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Heights Baseball Looks to Reap the Rewards of Hard Work in 2019 Season

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Heights Baseball Looks to Reap the Rewards of Hard Work in 2019 Season

The Olympic Heights 2019 Varsity Baseball Team.

The Olympic Heights 2019 Varsity Baseball Team.

The Olympic Heights 2019 Varsity Baseball Team.

The Olympic Heights 2019 Varsity Baseball Team.

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When Coach Casey Beck took over the helm of the Olympic Heights baseball team four years ago, he had one goal in mind: build a winning program. Similar to most every coach at OH, he wanted to make his team not only part of the school’s list of activities but part of its culture.

Different from previous coaches, Beck had a new plan in mind to turn the program around. His method consisted of establishing a strong freshman class and developing over the years. As they grew older, they would learn from the older players and motivate the younger players coming into the program after them. The 2019 OH baseball season is one where Beck is expecting the dividends of that plant to start paying off.

This year’s baseball juniors and seniors are the dividends of that plan, and by adding a few integral pieces along the way, Beck has built a team that is ready to take the district by storm. This season’s team features stellar pitching, powerful hitting, and rocket-like speedsters. With a group this strong combined with an experienced the coaching staff, the 2019 team seems destined for success.

Beck’s coaching staff consists of Andy Raffa, Gary Feit, and John Damien. Put together by Beck, these men have years of baseball knowledge developed through their past experiences, preparing them for this job. Imparting that knowledge on the team, they have prepared the players for the upcoming season.

When it comes to who’s on the mound, the Lions will blow the ball past the batters with some of the best arms seen in the history of the school. The young pitchers of past years such as junior Patrick Declemente, now have grown stronger and more experienced. The depth of the OH pitching staff is the best in years, meaning the OH faithful should see some amazing stuff on the mound this year.

Senior Lance Dragos is one of those pitchers Beck is expecting big things from. “I’m very excited to see what he’s going to do this year,” Beck comments on Dragos.

Over the years, Dragos has continuously worked as hard as anyone else to find what works best for him. He has changed his mentality on the mound to help him throw strikes, but it’s what he’s done physically is what will stand out. He is now a side-arm pitcher, increasing his chance pitch to strike ratio.

The depth of the pitching staff will be enhanced by having what appears to be a much improved defense behind the hurlers. For the past few seasons, fielding and throwing errors have often been the downfall of the Lions. Whether it’s on the dirt or the grass, there have been numerous missed grounders, fly balls, and errant throws.

Under the tutelage of the coaching staff, the older guys have worked on their routes and throws and have improved on their fielding prowess. A perfect example would be junior Josh Recore. When he was a freshman, due to his inexperience, Recore sometimes would have multiple errors in games. Over the past two years, and Beck and his staff have had time to work with Recore and the other fielders to improve on the defensive side of the game, hopefully reducing the errors to a minimum. With a solid defense in place, the Lions continue to inch closer to the winning record.

The offensive game for the Lions is not only vital in pursuing their winning record, but it’s aspect of the game they have improved tremendously on since last year. In the previous season, mostly sophomores and juniors led the team in almost every offensive category, showing how much potential they had. Realizing their potential this season will make the offense more lethal than ever.

That potential can be seen in junior outfielder Nick Pompile. As one of the most powerful hitters to put on an OH uniform in years, Pompile has unimaginable strength that could possibly lead to multiple home runs this season. Pompile and the rest of the team have spent plenty of time in weight room lifting and conditioning to build their body strength. The expectation is that extra work will pay off when they step into the batter’s box. Judging from players such as Pompile, the offense for the Lions seems to be strong and ready to go.

Overall, under an excellent coaching staff, the Lions baseball team is more ready for success than they’ve been for years. They have worked to master almost all aspects of the game with through the building and development of their players. If things work out the way Beck envisions, this year’s OH baseball team is destined to attain this season’s goal of a winning record and continued improvement.

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Heights Baseball Looks to Reap the Rewards of Hard Work in 2019 Season