The Capuchino High School baseball team struggled last season with a plethora of young players, but came into 2011 with renewed confidence and turned it into an early 3-0 record in the Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division prior to Tuesday’s loss to Half Moon Bay.
“The guys who carried over from last year have stepped up [into leadership roles],” Capuchino coach Matt Wilson said. “You get a little excited for [the season].”
Returning players Alex Cordova and Tim Gretter have led the charge for the Mustangs (7-8, 3-1 PAL Ocean).
Gretter entered the week hitting .458 and a team-high 15 RBIs.
Cordova has been lights out with a 1.12 ERA and opponents are hitting just .128 against him.
The Mustangs hit the ball extremely well as they carry a team batting average of .330. But the Achilles’ heel for Capuchino has been its defense.
In its game against Washington last week, Capuchino scored 10 runs on 15 hits. The Mustangs allowed 12 runs on seven hits while committing six errors in the game.
On the season, the Mustangs have allowed 25 unearned runs in the first 13 games this season.
“We have to play defense better,” Wilson said. “That has to do with a young team.”
Improving their defense will be key if the Mustangs hope to return to the Central Coast Section playoffs, which Capuchino has not been to since 2008.
“If we play defense, we’ll get in,” Wilson said.
Sophomores Jake Steenvoorde, Christian Bautista and Eddie Cecci have been starting for the Mustangs and they have been crucial to the success of the team.
Cecci, in particular, has stepped up big for Capuchino. His .469 batting average leads the team.
The youth movement at Capuchino has Wilson, who is in his 10th year has the Capuchino coach, very excited for the future of the team.
Not to be outdone by his younger teammates, senior Jon Wild is hitting .278 with eight stolen bases.
Capuchino’s biggest competition is Half Moon Bay (14-5, 7-0 PAL Ocean), who thumped Capuchino 11-1 on Tuesday and is off to a very strong start.
“[They’re] a different team from last year,” Wilson said. “We know it’s going to be a fight; they do the little things right.”
Capuchino started similarly last season, going 5-8 in the preseason before going 2-0 to start league. The Mustangs finished the season 9-16 and 4-8 in league.