When freshman Nate Jakobs predicted the boys’ baseball team would lose only three league games during the regular season, it seemed like an achievable feat.
That was before the Cavs dropped two games to the Faith Christian Lions, 6-5 and 11-9. And the boys have yet to face league powerhouse Valley Christian Academy.
The Cavs started the season off rough with a 14-0 loss to Delta High School in a non-league game.
Then the Cavs suffered a 14-9 loss to Victory Christian, after the Cavs gave the Vikings a 9-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
But the boys bounced back in their first league game of the season, vanquishing the Buckingham Charter Knights, 15-5.
Junior Zane Jakobs attributed the win to good hitting.
“We strung hits together,” Zane said. “We didn’t just get one hit in an inning. We consistently hit well when we stepped up to the plate.”
But consistent hitting isn’t typical for the Cavs due to the inexperience of the overall roster.
“It’s not easy to do,” Zane said. “It requires everyone to be on their game for that period of time.”
And the glory didn’t last for long.
The Cavs suffered back-to-back losses in a league double-header against the Faith Christian Lions on April 12.
Trying to come back in the seventh inning, the Cavs fell short, 5-6, after Zane struck out swinging.
Then the Cavs had to lace up their cleats for their second chance at beheading the Lions.
But the boys couldn’t capitalize and fell, this time in extra innings 11-9, with senior Jacob Durante striking out swinging.
Senior Ben Felix attributed the Cavs’ inconsistent play to inexperience.
“A lot of the people on the team have not played their whole life,” Felix said, “so they don’t have as much experience as other players in the league who have.”
And the Cavs have yet to face the true kings of the jungle, according to Nate.
The boys have two games against the Valley Christian Lions (Tuesday, May 3, and Friday, May 6), a team who has turned the Sac-Joaquin section into their jungle, making it to the finals of the 2015 Div. VII Sac-Joaquin Section Baseball tournament.
Nate called Valley Christian, currently 4-0 in league, the “baseball school of the section.” He also changed his previous projection of three league losses to four, saying they will lose to the Lions but win the rest of their games.
Although Nate made a bold start-of-season prediction, head coach Chris Millsback said his goal for the season was just to make playoffs.
And how will the Cavs do that exactly?
“Win more games,” Millsback said. “That’s how we reach our goal.”
And the Cavs made a good first step towards their playoff run by vanquishing the Trinity Prep Crusaders, 13-3.
But to claim the throne and a spot in the playoffs, the Cavs need every win they can get.
So when the boys face off against the Western Sierra Collegiate Academy Wolves on Friday, April 29, they will look to take over the Wolf den and make it Cavalier territory on their way to the section playoffs.
—By Jake Longoria
This article was previously published in the print edition, April 26.