Take Me Out to the Ballgame

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Take Me Out to the Ballgame

John Paul Spak, Writer

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On Monday, April 30th, the Hawks played Oakridge on a turf field in Grand Prairie in what they hoped would be a practice game for SPC that week. But as the game came close to finishing, that hope slowly dwindled as the Greenhill Hornets exploded for 17 runs against ESD. As the Hawks entered the final inning, down four to two, they knew they were playing in their final game of the season. Even though they lost the game (by the same score), this one picture does not do justice to their season, as there were many memorable performances from Hawks both new and old.

Per usual, the Hawks started the season a bit behind everyone else in SPC. Three of the top four hitters in the lineup had graduated, and the other, Ethan Barrhydt (’20), suffered tendinitis in his wrist that prevented him from batting for the majority of the start of the season. Of the fourteen players that made up the varsity roster, only half had played the previous year, and only five of those had had serious playing experience. Nevertheless, in classic Cistercian fashion, the Hawks battled through the tough early stage of the season. Although suffering a miserable performance in their first scrimmage against ESD, the Hawks quickly rebounded in their first game against St. Stephen’s, winning by a score of 6-5.

There were many bright spots early in the season that looked promising for the coming weeks. Sebastian Currlin (’19) stepped up to anchor the leadoff spot, Eli Sanford (’22) surprised everyone with his athletic ability as a freshman, and Sam Reimer (’19) managed to play his way from a bench spot to a starting outfield spot, despite his blazingly slow running ability. With a 9-2 victory over Greenhill over Spring Break, the Hawks looked primed to seriously contend in SPC play beginning the next week.

For the first game against St. Mark’s, the team looked good to start. The bats were alive and Alex Ardemagni (’22) amazed everyone with his effectiveness on the mound. But then a plague hit the team, one that spelled certain doom for any baseball team afflicted with it. What exactly am I referring to? None other than the evil curse of errors and bad fielding. For the next month, errors continued to pummel the Hawks, and they quickly found themselves with an SPC record of 0-3 heading into a very important must-win game against Casady.

The Hawks, however, would not be put down by their recent disappointments. In a great team performance, the Hawks soundly defeated Casady 6-1. Ardemagni threw seven strong innings and recent varsity call-up Oliver Currlin (’22) delivered two clutch runs that helped seal the victory. Things seemed to be turning around for the Hawks, and a win against ESD would essentially guarantee a spot in SPC.

However, the baseball gods had other plans. Once again, the Hawks found themselves afflicted with a baseball disease, namely that of quiet bats. Despite another great pitching performance, this time by Eli Sanford, the Hawks were unable to muster a single run. Now with a record of 1-4, the Hawks had two more games to prove themselves for SPC.

As expected, the Hawks fell to Trinity Valley, who took advantage of the mistakes made once again by the defense. With one more shot to prove their worth, the Hawks took on Greenhill at home, in a win or go home situation. Thankfully, everything came together, and the Hawks looked like the solid baseball team everyone hoped they could be. Ardemagni threw a 2-hit shutout and the defense was lights out as the Hawks blanked Greenhill 2-0.

Unfortunately, Greenhill would have to lose to ESD in order for the Hawks to make it to SPC, and as mentioned at the beginning of this article, that did not even come close to happening. Nevertheless, the season was full of bright spots and admirable performances. Separate from those already mentioned, John Paul Spak (’19) worked through a shoulder injury to become an effective outfielder late in the season and Jack Schieferdecker ’20 was solid behind the plate and a domineering presence in the cleanup spot.

But most importantly, the future looks bright for Hawks baseball. Right now, the team is slated to have six returning starters along with two other members of the varsity roster. Three freshmen, Sanford, Ardemagni, and Currlin, flashed their potential throughout the season, and with two multi-year veterans in Barrhydt and Schieferdecker leading the squad next year, there’s no telling how far the Hawks can go.

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