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Juan Avila, who appreciates analytics, sees numbers up in second varsity start for Reavis. ‘You know what to do.’

James C. Svehla/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Reavis pitcher Juan Avila loves crunching numbers.

The sophomore right-hander appreciates the analytical side of baseball so much that he would like to make a career out of it.

“Going to the major leagues as a pitcher would definitely be my main goal,” Avila said. “But if I don’t, I want to try to be a data scientist for a Major League Baseball team or something like that in a front-office position.”

Avila put his data to work to prepare for his second varsity start.

It paid off Tuesday afternoon as he struck out eight over five innings, allowing just three hits to help the host Rams roll to a 12-1 win in five innings over Marian Catholic in Burbank.

Tino Villagomez led the offense for Reavis (4-1), going 3-for-3 with five RBIs and ending the game with a walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth.

Robert Soto also hit a two-run homer for the Rams, while Jonathan Liesen had a triple, two runs and two RBIs and Isaac Velasco went 2-for-3 with a run.

Joey Baranski, Nick Willoughby and Tyler Maross each had a hit for Marian Catholic (4-4), with Baranski driving in the Spartans’ lone run.

Avila, who was on the freshman team last season, got the start on opening day for his varsity debut March 12 against two-time defending Class 3A state champion Nazareth.

He gave up five runs in two innings in a 16-7 loss but learned some lessons.

“The biggest thing was just being more in control mentally speaking,” Avila said. “Trying to overcome those mistakes that you took note of in the first game, correcting them for upcoming games and trusting your guys.

“I felt like that was the one thing I kind of lacked in the first start was trusting my guys to make plays behind me.”

Avila’s passion for data helps him break down his opposition.

“It was just knowing when to fully lock in mentally,” Avila said. “There are some guys you can get away with maybe not being focused in as much.

“With other guys, it’s realizing, ‘Hey, this guy is really good hitting stuff off the plate.’ Or, ‘he’s really good with fastballs, curveballs, etc.’ You know what to do for that specific batter.”

Reavis coach Don Erickson has seen Avila grow rapidly from a lower-level pitcher to someone he trusted to start the season opener.

“He got stronger, he hit the weight room all offseason and he grew about three or four inches,” Erickson said. “He’s throwing a lot harder, got a tight breaking ball. He’s going to help up a lot.”

The Rams gave Avila plenty of support, scoring in every inning. Villagomez put the exclamation point on the win with a towering two-run home run to right to end the game in the fifth.

“It was great,” Villagomez said. “In my head, I was just thinking, ‘Fastball right down the middle.’ I didn’t want to do too much — just hit a line drive, and that’s what I did, and it went out.”

Villagomez also enjoyed watching Avila dominate on the mound.

“Juan is great,” Villagomez said. “It’s his first year on varsity and he’s coming out hot.”

Avila felt extra prepared for this season because he kept his arm working all winter in a manner very different from pitching.

He was a member of the Rams’ bowling team.

“I feel like that helped me train my arm, keep it active and make sure it never got too idol,” Avila said. “It definitely helps me be ready to come back quickly after the last time I pitch.

“Bowling also helps me keep myself in control mentally, preparing me for games like this. I was ready for a game like this.”