Lakes Student Media

Baseball Enters Midseason Form Before Playoffs

Juniors+Brandon+Khan+and+Jack+Christensen+warm+up+before+batting+against+Antioch+on+May+3.
Juniors Brandon Khan and Jack Christensen warm up before batting against Antioch on May 3.

Juniors Brandon Khan and Jack Christensen warm up before batting against Antioch on May 3.

Stephen Gerrits

Stephen Gerrits

Juniors Brandon Khan and Jack Christensen warm up before batting against Antioch on May 3.

Stephen Gerrits, Sports Editor

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As the season progresses, the Lakes Community High School Baseball team is working hard to get better everyday. With a junior heavy roster, the team is gaining some experience that will be crucial to any postseason success.

“At the beginning of the season, we were a young team. There was a lack of, I would not say leadership, but of communication that was going on,” junior pitcher Jack Christensen said. “Now that we are in midseason shape, I see on the field that we are talking a lot more, we are communicating with each other.”

There has been consistent improvement over the course of the season according to head coach Ray Gialo.

“We have gotten a lot better, we are starting to win some games where it has been close scores. I do not know if early in the year we would have had the composure to hang on and find ways to win,” Gialo said.

Some of those close games include the 4-0 win against Grayslake Central on May 2 and the 6-2 win over Antioch on May 4. Those close wins have been team wins according to Gialo, but a few players have really stepped up to provide the x-factor.

“We have had some contributions from a lot of different guys up and down. Certainly, I think the pitching of Jack Christensen and [Timothy] Ohlwein has been really key for us this year,” Gialo said. “Stephen Mogged, when he gets on base, is a terror on the bases. Brandon Khan has had some clutch hits.”

Even with his impressive stat line against Grayslake Central, Christensen attributes his success to his teammates.

“Before that [Grayslake Central] game when I was pitching, I did not have great control of my pitches, they were getting up in the [strike] zone and I was not as accurate as I wanted to be,” Christensen said. “By the end of the game, I had only struck out three people and the rest were all ground balls, there was not one fly ball. Our first baseman had about 18 putouts in which our infielders fielded the ball cleanly and threw them out, and there were no errors. They came up big behind me.”

For Gialo, the defense is not a problem heading into the postseason, it is on the other end of the ball, behind the plate, that needs some work.

“We need to execute better offensively. We are not a team that is going to thump the ball out of the park, we have one home run all year, so we are going to have to find a way to generate some runs,” Gialo said.

In order to improve their offensive efficiency, they will have more batting practice, specifically in bunt situations. Their mindset will stay the same moving forward into playoffs.

“What I hope our mindset is that every day, we are better than the day before,” Gialo said. “Conference championships are nice, division championships are nice and all that, but you want to play your best baseball at the end of the year and make as deep of a [playoff] run as you can. So hopefully the mindset is ‘Hey, let’s just get better than we were the day before. If we do that, we will be okay.”

The Eagles play next against Warren on May 18 at 4:30 p.m. at home.

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Baseball Enters Midseason Form Before Playoffs