The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Baseball prepares for new season

Charlie Goldstein
Outfielder James Tronstein ’26 looks to make a headfirst slide in a preseason game.

It is 6:45 a.m. as pitcher Tommy Bridges ’24 wakes up to the sound of his alarm and looks at his phone. The words ‘win the day’ stare back at him as he turns off the ringing sound. Reading the phrase, Bridges remembers pitching in the Wolverines’ 2021 CIF Southern Section win. He remembers the group’s second-round exit last year. He remembers that he has a team behind him that became a true community in the offseason — one that is willing to give their all this year in order to win. 

“The group fights,” Bridges said. “I think it all comes down to the fact that we all want it. We’re not taking a pitch off, we’re fighting through every at-bat no matter the score. The inner fire is also coming from [Head Coach Jared Halpert]. He knows what this group can accomplish and he’s setting that “fire” mentality from the top and it’s going through the whole team.”

The squad finished the 2022-2023 season 21-9. In this year’s Perfect Game preseason high school rankings, the Wolverines rank seventh in the nation. Following the loss of multiple seniors, the lineup will look different with all three outfielders, both catchers and multiple pitchers being underclassmen. Middle infielder Cade Goldstein ’25 said he is happy to see how much of the team has stepped into leadership positions.

“All of the juniors and especially returning players are as a whole trying to lead a team of some younger guys who haven’t done it yet, haven’t played a full season [and] haven’t had to deal with big, tough games,” Goldstein said. “The players who have been there and done it already are really stepping up and taking bigger leadership roles.”

Returning to the mound this year are two potential first-round draft picks Bryce Rainer ’24 and Duncan Marsten ’24, as well as Bridges, who is committed to Texas Christian University. First baseman Miguel Villegas ’25 said in addition to the deep pitching staff, the team’s focus on smaller details will be a game-changer in the upcoming season.

“We have multiple first round picks in the senior class and our pitching staff is also a big help because we have so much depth,” Villegas said. “More than that, though, we take pride in the little details because they are what make the difference in a very close game. The preseason was a great opportunity for us as a team to capitalize on working on our flaws and paying attention to the little things.”

The team had some difficulty generating runs toward the end of last season, scoring two in their last 28 innings. Outfielder James Tronstein ’26  says that the team’s hitting performance during the preseason has been great and that the changes the group has made will allow them to continue progressing.

“It all starts with talking to [Halpert] and sharing information,” Tronstein said. “After we hit we talk with each other, we share what our approach is going to be, and another big thing is we talk to Halpert about our approaches. Going into an at-bat with a plan and sticking with that plan throughout the at-bat is a big change from last year to this year.”

The Wolverines will play their first game of the season Feb. 10 against South Hills. Goldstein said the connection between the group this year will make a huge difference in their performance.

“Our success starts with the relationships we have with each other,” Goldstein said. “We’re a band of 20 something brothers and we’re going to win some games.”

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