By: Joshua Gerard Gargiulo
PHOENIX - Phoenix College baseball has seen its share of good and bad performances during their first-month of play. After winning their first six games, the Bears have dropped 10 of their last 14 outings.
The woes have come, more-or-less, on the road. The Bears are 8-5 at home, and manage to beat opponents by an average of 1.07 runs. When the Bears are on the road their record is 2-5, losing by an average of 2.7 runs.
Another key factor in the Bears’ play is their late-game scoring. In most wins, the Bears have piled on runs late, often cementing their victories with this. In losses, the opposite is in effect; sometimes failing to score even more than one- in most losses.
Despite a rocky start, Kevin Kimball’s team shows plenty of upside at 10-10. Out of the ten players with over 20 at-bats, seven are hitting above the “Mendoza Line.” The three hitting below it, Demarbiex, Dosen and Takke, are all one hit from getting above it.
Even with so much production at-the-plate, the Bears’ stats have them in the bottom-third of the league for at-bats, hits and RBIs. The lack of plate appearances could attest to the lowly-numbers, but this does not excuse a .245 overall batting average.
The team leader in hits, Dominic “Dom” Grissom, has recorded 16 hits in 39 at-bats with a .410 batting average and seven RBIs; even though he is ninth on the team in “Games played.” He is also tied-second in Doubles (3) and 3rd in RBIs.
The three Sophomore-vets in Outfield: Nick Alvarez, Michael Garverick and Jakob Pigati, are helping tremendously by hitting in the top and middle parts of the line-up. All of whom are also Top-5, on the team in: hits, doubles and 3rd in runs scored.
Amongst a slew of freshmen, Second and Third basemen Gino Caperon and Carter Paine have shown their ability with impressive numbers at-the-plate and on-the-field.
Gino Caperon, who is usually stationed at second-base, leads all-qualified freshman on the team with a .304 batting average and .448 on-base percentage. He is also tied for 1st in RBIs with nine. In the field, Caperon has notched 33 putouts and 24 assists with five double-plays during his 18-appearances.
Carter Paine, mostly at third-base, has proved a good-fit in a spot that has been depleted since the departure of Nick Guaragna. Out of the 34 total chances he has seen, he has recorded nine putouts and 21 assists with four errors, totaling a .882 fielding percentage. When it comes to hitting, Paine is hitting just-above the “Mendoza Line” with a .205 average. He also leads the team in RBIs and has been walked more than any of his teammates.
Kimball’s pitching rotation and bullpen are still finding their ground after the even-.500 start in the first month. Led by sophomores’ Sergio Heguertty and Travis Roberts, the Bears’ pitching-staff has averaged 9.22 K/9 and 165 total-strikeouts. Heguertty currently is 1-2, with a 3.75 ERA and 24 K’s. Roberts has won two of his three starts, leading the team in ERA with 1.71. He is tied for first, with Adrian Santa Cruz, for strike-outs.
Although there is “room-for-improvement,” Kimball’s squad has two more months to find their groove. Baseball is a game of highs and lows. What must be remembered most: You cannot alter the past, but you can work to change future outcomes.
Phoenix College will head to Sierra Vista tomorrow for a double-header against Cochise. They are back home, Thursday and Friday, taking on Arizona Christian JV on Thursday and Chandler-Gilbert on Friday. Tickets are $5 for Adults, $3 for Students w/ ID and free for PC Students. Phoenix College is located at 1202 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85013.