“It’ll be very difficult to replace a senior class with so much leadership,” baseball coach Chris Millsback said. “But I’m confident we’ll make the playoffs.”
Millsback made this bold claim in his last interview of the 2015 season. At the time, it seemed reasonable for the Cavs to make the playoffs with freshman talent coming in the next year to replace the heavy loss of seniors.
But this was before the news that star pitcher sophomore Miles Edwards would not be able to play due to medical conditions. Edwards led the team last year with a .511 batting average and 28 RBI’s.
However, it hasn’t been all losses in the off-season for the Cavs.
To fill the void, the team has added six freshmen and a seasoned senior, including pitchers freshman Nate Jakobs and senior Ben Felix.
Jakobs is the only team member who plays competitive baseball outside of school, and brings diversity to the team with his powerful hitting and pitching.
And Felix, who used to play competitive baseball in Connecticut before he moved in 2014, may fill the leadership role Millsback referred to.
Despite the loss of both Edwards and the seniors, Felix still feels confident in the team’s ability.
“We will have a winning record,” Felix said.
And Jakobs backed up Felix’s claim.
“Within reason, our goal is to win the first round of playoffs,” Jakobs said, “with three or fewer losses in the regular season.”
But Jakobs’s goals for the team have already suffered a setback. On March 1, the boys lost 14-0 to the Delta Saints.
Because the boys were losing by more than 10 runs at the end of the sixth inning, the mercy rule was applied and the game ended.
But Felix still thinks that as the young team picks up experience, results will follow.
“We just need to practice in-game scenarios as a team,” Felix said.
Jakobs agreed that experience is an issue.
“We need to work on making routine defensive plays,” Jakobs said. “We just need to not overcomplicate them, and we will be fine.”
Despite all the hard work the boys will have to put in, Felix still wants to focus on the heart of Country Day sports.
“We just need to have fun!” Felix said.
Other players include seniors Jacob Sands, Akilan Murugesan, Jacob Durante and Max Schmitz; juniors Aidan Cunningham, Emil Erickson, Daniel Hernried and Quin LaComb; and freshmen Jack Christian, Blake Lincoln, Josh Friedman, Tristann Dias and Alex Rogawski.
—By Jake Longoria