Last year, the varsity baseball team rode a hot streak all the way to the NCS championship game in the Oakland Coliseum. This year, they appear to be picking up similar momentum. The Hawks (12-8) are on a 3-game winning streak, after beating some of the toughest teams in MCAL. “[The] last few games, we’ve had the mentality that we can win any game. A lot of that derived from when we beat first place Drake pretty impressively,” senior pitcher and pinch-run specialist Elliot Dorenbaum said.
The Hawks have been able to move smoothly through the season thanks to more consistent play in every category. “Our pitching is settling down, while our hitting is continuing to heat up. Everything’s clicking,” senior captain Chris Hayman said.
“We’ve stopped thinking about individual stats and are playing for the team,” senior third baseman Jonny Wachtel said.
During a slump earlier in the season, many players blamed inconsistent play as their primary fault, but this is no longer the case. “The mojo’s way better,” junior Will Coomber said.
While the Hawks have seen impressive hitting from everyone on the team, the heart of the team’s batting order has struck fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers. The 3-4 hitter combination of Hayman and Wachtel has been deadly. Hayman is hitting .396 and leads the team with 16 RBI’s, while Wachtel is hitting .426 with 13 RBI’s.
“It’s great having Jonny hit behind me in the order, because I know the pitcher can’t walk [me] with a bat like that behind me, so I can wait on my pitch,” Hayman said.
Pitching has also been heating up for the Hawks, apparently at just the right time. Both senior Kenny Rosenberg, who is also a Tam News reporter, and sophomore Mason Collins have thrown complete games while looking practically untouchable. Additionally, senior Zack Tolpen, also a Tam News reporter, leads MCAL with a 0.46 ERA during league play.
“Our pitching has been pounding the strike zone lately,” Wachtel said.
While the team’s record is similar to that of last year, the method has been different. “This year we are a lot deeper. A ton of guys have given key contributions, unlike last year where we basically had our nine starters and that was it,” senior captain and catcher Kevin Jordan said.
“I expect this team to be a top competitor in the postseason and to finish towards the top of the league,” Wachtel said.