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July 15, 2020

College baseball: Seahawks stay cool despite longest losing streak of the season

APTOS–The Cabrillo College baseball team got off to a hot start to begin the season, winning nine of its first 10 games.

Since then, the Seahawks cooled down and they’ve lost six-straight including a 4-1 loss against West Valley College on Saturday.

But Cabrillo coach Bob Kittle isn’t stressing out too much despite the losing streak, which has been the longest this season, so far.

“We just had a bad week last week and we kind of got away from what we’ve been doing good in practice and in the games. We’ll be fine,” he said. 

Kittle said this season has been about good pitching and playing solid defense. The Seahawks currently own a 9-7 overall record.

He believes the hot start at the beginning of the season sidetracked them and they forgot how they got in that position in the first place.

“It was a good time to be reminded of that,” Kittle said.  

Kittle said this year’s squad is one of the best–talent wise– he’s had since he’s been the skipper at Cabrillo.

“Lot’s of good local talent, especially on the hill,” Kittle said. “We’re going to be strong on the hill all year.”

Kittle said it’s always a good luxury to have a loaded roster filled with talent, especially players from local schools.

“Baseball seems to have the best talent year around and we’re fortunate to have a nice little run in the past couple of years,” Kittle said.

Some local talent includes JoJo Vargas of Watsonville High and Anthony Karagiannopoulos of Santa Cruz High.   

He mentioned it’s the first time he believes they can compete with anybody in the state.

The Seahawks will rely on their pitching, which is filled with local talent.

David Eichhorn, an Aptos alumnus, is one of the aces on the mound this season for the Seahawks. He has a 2-1 overall record with a 0.90 ERA and 23 strikeouts in six appearances.

“There’s been a lot of improvement between the entire team,” Eichhorn said. “It’s good chemistry between our team and a lot of improvement from Day 1.” 

Kittle did say that the offense might be the one area that needs to improve as the season progresses.

“Offense is going to be the key for us getting over the hump and into the state final game,” Kittle said. “We have the ability we just have to be very clean on the other end.”

However, Ian Koenig, a Monte Vista Christian alumnus, has been a big help on offense this season. He’s hitting at a .262 average (14-of-42) with a pair of doubles and 12 RBIs.

He also owns a 2-2 overall record on the mound with a 4.50 ERA and he has 34 strikeouts, which is the best in the Coast Conference Pacific Division.

“We call him the freak,” Kittle said.

Kittle said that Koenig is a phenomenal athlete that can do it all on the field such as hitting, running, fielding and pitching.

“It’s been really nice,” Kittle said.

Kittle said he’s biggest concern with Koenig is making sure not to use him too much during the season. 

The coaching staff tries to manage Koenig’s output–along with the rest of the roster–as much as possible.

Kittle said they’re player centered, meaning that the players have a say in whether they want to pitch or take some time off to rest.

“We’re cool with that because they know their bodies better than we do,” he said.

Koenig said the progress of the team has been great and believes they’re getting better as the season continues. He mentioned the camaraderie has been at an all-time high.

“We all build off of each other, it’s just a fun team to be on,” he said. “One of the best teams I’ve ever been on because we all like to win.” 

Cabrillo begins conference play next week with a three-game series against Gavilan College starting on Tuesday at 2 p.m.

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