High School Baseball: Alice's Campos, Carrillo sign with Texas Lutheran

Rey Castillo
Alice Echo News Journal

The bond between Isai Campos and R.J. Carrillo is unmatched and now it's about to become inseparable.

The Alice baseball teammates, who are also best friends, will continue playing the game they love together in college. 

Campos and Carrillo signed to play baseball at Texas Lutheran University on Tuesday in front of friends, family and coaches at the Alice multipurpose facility. 

Campos, a pitcher/infielder and Carrillo, who can play the infield and outfield, will join the Bulldogs for the 2022 season.

"They're going to get two ultra competitive kids who do not like to fail," said Alice baseball coach Nick Alvarado. "They work extremely hard and they take failure and losing very personally. They’re willing to do what it takes to work through the failure and adversity in order to help their team."

Campos and Carrillo played a big part in helping the Coyotes advance to the Class 4A regional quarterfinals for the first time since 2009.

It was also the first playoff appearance for Alice since 2013.

Alice baseball players Isai Campos, left and RJ Carrillo signed with Division III Texas Lutheran on Tuesday in Alice.

"These guys have been in the same classrooms for 12 years and it’s really neat," Alvarado said. "To be able to room together in college and go take care of one another is a very unique situation. It’s special to have them go out together and look back at being former Coyotes."

Campos is coming off an impressive senior campaign after posting a 2.36 earned run average with 75 strikeouts in eight starts. At the plate, he hit .389 with 10 doubles, a triple and 12 RBI.

Campos earned the win in the Coyotes' series-clinching win against Pleasanton in the area round and held No. 1 Calallen to one run during an April 17 start. 

Alice's Isai Campos throws to first base against Tuloso-Midway in the Class 4A regional quarterfinals, Friday, May 21, 2021, at Gustafon-Northside Stadium in San Antonio. Tuloso-Midway won, 3-1.

"Isai is an emotional guy," Alvarado said. "He’s going to wear his emotions on his sleeve and he's going to deal with adversity by adding a little humor to do it. If it’s not fun, it’s going to be funny. He might even have a conversation during an at-bat with a hitter because he’s ultra competitive and ultra emotional in his competitiveness."

Carrillo hit .327 with five doubles, a triple and drove in 17 runs, which was the third most on the team. 

Alvarado described Carrillo as someone with a "hurricane" inside their gut and a player who always strived to make those around him better.

Alice senior R.J. Carrillo looks to make a play during practice at the Alice baseball fields.

"R.J is going to treat a 4-4 day like an 0-4 day and an 0-4 day like a 4-4 day," Alvarado said." He's a competitor and he's a scrappy South Texas kid. That’s what TLU is going to get."

Alvarado said he can envision Carrillo playing the infield or outfield and even a corner spot. For Campos, he see's him continuing to be a two-way player.

"Those two guys are going to demand a lot of themselves in order to be better," Alvarado said. "The fans at TLU and the conference are going to see a lot of that South Texas flavor in those two. It's going to be contagious."