Head coach Jason Lively says the players have made significant improvements on last season by powering the team to a hot start.
“The team put in a tremendous amount of work in the offseason, and they are starting to reap the benefits,” said Lively in early April.
While the Wildcats expected to have a strong team, perhaps no one expected the extreme levels of offensive firepower and pitching prowess Arundel has shown through seven games. As a team the lineup has averaged over 10 runs per game, won three games by mercy rule, and outscored the opposition by a 76-7 margin.
“When we make the decision to be aggressive at the plate and attack the ball, we are hitting the ball well and putting our guys in great situations,” said Lively. “Our team hitting is a real big improvement from last year, and we have the depth on the bench to hopefully go deep into the playoffs.”
The pitching has been equally stellar, as the Wildcats have surrendered only seven runs and have a team ERA of 1.00, something Lively said was not necessarily a known commodity coming into the season.
“Pitching has been probably the biggest surprise up to this point,” he said. “Coming into the spring we really didn't have an established varsity pitcher with significant game experience. We have an almost 1.00 ERA because our pitchers are pounding the strike zone and letting the defense work behind them. I am really impressed with the development of some of my younger guys.”
On March 31, a double and a triple by Syeed Mahdi and RBIs by Mike Hinely, David Martin, Brad Hovatter, Josh Gall and AJ Robinson helped the Wildcats to a 10-2 win over Severna Park. Andrew Sharpe pitched to earn the win for Arundel.
Following a 10-1 win over Southern, the Wildcats continued their strong play with a 13-2 win over Old Mill. Mahdi and Robinson both hit home runs while Martin, Sharpe, Hinely, Gall and Will O’Hara all had RBI base hits and Brad Hageman pitched and earned the victory.
Arundel followed with a 20-0 drubbing of Glen Burnie on April 4 to move to 7-0. Lively says the team is continuing to work hard with a deep run in the playoffs in mind.
“I am very pleased with where we are right now as a team,” he said. “I think we are progressing nicely and moving in the right direction. We understand that we will never be perfect, but striving for perfection, practicing under pressure and understanding situations are our daily and weekly goals.”
The Wildcats travel to Pasadena to face undefeated Chesapeake (8-0) on April 11.