By SHIAVAM SUDAME
A 7-0 preseason has Baseball poised for a strong push at a CIF berth. After a 2-13 record in league last season, the team has improved drastically.
A large part of the turnaround has been the new coach, Mike Gerakos. His appointing came after the unexpected departure of former coach Kevin McCaffrey, who left to Corona del Mar. Gerakos stepped in and has had tremendous success. His players attributed their success to his concept of the “Energy Bus” and thoughts on Murphy’s Law. “He made us better competitors,” senior catcher Kahi Rodrigues said.
The Trojans will enter the season with tremendous confidence, after having won the Newport Elk Tournament, OC Division. They defeated Irvine 7-4 behind three runs batted in (RBI) from senior second baseman Andie Masotto and two RBI from David Schlomovitz. Schlomovitz has had a stellar preseason, allowing no runs and striking out 26 in 15 innings pitched. He and right fielder Adam Barnett have both also hit home runs, the first home runs for the Trojans since 2015.
The team is expecting the return of two-star juniors from injuries; Nick Wetzel needs around three weeks to heal from a broken hand, and Jake Rome is day-to-day with a pulled hamstring. Their return will extend the team’s hitting even deeper into their lineup.
Schlomovitz is expected to continue his two-way production. The Point Loma recruit is the ace of the rotation and, batting cleanup as the DH, use his power to drive in many runs. Rodrigues is looking to build on a fantastic campaign last year, in which he batted around .300 and gunned out about 80% of runners. Masotto and shortstop John Rizzo, coupled with Rodrigues and Schlomovitz, should create a strong 1-4 of the lineup.
The Trojans play their season opener at home on Friday, March 16 against Northwood.