Pitching staff fine-tuning skills as season continues

Senior+Justin+Still+pitches+during+the+varsity+game+against+Brophy+Prep.+The+team+came+out+on+top+with+a+5-2+victory.+

Liberty Wall

Senior Justin Still pitches during the varsity game against Brophy Prep. The team came out on top with a 5-2 victory.

Currently standing fifth in the division, baseball is working on coming together as a team in order to improve their win streak. With a win-loss streak of 3-4, some improvement is needed in order to rise up within the rankings. 

During last Friday’s game against Cibola High School, 1st-time varsity starter sophomore Zack Agnew helped lead the team to an 8-2 victory. Pitching 4 of the 7 innings, with three strikeouts and no walks, Agnew was a force to be reckoned with. “It feels like they have a chance to start winning again,” Agnew said.

Head Varsity Coach Damien Tippett said that Agnew “has shown all year that he has the guts to pitch in big situations against really talented hitters” and that the coaches had “100% confidence in him” going into the Cibola game. 

However, due to Agnew only being a sophomore, he said, “a lot of work” is required in order to start on varsity “because I’m a lot younger than a lot of them.” A good portion of Agnew’s teammates are upperclassmen, forcing him to work harder to perform to the best of his ability and stand out in practices and in games. 

Tippett said, “I think our pitching staff is trying too hard” and that they believe that “every pitch has to be perfect” in order to win the game. 

The pitching staff consists of only three returning varsity pitchers, adding a disadvantage and new dynamic that the staff needs to account for and adjust to, during practices and future games. 

Along with simply pitching during the games, and facing the in-game pressure, starting varsity means more crowded stands and reporters throughout the duration of the game. Tippett said, “The hooting and hollering, everyone paying attention to your game”, compared to junior varsity where the crowds may be more if not only, composed of family members is an adjustment the pitching staff needs to account for. 

Varsity pitcher senior Justin Still said, “We hit a rough spot, but I think we’re playing better as the season goes on.” Still has been on varsity since his sophomore year, and plans to work on throwing more strikes and “pitching to contact” for the remainder of this season. 

Looking forward to their game against Brophy Prep, Still said, “I’ve been studying their lineup” and hopes to “get them all out”. Tippett added, “we’re trying to be more detail-oriented and have a higher sense of urgency” when practicing and preparing for upcoming games. 

They then proceeded to beat Brophy 5-2 on Tuesday, and with their overall run average and walks dropping, the season is beginning to look up the varsity pitchers and team as a whole.