Heights Baseball Primed for District Tournament Championship Run

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Heights Baseball Primed for District Tournament Championship Run

Lance Dragos (left) has been the ace of the Olympic Heights baseball team's pitching staff; shortstop Brooks Lamb is leading the team in hitting.

Lance Dragos (left) has been the ace of the Olympic Heights baseball team's pitching staff; shortstop Brooks Lamb is leading the team in hitting.

Lance Dragos (left) has been the ace of the Olympic Heights baseball team's pitching staff; shortstop Brooks Lamb is leading the team in hitting.

Lance Dragos (left) has been the ace of the Olympic Heights baseball team's pitching staff; shortstop Brooks Lamb is leading the team in hitting.

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For the Olympic Heights varsity baseball team, this is the year that it was finally supposed to reach its full potential, entering the season with rising expectations from their mediocre prior seasons.

Now, as the team continues to get the job done on the field, it enters the district playoffs with a confidence it hasn’t felt in years. As the team readies for the district tournament, it is a good time to take a look back on the milestones the team has reached this season.

To start, the Lions’ pitchers have taken it to the next level when it comes to eliminating batters. With a combination of elite seniors and developing juniors and sophomores, the boys on the mound have been striking out batters at the pace they breathe. In all of the team’s success, the main man getting the job done on the bump has to be their ace in the hole, senior Lance Dragos.

Dragos, who has committed to play college ball at Lynn University, has been tearing it up, throwing everything he can towards home plate this season. He currently holds a 4-2 record. While it could be better, it’s the individual statistics that reveal how great he has been throughout this season.

In his eight games pitched, Dragos has only allowed 10 hits while striking out 16 batters. Also, he has walked just four batters this season. Basically, he allows less than two hits per game and walks about one batter every two games. This is more than enough to give his team the opportunity to win. While Dragos and the pitching staff certainly have done their jobs, the boys behind the bump has shown some skillful play as well.

Of course, on the defensive side of the game, the pitcher doesn’t do everything to keep runs off the board for the opposing team. As opposed to last season, the fielders behind the guys on the mound have kept errors to a minimum. What’s been giving the Lions the edge in the field has been the new defensive alignment that places the best fielders in at all times.

This improved alignment features a mix of juniors and seniors that gives the Lions the best chance to keep runs to an all-time low. Of course, the latest combinations for the Lions are not set in stone, so their current lineup can change in an instant.

In the infield, the Lions have Michael Velardi’s strong arm at third base, Brooks Lamb’s quickness at short stop, Cameron Moss or Cameron Ba at second base, and the long stretches of Nick Delgardio at first base. This infield is fast, quick-thinking, and smart in getting the outs in the orange area of the field.

Even though the infield is very important in a baseball team’s success, the outfield has done its job as well. With the combination of Nick Pompile in left field, and Michael Greff and Jake Luongo alternating right and center field, almost no extra bases are claimed by opponents’ baserunners.

Last but definitely not least, the possible main explanation for the Lions recent success has to be what they do on offense. With the team posting a collective on base percentage of .442, it’s almost impossible to not throw up at least five runs per game. After a silent season at the plate last season, this 2019 squad has dramatically improved on offense.

With a lot of players to choose from, the most recognizable offensive threat on this Lions varsity team has to be the senior at shortstop, Brooks Lamb. Out of all players with at least twenty-five plate appearances, Lamb has the highest batting average at .408. He also leads the team in hits with an astounding 20 hits, including 14 singles, four doubles, one triple, and one home run. It is clear that with Lamb leading the way, the offense for the Lions has lit it up this season.

In short, in comparison to the previous year, the OH varsity baseball team has entirely exceeded expectations. The team’s record has improved tremendously, good enough for the best in about 20 years, setting itself up in a good position entering the postseason. Hopefully they can keep their momentum and take charge in the upcoming district tournament.

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