Baseball team tries to charge up a change in offense

March 23, 2009 — by Lyka Sethi

With a winning record of 4-2 at the very beginning of the season and a new set of enthusiastic coaches, the varsity baseball team is working toward a stellar season.

The boys played three preseason games, first defeating Westmont 2-1 on Feb 25, then Leland 11-4 on Feb 26 and finishing with a close loss to Harker 5-3 on March 5. They then took home a victory at their first El Camino league game against Gunn on March 10 with a score of 2-1 before losing to Mountain View 7-10 on March 12, and finally scoring a 3-0 victory against Fremont on March 17.

“Pitching and fielding have been really strong so far,” said junior outfielder Grant Thomas of the recent games, “but our offense has suffered and we’ve been leaving a lot of people on bases.”

Thomas attributes their early victories to both the youngest and oldest players on the team. With two sophomores on varsity this year, Greg Johnson, who plays second base and catcher, and Dylan Pak, who plays shortstop and second base, six juniors and several returning seniors, the team contains a good blend of experienced and new players. Top hitters include Thomas, seniors Casey Farmer and Joey Avery and sophomore Greg Johnson. Top pitchers include Avery, senior Alex Wokas and senior Christian Biederman.

“We’ve been playing pretty well,” said Thomas, who has played on varsity since his sophomore year. “The team works well together but a lot of the returning players are frustrated because we haven’t been playing as well as we could be.”

With new coach Manny Steffen and assistant coach Travis Hatfield, however, the boys hope to improve their playing throughout the season.

“The new coaches are both really young and energetic,” said Thomas. “They definitely have the desire to win and have a lot of baseball knowledge.”

By taking advantage of these new coaches, the boys hope to work on their techniques and skills for their upcoming tournaments and league games.

“We need to work on everything, of course, because we can always get better,” said Thomas, “but one thing we have to improve is our hitting. I’m pretty sure we’ll start showing improvement as we play more games and get back into the right mindset.”

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