Hilmar’s varsity baseball team will not let an 8-1 loss to Livingston High on Wednesday night define the team or this season.
Even after falling to a 2-4 record this season — the same start they had just a year ago when they made a late rally to sneak into the postseason.
“Whether we got .500 in preseason or under, really, it’s to get mentally ready for league which the TVL is a tough league,” said Hilmar head coach Bobby Swedberg. “We do know what we did last year but it’s a new year. Kids responded last year and they stepped it up, but that doesn’t mean it will translate this year. They have to do it and take accountability and step up for that to happen.”
Hilmar was coming off a 9-2 win over Waterford on Monday, but Wednesday was just a different day for the Yellowjackets.
Altogether, Hilmar accounted for just three hits as a team while committing over half a dozen errors and allowing six unearned runs.
“The errors were definitely key,” said Swedberg. “I thought our pitchers did great, got a lot of ground balls, just not enough mentally or physically prepared when the ball was hit right to them and that’s going to hurt us in the end. One to two earned runs at most is what I got.”
Hilmar trailed 5-0 by the end of the third inning and went down 6-0 by the start of the fifth.
Tyler Amarante of Hilmar scored the only run of the game for the ‘Jackets after Anwar Mustafa laid down a sacrifice RBI.
“Obviously from the hitting perspective we didn’t get many and we were not as comfortable, but we will go and work on it but we won’t win by giving up seven or eight runs per game,” said Swedberg. “But mental and consistency of baseball play needs to get better before moving forward.”
Hilmar knows that in order to achieve or surpass last season’s record they will have to rely on their seasoned veterans in seniors Wyatt Amaral, Bryce Durjava, Zach Berberia, Preston Costa and Sammy Agueda.
“Definitely the core with Preston Costa being the three-year varsity starter at shortstop and we have some second-year varsity experience as well,” said Swedberg.
The ‘Jackets second year varsity players include Chris Flores and Amarante. Swedberg also is expecting a breakthrough year from Dominic Dias, along with freshman twins Treven and Trent Crowley.
“Definitely a bright future, they are bringing things together for us, and Dominick Dias at first driving in runs and sitting in the third spot. But it will come down to Berberia and Sammy as well to help us win,” said Swedberg.