Baseball faces important series before playoffs

It certainly isn’t October, but the hunt for playoff baseball has begun. The baseball team heads into the final weeks of the regular season with important series against Chaminade, Loyola and St. Francis, all with the pressure of keeping their playoff hopes alive. The squad holds a 10-8 overall record, and needs to capture third place in Mission League if they have any chance of reaching the postseason. For Coach Matt LaCour, the team has progressed from last year.

“We have played well and shown improvement in some major areas from last year,” he said.

The team played in a tournament in Las Vegas over Spring Break and had a 3-1 record.  Hunter Spinks ’09 led the team in runs batted in with 9. The atmosphere provided fraternity for the team, something that the coach commented on.

“The guys got to hang out together and got along really well,” LaCour said.

“It was nice to go out there and play a few games against some good teams in a different setting,” Spinks said.

To make the playoffs, though, the team has to do more than just get along. With runners in scoring position, the team needs to hit for a higher average according to LaCour. Also, defense has been an issue, but the team has made strides since the beginning of the year.

Despite the lack of production, Danny Kim ’08 has stepped up this year. With an injury sidelining starting catcher Sam Katz ’09, Kim has been forced to fill his shoes. LaCour always talks about taking advantage of opportunities, and the senior has done so, LaCour says.

“[Kim] has really picked his game up.  He is leading our team in hitting and has been solid behind the plate.  He has created a nice niche for himself on our team,” the coach said.

Leadership has not been an issue for the Wolverines. The seniors have been role models and have taught the younger players, letting the coaches step back and take a breather, LaCour said.