One last goodbye for the varsity seniors
Struggling out of the gate, American High’s varsity boys baseball team was crushed by the rival Washington Huskies 11-0, their third worst loss of the season, on American’s Senior Night.
In a game where American failed to perform well in any aspect of the game (pitching, hitting, or fielding), even American’s most reliable pitcher had a shaky outing on the mound. Junior pitcher Jacob Hord was tagged for a season high, nine runs, as the Huskies frequently squared balls up and chased Hord from the game after just four innings.
Washington attacked Hord early and often as they threw up four runs in the first inning, three in the second, and two in the third before the Eagles head coach, Steve Jespersen, pulled him in favor for sophomore Brandon Donley. Still, after Hord has been solid for most of the season, his teammates still backed him after his subpar performance.
“Jacob has been great and pretty solid for most of the season, but I think he might just have had an off night,” senior infielder Tyler Bernath said.
“He has been doing well for us all season,” senior outfielder Mohammad Asad said. “We thought he just wasn’t in his groove and we couldn’t do anything about it.”
Pitching wasn’t the only problem that doomed the Eagles on Senior Night; they failed to get any offensive momentum going throughout the game, and had too many miscues on the defensive side of the ball, that eventually led to runs for Washington. American had as many hits as they did errors (four) against Washington, but it was not because their rival’s pitcher was anything too special.
“I don’t know why we couldn’t get the bats going against Washington,” Asad said. “The pitcher wasn’t throwing anything special, I guess it just wasn’t our day.”
On the other hand, Bernath had a different explanation as to why American committed so many costly mistakes on the field on Senior Night.
“I am not sure what it is, our focus is there,” Bernath said. “ I noticed we play really well when we do not have a crowd and when we do we [explicit] the bed. I wish our playing was flawless all the time but it is what it is.”
Yet, the night was not only just about the game. It was also a night for the seniors, Bernath, Asad, and Jeremy Martinez, to play one last home game at American before they end the school year, leave American, and move on to the next chapter of their lives.
“I have spent four years here at American baseball, participating in this organization was one of the best things that has happened to me,” Bernath said. “It made me grow up. I learned baseball skills and life skills along the way.”
“Over the past four years at American, I have learned a lot from the baseball point of view and from a building character perspective,” Asad said. “I feel that baseball has made me a better person and has taught me skill that I can’t learn in other places. I have created a bond with these guys over the past four years, and I hope to make the bond even stronger, even though I will be leaving American. They were not only my friends or teammates, but they are my brothers and I will never forget them.”