Team looks for CIF redemption after 2018 early exit

Team looks for CIF redemption after 2018 early exit

Full Sand: Williams College commit and pitcher Jack Sandifer ’19 follows through after throwing a pitch in a 5-2 loss to Notre Dame. After winning the first game of the series, the Wolverines dropped two games to Notre Dame to lose the Mission League Finals. Credit: Caitlin Chung/Chronicle

Baseball has continued its strong season with consistent tournament play, an overall record of 23-5-1 and league record of 4-3-1, placing second in Mission League to rival Notre Dame High School. One of the team’s three losses this season was to Orange Lutheran, ranked first in the nation according to MaxPreps, in the championship of the National High School Invitational Tournament in North Carolina. The Wolverines, ranked third in the nation according to MaxPreps, beat three teams to advance to the championship and lost 6-2 in the championship.

Infielder Tyler Ganus ’20 said the tournament loss motivated the team to do better.

“The feeling of losing in the championship has been memory banked,” Ganus said. “We got to play some elite competition and were able to learn something from every game. Obviously, we did not end how we wanted to, but we competed well and were able to learn from our mistakes going forward with our season.”

Following the tournament, the Wolverines swept league series against St. Francis High School and Loyola High School. In the last Loyola game , the Wolverines went into extra innings. Pitcher and Princeton University commit Jack Limongelli ’19 said he was happy to see catcher Jacob Galloway ’22 come through.

“In the top of ninth, our freshman catcher [Galloway] hit a two run double to put us ahead,” Limongelli said. “It has been really cool seeing him mature this year coming in as a new ninth grader. He has been starting for us and hitting over .400, so he has been one of our best performers.”

With the Notre Dame Knight’s record of 14-3, the last series of the regular season against the Knights determined the champions of the Mission League. In the first game of the series against Notre Dame High School, pitcher Sam Hliboki ’19 got the win for the squad, throwing 108 pitches in 6 ⅔innings with six strikeouts. Outfielder George Cooper ’21 hit his first career home run with three RBIs for the game.

Notre Dame pitcher, outfielder and University of Southern California commit Lucas Gordon ’20 said playing the Wolverines in always exciting.

“The series went really well both teams played great and both fought every inning of every single game,” Gordon said. “The atmosphere is insane playing against [Harvard-Westlake] because of how good each team is all around and every inning will be a dog fight.”

The Wolverines dropped the second game of the series to the Notre Dame Knights 7-5. In the final game of the series, the Wolverines lost 5-2, putting them in second place for the league.

Heading into playoffs, Limongelli said the team hopes to learn from the Notre Dame loss and use it as motivation.

“Obviously, it was a really tough loss for all of us,” Limongelli said. “We left everything on the field. All we can really learn from this is that we are not invincible. We can have good days and bad days, all we can do is try to work as hard as we can.”

The team’s first playoff game is this afternoon at 3:15 p.m. at Valencia High School.

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