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 starts off the season with big Mission League wins

Eric Dearborn
Senior pitcher Duncan Marsten ’24 celebrates as he walks off the field into the dugout.

The baseball team started mission league play Feb. 27 and are 6-0-1 as of March 14. The squad swept Notre Dame High School in a two game series the week of March 11, a team that they did not win a game against during the 2023 season.

Third baseman Jack Laffitte ’25 said he credits the squad’s success this year to the consistent effort every person is putting into the game.

“I think the team has just come together and we all have each other’s backs,” Laffitte said. “We have a very strong connection this year and we play for each other, so one person’s success is everybody’s success.”

The team only has three seniors on the roster, but Cade Goldstein ’25 said he is impressed with the number of underclassmen, and that the youngest members of the team are making an impact on the game.

“[Ira Rootman ’27] wasn’t even with us and then got the call up and has been killing it,” Goldstein said. “He came up and was batting eight or nine, and he’s just been putting together really good at bats against some tough opponents and has moved all the way up to six right now. Defensively as well he’s been locking down the corner of the outfield whether it be left or right field.”

Multiple juniors in the infield are starting for the first time this year. Laffitte said that the transition was comfortable because of the confidence he has in his teammates.

“Coming into the year, I knew I had to step it up,” Laffitte said. “But also everybody around me has made it easy because I know I just need to do my role for the team to be successful. It’s a relief and pressure off of everyone’s shoulders to know that the whole team is contributing equally.”

Jackson Alex ’25 will start on Tuesday rather than Tommy Bridges ’24, who has been the Tuesday starter since freshman year and is currently taking time off. Alex said that the shoes he has to fill are big, but that the strength of the pitching staff this year helps with the challenge.

“It’s a lot of pressure to fill a spot previously occupied by [Bridges] who, last year, broke the [Earned Run Average (ERA)] record at the school,” Alex said. “I feel like I’m going to hone in on our pitching depth right now. We have a lot more depth than previous years and that’s definitely led to the early success in the season. We can keep giving the ball to the next guy and the next guy because we have a ton of faith in a lot of different pitchers in our program.”

In the team’s most recent series against Notre Dame High School on March 13, over 50 scouts were in attendance for draft prospects for pitcher Duncan Marsten ’24, pitcher Bryce Rainer ’24 and Notre Dame High School pitcher Levi Sterling. First Baseman Miguel Villegas ’25 said that in response to a lot of the high-pressure situations, the team is put in, they made up a word the team lives by to promote a sense of purpose and calm.

“Coined by [Ethan Price ’26], ‘simpilize’ is a term we use to remind ourselves that we have what it takes, and we just have to go out and execute,” Villegas said. “If you try to put a ton of pressure on yourself or overthink in a sport like baseball, you’re not going to do as well, so we all tell each other this as a funny, but important reminder to keep doing what we’re doing.”

The team faces Crespi High School on March 20.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Eden Conner, Editor-in-Chief

Comments (0)

All The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *