After putting only one runner on base in the first three innings of its season opener at Sonoma Academy, the Bay baseball team has emphasized stronger starts in its last three contests, plating at least two runs in the first inning of all three. The result: three victories, the most recent of which were a 9-1 rout over Urban on Wednesday and an 8-6 victory over International on Thursday.
Jason ’14 paved the way for the Breakers’ dismantling of the Blues, sending a deep drive to right-center field for a two-run home run, the team’s first big fly of the season, in the opening frame. Jason proceeded to hold Urban to one run on three hits and two walks over 5 1/3 innings, while recording nine strikeouts.
Classmate Sam ’14 got the ball against the Jaguars, and he pitched around a few defensive miscues down the stretch to preserve what, after the fourth inning, was an 8-2 Bay lead. In that fourth frame, Sam authored an Immaculate Inning—nine pitches, nine strikes, three strikeouts—one of three innings in which he struck out the International side. Sam picked up a dozen total strikeouts, and now has 21 of them on the season.
“They’re both good pitchers and they pitched well,” head coach Sean Engmann said. “It’s important to get ahead of hitters and, with some exceptions, we were able to do that this week. It’s still early in the season, so we need to continue to build up their stamina and be more efficient in terms of deciding at-bats with fewer pitches.”
On the offensive side, co-captain Chevalo ’13 tormented the Jaguars with his speed in the bottom of the first inning, after reaching base on a four-pitch walk. Chevalo stole second base and third base, and then scampered home on an errant throw from International’s catcher, putting a run on the board for Bay before the second hitter’s at-bat was complete.
Jaguars starter Noah walked the first three Breakers batters on 13 pitches, helping Bay to climb out of its early, 2-0 hole, but the Breakers did most of the work on their own in the ensuing innings. Nick ’16 catalyzed a pair of rallies in the second and third, with a leadoff walk and a one-out single, respectively, and catcher Jack ’14 enjoyed a 3-for-3 day at the plate, collecting his first RBI of the season by knocking in Jack in the second inning. The bottom of the Breakers’ order accounted for half of the team’s eight runs, showcasing the depth that the team’s lineup can now boast.
Patrick ’16 was called upon to protect a dwindling lead with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, entering the game with the bases loaded and the score at 8-4. Patrick allowed a single to the first batter he faced, and then raised blood pressures in the dugout and across the Moscone-Hennessey field stands by bobbling a comebacker. Fortunately, he recovered to record the out, earning his first high-school save—and the team’s first save of the season—in the process.
Patrick also worked 1 2/3 innings in relief of Jason on Wednesday, so he was on the mound for the final out of both wins, which marked Bay baseball’s first back-to-back victories against BCL West opponents in program history.
“It’s always good to win and beat teams from that league,” Engmann said. “There’s a bit of a false aura about the West, and these victories show that we can compete well over there. Now we move on to Marin Academy; they’re a good opponent and we’ll have all that we can handle next week against them and College Prep.
Engmann emphasized playing “complete games” in the postgame meeting on Thursday, and noted that the key to extending the team’s three-game winning streak will be maintaining the same “sharpness” that the Breakers showed early on against Urban and International through the seventh inning.
“Half of our runs allowed are unearned and most of the earned runs resulted from walks,” Engmann said. “We need to eliminate the gifts, throw strikes and make the routine plays to be successful. Our players need to be more game-aware.”
The Breakers will try to take those next steps on March 21, when they will travel to Albert Park in San Rafael for a 6:30 p.m. date with the Wildcats. Bay is set to host College Prep at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, in its final non-league contest before BCL Central play begins at Pescadero the following week.
— Daniel Rathman is the quality control assistant for the Bay baseball team. He was a member of The Bay School’s first graduating class and graduated from Tufts University last May. In addition to his coaching duties, Daniel is a writer and editor for Baseball Prospectus, and a soon-to-be graduate student at New York University.