physical development translated phenomenally in Barileau’s game as well, bringing him to the realization he could play at the next level.
The All-Conference second baseman said Randy, Terri and his step mom, Eva Barileau, have all supported him since day one.
“They’re very supportive of baseball and academics,” said Barileau. “They did everything in their power to help me achieve in high school. Anything I needed or wanted, they were there to do it for me.”
After graduating in 2019, the Viking spent the COVID-19 years at CSU Bakersfield before transferring to Ohlone where he regained the fun and love for baseball.
Barileau will now have the summer to play with the Filipino national team, a place Curran thinks his star will shine.
“Kyle is really a great benefit to any team, university, or organization that he’s a part of,” said Curran. “He just has a tremendous will to win. He loves to play. He did more for us this year than we ever hoped for.”
The Renegade is looking for his next stop for baseball and academics. Barileau will be aiming for a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies. Kyle says his brother Colton has helped guide him to the major and the desire to possibly be a teacher. Colton, who lives with Down syndrome, has taught Kyle a lot about loving kids and their kind hearts.
The Renegade would like to stay local in Southern California and be closer to home but is open to any opportunity if the fit is right with the program.
Barileau has been under the spotlight thanks to his success at Valencia and Ohlone. The Filipino second baseman already has tons of eyes on him but will likely be rewarded with more offers and accolades following his summer playing at the international level.