Last year, the baseball team barely made the playoffs after winning a play-in game against Justin-Siena. The Hawks’ main strategy was small ball, in large part due to the wood bats required by MCAL rules. The momentum from last year has led the Hawks to expect an MCAL championship this year.
“The expectations are high. We are returning with 10 seniors this season on the team and a lot of quality ball players. I think we should be in top three in the conference and are shooting for the championship,” said manager Mike Terry.
The pitching staff was strong and deep last year and is expected to continue that trend this year.
However, the team lacked a lot of offensive power, and totaled a dismal 27 extra base hits. This was partially made up for by the fact that the team led the league by a wide margin in stolen bases.
“Last year we had the pitching, which we still have this year, but we didn’t have bats, and this year we are looking to improve at the plate,” said senior shortstop Seth Gillis.
This year, the MCAL has decided to return to metal bats, which will slightly alter the Hawks’ offensive strategy.
“A combination of going to the metal bats and having some more physical players this year will give us a higher slugging percentage,” said Terry. “[We] are going to get more balls to the outfield, [and] more opportunities to score from second base. So we’re going to tone the running down just a tad,” he said.
Tam ace pitcher Kit Larson offered his own perspective. “As a pitcher; it always helps to have an edge over the batters [because they use] wooden bats, but I know that my guys have metal bats as well and I’m going to continue pitching my game just the same,” he said.
The team sees no ceiling to their success, but that doesn’t mean that it is an easy road to an MCAL pennant.
“MC and San Marin are going be the teams to compete with, and I think when we are playing well we can absolutely contend with them,” said Gillis.
“There’s no holding back this year. We’re going all out and we expect to roll up any team that stands in our way,” Larson said.
“Nothing will break this team. We are winning a championship.” said senior outfielder Harris Spillman.