The Glen Cove baseball team came into this spring looking to add to its low number of conference wins total in years past. This year, coach George Kearns and his staff believed that the quick progression of the defense and the ability to make plays in the field would be the key factor in a higher win total this year.
Thus far, Glen Cove only holds one conference win after a trio of one-run losses against Hewlett last week. Losing 5-6, 2-3 and 5-6, timely hitting and making just a few more plays behind the pitcher were the difference between a series win and the eventual sweep.
“Losses by one are tough,” Kearns said. “Unfortunately for us we just so happened to have three of them last week. I was talking to my assistant coaches and we had said ‘Imagine we had won one or two of those close games late, what that would mean for us’; we would have much more confidence as a team right now.”
Glen Cove committed some errors early in games, but would settle down defensively as the game progressed. Offensively, it seemed the trend would somewhat follow suit. “Sometimes our effort and output will die out in the middle innings and we’ll come on strong in the sixth and seventh innings,” Kearns said. In the Big Red’s second and third game of the Roslyn series, they had not scored earlier than the fifth inning.
One clear aspect of improvement over the second series was plate discipline. In Glen Cove’s opening league series against South Side, Kearns’ crew struck out looking repeatedly and the coach took notice. “We struck out looking about 12-15 times in the first series against South Side,” Kearns said. “We cut that down to only five times in the second series, so that is a plus.”
Glen Cove’s opening series saw it take the middle game of the three-game set against a tough South Side team. The Cyclones only have one conference loss in league play, and that came to the Big Red on April 9 in a 5-2 victory for the northern Long Island bunch. Mat Graf went 2-for-2 and tallied an RBI. Anthony Rant totaled three RBIs from the fifth spot. Kieran Calderon nabbed the win against the stingy Cyclones lineup.
“The biggest thing is that we made plays in the field,” Kearns said. “Rant, who is usually our leadoff guy, I moved him down to the five-spot and he responded that game with three RBIs. Kieran was good but South Side’s offense puts the ball in play a lot, so our defense had to make the plays in the field and they did.”
Calderon, one of Glen Cove’s three starters, has good stuff when he is on. He can throw strikes, but the Big Red defense will be tested some with any of the Big Red starters.
Glen Cove now looks ahead to Roslyn in its next three-game league series.
“We don’t focus on what another team does,” Kearns said. “We focus on us and the day at hand. If we can win this series it would turn around our confidence big time. Time to right the ship.”