There is something happening at Gavilan College. What it is, is pretty clear.
At five games over .500 (11-6) and 4-1 in the Coast Conference, the Gavilan baseball team is off to its best start in – well – a long time
“It’s been a while,” manager Neal Andrade said Saturday with a smile and a quick glance upward as we discussed the team’s latest triumph.
Andrade didn’t have an answer to just how long it has been since the program boasted such a promising record. Or maybe he just didn’t want to think about it. The past isn’t pretty. It’s ugly; 19-81-in-conference-over-the-last-five-seasons ugly.
At this point, though, there’s no need to remember.
Times change. Teams change. Cultures change.
Gavilan is ranked in the top-20 of the Northern California Coaches’ Poll, which last happened eight seasons ago. Victories have been of the variety – close calls, no-doubters and somewhere in between.
Last week’s activity included a 14-0 drubbing against City College of San Francisco and a 5-4 squeaker against Monterey Peninsula. Both road games. Both wins.
Gavilan’s soccer team made drastic improvements during the fall season, and it appears the baseball team has a memorable season planned as well.
The club is already on pace to shatter previous win marks of the past five seasons.
The four conference victories are almost half the total from the last two seasons combined. And there are still 19 games to go.
As of Monday, Gavilan is in a four-way tie for first in the Pacific Division with Canada, Cabrillo and Ohlone. However, the Rams own the best record and the most ‘W’s’ out of the entire 13-team Coast Conference.
The roster is certainly filled with the proper pedigree of players, all of whom are nose-to-the-grindstone motivated to create a name for themselves and invigorate the program.
For instance, Kenny Hall leads the conference with a .444 batting average. Brian Bradley is fifth with 15 RBIs and brother, New Mexico State-bound Chris Bradley has a minuscule .048 earned run average. His 48 strikeouts is tops, too.
Of course it doesn’t stop there.
Freshman pitcher Shea Adams is 5-1 so far, Tyler Oertle is second on the team with 19 hits (Hall, 28) and as a team, the Rams are hitting .296 to their opponents’ .225.
The next step is filling the bleachers. Weekday start times make that difficult – Tuesday and Thursday with a 2:30 p.m. first pitch the rest of the way. Andrade knows that. However, the Rams have three more home games on Saturday’s. Those start at noon.
A little baseball matinee is a nifty little segue to Saturday evening festivities.