Baseball starts post-season strong with victories


Casey Slattery ’17 looks to catch a ball during the Wolverines’ 8-0 victory over Chaminade on March 16. Credit: Bennett Gross/ Chronicle.

Bennett Gross

Under first year Head Coach Jared Halpert, the baseball team finished the regular season with an overall record of 22-8 and a Mission League record of 11-7.

Heading into the CIF Playoffs, the Wolverines won five of their final six Mission League games, including a three-game sweep of the Crespi Celts.

The team finished the year as the third best team in the league, only behind Loyola and Chaminade.

Despite its high placement, it was forced to participate in a play-in game in the notoriously difficult CIF-SS Division I bracket.

“Our only goals are to win all of our playoff games and win a CIF championship,” Loren Franck ’18 said. “That should be obvious.”

Harvard-Westlake hosted Westlake and defeated the Warriors 6-4 behind Jesse Bergin’s ’18 six-inning five-strikeout performance.

Bergin got the win with the aid of John Thomas ’16 and Casey Slattery ’17, who each added two RBIs. After the first inning, the Wolverines led 6-0, but had to hang on late in the game to clinch the victory.

The squad advanced to face J.W. North in the first round. The Wolverines won 10-7 with the help of Jake Suddleson’s ’16 two home runs and four RBIs.

Harvard-Westlake got out to an early 5-0 lead, but after four innings, the game was tied at seven runs each. However, the Wolverines scored three in the sixth inning to secure the victory and a ticket to the second round of the Playoffs.

“Getting momentum early in the game is the biggest way to get ahead and stay ahead in games,” Paul Giacomazzi ’16 said. “When we lose that momentum, we have to find some little things to get it back to help us finish the game and end up on the right side of the scoreboard.”

With the two wins, the Wolverines advanced to the round of 16 and faced Vista Murrieta Tuesday. The results of the game were not available as of press time.

“Our main goal for the rest of the year is to just focus on the task at hand,” Suddleson said. “Obviously getting better is still a priority, but the playoffs are a whole different animal, and we are trying to focus on winning game-by-game.”

Next season, the squad will lose 11 seniors, including all three starting outfielders and both middle infielders.

The team will rely on rising seniors Matt Thomas ’17, Ben Geiger ’17, Nico Mannucci ’17 and Sam Peacock ’17.

“[Thomas] is such a natural leader and people have always gravitated towards him,” Suddleson said. “We always joke that he is going to be President some day, so it would only be fitting that he be a major leader on the team next year. Not to mention that he would be following in the footsteps of his brother, who is a major leader this year.”