Varsity Baseball Team Leads with Defense in League Play

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Varsity Baseball Team Leads with Defense in League Play

Senior Pitcher Aidan Kennedy takes the mound in a pre-League game versus Steele Canyon High.

Senior Pitcher Aidan Kennedy takes the mound in a pre-League game versus Steele Canyon High.

Kayli Sandoval

Senior Pitcher Aidan Kennedy takes the mound in a pre-League game versus Steele Canyon High.

Kayli Sandoval

Kayli Sandoval

Senior Pitcher Aidan Kennedy takes the mound in a pre-League game versus Steele Canyon High.

Kayli Sandoval, Editor-in-Chief

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Returning from a strong season, and losing eight seniors in the graduating class of 2018, the UC High Baseball Team knew they would have big shoes to fill and would have to put in the work during preseason to see similar results this year.

   Currently, 14 games in, the team’s batting average (BA) is .291, their on-base percentage (OBP)  is .423, their overall earned run average (ERA) is 2.96, and their overall record is 7-7, according to an official high school sports statistics website (maxpreps.com). Senior Co-Captain Christian Wood explained, “This preseason really played a big role, because it showed us where we stand as a team and what we need to work on as a unit.”

   Last year, the team went 19-12 and came in second place in the City League, following Coronado High. Senior Co-Captain Aiden Kennedy explained, “Compared to last year, our team is much, much younger. I see this as both a strength and weakness, because our young guys have some really great talent but just not as much experience as the older guys.”

   Head Coach Richard Frink added that the first-year varsity eleventh and tenth graders have been doing very well thus far. He added, “The success we had last year will help the current returning players see what it takes. They know each game and opponent is different, but we need to play at a high level.”

   Similar to last year, the team is still in City League and Division Three, although there were some changes in the teams who are a part of the City League. According to a high school sports website, this year La Jolla High and Patrick Henry High have replaced Coronado High and Clairemont High (maxpreps.com).

   In order to maintain a winning streak and take momentum going into League and playoffs, Frink explained that the coaches are focused on hard work and repetition. He stated, “We [the coaches] emphasize the little things and fundamentals to show that success is built on the little things.”

   One key to the team, defensively, has undeniably been the bullpen. Frink explained, “[The pitching staff]  have really worked hard to dominate on the mound. They do this with command of multiple pitches and tenacity.” Kennedy added, “Right now, our pitching has definitely been our greatest asset. It’s keeping us in games against really good teams. We have a couple of good starters, with a really deep bullpen that will get us out of jams with ease.”

   Offensively, the team has been struggling with hitting in clutch situation;  however, the use of small ball has been their way of loading the bases. “Recently, small ball has definitely been our ticket. We’ve got some guys that will put the ball in the gap though and even a couple that can put it over the fence. Lately, we’ve been focusing on getting runners on base one step at a time, whether it’s bunting or other small ball tactics.” Kennedy added, “Eventually, we’ll get one of our bigger guys up to bat and they can put the ball in a gap and knock in all the runners we put on with small ball.”

   The team looks to be on track to dominating in League and taking the City League Title. “When we are rolling, there is no stopping us,” stated Wood.

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