April 16, 2019.
The JV baseball season is a little more than halfway over and has been somewhat of a disappointing season. As of April 5th, their record is 2-8. The teams that we beat are Lehigh Senior High School and Immokalee High School. Even though the season hasn’t been smooth so far, there are some positives. A freshman on the team, Diego Ramos responded to this stating, “I believe we are better than our record, yes we have a lot of losses, but a lot of them were close games, I think we are a good team but we need to finish off games.”
Many freshmen on the JV team like Mason Gifford and Payton Wood have showed a lot of promise whether it is hitting or fielding. Mason has been awesome behind the plate, while Payton is slugging at the plate already hitting a home run.
Also, there have been some outstanding pitchers including Connor Stillwell and Bruce Blocker. Connor has started pitching six of the games and during both wins. However, Bruce has had some arm injuries and hasn’t had the opportunity to pitch as much, but during his opportunities, he has done nothing but succeed.
The team’s main struggle is defense and fielding. There have been enough runs scored most of the games to give us a chance to win and the pitching usually throws a lot of strikes. During many of the close games, it came down to defense and the other team made less errors. Diego also commented on this stating, “I agree that our biggest flaw is fielding and if we work on it a lot, it could give us the edge in close games.”
There have been a lot of close games when the Bears ended up losing. One example was a 4-3 loss to Naples in which we started off the game with a 2-0 lead but couldn’t hold on. Also, the first game of the season against Gulf Coast. Palmetto Ridge was down 10-2 in the 6th inning and scored five in two innings to almost come back and win. Another game that could have been won by the Bears was a game against Lely, when the Bears were up 7-3, but couldn’t hold on and loss 10-7. Lastly, against Labelle, Palmetto Ridge was up the entire game until Labelle scored four in the last inning to end on top.
There is still some hope left as there is three games left in the season and an end of season tournament at Barron Collier. These games include: a rematch at home against Lely, our last away game before the tournament at South Fort Myers, and our season finale, home against Barron Collier.
Even though the Palmetto Ridge JV baseball team is winning very many games, the point of JV is to get prepared for Varsity and try to develop the necessary skills to be successful. Every player learned a lot about JV baseball and what they need to improve on to be able to at the Varsity level. Every player on the team has shown some potential and will one day be the Varsity level.
Connor Stillwell, Freshman
Matthew Gallaghar, Sophomore
Diego Ramos, Freshman
Kyle Steward, Freshman
Mason Gifford, Freshman
Armando Correa, Sophomore
Bruce Blocker, Freshman
Payton Wood, Freshman
Alec Bandara, Sophomore
Zach Bragg, Freshman
Eric Figueroa, Freshman