Playoff loss spells early end to baseball season


Loren Franck ’18 watches as a Dana Hills baserunner rounds third base in the Wolverines’ 3-1 playoff defeat. Credit: Aaron Park/Chronicle

Aaron Park

Just a year removed from a CIF-SS Division I title game appearance, the baseball team is out of playoff contention, as MLB Pipeline No. 8 prep prospect Hans Krause pitched Dana Hills to victory over the Wolverines in the first round of postseason play Thursday afternoon.

“I’m feeling heartbroke for our kids, that’s what I’m feeling,” head coach Jared Halpert said. “We ask a lot of our kids and they give us more than we ask for.”

Ace right-hander Jesse Bergin opened the game with four no-hit innings before the Dolphins broke through in the fifth.  After surrendering a run in the first off of infielder Mike Snyder’s ’19 RBI groundout, Dana Hills’ Krause was able to match Bergin with six innings of one-run ball.

“They had a stud on the mound, we knew he was going to be good,” outfielder RJ Schreck ’18 said. “We knew he threw hard, but we’ve faced hard throwers all year. We saw it with [Notre Dame pitching prospect] Hunter [Greene].  We lit up Hunter. It didn’t work out well for us in the end, but we knew in our minds that we had it in us. We just needed to trust ourselves, we just needed to stay through the ball.”

After his four-inning roll, Bergin surrendered both his first hit and run of the game in the fifth inning.  The sixth inning, however, proved to be the Wolverines’ unraveling.  After the leadoff batter reached on an error, Dana Hills tacked on a pair of runs with RBI singles. Closer Nico Manucci ’17 relieved Bergin with two outs in the inning.

“We do the best we can to evaluate the opponents that we’re facing and certain matchups and situations of the game,” Halpert said.  “It’s really not a set thing, it’s going to be on the decision of the game and what’s needed at that time.”

In all, Bergin threw 5.2 innings, striking out five.

Thirteen Wolverine seniors will graduate this offseason, including starting pitcher Ben Geiger ’17 and batters Matt Thomas ’17 and Casey Slattery ’17.

“I wish I had the right thing to say,” Thomas said of the senior class.  “They were so unbelievable and such great people and guys and brothers to be around.  I just wish we had one more chance together, I’d give anything for it.”