Student Voice

Moorpark baseball looks to continue their stride

Moorpark+pitcher%2C+Daniel+Cipriano%2C+throws+a+strike+at+the+Moopark+College+Mens+baseball+game+in+Moorpark%2C+Calif.%2C+on+March+3%2C+2017.+Photo+credit%3A+Alicia+Lick
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Moorpark baseball looks to continue their stride

Moorpark pitcher, Daniel Cipriano, throws a strike at the Moopark College Mens baseball game in Moorpark, Calif., on March 3, 2017. Photo credit: Alicia Lick

Moorpark pitcher, Daniel Cipriano, throws a strike at the Moopark College Mens baseball game in Moorpark, Calif., on March 3, 2017. Photo credit: Alicia Lick

© Alicia Lick

Moorpark pitcher, Daniel Cipriano, throws a strike at the Moopark College Mens baseball game in Moorpark, Calif., on March 3, 2017. Photo credit: Alicia Lick

© Alicia Lick

© Alicia Lick

Moorpark pitcher, Daniel Cipriano, throws a strike at the Moopark College Mens baseball game in Moorpark, Calif., on March 3, 2017. Photo credit: Alicia Lick

By Mano Baghjajian

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The weather is starting to warm up and plants are starting to blossom. Spring has finally arrived. For sports fans, the end of winter signifies something else, something much more exciting. The return of baseball.

The Moorpark College baseball team has had a very interesting season up to date. Great wins have been followed up by questionable losses. The team has faced challenges all throughout the season. With a current record of 14-13, the team looks to find its stride during the back half of the season.

“We have good days and bad days,” said head coach Mario Porto. “We need to get over some mental hurdles and I feel confident that we will.”

The team looks to capitalize on their recent good play too make a push into the postseason. Under the leadership of players like Jake Baer and Brandon Ponticelli, the team is poised for a late season run.

Baer has been having an absolutely outstanding season so far. He is leading the team with 29 hits and a .382 batting average. Baer has also added 11 runs, 11 RBI’s and six stolen bases to his impressive statistics. The freshman infielder has made a huge impact for the Raiders this season, and looks to continue his strong play into April and possibly the postseason.

The pitching staff has also been looking strong with a strong core leading the way. Ponticelli has lead the way with nearly 50 innings pitched so far. He leads the team with 47 strikeouts along with a 3.99 ERA. Ponticelli’s play has earned him three wins on the season so far.

Freshmen Josh Hammond has been quite impressive as well. He has achieved an outstanding 2.14 ERA along with 16 strikeouts. Hammond has racked up five wins on the season so far, which is currently tied for second place in Western State North conference. He was also earned two saves.

The great bullpen play of the Raiders has been one of the most important aspects of their season. The team needs to continue this efficiency through the home stretch in hopes of making the playoffs.

“There have been moments on the field where you would say wow, these guys are really good,” said sophomore pitcher Emery Johnson. “We are a good baseball team and we are starting to get rolling as a team.”

Some great wins have really helped the Raiders build their momentum. Beating conference rivals like Oxnard, Ventura and Santa Barbara have been great for the Raiders. Starting off the season at 0-3, the team has flipped the script and have really begun their stride.

“We are working on being conference champions,” said Porto. “[To achieve this] we need to play smart for the entire game.”

Baseball is a grueling sport. With so many games, it is very easy to lose focus as well as the drive to be the best very day. The Raiders very much so do not follow this trope. Coming back from a slow start, the Raiders have proved themselves to be one of the more dangerous teams in the Western State North conference. With a 6-4 record in conference play, team is only one game behind leader Cuesta College with the conference title very much in their sights. The team’s next home game is this Thursday April 6th against rival Ventura, with the start time being 2:30 p.m.

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About the Writer
Mano Baghjajian, Sports editor

Mano Baghjajian is the Sports editor for the Student Voice. His passion for storytelling greatly influenced his choice in studying journalism at Moorpark...

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