The offense came early and often for the Lane Tech Indians baseball team Tuesday.
The Indians (4-9, 1-0) defeated the Walter Payton College Prep Grizzlies 11-0 in a five inning game at Seward Park. The Indians got things going right away in the first; as the first of 5 runs in the inning came from an RBI triple off the bat of catcher Alex Sheehan with 1 out. Mike Henry followed with an RBI double, and outfielder Cody Davis walked before infielder Ricky Hernandez belted a 2-run single into right field to make it 4-0. The first-inning explosion of offense would then be capped off by an RBI double from shortstop Ari Harris.
Sheehan, along with head coach Dean Stavrakas, give credit for the team’s offensive consistency to their recent trip to Florida; where they had to face some tough competition from around the sunshine state while bonding with each other as teammates.
“The trip really put our team together and our offense together,” said Sheehan, who went 2-for-3 with 3 RBI in Tuesday’s game. “Since the end of the trip, our offense has really started clicking; and we’re just on a roll right now.”
“We had very good bonding on the trip,” Stavrakas said. “Every day we improved our skills, and that’s what we wanted to do. Now, we want to maintain that and continue to grow.”
Davis went 1-for-2 with 2 RBI; a 2-run single in the 3rd inning to put the Indians up 9-0. Hernandez went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI, while third baseman William Munoz went 1-for-2 with 2 RBI; a 2-run single in the 4th to give the Indians the 11-0 lead.
The Indians drew 11 walks in the 5 innings played, and Sheehan knows that the patience that he and his teammates have at the plate now is an improvement from earlier in the season.
“We had been taking alot of pitches earlier in the season, alot of strikes,” he said. “We went through a phase where we were swinging at alot of bad pitches, and now I think we’re finally seeing what we want to see and people know what they want to hit.”
With the lessons from the Florida trip fresh in their mind as they begin conference play, Sheehan and his teammates have an extra boost of confidence knowing that they held their own against the intense out-of-state competition.
“Being able to compete with the teams out there,” he said. “The level of play that they were at and the fact that we were still competing with them, it’s a good feeling.”