Baseball continues to light up the bases
The Indian River baseball team refuses to let up, advancing to 6-0 on the season following a powering 11-1 triumph over league rivals Caesar Rodney last Friday, and a victory over Delmar the day before. The conference heavy-hitters of CR, who sat at 4-1 coming into last Friday’s game, were no match for the Indians, whose pitching and hitting quieted the visiting crowd early in the game. The game helped to clarify any questions about who sat atop of the conference.
Indians head coach Howard Smack lead the team with motivational words following the win, to which the team answered in unison, “States in ’08.” At the rate the IR squad is performing, that chant just may turn into a reality before they realize it.
“This was a real sweet one,” said Smack. “It’s been a few years since we were even in the running with [Caesar Rodney]. They are a high-quality, all-conference team. Let’s face it, they have a baseball tradition. We had come close but just couldn’t get over that hump, but today, we got that.”
Caesar Rodney had only let up one game until Friday, early in the season to Salesianum.
“A win like this really feels good,” Smack said.
The Indians began the game anxious and eager, swinging at most pitches, until they collected themselves and followed through against the side-arm submarine pitches that were dished out.
Bo Wilkinson rocketed a three-run homer in the third to bring the Indians’ score to four, but not before junior second-baseman Cameron Travelini sailed a solo shot over the fence in the second.
“I was really impressed with what Cameron brought to the game,” said Smack. “He had been in a slump, but came out of it today.”
Consistent batting followed, with runs brought in from the team. Sean Lewis brought fellow senior, Luke Wingate, home with a double ripped to left field in the fourth before registering two more RBI’s later in the game. Matt Williamson and Trevor Abbott both proved instrumental, combining for three more RBI’s to seal the deal.
“It makes a difference getting those hits in,” said Smack. “We’ve still got a long way to go, still, so we just have to keep battling.”
The Indians were able to pull a win from Delmar the day before, but only with a final score of 4-1.
“I was a little weary coming into this,” said Smack, “because, yesterday, we had left 12 men on. We were smarter today.”
Catcher Wilkinson had an impressive hurl to second base that caught a CR baseman trying to advance.
Pitcher Luis Barrientos held it down on the mound for the Indians, too.
“I had a lot of confidence on my mind coming into the game,” he said. “The infield is doing their job. We have an awesome defense backing me up. I just get up there and take the game one batter at a time. We just have to come out and play and do what we’ve been doing.”
The Indians will square off against Sussex Tech on Tuesday and Seaford on Friday.
“We’ve got to work hard every day we come to practice,” said Smack, “and it’s going to pay off. Have fun, but work hard. That’s what it’s all about. Like I tell the guys, ‘Respect all, fear none. Just play every game like it’s a state tournament.’”