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BASEBALL NOTEPAD: Depth, chemistry bode well for Hawks
It’s not easy to measure a team’s progress after just three games. But for Brooke Point and second-year coach Matt Mallory, last week’s 3–0 start is a welcome sign.
The Black–Hawks struggled to a 4–17 mark last year during an emotional season after the loss of their former coach, Brian Mays, who passed away three months before play started.
Most of that team is back with a year’s experience under Mallory, a former assistant to Mays. The benefits of that experience are already paying dividends.
“I think going 4–17 last year has gotten us going,” Mallory said. “These guys are committed to winning and changing the perception of Brooke Point baseball.”
In last week’s three victories, the Black–Hawks outscored their opponents by a combined 16–3 margin. In all three games, different players stepped up.
In a 2–1 win over Riverbend, senior Ryan Afman earned the save in relief of Joe Mason and Nick Trio. Afman also contributed a pair of hits to help overcome a strong showing by the Bears’ Anthony Burke, who went the distance.
Junior Joe Trio was a catalyst in a 2–0 victory over Massaponax on Wednesday. Trio picked up the win with six strikeouts in five innings. He also delivered an RBI single—one of only five hits by the Black–Hawks.
On Friday, catcher Colin Knight sparked a 12–2 five-inning victory over Orange with two RBIs and a strong defensive performance behind the plate.
“We’ve got good team chemistry and good depth,” Mallory said. “And we have a lot of interchangeable parts. So far our defense has been phenomenal and our pitching really good.”
The Black–Hawks were looking to build on their success this week as they continued a busy early schedule.
Monday’s game with Chancellor was postponed due to the weather, but on Wednesday they were scheduled to visit perennial Commonwealth District contender, Colonial Forge. On Friday, they entertain Stafford.
“With playing this many games so early, we’re going to find out pretty fast how good we are,” Mallory said. “But I think we’re gaining confidence individually and as a team.”